May 14

Blissing out

Kabuki Springs & Spa

This weekend I finally had the chance to use the gift certificate to Kabuki Springs and Spa my brother gave me for Christmas.

The spa was really nice, fancier than the one I went to with my friend years ago. The massage was lovely, but I’m not sure how effective it was. It was nowhere near as painful as a Thai massage or even my acupuncturist. Pain tells me some good is being done. But at least it was very relaxing.

The piece de resistance was a soak in my own private bath. The tub was luxuriously deep. The water, which was the perfect temperature, easily reached my chin. My masseuse said she’d bring me some tea and water, and left the room.

I was lying there with my eyes closed thinking I’d really like an apple, and would have to pick some up on my way home. The masseuse returned. I was so relaxed, I didn’t bother opening my eyes. I heard her set down my tea and water, and leave again.

When I finally opened my eyes, I noticed a little dish next to my beverages. Guess what was in it: apple slices! So perfect. I was lying there in the tub, the room very dim, candles lit, eating delicious apple slices. And the tea was fruity and herbal, perfect for me since I don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon. It was wonderful.

Afterward I was completely blissed out as I made my way to the subway. I recommend everyone get blissed out, at least once in a while.

Feb 10


I’m not adverse to paying strangers to touch me. My limbs have been “polished” with lavender infused sea salt. My pores have been squeezed into oblivion. I’ve been subjected to the powerful knees and elbows of a deceptively tiny Thai woman. But none prepared me for the Imperial Day Spa.

Traditional Korean bath houses made news last year when Ellen DeGeneres talked about the awkwardness of getting recognized at one while completely naked. That’s what distinguishes jimjilbang from typical Western spas. Robes and towels are often thrown to the wayside, and it’s like Oh! Calcutta! with hot tubs.

In a somewhat sketchy outskirt of Japantown, the building was window-less, the neon sign more car dealership than spa. Across the parking lot, a KFC emanated its pungent cloud of chicken greasiness. Inside, however, we were greeted by a friendly young Asian woman and, a sure sign of cleanliness, the aroma of bleach.

My friend and I had signed up for the full body scrub and massage, ninety minutes of exfoliation, oil massage, hair washing, and facial. We were instructed to arrive thirty minutes early for a shower, soak, and sauna.

We knew we’d have to be naked. Full on, buck-wild naked. I don’t mind being topless – I have hardly any boobs to speak of – but the only times I go bottomless are at the gynecologist’s and while getting a Brazilian (which is a whole other story), neither a pleasant experience. The bathing area was already full of buck-wild naked women showering. What else could we do but disrobe and shower too.

There’s something about seeing a friend in the buff. Strangers, who cares. But nudity, like drinking glasses and toothbrushes, is not necessarily something you want to share with someone you’re not sleeping with. But after a while, we somehow forgot our clothes-less state.

(I have a friend who’s a stand up comedian. Correction: a stand up comedian who likes to be naked. It’s not enough for him to naked at home, he must be naked on stage too. More times than I care to admit, I’ve seen this friend, and other comedians, some funny, some bad, some awful, naked on stage. They claim to forget they’re naked. Now I believe them.)

There were a few spa-goers who seemed like regulars. They had a whole routine: shower first, then dry sauna, cold dip, wet sauna, and finally, a hot soak. Unlike me, they also seemed perfectly comfortable in their own and everyone else’s in-the-buffness. Unlike me, they didn’t stare.

While soaking in the hot tub (and staring), I noticed a few Asian woman walking around in their bra and underwear. I assumed they were shy (unlike the older Korean lady who had no qualms about arising steamy and au naturel from the sauna to plop her rathery jiggly bum on a stool and vigorously wash herself at one of the sit down showers) but I soon learned they worked there.

“Thirty-seven!” one lady called. “Forty-three!” yelled another. We were up.

Carefully treading up the slippery steps, we found a very wet room full of the aforementioned Asian women in matching burgundy bras and panties, wiping down what looked like doctor’s examination tables covered in plastic. No privacy here, that was for sure. There was water everywhere, big barrels, small barrels, dripping from faucets, running across the floor.

