"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Lately, I haven't had the best attitude. I find myself getting extremely angry at small inconveniences, and eight hour shifts at work that once flew by now make me want to hang myself just to make it end. The customers are grouchier, my fellow associates are grumpier, and I'm mentally disemboweling people several times a day.
I wouldn't say I have a thick skin (quite the opposite), but yesterday I cried the entire drive home from work and that's not normal. What got me so worked up? Nothing in particular, just bad customers and an even worse manager. It wasn't anyone's fault, it wasn't even the manager in question's fault. I actually like her, outside of work. But at work I sometimes daydream about slapping her. (Don't worry, I wouldn't ever act on it). I'm not sure what caused it all to bubble to the surface and escape out my eyes. I was just miserable. I still am.
Maybe it's all the holiday bustle, although that's unlikely because usually that puts me in a good mood, or maybe it's because work (which wasn't very fulfilling anyway) has now become endlessly tedious. It's not okay to expect someone to be able to smile and be cheerful for eight hours straight. Especially when most of the customers she must be cheerful and overly helpful to are rude, insulting and just plain cold. Without being able to distract oneself and give oneself some small feeling of accomplishment, it all becomes undeniably pointless.
I realize that this is a long and rather depressing rant, but I can't help it. Well I guess I could help it, I don't have to write any of it down, but I'm not going to help it. I just have to look at this as a positive. There are still things I like about work. I like a lot of the associates (many of whom bring homemade baking!), I'm allowed to wear jeans to work, it's relatively easy (except for the strain on my sanity with some difficult customers), and it's helping to pay my bills and feed my loved ones. That's not bad. Aside from the bad days here and there, overall it doesn't usually get me so down. This is just a momentary lapse. It'll get better, and until then I can always rant.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Magnificent Writer in Residence

Today I journeyed to the great and powerful Writer in Residence for advice on the book I'm currently working on. What is a Writer in Residence you ask? Well, it's a program with the public library in which a published author offers their time and attention to budding new writers. They are available at specific hours during the week for you to make an appointment and offer some of your work for their editing and advice. You don't have to show them your work either. It can simply be about questions on how to get started, how to submit your work to a publisher, etc. Do you want to know the best part? It's free! That's right. You get editing assistance from a published author for free.
My experience was fantastic. The writer in residence was wonderful. She gave me fantastic advice on the work I was doing and really helped me delve into why I want to be a writer, what my voice is, where my strengths and weaknesses are and etc. I was positively delighted. She got me all pumped up to keep working on my book and gave me great guidance. To all the budding writers out there, I highly suggest you give this a try.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Clearly I Need to Become Independently Wealthy

November is nearing its end, and as I finish my first month of working strictly retail I can say only this: I really need to find a new career. It's strange how a job that is so fundamentally easy is so frustrating. I feel as though I have no purpose. Every day is the same. Be happy, achieve sales target, impress my managers with my sales and customer service prowess. I find as I bump into people I know I'm ashamed to tell them that this is all I'm doing. I shudder at that unavoidable question of, "so what are you doing these days?" It's horrible. I feel my face get hot as I explain that I work in retail and then scramble to add "I used to be a massage therapist but right now I'm just trying to figure out what comes next." What does come next? I have no idea. I want to be a writer, but that's not something you announce to acquaintances. Until something is published I'm just that sad little person chasing a dream, like those people who talk about being an actor or singer. It's just sad.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Done

It's done. My career as a massage therapist that is. My last day is behind me, all of my possessions have been brought home and my key returned to the clinic. Now, I look toward the future and try to assemble a new career. The only problem? (okay, not the only problem, just the most prominent). I'm lacking in the confidence department. Here's the thing, every time I read a delightful new book I get incredibly intimidated. All of a sudden my inner dialogue starts up with the usual, "I've never written anything as good as that" or "I'm not that funny!" and I feel my ambition shriveling away. It's hard enough getting motivated to write, let alone overcoming your inner self confidence demons as well.
Obviously, I can't piss away the rest of my working years in retail. I need a real career, something I can be proud of, and preferably something I love. I want to be a writer, but do I have it in me?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Last Day

My last day of massage is tomorrow and my biggest regret is that I didn't clear out more of my stuff from work earlier. That's right people, after tomorrow I'm out of there!! And I can tell you right now that I'm not going to miss it. Ugh, there's so much crap I have to take home. I can't wait to be done with the place. Never again will I have to rub lotion on greasy strangers, listen to their obnoxious and idiotic complaints and have to feign interest in their tedious lives. I'm so excited! I'm not sure if tomorrow will speed by or if it will drag on like molasses. Either way, once it's done, it's done. Soon, a new chapter of my life will begin.

Monday, October 18, 2010

All That Untapped Genius Going to Waste...

It should please you to know that over the last few days I've been very productive. I've busily been editing my book (that's right - editing. It's done!), and today I spent the majority of my day cleaning the house. Let me tell you, it needed it! I was thorough too. I pulled out all of the furniture and swept underneath it. I found enough dog hair to make another dog. Anyway, my house is sparkling, I'm steadily making my way through editing, and frankly, I feel pretty good about myself. The only problem is that I will soon  have to leave to go to work. How unfair is that? Obviously my time is much better spent at home, and yet I must up and leave and trudge off to a quite literally, thankless job. (Would that be so difficult people? Thank your massage therapist when they give you a good treatment. And of course, tip!). It's so annoying knowing that your time is better spent elsewhere. It's irritating knowing that brilliant thoughts will go unwritten as I'm forced to rub lotion on strangers. Yuck.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Two Weeks Left...

