Massage

I got my first oriental massage today.  I’m guessing that’s the style since the girl was Asian and hardly spoke any English.

She was good, I guess.

Like everyone, I’ve heard my fair share of oriental massage parlor rumors, so I tried to keep an open mind. She then asks me if I like it soft or hard.  Okay, her English was limited and I resisted the urge to burst out laughing and say I liked it hard… well, no I did say I liked it hard, I couldn’t resist that but I didn’t laugh. 

Understandably there were signs posted with six or seven rules starting with “Do not Solicit for sex”, “Don’t Touch the Masseuse!”, “No Sexual Activity”  and something about the police, etc. etc.  So given her question, I hope that anyone who might be tempted will have read the sign. Sadly, I didn’t even see it until I was redressing to leave. I was too busy getting under the covers as quickly as I could before she came back and caught me mostly naked.

Before I go any further, it was a very nice, clean, professional looking facility that just opened in an upscale neighborhood. As a “Grand Opening” draw, they were offering a major discount for new customers, so I walked in and made an appointment.

I might also add, I am not generally so prudish or excessively modest, but I’ve noticed I’ve been more so since my surgery and… there was a natural  compulsion to adhere to some semblance of propriety in regard for our cultural differences.  It made sense to me at the time.

So, it wasn’t that I’ve not had massages before. My sister is a massage therapist and she lives in Florida. My daughter and grand daughter are masseuses at an elegant downtown hotel and they live in Utah. My friend is also a masseuse but she lives in Alabama, so yes I’m familiar with massage.

There  are many techniques and each one of the above has a slightly different style or specialty.

My friend Mary focuses on the lymphatic system and her method is very gentle with feather-like strokes. My sister and my daughter have a different style from one another and yet are very effective.  Di does a deep tissue, Andrea  specializes in structural and movement and has a lighter but still firm touch, again a different style. Both do short strokes generally with a long finish. I’ve not had a massage from Beck yet, but maybe next time.

My first massage was a Swedish massage on a cruise ship and it was heavenly. I was 32.  Since then I’ve had a number of others in various places.  I like the heavier hand rather than pokey fingers but regardless of the technique, my favorites are by the girls listed above.

This little gal, was strong, but her strokes were long at first all the way down the back and then pushing away from the spine.  She did this with the sheet still over me, she says, to “warm me up” and loosen the muscles.  Only she had to say it twice before I figured it out. Then, she dropped the sheet and “oiled” me and let me tell you they needed those signs up there.

I kept my panties on but I don’t quite know why I bothered. When she was working my back she pulled them down to expose my entire buttock.  She pressed hard and worked one side, then dug in pushing the muscle away from my spine with her tiny fingers and then repeated the process on the other side and yes she hit some knots.  When she got to my legs she raised my panties giving me a major wedgie. She hiked up one side and then the other.  (Next time I’m buying a much hated thong so I can maintain some semblance of modesty.) Her strokes like I said were long, so when she went up one leg I thought she was going to enter the nether region. In the meantime between painful prods, I’m imagining some poor guy lying on the table at the mercy of this cutie running her hands up and down his body. He, is thinking about the much needed posting.

Like most masseuses, they only uncover the part they are working on, so this slippery chick (moi) is lying there wondering when I would get wiped down; but nope, she’d finish with one section, put the sheet back up, drop down the other side and start another area.

At that point I had so much oil on me I thought I was getting ready to be entered into a grease pig contest. Thank God I recently lost some poundage or I might’ve actually looked like one.

There I am obsessing about my stickiness and we are having a communication issue.  She says I’m tender in the “lie-ver” area.  It took two times and I got it, my liver.  Do I drink? No, not often. Okay, I have liver issues, but my mind is still trying to figure out how in the dickens I was going to get the oil cleaned up. She tried telling me that other tender spots were indicative of, I think she was trying to say poor circulation. I told her I exercise regularly, so maybe I didn’t get it right.

Up and down she went, spending most of the time on my back side. Now this is the best part. Before she asked me to flip over, she peeled the sheet off each section like she did before and this time laid a moist, hot towel over me, let it set a minute then wiped me down!!! Ahhh! That was the best part.