You’d think Asian ladies + bra and panties = sexy. It does not, at least not with short stocky women who could break you in two. I imagined them pulling babies from stubborn wombs, slamming the dirt out of laundry on a rock, and carrying their husbands, drunk and passed out, on their backs home to Richmond and Sunset.

My friend and I – did I mention we were naked? – were instructed to climb face-down onto our respective tables. Across the room, I saw a pale, red-haired woman lying perfectly peacefully, as though poolside at her own private estate.

Blind to my surroundings, I heard the splash of water and suddenly a tidal wave of hot water was thrown over me.

“Whoop!” I whooped involuntarily.

“Hot?” my lady, Julie, asked, amused.

“It’s okay,” I said.

Another splash of water – which began to feel pretty damned good – and Julie got to work.

Now: I think I take pretty good care of my skin. I slather on moisturizer every day, and give myself a full body buff every week. But apparently it wasn’t enough.

Using a towel, Julie rubbed. She rubbed and rubbed and rubbed, starting from one cracked heel, working her way up and across. She spent an inordinate amount of time polishing my ass (which indeed was soft as a baby’s bum afterward). The backs of my arms, my hands. At times I thought she’d rub me to the bone.

Then it was time to flip me over. Lying with your tush exposed is one thing – stretched out with your hoohah unveiled is quite another. Again, I thought of a Brazilian, and was grateful that Julie was not about to slap hot wax on me and RIP.

Once I was scoured within an inch of my life, she swabbed warm liquid on me – oil? milk? – then splashed me again with hot water, which was like a luscious liquid blanket. “Stand please,” she said, and splashed me again, from both sides. She handed me a towel, then rinsed and wiped the table clean of the nuclear fallout of my dead skin.

After a hurried massage (during which my friend opened her eyes and was alarmed to find that Julie had climbed onto my table and was straddling me as she pounded my back) and shampoo, and a cumcuber-y facial, I was rinsed once again with a hot liquid. I stood once more, and she gave me a final douse of hot water.

The result? Silky soft skin that lasted for weeks. Would I do it again? I just might. I imagine a whole routine, a night of beauty if you will, like the regulars. Deep condition the hair, exfoliate body and face, rinse, repeat.

But perhaps I’d rather go solo, no offense to friends. Like Ellen, I’d prefer not to be recognized while naked.

Sep 08

Last summer weekend

Well, not officially. Officially that’s the weekend of 9/26, but Labor Day always feels a close to summer.

After a lazy afternoon, we saw
Trouble the Water, a documentary about Hurrican Katrina. It was really good. The main part were these “home movies” taken by a woman who was trying to break into the music business but in the meantime lived with her husband in a very poor part of New Orleans.

She decided to film the storm coming, and what started as her talking to neighbors – most didn’t have cars and couldn’t afford to pay for a train or a plain, and so without free transportation were literally stuck – quickly escalted into her and her husband climbing up to their attic, and not a full attic mind you, but basically slats, as the water rose higher and higher, eventually filling their house, and getting their neighbors without attics up there as well, including a couple of elderly ladies who had trouble walking. Eventually a random guy in the neighborhood helped bring every single person over, a few he carried on his back, to a house that was on higher ground.

Later the narrator’s husband led about 100 people over to the naval base, which was in the process of being shut down and so there were about 200 empty rooms. But the naval officers wouldn’t let the people in. In fact they drew their weapons.

Interspersed with the home movies were news clips like the FEMA guy saying they were working as fast as the could, and Bush making excuses for why he wouldn’t let the Louisiana National Guard come home to help. Those juxtaposed with all of those people stuck in the city, calling 911 and being told that they were basically SOL (the police had long skeedaddled), prisoners stuck in their jail cells without food or water, was really disturbing.

The only downside was that the jerky home movies totally gave me motion sickness. The woman who took that footage was there to answer questions afterwards, but I felt so queasy I needed to leave.

That morning was my monthly photo expediation with YP. This month’s theme, Chinatown, which involved just sort of wandering around the area taking random pictures. I did get some good ones though, I think.

I was a little movied out that day so instead MB and I got massages at this Chinese place. (We had wanted to do it last weekend but I wasn’t feeling well.) I was a little nervous because tui-na massage is nothing like the ones you get in hoity toity spas. The most comparable is a deep tissue massage. I had one that was pretty painful at the time, but totally worth it afterwards. But I told the receptionist it was my first time, and so she asked my masseuse to go a little gentler on me.