I find it hard to tell my clients that soon I will be gone forever; mostly because they would try to book one more appointment with me before I left. Not to mention, it seems weird to just bring it up.
"Okay, well make sure you drink lots of water tonight and by the way I'm leaving forever."
Right? It sounds weird! I pretty much only mention it when people try to book with me for November, or when they ask me what's new. Otherwise, I don't bring it up. After all, there's quite a few clients I'm happy to disappear on. It makes me laugh to think of all of those slimeballs calling in to make an appointment with me only to find out that not only do I no longer work there, I no longer work anywhere. (I won't lie, it always makes me gleeful to think of them being someone else's problem).
Yes, I prefer to slip away into the night, disappearing from all of their lives. I suppose it's slightly unprofessional but I don't care. The grand majority of them never bothered to tip, so why would I bother to give them any notice?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Feet Hurt

It has only been two days since my weekend and already I'm exhausted. Working seven days a week is no picnic. For instance, I need new shoes. My current work shoes have no real padding or arch support and after eight hours of standing on ridiculously hard floors my feet hurt like hell. My husband and I went for groceries tonight and when I wasn't hobbling along behind him I was riding on the edge of the cart while he pushed. Clearly if I'm going to be only working retail pretty soon I need to prepare myself (and buy better shoes).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

18 Days Left...

That's right. I have only 18 days left before I'm done massaging forever. Or at least, I hope forever. I'll always have it to fall back on, but if it ends up that way then something will have gone horribly wrong. No, I pray I never have to return to my old profession again.
Instead, I'm focusing on my impending freedom. Halloween approaches and with it comes new possibilities and a future that is, as yet, undecided. True, I'm glamourizing a transfer into full time retail work but I don't care. As everyone begins to find out about my leaving the massage therapy profession, they always ask the same question. What am I going to do? My answer? I haven't the foggiest. I desperately want to be a full time writer, but how often does that happen? And it sounds so delusional to proclaim to all that I will be a writer. After all, if I don't make it then everyone will be aware of my failure. Not to mention, I haven't a clue as to what else I'm interested in. Writing is my secret dream, one I follow doggedly and relentlessly, but I accept that I may have to settle for something else.
As long as my new career is something that I love, than I don't care what it is. I just don't want to get out of bed every morning dreading the work day ahead. That to me is real failure. I just want to be happy. I'm sick of hating my job. I want to love my job. Is that too much to ask? Shut up no it isn't.

Friday, October 1, 2010

30 Days Left...

In just thirty days I will be done massaging forever, and I have to tell you, it couldn't possibly come fast enough. In fact, here is a list of things I will not miss about being a massage therapist.
1. The farters
2. The moaners (that's right. Some of you out there make weird, moaning, sex noises when you get a massage. Please stop.)
3. The greasy
4. The hairy
5. The bacne
6. The B.O.
7. All of the accounting
8. The creepers (by which I mean the excessively creepy men I so often find myself trapped in a treatment room with)
9. The weird and sometimes creepy tattoos
10. All of the people who never tip
11. All of the inane and irritating questions
12. The body aches and pains
13. The complainers
14. The bossy
15. The wuss bags
16. The crappy money

On the other hand, I will miss a few things.

1. The hours
2. Being my own boss

Clearly I'm making the right choice.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Punishment Doesn't Fit the Crime

Tonight my husband and I had a minor tiff, after which he stormed out of the house. Normally this would annoy me, because he knows how much I worry and I realize that this is his passive aggressive way of punishing me when he feels I'm wrong. (Which I never am. As you can see, I'm very easy to live with). Anyway, tonight I was not so much annoyed, as furious. Why? Because not only did he leave and cause me to worry endlessly about his safety (I just can't stand the thought of something happening to him before we make up. Which is why he should really obey my rule that no one leaves the house angry), but he also left me alone with our little devil, aka my dog.
Which leads me to my tale of woe. As I began my nightly process of first reading my favourite blogs before beginning my own, I heard a weird noise coming from the kitchen. There would be a loud THUMP followed by silence, and then yet another loud THUMP. In my heart of hearts, I prayed that my dear puppy was merely playing with one of her many toys, but deep inside I knew I was wrong. As I walked out into the kitchen it became clear that my instincts were correct. Maddie had gotten up onto the dining room table and grabbed an avocado which she was now joyously picking up and dropping on the floor repeatedly. I let out an angry and shocked gasp, causing her to freeze dead in her tracks. I stood in front of her, staring her down, as she tried to look anywhere but my face. Slowly she sat down, still avoiding my face, and after a moment, raised a sorrowful paw and pawed gently at me, begging forgiveness. At this point I was desperately trying to hold in the laughter, so I bent down and gave her a big hug, all ready to make amends. That is, until I turned around and saw that my little "angel" had grabbed a couple of kiwis and proceeded to decimate them all over the couch, covering it in green goo.
Which is why I'm still mad at my husband for a minor tiff. I may not be easy to live with, but I tell you this; the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wet Garbage

Today I had a client who was not only creepy, but had the worst breath I've ever smelled in my life. It literally smelled as though he had eaten a plate full of wet garbage before his treatment. It was so bad that the entire room stunk after. It was SO bad that I became sick to my stomach half way through the treatment and contemplated stepping outside for a few minutes. I've never experienced anything like it.
Not to mention his creepiness. Or was he simply creepy because of the God-awful smell seeping from his rotten craw? No, he was definitely creepy. And sexist. The bastard kept calling me a "little girl" (Excuse me, fuckwad. I am not a "little girl". I am a woman) and saying retarded shit like,
"Wow, you sure are strong for a little girl."
What the hell is that? Excuse me buddy, I'm a lot stronger than your pot-bellied ass, and if you'd like me to prove it I'd be happy to have you literally weeping for mercy in a matter of moments. Not to mention, who gave you the right to make a visual assessment of my strength and competence?
To make matters worse, when the massage was done he kept smiling and winking after everything he said. You have no idea how desperately I wanted to snarl, "Gross! Stop that! And for God's sake, brush your freaking teeth!" He got my card too. If that fat sack of crap thinks he's getting another appointment with me then he's even more stupid than he looks. Ick.
And people wonder why I'm quitting.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm Nervous