Now why was I worried?

Then came the flip side.  This part was anticlimactic. She did my face and my head, my neck and my shoulders and then the legs some, she pushed my feet forward and back but never massaged them and I just love foot massages, that’s my favorite part. It was supposed to be a full body massage!

At this point I didn’t fuss, mostly because I didn’t want to struggle with the language and the last time I said something (for a pedicure), it ended up costing me double, so I kept my mouth shut.

Besides, I walked out with a couple of sore spots and figured I’d gotten what I paid for. All in all, it wasn’t the best massage but it wasn’t the worse.

I wish them well and much success.

Oh yes, she left me to fix my own panties.

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Religion and Politics

This was from a post written March 3, 2015

I got this note from my sister, adjusting to moving into a very liberal college town community recently:

“Hello again,   I hope your day has gone well.   My laundry is done now, I cooked dinner and cleaned my little apartment and now I get to pay bills.  How exciting.    I was thinking about something that you wrote in response to my note to you — that feeling of loneliness, still trying to find where I fit in.   You stated that you hadn’t been back to the writer’s group and part of it was their liberalistic view of things.   I have noticed that here.   A lot!  I hear people making snide remarks about “Christians” and “Republicans” and blah, blah, blah.    Before I could shrug it off, no big deal, people have different views, etc.   Now it grates on me.
 
I have been praying about this and wondering how do I accept people as they are (as Jesus would) but yet not compromise?   We are human and imperfect so because of that we can easily take a judgmental stance against anyone (on any issue) who doesn’t believe as we do.   I remember before I went back to church I was ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE who believed Christians were full of themselves and that the more enlightened view that all religions have merit was the better road to take….I could go on.   
 
God brought Eunice into my life:  a homosexual woman who was struggling with her own internal war and yet she served as a guide for me.   I was in the midst of my new age “spiritual” journey and she just kept turning my attention to God and the Bible.    It literally was seven years after I met Eunice that I began attending church and studying the bible.   I had visited different churches now and then, but I finally made a commitment in 2003.  
 
So, how do I handle people like me? Emoji   You probably have heard this saying before, “you might be the only Jesus people see.”  

Just thinking.
 
Loveyou”

After reading this, it made me realize that Christians have a harder row to hoe than non Christians. They are in a constant battle to live an exemplary life without  judgement or compromise yet because of their humanity they may stumble and fall because they are more subject to temptation than someone without faith. Stop and think about that.

You might ask, how is that true?  Well, if you are a Christian, you believe there is a tempter (the devil and his entourage) who focuses on Christians. Non believers are exempt from his attention because they are already faithless.

So when a Christian falls and/or falls short of “perfection” then it gives ammunition to the faithless to point a finger and ridicule.  It can also cause the Christian to wonder “what’s the point”, “why am I struggling” and perhaps lose faith.

This sanctimony is a useless effort to protect themselves from their own human frailty.  The Christians I know do a damn good job of setting the example my sister is striving to do.  But…they still stumble and they occasionally fall.

Yet conversely let’s look at the flip side of that. Non Christians, in their own form of sanctimony, frequently sit in judgement of those who work very hard at being Christian and will look for them to fail.

How many times have you heard someone say, “And they call themselves Christian?” Yikes!!!

BTW – (We are aware that there are Democrats who are Christian) It’s interesting that you never hear anyone link that combination derisively though. Why is that, I wonder?

Sadly, it’s a two way street and as I’ve mentioned before there can be unleashed fervor from both sides that is neither healthy nor beneficial. That is why I stopped going to the writer’s group.  I liked most everyone in my group but when people started bashing the other party, I walked. Regardless of what party I may or may not belong to, I’m out numbered but more importantly that’s not why I attend. What is it they say about religion and politics?

You know, perhaps I needed to say that? – No debate.

Maybe, I too can be judgmental – Ya’ think? I just bet they would have been fine with that.

Change

Baja Run
Baja Run by Jo Weber

I just got an email encouraging writers to submit their screenplays on a particular website.