She did at first, but as I got more used to it, she put more strength into the massage, and there were definitely times I had to do some deep breathing to work through the pain. What was cool was she could tell which were my problem areas (neck, upper back, arms, from mousing and carrying a too heavy bag on one shoulder) and concentrated on those. Also apparently my calves were tight (I had no idea) so she worked on those, as well as did this heel banging thing which was startling but actually felt really good.

MB enjoyed his session as well. He can take the pain, but I did hear some deep breathing from his side of the curtain too.

Afterwards my upper back and arms were quite sore, but in a good way, as though I had exercised hard. The next day I was still a little achy, but by Monday I was pretty much all better. This is something we might do once a month or so.

I wanted a museum fix sometime over the weekend, and so Sunday we got up early to hit the Met before it got too crowded. Afterwards we thought we could hang out in Central Park so MB brought his ukulele. But get this: no musical instruments of any kind are allowed at the Met. Hunh? Why? Before we even got inside this guard stopped us. He was apologetic about it, but I still don’t get it. If MB had put the uke in a non-uke shaped bag, he probably would have been able to bring it in.

Our choices were to schelp all the way back home or just go to the Park. We chose the latter since the next day we needed to come back uptown anyway and the museum would be open then too.

Hanging out the Park turned out to be just lovely. We walked around a bit, then found a peaceful out of the way bench. MB played his uke and some people looked but most just kept going. It was funny: little kids would always stop and stare. MB thought it was because the uke is kid-sized. The area we were in was so nice, but then this huge bee started attacking us and we had to leave.

MB also played as we walked around, like a wandering troubador, before we sat at Bethesda Fountain for a bit, roasting in the sun, and then finally finding another quiet space in the band shell. We were left mostly in peace except for this nutty guy sitting near us. At first he was just writing, but then he said to MB, “I heard gord in those strings.”

“Sorry?” MB said.

“I hear gord in those strings.”

“Gord? Who’s gord?”

He held up his hands. “Our lord above” – something something – “Hare Krishna.”


Otherwise it was fun sitting there relaxing and people watching while MB played. A few people were roller blading, and there was one woman who was really good, like a figure skater. Also she totally looked like a guy. MB thought so too.

That night we were back in movie mode and finally watched Tropic Thunder. It was really hilarious, much funnier than I expected.

We met up with SB, her husband, and little Ellie for lunch. Sunday was Ellie’s birthday so I wanted to drop off a gift (kid-sized backpack and two T-shirts). It was fun since we haven’t seen each other in a while and Ellie is always a blast.

Afterwards we all went over to the Met, Ellie and family for her art class, and MB and I to check on the superheroes exhibit. It was fun but just okay. Costumes from movies, and avant garde interpretations. I’m glad it was free with general admission (which for me with my company ID was free anyway). After that we just wandered around, trying to find the less crowded parts.

Then it was relaxing evening in. We picked up groceries (along with all the returning-from-Labor-Day-weekend Manhattanites) and MB cooked.

Needless to say I am unmotivated this morning. And not looking forward to school tonight. Ah well. I’ll get used to it soon enough.

Aug 08

Another summer weekend bites the dust

Can’t wait till fall.

The week was rather quiet though I did have work to do. I have a short presentation to give on Tuesday, and I still have to finish up my slides. Luckily I know my stuff so it’s just a matter of organizing my thoughts and rehearsing a couple of times. I had a presentation this past Monday as well, and although I was nervous in the beginning, overall it was fine.

For some reason this week I kept running into old coworkers. First was the medical director who gave me such a hard time before I left. Needless to say he pretended not to recognize me (dick). Then I saw two guys I actually liked, and as we were standing there chatting, another guy I liked came up to us. It was fun to talk and joke, even if just for a couple of minutes. We could do that I guess because we had all escaped our old horrible department.

Friday night MB had a friend over, and they had a “jam session,” the friend playing harmonica and MB on guitar. They were actually pretty good, especially towards the end. MB had me join in on this little instrument, I don’t even know what it’s called. It’s this prongy metal thing attached a small wooden base. I thought I’d suck but it was actually easier than expected.