I can't believe it, but I only have two months left before I'm done with massage. I have to give my notice on Monday. I'm scared to death. What if I'm unable to earn enough money to pay my bills? What if my boss hates me?
The truth is, there are things about massage that I'm going to miss. My coworkers for example. They're all really nice, especially my absolute favourite. He's been my inspiration for the four years I've worked there. From the beginning he was always full of wonderful advice like, "if you don't like the elderly, don't treat them!" and "if someone pisses you off, kick them out! You don't have to take crap from anybody". Sigh, my hero.
My favourite memory (one I will always cherish) is the day he kicked out one of his own clients. Why? Well, the bitch came in while he was still dealing with another one of his clients and loudly proclaimed for all to hear,
"Oh by the way, you know that problem of mine you've been working on for two years? I went for a myofascial treatment and it's gone."
He politely nodded and smiled and finished dealing with his other client. Then, he took her into his treatment room and began to berate her for her rudeness. He asked her why she would feel the need to announce this in front of his other client, and, if she liked myofascial so much better what the hell was she doing here?
Her answer?
"Well, I couldn't get in there for two months."
His response?
"Yeah, well you aren't getting in here either."
And then he unceremoniously kicked her bitchy ass out. My hero!!
Yes, it's the fond memories like these that I will cherish when I'm gone. Who will be bitter and make sarcastic comments with me? Not to mention the delightfully short hours. I hope I'm not making a big mistake (as I so often do), but every time I think of staying the revulsion rises in my gut and I know it's not an option. So, onward and upward as they say. In two months I'll be gone.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Writing Update

I thought it would be nice to let you know how my attempt at professional writing is going. The first draft of my book is done and now awaits a strenuous course of editing, I have my first possibility for a freelance writing job coming up in September and October for a sports magazine, and my suite101 career is... progressing. That's right. Read it and weep people, since the beginning of May I've made... $1.95.
Every month they publish the top ten earners for the past month (without names of course) and last month some lucky individual walked away with $2900. Sounds good right? So, to better equip myself and earn a larger amount of dough I looked into the owners of the top 100 page views for last month to see what was bringing in a lot of attention (and how many articles they had). Well, first of all they all had a staggering amount of articles - generally in the 700 range, and I noticed that all the authors had a general theme that their articles revolved around. What were these highly viewed authors writing about? The top writer wrote almost exclusively about anything and everything that had to do with college (which was funny because from her picture one can easily tell she's way too old to still be going there). The second wrote about everything in the world to do with pregnancy, babies and mommies. (Ick). The third - psychology, the fourth - dogs, and the fifth - cats. (At least we know that dogs did better than cats). I personally prefer to do book reviews, that way I don't have to constantly come up with new material. It's provided to me.
Well, that's where I stand right now. Obviously I'm not about to quit my day job. I'll update again soon, in the mean time - pray for me.
P.S. Don't you just love how my title works on two levels? It's an update about my writing, but I'm also writing an update. Get it? Well, I think its funny.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Each Morning I Wake Up...

I woke up this morning as I do many mornings, spooning my dog. Gradually I became aware that I was, in fact, awake and began asking myself those all important questions. Questions like, "what should I eat for breakfast?" and "where the hell is my husband?"
That's right. Nearly every morning for the past couple of months I've woken curled up around the dog with my husband long gone. The first time it happened I was obviously startled. I woke up that morning and turned over, reaching out to give my beloved husband an affectionate good morning kiss. The bed was empty. He was gone. When he came home later he informed me that he'd gotten up early to go to the gym. I was so hurt. Why hadn't he woken me up to say good bye? The answer? He did. Apparently, I'm one of those people that doesn't remember when they've been woken up. I really should have already been aware of this. After all, I take my birth control pill every morning at 6:00 AM and just roll over and go back to sleep. Half the time I wake up in a panic in the morning, positive that I slept through my alarm and didn't take it. Wrong. I did. I just have no memory of it.
And so, most mornings I wake up with my husband long gone (or playing video games in the living room) with no memory of his leaving me. At this point he no longer bothers waking me, I never remember it anyway. It's just one of those things. My body has programmed itself to ignore all stimulation until it has gotten what it feels is the appropriate amount of sleep. The only thing I'm able to wake up for is alarms. If I set an alarm to get up in the morning, the second it goes off I shoot out of bed like a rocket, fully awake. I can't explain it. Somehow I recognize that this particular alarm is the get the hell out of bed alarm. (It probably has something to do with my intense punctuality. If I even suspect I might be late my chest gets tight).
Either way, it seems I'm doomed to wake up each morning wondering where the hell my husband is. (Don't bother pointing out that I should set my alarm and get up with him. That's never going to happen.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Great and Nurturing Maddie

I love my dog. (Yes, I realize that we've already established this but hear me out. Or don't. No one has a gun to your head). Yesterday, I was sick. I had food poisoning and one thing I love about my darling dog is that when I'm sick she always knows. I don't know how, or why she even cares, but she does.
Yesterday I woke up feeling really, really nauseous. At first I figured it was because I'd slept in and hadn't eaten breakfast, and I'm one of those people that HAS to eat breakfast. So, I got up and made myself something to eat. Surprisingly, when I was finished I didn't feel any better. I always feel better after I eat. Slightly confused but still determined to go to work, I headed off to take a shower. No more than two minutes into my shower I became overwhelmed by sick feelings and threw up several times. In the shower. (Yes, it was disgusting). I sunk down to my knees and sat there, with the water pouring over me, shaking slightly, when I heard the clicking of nails on the linoleum. Maddie was there. She stuck her head into the shower and after I assured her I was okay she lay down on the floor in front of the shower doors, refusing to leave until I got out. I finished my shower and got dressed (yes I was still determined to go to work). After all, I felt a lot better. Or so I thought. An hour later I was back where I started, this time over the toilette. Needless to say at this point I threw in the towel and called in sick.
Throughout the day, whenever I got sick, Maddie was there. When I was shaky and exhausted and had trouble standing up, Maddie was there. She stood steady as I used her to help myself stand up. And when I asked her to walk me to the couch? She walked me to the couch and stayed with me until I was safely curled up on its cushy softness.
She's a hell of a dog. When she's good, she's really, really good. When she's bad, she's really, really bad. There's no half way with my girl. Hell, by late last night I was feeling back to normal and she knew. She'd broken into my gift wrapping closet, pulled out a whole bunch of tissue paper and shredded it all over my office. It's like I said, there's no half way. (And God help me, she knows when I'm faking).