I had been thinking about doing that for sometime, but never quite got around to doing it when low and behold there was  a screenplay with a similar title as mine.  I was dashed.

My first thought was someone stole my idea and in my mind I started thinking back in my mind of everyone I’d sent a copy of my screenplay to and did the usual paranoid new writer thing of “Damn, damn, damn!”.  I think I may have been more angry at myself for my lack of follow through and someone beat me to the punch.

My son wrote me these encouraging words: (I’ve blanked out names since my intention here is not to slam another project or person)

“Mom,

Do your due diligence, but don’t be afraid to share things as well. As an artist I have learned that there are always the risks that someone will steal your work…  If someone wants it, they will take it.  I would find out what precautions they recommend. You have to give in order to get back and sometimes there is risk involved, but don’t be afraid to trust anyone or you won’t get the support you need. I would keep going with XXXX, you put a lot of work into it.  I’m not absolutely sure this is the case, but if something IS stolen from you just remember, YOU are the source.  You are filled with plenty more million dollar ideas where that came from and that can’t be taken from you.  Don’t think in terms of scarcity, that wasn’t your one-shot at success it was your trial run. Think of how much you’ve grown as a writer since that first draft.  Not to mention, I looked up XXXX.  It was an abysmal film.  No one will accuse you of ripping off a terrible film, they only do that for good films because of the notion you’re attempting to piggyback on their success.  This other movie wasn’t your vision, it was a B movie.  Many of the studios Stallone shopped his script to wanted to make changes but he stuck to his guns. I say make your film the way you want it to be made and they will remember it; no one will remember XXXX.  Heck, if it makes you feel better, just change the name.  That may have been the most significant thing they took after all, since the movie was so forgettable.  Here’s the only review (more reviews had come in since) on IMDB had to say:
 
“It is rare that I give up on a movie within 30 minutes but in this case, I was so unimpressed that I did just that. . . I cannot comment on the story itself as it did not really have a chance to develop in the short time I was able to stand it. I would advise against watching this film unless you are hell bent on keeping track of the lead actor’s career which, going by this effort, is heading deep South.”
 
We’ll talk soon, Hang in there! I’m pulling for you.  You’ve come too far to turn back down now 🙂
 
Love,  ian”
Shortly after that I found myself back into the stymied mode, doing nothing. How am I ever going to make it in the Biz?  As I have mentioned before the odds are stacked against me according to statistics, so I let this sit awhile and in the words of Meg Ryan in French Kiss, I allowed to let it “fester, fester, fester” (I think she really only said it twice).
BTW. I rented the movie and yes there were similarities but it was enlightening.  It showed me what direction not to take my film. So, I’m back on track doing a rewrite and working on other projects as well.
There’s a saying and I don’t know who originated it, but it goes something like this…
“If you’re doing the same thing over and over again and getting nowhere then change it” – unknown (to me)
A thump on the head moment, “Like Duh!”
Now to keep on, keep on!

Winners and Losers

I was passing through Las Vegas yesterday on my way home from SLC and Grand Jct. visiting my girls and their families.

My oldest T is in HI, “going to school” but the truth is she’s kicking up her heels in a way she never got to having married at such a young age and taking time off to find her true self.   I had two days with T before she headed back for HI , but it was a few days later that an illumination hit.  Motherly concern of course but then self talk is, “Who am I to judge? I’ve screwed up a time or two in the past.”  Then, “I hope I’m wrong!”  Screwing up is not a club to aspire entry into.

A, in the meantime is in the throes of buying  a new home and selling the old, which has been tumultuous at best and I thought of a friend of mine’s blog about “tiny houses”.  This new place could fit 10 tiny houses!

Las_Vegas_89

That said, I had intended to stop in Las Vegas.  I made up my mind I didn’t want to make the return trip all in one day as I’m accustomed to.  Truth is, I didn’t want to go home. But as it turns out the few places I considered were either too expensive or didn’t allow dogs.  If I was staying to visit, the price probably wouldn’t have bothered me, but I was just passing through.