Later MB and I saw Death Race. We knew it would be total brain candy, and it was. Some parts were SO dumb, like yeah right, female prisoners really look like models for hair care products and low rider jeans rather than the scary bus driver and/or cafeteria ladies from elementary school. I was also very tired and almost fell asleep a couple of times despite the noise and action on the screen.

Saturday was spa day with my mom and aunt. I had given my mom for her birthday a gift card for an hour-long Swedish massage at this spa I like, thinking we’d make a day of it. Then she suggested giving one to my aunt as well since it’s her 60th birthday this month. (My aunt and I are both rats.)

I picked my mom up around 2 at Penn Station, after which we walked to the spa, where we met my aunt. I’ve taken my mother to a spa before, but she acted like she’s never been. My aunt definitely hasn’t, and they were both embarrassed about taking off too many clothes under their robes. Then I had to tell my mom to shush as we walked through the “quiet area.”

They did, however, enjoy the waiting area with free tea and other goodies like Luna Bars and dried fruit and nuts. I liked seeing them take advantage of the frills. This is totally random but I think Dr. Jarvik from those cholesterol-medication commercials was there too. Or at least a guy who looked exactly like him, down to the balding slicked down too-long hair. But I didn’t feel comfortable asking, especially since we were all sitting there in our robes.

Our appointments were at the same time, but while my mom and aunt went off as scheduled, I sat around waiting for another 15 minutes. Turned out there was some mix up and my facialist was only just on her way back from another location. In all I waited maybe 20 minutes. No biggie, but the facialist was very apologetic, and they ended up giving me a 15% discount plus some free body wash. Nice! They must have it in their records that I spend bookoo bucks there.

The facial was very good, better than one I had last year when I was left alone, wrapped like a mummy for way too long. She did some scalp, neck, shoulder, and arm massage as well. The extractions were painful as usual, but didn’t take too long, and then she did an oatmeal mask. It was nice and cooling, but also smelled like breakfast. Afterwards my skin looked quite nice.

I walked into the locker room, and my mom and aunt were there, all done and waiting expectantly. For some reason my mother had decided to put her shoes in my locker instead of her own, and so she had to wait for me to finish before she and my aunt went off to Flushing to look for Korean soap opera DVDs.

I took my time going home, but then MB and I basically had to leave right away to meet my mom and aunt for dinner in Queens. Why my mother wanted to eat in Queens, who knows. Probably for the same reason she left her shoes in my locker.

It took FOREVER to get out there. The 7 stopped at every stop, and plus there was a baseball game, so there was train traffic. Then of course all the idiots dressed up in Mets paraphernalia. And when we finally got to our stop, we had no idea how to get to the restaurant. It didn’t take us long to figure out, but of course my mother had to call, frantic: “Where are you? Are you okay?” Hey lady, you wanted to meet in Queens.

The restaurant was pretty good. We had lots of seafood, including chili shrimp, crab, and this very rich fish (I don’t know the name), as well as Chinese broccoli (oh boy, I’m hungry).

This was the first time my aunt was meeting MB. I wasn’t worried since my mom is the stickler; my aunt is very easygoing and gets along with almost everyone. Plus she and MB had work in common (ie, computers). It was funny: the three of us kept lapsing in Chinese, and I’d forget that MB didn’t understand. He didn’t seem to mind, but I tried to translate as much as I could.

Afterwards we all took the train back together. My aunt got off at Grand Central since she lives in Connecticut, and we took my mom to Penn Station and waited with her till her train came. As we said goodbye, MB initiated a farewell hug, which I could tell greatly pleased her.

Today we had all sorts of plans. Get a late lunch, get massages at this Chinese spa MB found online, then see a movie. But after lunch and as we were hanging out at a bookstore, I started to feel really sick. As we left the restaurant, I had felt slightly nauseous, but I thought it just might be hormonal. Then suddenly sitting in Borders, I started to feel crappier and crappier.

I did get sick, but just a little. It was very weird. Afterwards, I was perfectly fine. I didn’t have too much of an appetite – though now like I said I’m sorta hungry – but no more hurling. Must have been something I ate.

Still we didn’t think massages would be a good idea, and just headed home. I had picked up Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, a strange choice for someone with an upset stomach, but I’ve been wanting to read it and it was on sale. It’s good so far.