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Death of Patience

I realized today as an angry motorist gave me the finger for being stopped at a red light (?), that the era of the kind and polite Canadian is at an end. Patience is dead. You see it every day on the road, in the stores and frankly, anywhere there happens to be a line. What happened to waiting for one's turn? Why is it so important to be first all the time? Where did this self entitlement come from? When did everyone decide that they deserved to be first and everyone else be damned?
I tried to be angry at the man in the truck, but I was too amused at his idiocy. Where did he need to be in such a hurry? Nowhere. He just couldn't stand the thought of waiting. Why is waiting so repulsive? It was a beautiful day, I felt sorry for him that he couldn't enjoy it. Not to mention, one day he's going to flip off the wrong person and they will joyfully beat his head in with baseball bats. I mourn the loss of our national pride, we no longer have an identity to cling to. I cringe at the thought of all these horrible people being our ambassadors to the world when they travel. What happened to taking pride in being polite and mindful of one's neighbours? I weep for the future.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Being Rude

Sometimes I wish I was rude. Okay the truth is I am rude, but I wish I was more rude. Rude people don't put up with other people's bull shit. Rude people tell the world where to put it. I like that.
Today I had a client whom I wish I had the balls to be rude to. He was an insignificant, unspectacular runt of a man who felt it was appropriate to boss me around. I hate it when people insinuate that they could do my job better, or that I'm doing mine insufficiently. First of all, I'm in on a Saturday on the long weekend so shut your mouth. Secondly, unless you have an understanding of human anatomy and how massage techniques create different reactions in the body and muscle tissue, then no you couldn't do my job better than me. Asshole. What I should have done, was rudely interrupt him and lecture him on why he's stupid and I'm not but I didn't. Because I don't know how to be that rude.
The same goes for every other situation in my life when people are stupid or rude. When I'm working at my retail job and a customer starts to freak out about a misunderstanding on the price of an item, I'd love to look her sternly in the eye and tell her to settle down, she's acting like a child. Or, when people just walk up to me and start talking to my dog and trying to pet her without asking when we're out for a walk. For God's sake people, I may have a schedule to keep and you have no idea if my dog is friendly.
If only I could be that rude, but I can't. I just don't have it in me. Okay, I have it in me but not the follow through. I guess it's for the best. Being rude gets you fired, and sometimes punched in the face.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Bras Are Important

Today I had a client come in who was the perfect example of why every woman should wear a bra. First of all, I could see her nipples. Secondly, her nipples were pointing downward. Thirdly, her breasts were so saggy that they were being held up by her fanny pack. (I know, disgusting visual right? A fanny pack!). If you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not. They were actually being held up by her fanny pack.
The woman was elderly, so clearly she'd lived a long life of unsupported breasts, hence the severe sagging. It was pretty gross, and to say the least very distracting. She was not a pretty woman, and with no where that I could have possibly wanted to look I ended up making fleeting eye contact only when necessary. People mock me for my severe addiction to sunblock, but after seeing her sun ravaged skin I feel thoroughly validated. You can all keep your disgusting age spots, thank you very much.
The massage was not a pleasant one. Her whole body was soft and saggy, and when she breathed out deeply it smelled as though she'd eaten a diaper she'd found in the garbage. Clearly it's appropriate that I will be done in three months. Things that would have only bothered me slightly four years ago now fill me with revulsion. Yep, it's time to move on.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How I Found Out My Dog is Better Looking Than I Am

My dog is beautiful. She's a Great Dane, which as most of you know is not the most common of breeds. Nearly every time my husband and I take her for a walk someone asks what breed she is, or exclaims over how beautiful she is, or pulls their car over in traffic just to ask us questions about her. What I'm saying is, she gets a lot of attention. This doesn't bother me. On the contrary, I'm a very proud mama. I always beam with pride when people gawk and exclaim over how big and lovely she is.
Yesterday, however, was slightly different. My husband and I were walking her as usual when a truck pulled over to the side of the road. He honked, but as we were well away from him, we figured he must be picking up someone from the house he was now stopped in front of and was signaling for them to come out. We were wrong. He got out of his car and called to us, causing us to turn and acknowledge him.
"Is that a bull mastiff?"
At this, I responded,
"No. She's a great dane." (Idiot. She looks nothing like a bull mastiff)
"No way! She's HUGE" (dur! Great Danes are one of the tallest breeds, you moron)
"Yes, well, she's a Great Dane."
He goes on for a while about how big bull mastiffs are and how surprising it is that she is also big (moron) before he then begins talk/yelling at my dog;
"You are so beautiful!"
I, of course, beam with pride and yell thank you, as I'm always pleased when people compliment my sweet little girl. He however, misinterpreted my thank you and felt it was necessary to correct me and say,
"No, I meant your dog!"
Through gritted teeth, I yelled back, "Yes I realize that," and turned to walk away.
I guess he realized that that was rude because he yelled after me, "You're attractive, I'm just saying the dog is really nice."
My husband and I didn't bother to continue acknowledging him after that and continued on our walk. Thanks, buddy. Way to make a girl feel stunning.

Friday, July 23, 2010

That's Right. It's Exactly What it Sounds Like.

We are nearing the end of one of my favourite events in Saskatoon, the Taste of Saskatchewan. Every summer restaurants from all over the city gather on the river to set up tents and present samples of their wares for the price of a few tickets. Many restaurants take the opportunity to show off some of their best and most delicious specialties, one of which I'm only allowed to eat once a year.
I am of course referring to the deep fried mars bar. That's right. It's exactly what it sounds like. They take a mars bar, dip it in batter, deep fry it, and sprinkle icing sugar on top. I doubt you've tasted anything more intense, or delicious in your whole life. In fact, it's so intense that you really won't want more than one. In many cases half of one is plenty. In any case, no matter how sick it makes me each year I always go back for another when summer roles around again. It's one of those decadent treats we all must allow ourselves at one time or another.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's That Time Again...