After little deliberation, I chose to press on until I hit the traffic bog-down of “leaving Las Vegas” on a Sunday night…  I even considered going back into Vegas, but after making a few calls, they were either full up (in my price range) or the welcome wagon for a pooch was practically non existent and that included the towns of Jean and Henderson.

I would have back tracked to Vegas because there was a part of me that wanted to do a little gambling while I was there.  As for the other towns, I actually didn’t want to stay in any of those places anyway.  After plodding along for several more miles at 10 mph, I was ready at any cost to stop, so at the state line I pulled over. It would be my last chance.

I had a couple of choices here. On my side, going south was Whisky Pete’s and on the other was a place called Primm and Buffalo Bill’s.  I went in to Whiskey Pete’s.  Price was exceptional, but no dogs.  I explained to the man that I had a waterproof pen for him (the pooch) and that he weighed less than  four pounds. He asked if he had papers.  I said he was pure bred, but I had no papers on me. (I have no papers period but hoped saying that would be enough) He said Buffalo Bill’s was dog friendly.  I asked him if that didn’t work out, could I come back and not mention the dog?  He was kind and said we never had this conversation.  So, I left.

Ferg

I then proceeded toward Buffalo Bill’s.  Buffalo Bill’s is like an amusement park and there were millions of kids everywhere and the place showed it.  I reluctantly drove around looking for the front before reasoning that I left A’s house earlier than intended because Ferguson had already had his fill of loud children and puppies, so I turned around and went back to Whiskey Pete’s.

This time “the man” was tied up and I got the woman next to him. He briefly looked in my direction, but we did not make eye contact. The lady saw my Alabama Driver’s license and thought I’d come a long way or was coming out for a visit.  I explained that I had been rounding up my divorce and marriage certificates in order to qualify for a California driver’s license. Hearing that, the lady next to her perked up.  Before long I was hearing the tale of another who although a legal resident couldn’t get a “legal” license because her birth certificate had too many names on it which is customary in her birth country. So even though she has a license, she cannot travel by plane with it because of how it’s marked.

When the friendly derision of the foibles of our governing system was at an end, I got my room.

I then proceeded to the car and prepped Ferguson.  First, he needed to do his “doggy duty”, which was nearly impossible because there’s little if any grass in this god forsaken part of the world!  Second I had to make sure I had supplies for him, ie food, water and a puddle pad. I opted out of taking his pen up though because I wanted take everything up all in one trip. (Big mistake! I’m now temporarily crippled because of a strained back)  Then I got my special bag, loaded him up, grabbed my stuff and went in.

Once I got him settled, I looked for a place to eat which consisted of prime rib, a pork chop and lots of pickled veggies.  NO, I’m not pregnant, but that’s what I was in the mood for, so I ate it.

A while later, I went to a machine to try my luck.  I gave myself $10 to lose and I did.  I played for quite a while actually.  I won, lost some, then won again and back  and forth until I lost the entire $10.

Slots

When I got to my room I began to analyze this.  It didn’t bother me that I lost, because I had “planned” to lose.

“Winners never lose and losers never win!!!”

Hmmm.  It really started to intrigue me.  How many of us go through life with that attitude?

How many times have I, have any of us, planned to lose?  It then raised another question, what would have happened if I’d had the attitude that I was going to win?  If I had walked away when I doubled my money though a small amount, would it not have planted in my brain that I am a WINNER!?

Once, a long time ago I allowed myself to lose a much larger sum. I like playing because I seldom do it and I frequently pass through without stopping.  The idea, in my mind, is to just have fun. That’s all.  No regrets. But, what if I’d gone in there with the idea I could win?

My husband says, it doesn’t matter, it’s still a game of chance. YES!!!

BUT… LIFE is  a game of chance.  Some people play it better than others because they believe, no, more importantly they play positively. Others in the meantime, may cry sour grapes and question the ethics and unfairness of this wealth distribution but they aren’t willing to give it their all. To win or better yet to work to win.

(This is not saying there is no crookedness among the rich or famous, but not all winners are crooked, which is the illusion or the story some may tell themselves of those who have success or are successful people.)

So ask yourself, are we willing to do what it takes to be a winner?

Do I play to win or to lose?