I wish we had yogurt. That’s what I could go for right now.

Back to work tomorrow. So not the right thing for a lazy girl.

Apr 07

You say spa, I say torture chamber

Last night as part of my week-long self-imposed 35th birthday extravaganza – which began with yummy burgers and fries with SB on Wednesday, and continued with my leaving work “sick” at 11:30 on Thursday, going home to take a nap and gorge myself on a s’mores birthday cupcake – I treated myself to a massage and facial.

I love a good massage and don’t mind being touched by a stranger. As I’m lying there, I don’t really think I’m being rubbed up by Person A but by these disembodied hands. But last night was different. My masseuse – an Amazonian red head with the unlikely name of Miles – had to go and make conversation beforehand. She saw my book, Wicked, thus beginning a short and pleasant chat about Gregory Maguire’s books.

So when the massage began, I could no longer think “disembodied hands.” I thought “Miles” and felt rather weird. But soon I forgot about this. Maybe it was the dim lights, or the soothing music, or the faint smell of lavendar and eucalyptas. Or maybe it was that Miles started beating me senseless.

I could take the kneading of my shoulder muscles, and the bending back of my fingers, and even the hard rub down that nerve in my thigh, but when she started to attack the knots around my shoulder blades, I began to understand how Tom Skerritt felt in Opposing Force.

“Ow,” I said as she pressed down, thinking she’d let up. Most masseuses do. After all it’s a customer service industry. Miles didn’t.

“Take a deep breath,” she said.

Wrong answer! But I did, though my nose and out my mouth, and it actually helped.

Then she did it again – and again! “C’mon,” she said. “You can do it.”

Wait, wasn’t this supposed to be relaxing? But in a way, it did feel good, in combination with the deep breathing and the tears pouring from my eyes.

But she wasn’t done yet. Next she attacked the nerves in my ass cheeks, and bent my legs in half so hard I thought my quads would snap. (I couldn’t imagine her doing the same to one of the doughy ladies in the waiting room.) And yes, at the end I gave her a tip. A good one too.

Next up was the facial. Have you ever noticed how during these treatments you regress to an infant? You lie there unmoving, helpless, naked. Your body parts get moved around, you get swaddled up in towels and blankets.

Usually I’m into it, at least for a little while, but perhaps the facial went too far. After applying a mask, the woman covered my entire face with gauze, except for tiny air holes for my nose and mouth. I was already covered with a sheet and towel, which she pulled up to my ears. Then she left the room.

Although I had no problem breathing, I felt like I was having trouble so I quickly yanked an arm out of my mummy wrap and widened my nose air hole . I imagined Michael Jackson with his face all wrapped up except for a tiny sliver of a non-existent nose.

I lay there and lay there. I tried to relax. I listened to the relaxing music which suddenly seemed creepy, like the soundtrack of a David Lynch movie. I touched my nose again. Air hole still intact. I opened my eyes and tried to see through the gauze. Too warm suddenly, I moved my limbs around trying to escape the seemingly endless sheet.

I began to panic. Was she ever coming back? Could I take the gauze off my face? Would I get in trouble if I did? Were those footsteps? Was it her? Would I be here forever?

Finally, she returned. She seemed to have been gone for an inordinate amount of time but it was probably only about 15 minutes. As she removed the gauze and loosened the blankets, I felt utter relief, as though I were being born again, but with clear skin and (temporarily) clean blackheads. Now if only I could learn to go on the potty.

Dec 06

I hate my upstairs neighbor

I know I’m a total old lady for wanting to go to sleep at 10:30 on a Saturday, but I was up at 7:30, ran 5 miles, had lunch with SB and played with Ellie for two hours, walked 25 blocks to my facial, made the mistake of trying to battle through holiday crowds down 5th Avenue to get to Koreatown, started to walk home, tried to take the subway at 59th Street only to find out the trains were screwy, and walked the 18 blocks home.

So I’m tired and don’t appreciate John Cougar Mellencamp – yes, that’s right, John frigging Cougar Mellancamp (yes, I thought the ’80s were over too) – being blasted, followed by much pacing back and forth in what can only be cement-filled shoes. Of course it’s quiet now that I’m thoroughly awake.