Every year, just after the mid point of summer, something strange starts to happen to me. I start to long for the delicious and wicked escapades of Halloween. All of a sudden I'm surfing through the Martha Stewart website, reading up on delightful Halloween crafts, recipes and decorations. (She may be a bitch but damn that girl knows how to celebrate Halloween!) I can't help it. I know I shouldn't want summer to end, there are way too many months of winter as it is, but I just love Halloween so much. And yet again, the longing has started to come upon me and soon I will be counting down the days until I can turn my yard into a haunted graveyard.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Perhaps You Should Get Your Head Examined

For those of you who don't know, I'm a twin. Over the years my sister and I have had to deal with a lot of stupid questions, including "can you read each others thoughts?" and my personal favourite, "when you eat does she get full?" (yes that actually happened) To the latter my sister politely responded that he should have his head examined. The truth is, it's been great. It's not often that one is born already having a best friend in the universe. I never had to suffer through the first day at school alone, or worry about having someone to sit with in the cafeteria. Not to mention, she has to put up with me because we're family. Nope, no getting rid of me. She's also a constant source of entertainment. Take for example, the voicemail message she left me today.

"Dear (insert my name here),
Didn't you know you aren't allowed to work when I want to phone and talk to you? I wanted to chat with you and you're not there. Boo.
I just got finished up about, I don't know, ten-fifteen minutes ago with my second roofing quote. Okay, do you remember the first one? Well you know, shoot! speaking of which, oh my God she's probably screwing me! But at least I had a little more confidence in it. This one - okay number one priced fabulous! Guess how much it was. Guess. Guess. Guess. Lower than that, probably. I don't know what you're guessing. It was over $5000 less than the other one and the other one didn't include tax!
So, anyway I was talking with him, and there's a couple of things. I was waiting for him to notice the same things she did and he did notice some of the same things so okay that gives me a little bit more confidence but underneath there in this one spot it was quite obviously rotted and he's like, "oh no, no, I think that's just staining and stuff like that" and I'm like, "well if you get up there and it is rotted, how much will that be?" and then it would only be another $200. 'Cause I told him I was pretty sure it was rotted. And it's not including all of the things that she would have done but that's not a big deal.
So I wanted to discuss all these things with you and talk about the shoe party coming up because well, I wanted to plan some logistics and talk about all the people coming but you're not there. So yeah, I'm talking to myself. Well, to an answering machine but pretty much to myself. I will, I guess, try you later. Bye!

Small side note, I actually had to cut some stuff out. I know. My sister is the queen of the extensively long voicemail message. In conclusion, we're similar in a lot of ways. We're both hilarious, bitchy, judgmental, and gloriously beautiful. (Obviously we're modest as well. But hey, how can I resist complimenting someone who's identical to me? It's being nice and stroking your own ego at the same time. AKA win-win)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Art of Avoiding the Sleazebags

Sometimes it's tough in my current line of work. There are a lot of clients (mostly male) that make me thoroughly and completely uncomfortable. My boss isn't the most understanding when it comes to my aversion to certain clients, after all, without them coming out and doing something obviously inappropriate I have only my gut feeling as evidence. It shouldn't matter to him any way. I pay rent to use my room and as long as it gets paid every month I don't see how my earning it concerns him.
I was always taught in massage school that you didn't need a reason to refuse treatment to a client, that your comfort level was just as important as theirs. If they made you uncomfortable in any way, you didn't need a reason to stop seeing them. Unfortunately, that's not the case. It's hard to have that tough conversation with a client in which you refuse service to them simply because they creep you out. Scratch that, it's impossible. So, I've had to come up with an alternative to being professional and handing out the unaltered truth. I alter it. That's right. I lie my ass off.
Take today for example. My boss phoned me yesterday and during the course of our conversation he casually mentioned that a client I despise had booked with me for the next evening. Now in normal circumstances that would suck, but this time was especially bad. He had taken the time slot when I would be completely alone with him in the clinic, everyone else having already gone home for the night. This especially bothered me because I found him all sorts of creepy. So creepy, that if policemen showed up on my doorstep and told me that he'd been arrested for being a serial killer I wouldn't be surprised.
I fretted and fussed all evening long until my sister made everything simple. She turned to me and said,
"Can't you just cancel?"
Hmmm, why couldn't I cancel? Why the hell did I feel like I needed a reason? For God's sakes I had one! He creeped me the fuck out!
The next day I called him and told him one hell of a beauty of a lie. I told him that my boss had not seen my note saying I was no longer working in the evenings and booked him in by mistake. And sorry to say, I simply could not stay late due to the fact that it was my grandfather's birthday and I couldn't miss it. (That's one of the things I love about writing, it's the perfect practice for lying). Needless to say he wasn't pleased. He couldn't make it out any other time but the evenings so sadly, we could no longer see each other. Delicious!
One creep down, oh so many more to go.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another Day in the Life of a Massage Therapist

Sometimes life isn't as bad as usual. Take today. I thought it was going to be terrible, but as it turns out I was wrong. First I went to the clinic where I work and did a treatment, then I did something I've never done before. I made a house call. Generally this is always off the table due to the possibility of being caught in some sleazebag's house, and because it's just plain inconvenient to cart all of your stuff around to other people's houses. I made an exception today for several reasons. First of all, it was for a woman who is a good friend of my sister's. Secondly, the massages were for her three young sons and her brother who has a learning disability. Obviously it would be more convenient for everyone involved if I came to her. So I did. I wasn't too excited about it, but it turned out that it was a great experience.
The woman's brother was really nervous, he hadn't had a massage in at least twenty five years but he was in a lot of pain. He explained to me how much it hurt and where and eventually we got him up on the table and I went to work. Forty five minutes later I was done. He exclaimed that he was so relaxed that he didn't want to get up off the table so I told him to take his time and relax and went to talk to his sister. After updating her on his condition she went off to help him off the table. When they came up the stairs her brother was wiping away tears and was all embarrassed. At first I thought I'd done a terrible job or something but his sister gave me the biggest smile I'd ever seen, so I decided all must be okay. I treated her sons and afterwards when we were alone she told me that all her brother could talk about when he was lying on the table was how good he felt and when he stood up he burst into tears because his pain was gone. He had insisted to his sister that there wasn't enough money in the world that they could pay me for what I'd done and told her that anything less than a thousand dollars would be robbing me. Now obviously I would never have accepted so much money but I was thoroughly touched by his appreciation. It turned out it was a pretty good day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why I Hate My Job

I hate my job. I hate being a massage therapist. Why you may ask? After all, I'm my own boss, I only work four days a week and only for six hours shifts. Why would I hate my job SO much? Well, let me sum it up for you.
Last Tuesday a man came in for an hour and a half massage. He wanted a full body treatment and I of course complied. Near the end of the massage I was working on his quadriceps (or quads - it's the front upper thigh). When I got to the right side I draped the sheet so that his thigh was exposed and started working. As I was working my way up his leg I looked up and was shocked at a most unwelcome sight. The tip of his penis was exposed. How that could possibly have happened I didn't know, because I am a very careful draper. I quickly took the sheet and pulled it over the exposed body part, making sure to tuck carefully so he wouldn't come loose again. He immediately fiddled around until he was exposed again. I covered him again. He moved again. Thus the massage went on until the end. At no point did he say anything inappropriate or hint that he wanted me to do anything with it, but just the same I was thoroughly uncomfortable. I have no idea if it was on purpose or not, but the fact is it would not have kept popping out if he wasn't at least semi-hard. Ick.
Today I had another male client who makes me thoroughly uncomfortable. He is constantly telling me that he'd be comfortable completely naked and undraped on the table. Yeah, you might not mind but I sure as hell do! Today he seemed to try extra hard to get me to see him naked. The door to my treatment room has a window that's all blurry and makes everything look like colorful blobs. Having given my client plenty of time to get situated on the table I came and knocked on the door to see if he was ready. I could see from the window that he was standing completely naked (due to the vertical, human skinned shape) and he told me to come in. I told him that I would wait for him to get on the table and he kept calling that he didn't mind. Again, you might not mind but I sure as hell do! He got himself up on the table but refused to cover himself. I know what you're thinking, I should have thrown him out right there but sadly it's not that simple. I entered the room, immediately covered him with the sheet and did the massage without incident. The worst part was the smell. The man bathes in cologne. It's so strong I can feel it burning in my nose. The entire hour was spent mouth breathing and fighting back a sneeze. So very unpleasant.
That is why I hate my job, because of the clients.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Wind At My Back Instead of the Spit in My Face

If you're wondering about the title of this particular post, it's a quote from Modern Family. The reason I am spouting some of the show's immense wisdom is due to the irritation I often feel towards my otherwise sweet and loving husband.
The problem with my husband is that he's never been very good at comforting or encouraging. If you're sad for the love of God don't go to him looking for soothing words. The same goes for any sort of dream or aspiration. My husband lacks the ability to make the leap of faith, even if it means having faith in me. He's a lot like my parents that way. He'll always be the one to point out how things can go wrong, and never the one to claim that I can do anything I put my mind to. He, like my parents, are what I like to call pessimistic realists. They look at the cold, unfeeling facts and always go towards the downside. The speech usually goes, "yes but how is that supposed to work out? If it doesn't you'll be out this much money or this much time, etc etc etc." It's exhausting being the only one to believe in yourself.
The truth is, I know that they are all looking out for me, trying to keep me from making mistakes, but sometimes mistakes are necessary. Sometimes you need to try and fail, at least then you know that you tried. And maybe, every once in a while, you won't fail. You'll succeed.
It's a lot easier to run that marathon when you have a cheering section. I know I need to concentrate on proving them all wrong, but it can be exhausting pushing against your own doubts as well as everyone else's. It would be nice to hear someone say that I could do it.
As I've learned from Modern Family, I would prefer it if they were the wind at my back instead of the spit in my face. (Ah, Modern Family. What don't you teach us?)

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Return to Femininity

What is with all of the butch women I keep seeing lately? Did I miss a secret meeting in which everyone decided they wanted to look like a pre-op transsexual on hormone replacements? Take today for example. One of my clients walked in for a treatment and I felt like I was looking at a caveman. What is wrong with femininity? I'm sorry but there's nothing wrong with being beautiful and feminine. It's as though it was secretly agreed that embracing being a woman meant admitting inferiority. Wrong ladies, so very wrong. I think trying to cross over to the other side and emulate a man is admitting inferiority. One of our many, many strengths is our beauty and grace. If you think you're gaining my respect you're wrong. You are only achieving my disdain. That's right ladies. I can wear a dress, look hotter than hell and still kick your ass! So smarten up and for the love of God look after your appearance!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Meditation on Passion and Decision Making

Why is it that we always second guess ourselves? It seems as though every time I make a decision I immediately feel it was the wrong one. It's only when I look back on it, after all is said and done that I'm truly able to say, "yep that was the right decision" or, "that was incredibly stupid".
I wish I had better reasoning skills. I'm not a logical person. I seem to operate solely on my emotions and gut reflexes. I'm not able to detach myself and simply look at the facts. Instead, I look at how I feel about the facts. I look at how the outcome of my decision will make me feel. Now, that wouldn't be so bad if I also took into consideration how my decisions would make me feel in the more distant future, but I'm almost entirely a 'now' person. For example, I'm only able to focus on goals if they're attainable in the near future. That's why even with my long term goals, I have to break them down into a series of easily attainable steps. If I don't accomplish my goals quickly enough then my attention will wander to a new idea and I'll start all over again, never really accomplishing anything.
It's the same with my enthusiasm. It's short lived.
In fact, I was telling my husband just the other day,
"I'm not someone who can stay passionate about any one thing for a long time. My passion flares up and burns brightly for a moment and then peters out almost immediately. Aside from you, my passion for anything rarely lasts longer than a month. My passion is like a series of small explosions. BOOM! It's there and then it's gone. Something new enters my head and BOOM! A flare of passion for this new idea before it burns out and it's gone."
He looked at me with a devilish look in his eye and said,
"So you experience small passion explosions?"
I laughed, told him he was gross and we moved on. Thank God I have such wise council.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Reading

I must insist that all of you out there pop over to one of my absolute favourite websites. It's www.jennsylvania.com and it's done by one of my all time favourite writers. Her name is Jen Lancaster and she's written Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights Big Ass, Such a Pretty Fat, Pretty in Plaid, and most recently My Fair Lazy. The website acts as her personal blog as well as giving information on tours, book releases and etc. Recently she decided to make a list of her summer reading suggestions. She is a brilliant writer and I take her word as gold so I highly suggest that you check it out and maybe find a few good books to read. Because I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for new things to read.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My First Step