Well, the good thing is I did indeed have a lovely day. The 5 miles this morning came surprisingly easily, especially considering I ran 4 miles yesterday. I could have done 6 today but my achilles tendon felt sore.

I came home to find a voicemail from SB. I thought she, her hubby, and Ellie had gone to DC for the week, but unfortunately she and her husband caught some stomach flu over Christmas. I went over to her place for lunch. (They’re better now, by the way.)

Ellie was her usual hilarious self. Her new thing is pointing at me and saying, “Who dis?” when she knows perfectly well who I am, but gets bent out of shape when I say, “I’m Ellie.”

“No!” she cries. “I Ellie!”

If you’re gonna dish it out, kid, you gotta take it.

I told SB how I’ve decided a very long break from dating. She seemed surprised, which surprised me since everyone else I’ve told has been supportive. I know she thinks I want to have a kid and that I’d better hurry it up and meet someone quick. No thanks.

Although individuals in passing have appealed to me, I have no desire to actively seek dates right now. The idea of on-line or speed dating gives me a headache. I guess I still want to have kids someday, but, and this may sound silly, but I want it to happen serendipitiously. If I happen to meet the right someone, or if the right circumstances come about, or if the universe knocks me unconscious with a sign.

Maybe it’s passive, and I suppose if I really, really wanted a baby, I’d be more active about it, but I’m not interested in having that as my mission at this time.

Anyway, around 3 Ellie needed to go down for her nap so I took that opportunity to head to midtown for my facial, a special treat for myself. I enjoyed it but I didn’t appreciate the woman telling me my face looked like I never exfoliated it when I use that damned exfoliating mask at least twice a week, and then telling me I had oily skin when just a few a weeks ago my forehead was flaking off. I’m surprised she couldn’t tell that some parts are oily and some very dry. It’s hard to trust any of these people. The best facial I had was at Oasis Spa. I may have to go back next time.

If you’re ever in New York around the holidays, definitely STAY AWAY FROM 5TH AVENUE. Good God! There were an unbelievable number of people. The corners are especially bad, where folks just mill about like cattle.

The police have already started blockading the sidewalks in preparation for New Year’s Eve. A couple of us slipped through and took to walking in the middle of the street to avoid the crowd. A female police officer told one man rather calmly that he couldn’t. Then she saw me and barked, “Get in there!” indicating the barricade. Just what I need. To get into an argument with a cop. Things were calmer the moment I got away from 5th Avenue.

Tomorrow I planned on taking the bus from Port Authority up to Woodbury Commons to do some shopping, but now I’m thinking coming back to the Times Square area in the late afternoon/early evening on New Year’s Eve is probably not such a good idea. Instead I think I’ll stay in my area and hit a bunch of museums.

Another problem with being up late: I’m hungry all over again.

Oct 06

Lovely low-key weekend

When will my complexion settle down? I have a pimple on my chin and mad wrinkles on my forehead. Are you a teenager or a 34-year old? Make up your mind, face!

Besides dealing with skin issues, I had a fine little lowkey weekend. My massage Friday night was very nice. The oil my masseuse used smelled excellent, sage and eucaplytus, I believe, though I could have picked two mintier ones, a grapefruity one, or one that was rosy (while I like roses in person, rose-scented items make me think of little old ladies).

She could totally tell where my problem areas were: behind my right shoulderblade – all that mousing – and between my neck and shoulder on my left side, ie, where I carry my bag. When she kneaded that area by my right shoulderblade, it KILLED, though in a good way, but on my left it just felt good. Guess it’s really tight over there on the right.

I swear I think she pushed all my cold toxins to the surface because the bug that’s been brewing all week has finally come to a head. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, though I feel better overall.

How I look on the other hand. I went to Sak’s to ask about these samples I received. The actual items are mucho dinero – like $200 for a little pot of night cream. No thanks! I did manage to wrangle some more free samples out of them, and for some reason she gave me a boatload for dark undereye circles. I’m sick! I wanted to shout. I don’t always look like this!

Saturday morning I was up early to help my friend snap some photos for promo materials for his next comedy gig. Took a lot – let’s hope some are usable.