Today I took my first step in setting up my new home business. This has the potential to be a very big mistake, but I'm going to try anyway. Am I still attempting to write? Well, I'm here aren't I? But I need a means of supporting myself when I'm done massaging at the end of October, and never in the history of mankind has a book made it's way to shelves that quickly. I need a way to feed myself until I can get a writing career off of the ground, and God help me, I hate conventional jobs with a fiery passion few could understand. So, here goes. Fingers crossed people.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Rain Falls, and I Sleep

It's raining. It's always raining it seems. Lately my lack of energy is almost stifling. Today I curled up on the couch with my dog, Maddie. I lay next to her, wrapped in a big, soft blanket, feeling the tickle of her whiskers against my face and the circle of heat her breath created on my forehead. I'm not afraid to say that I adore my dog. She's gigantic and soft and puts up with my constant need to show her overly large amounts of affection. In fact, that may have been where I went wrong with her. I showed her too much love. Because now, every morning at about five I'm woken up by the soft snuffling of her face against mine. She patiently nuzzles my face until I open my eyes and I'm trapped by the appeal of her large, heartfelt, brown eyes staring into mine. Resistance is futile. Very rarely am I ever able to refuse, instead I pat the bed next to me invitingly. She eagerly jumps up and curls up next to me, pressing into me with all her might to get as close as possible and settles her face next to mine. Our morning ritual. It doesn't matter that the weight of her body against mine gives me back pain from the awkward positioning and impossibility of turning over or readjusting. The softness of her fur against my arm and the gentle warmth of her breath are eternally peaceful.
Deep down I feel the urge to be productive but I can't seem to stir up the energy or passion needed. The rain keeps falling and with it falls my energy. I'm tired and wistful, dreaming of a reality in which I don't have to work. The world keeps moving without me, the dishes keep piling up and the laundry pile grows larger, but I can't seem to join the dance. I'm stuck in limbo, sick and tired of trying to keep up. If I could just take a few days off, pass the chores onto someone else for just a little while then maybe I could recharge, feel better. But it keeps raining.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Always Finding New Ways to Waste Time

My creativity and ability to write with anything resembling skill seems to be waning. I had hoped writing a blog would give me an opportunity to practice. I want to add more opportunities but what with how tired I am, and my lack of anything close to free time makes that difficult. I know I should be working on my book (my deadline is fast approaching) but for those times when I feel like writing but don't feel like working on my book I thought well, aside from my blog what is there? So, I'm starting a new trend. I'm going back to writing old fashioned letters. Who wouldn't appreciate opening their mailbox and finding something other than bills and fliers? Me for one, and I'm sure there are others out there. Plus, it's better than obsessively checking your e-mail ten million times a day, thankfully the mailman only comes once a day. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't, but it's bound to cheer up a few friends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Screw It, I'm Going to Try Anyway!

I've decided to go for it. (My new job idea that is). It will take some time to set up, and I think I will hire an accountant to walk me through the business side of it, but I'm excited. I'm still not saying what it is, and I won't until I'm ready so leave me alone! Does this mean I've given up on writing? Not in the slightest!
Work on my novel has been slow lately, I'm at a point that is difficult to write. That is to say it is difficult to write it well. I still write for suite101.com as well, although it's definitely not earning me too much cash. The point is, I'm still writing. I'm not giving up. I will finish my book dammit. I made a promise to myself and I plan to keep it. Even though my computer very nearly crashed and I had to set up an online account to store my book on. Who knows when my computer really will crash and God help me if I lost all that work!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Every time I find a glimpse of hope circumstance quickly kills it. I had thought I found the perfect new job for me (aside from writing of course). The problem? I would be self employed again. Which means start up money, the trials and many, many errors of doing my own accounting, and the possibility of it tanking big time. The upside? I love the idea and it would be something I would excel at. Am I going to tell you the idea? No. You would steal it from me due to the sheer awesomeness of it.
I hate normal jobs.

Monday, May 3, 2010


In case you've been wondering what's happened to me over the past 6 days, allow me to sum up. I jumped. I wrote my first article for www.suite101.com and once it goes through the editing process it will be up on the world wide web. The chances of me earning much money from suite101 are slim to nill but I don't care, it's getting my name out there and building my portfolio. I've also been doing my best to work diligently on my book, but it's been tough. I work 7 days a week and when I'm home (unless my husband is home) I have to be away from the office watching my extremely mischievous dog. (And no, I don't have a laptop. I'm incredibly poor. My computer is ancient and very, very slow. Someday when I have money I plan to invest in one). Yep, all I can do is my best. Who knows? It may all work out in the end.
I also found out that my membership in my massage association is up at the end of October, so I have until then to find a new job. I'm just a little bit nervous. (That's an understatement in case you didn't get that). I loathe the idea of getting another job but I know I'll have to. We need money, which means I need to work. Unless of course some publisher out there wants to give me a huge advance... hello? Any takers?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just Jump!

I'm frozen. I have a couple of great leads on ways to get into the writing business and yet I'm sitting here not doing anything about it. I think I'm afraid to try, because if I try and then fail what will I do then? It's ridiculous and I keep berating myself and vowing to start but I always seem to find a distraction or an excuse not to. Right now, my house is sparkling clean (which never happens). I have to bite the bullet. I have to start.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No Verbal Abuse Allowed

Tonight I had to attend a staff meeting for my retail job. The short version of the story is that it sucked. People that I normally don't mind (even really enjoy) working with infuriate me at staff meetings. You should never place an excessive amount of women in a room and ask them to express their opinions. It will not end well.
The reason I'm so infuriated is because the majority of them disagreed with a core fundamental belief I have when it comes to dealing with customers and people in general. I don't care whether you're in a service industry or not, the policy should be the same. There should be absolutely no tolerance of verbal abuse whatsoever. I don't care if the customer is always right. They can express their opinions like a grown up instead of throwing a tantrum like a child. I feel that if everybody followed my policy then the world would be a much nicer place.
What is my policy? Well it's simple. When someone starts screaming, insulting, or getting just plain nasty with you, the interaction comes to an immediate end. No person should ever have to put up with being yelled at, insulted, or verbally accosted for the sake of customer service. If everyone had a no tolerance policy on acting like a self involved brat than no one would attempt it. Everyone would be forced to remain calm, voice their opinions like a responsible adult and come to some kind of understanding without verbally accosting the person they're dealing with.
It's all about learned behavior. These people have learned that they can get away with it. When they can't, they will learn not to do it anymore. Sounds good doesn't it? And how good would it feel to simply turn and walk away from the raving bitch at your store counter because, guess what? You don't have to take that. From anyone. Ever. I don't care what my retail store's policy is. I will always adhere to mine.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Hate My Jobs