I practiced using the “continuous” mode for the first time. Oh my God, so much fun. I tried it several times with him riding down the sidewalk on his skateboard. Flipping through the pictures quickly was like watching a little movie. I’ll have to find another excuse to use it again.

Did my beauty product run that afternoon. Besides Sak’s I hit Barney’s, and then I walked home. A beautiful but chilly day. I rested at my place for a bit before heading back out that evening to attend a concert one of my coworkers was performing in and had organized.

The performance was up near my alma mater so you’d think I’d know how to get there. But somehow I got on the wrong train and ended up in Harlem. Same street number, different avenue. I looked up from my book very confused and actually thought they had changed the name of the stop.

In the end I got to where I needed to go, and realized after that instead of a bus and a train, I could have taken one bus pretty much directly. Duh.

It was COLD that night. I had on a turtleneck, a track jacket, and a regular jacket. With my train mishap, I was a few minutes late and missed my coworker’s performance, but I’ve heard her sing before, and she was the only one I missed.

It was nice to get out and do something different. I don’t make it a habit of listening to classical music or opera, so it was good to expose myself to that. Plus I’m proud of myself for going even though I had no one to go with. I could have easily made an excuse about feeling sick and not wanting to go by myself, and just have stayed home and watched some stupid TV. But in going, I got out of the house, got some culture, and showed support to my friend and the arts. Woohoo!

Today was chore/errand day:

  • balanced my checkbook
  • switched my summer and fall/winter clothes
  • got some Chinese medicine from Chinatown (licorice tablets for my itchy throat, the only thing that’s ever worked for me; had to hit four herbal shops to find it)
  • picked up Asian groceries
  • checked out Kiehl’s (didn’t buy, must show some resistance)
  • bought some regular groceries
  • cooked this beef/vegetable/curry concoction that looks gross but tastes good and will last me another two or three days

I am also tearing through this latest issue of Granta. I think I was out of practice with reading. Now that I’ve fallen back in the habit, I feel like I’m reading faster. Or maybe now I’m just used to doing it in spare moments throughout the day – waiting for the train, on the train, a few minutes here and there at work – as well as large chunks in the early morning and evening. Now I just need to fall back into the habit of writing again too.

I realized only recently that I’m learning to live alone again. Not on my own, of course I know how to do that. I thought the only thing I had to relearn was dating, but what’s more important is knowing how to live alone well and fully, not waiting for the next Big Love to come along, or waiting for the next Big Anything.

You spend all your time waiting for the next Big Whatever, you miss all the Smaller but Still Important Whatevers that are right in front of your face.

Your pimply, wrinkly face. :)

Oct 06

Besides the plane crash, it’s been stressful

Coming to an end of a very long week. Next week is a big meeting in Florida. I’m not going but was involved with all the prep work, including helping to create two presentations and participating in a live TV broadcast this morning.

Although we read off the teleprompter, it’s still rather stressful since you’re being viewed by maybe 100 people around the country, and there’s always the chance that in all the cutting apart and piecing back together of the presentation, some slides go missing or turn up in a previous version.

Thankfully none of that happened. Now I just have to get all this makeup off and wash the goo out of my hair.

While on the broadcast, I had that adrenaline rush, and now I’m completely crashing. Plus it’s the build up of not having gotten enough sleep all week. On Wednesday I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. Yesterday I woke up at 5. This morning I turned my alarm off in my sleep and didn’t wake up till 6:30.

Plus the almost-cold thing. It never fully developed. No stuffy nose. Just the sore, tickly throat, fatigue, and aches.

So what else can I do tomorrow but get a massage. Yeah, baby! I’m trying the Aroma Balancing, which uses a combination of aromatherapy and Swedish massage techniques. Should help with the stress as well as releasing those nasty sick toxins.

I still can’t get enough of Live Alone and Like It. I just read the chapter on food, which included a case study in which a Miss V. decided to have a weekend to herself but didn’t plan anything, and so ended up puttering around and feeling bored.

A more enterprising Miss R., on the other hand, filled her weekend on her own with plans: an afternoon at the beauty parlor, a bubble bath, and making preparations for her favorite meals – well, a maid actually prepared it. Maids are all over this book, like anyone could have one.

Very good advice, I think, for those solitary weekends. Inspiration for tomorrow’s massage.