The other day I was massaging an overweight lady and every time I worked on a spot that was tender or sore she would fart. They were silent but they were there. All of a sudden I'd be overwhelmed by the nasty, disgusting odour and the desire to throw up.What kind of person does that? I mean, my God! I'm trapped in a small room with you for an hour! Hold it in!
As if that wasn't bad enough, today I worked at my retail job. The five hour shift consisted of unloading the world's biggest truck filled with heavy and awkward furniture. Did I mention that there was only three of us?
Yep, I thoroughly hate my jobs. I might have to find another one a lot sooner than I thought. I just can't keep working at either place while I'm trying to get my writing career off the ground. They make me want to break my own leg so I'll have an excuse not to come in. SIGH.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Hammer

I love my dog. Today I was out in the yard with her, cleaning up, and she was rummaging around in the bushes. She comes out with a hammer. She then runs about the yard with it before attempting to dig a hole to bury the aforementioned hammer. When she is unsuccessful, she gives up and contently lies down to chew the handle. I didn't even bother yelling at her for the digging the hole. I was too entertained by the ridiculousness of the display. Obviously I took away the hammer.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blogging For A Living

When I originally started thinking about writing as a new career path I had thought about maybe beginning by doing a little paid blogging. It seemed simple enough. I started by googling paid blogging jobs. As it turns out, the whole paid blogging thing gets a little complicated.
First of all, most sites pay you precious little. I tried a site called oDesk, in which you peruse a giant amount of blogging and article writing opportunities and apply for the ones you're interested in. The average amount they paid per post was $1.00. That's right, one freaking dollar. And they wouldn't want just one article. They'd want thirty articles in a week and were willing to pay you thirty dollars. Really?! So, in order to make any kind of living, one would have to write at least 500 articles a week. No thanks. Who has that much to say?
One site I'm currently trying out is called Suite101. At first it seemed interesting but they have a lot of weird rules. For one, they insist that all articles have at least one picture. Why? I can see where pictures can be helpful but why is it mandatory? Secondly, they insist that you have a picture of yourself as your profile picture (no cartoons, no drawings, no pictures of dogs or etc, just an actual picture of you). Again, why? I don't want pictures of myself on the internet. I don't even have any pictures of me on facebook. I haven't put one up yet and I don't think I'm going to. They have no right to demand that I put a personal picture of myself on the internet. (I don't see my employment there lasting long).
The whole internet writing thing is just so messed up and complicated. They insist that their writers have knowledge of keywording, SEO (search engine optimization), and all kinds of weird crap. It's not about writing at all, it's about tricking search engines into finding your articles so that there's a higher chance of people coming to your site and clicking ads. I don't care about ads. I care about writing quality pieces.
It's true what they say, there is no living in blogging.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Waves of Doubt

This morning I woke up and was overwhelmed by wave after wave of self doubt. What if I crash and burn? What if I have to work shitty job after shitty job for all eternity? What if, in reality, my writing sucks? (Which is a definite possibility).
I've already set the deadline for myself that I want to be done massaging by the end of this year. That's not a long way off. I don't mind working a crappy job for a little while, but there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't want to settle for reality. I want my dream job. A job that I wake up happy every day to do. Why is that so impossible?
I think I'll go for sushi tonight after work. I need a pick-me-up. (After all, is there anything more wonderful than sushi? The answer is no. Unless we're talking sweet tooth wise, but that's an entirely different story). People say things will look brighter in the morning, but for me they always look worse. At night everything is possible. It's when I wake up in the morning that the glare of reality is far too apparent.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Post #1 - The Beginning

I sit in front of the computer screen, blinded by the light (so to speak, it's late and my office light is burnt out). After listening to far too many songs about following one's destiny and defying social norms (think Glee soundtrack; Defying Gravity, Don't Rain on My Parade, etc) I decided to go for it. I started my blog.

Why is this important? You see, not too long ago I discovered something important. I hate my job(s). (That's right, I currently have two). I hate them so much that when I think of going to work the next day I visibly shudder. My main job, or career if you prefer, is that of a massage therapist. I didn't mind it at first but after doing it now for four years it's starting to wear on my sanity. I have several repetitive strain injuries, make very little money, and quite honestly, if I have to rub lotion on another fat, hairy person with bacne I'm going to scream. Some people have it in them and some people don't. I don't. My second job is in retail. Weird how I ended up in customer service for both jobs when I hate people. I really should have been a hermit. Anyway, I decided I needed a change. A big one.

As I sat and pondered my dilemma one day, I got to thinking. What did I want to do with my life? What new career should I strive for? The thought of going back to school made me want to vomit, so anything requiring a university degree was out. I also needed to make more money, so a simple retail or administrative assistant position was out. What could I do? Was I even any good at anything else? The only thing that came to mind was writing. I love writing. I always have. When I was little I would always tell people that I was going to be a writer when I grew up. When did that stop being my dream? I don't know when, but at some point I took off my rose coloured glasses, looked at the world I lived in and decided to do something more practical. Well, now I've decided to put them back on. My parents have always told me that there's no such thing as the perfect job. That's all well and good, but can I at least like my job? Better yet, I want to love my job!

This brings us to right now and the start of my blog. I've decided to go for it. I'm going to try becoming a professional writer. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't but I have to at least try. This blog will be a personal account of my journey.

(P.S. Don't you just hate the word journey? Oprah and reality TV have ruined it for me. Every time I hear it I think of people trying to lose weight while crying about how they don't love themselves. Ick).