Tuesday, February 1, 2011

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it”

I hope that disappearing for a week or two at a time makes you guys all that more excited to see what I have been up to in my absence. I have always believed "absence makes the heart grow fonder", but then again, I am sometimes guilty of "out of sight out of mind", so hopefully you guys are still with me :) After all, I have somethin you just might be interested in.

It should come as no surprise that working six days a week takes a large toll on both the body and the soul. I couldn't even put into words how exhausted I have been these last few weeks. I like to make people feel sorry for me since I feel like my life is just so hard, but for some reason I couldn't muster up the amount of sympathy I wanted. I assume this is because, guess what, life is hard, for everybody and I need to suck it up ;)

Since no one offered to cater to my every want, need and do my laundry, I definitely needed a new plan to come up with in order to maintain some sort of sanity. A friend of mine said she went to this place that offered all these spa services for 80 bucks. Obviously I was super skeptical. She said it was really nice and clean and they gave really great massages. I had to Yelp it because I still didn't believe her. They got rave reviews. There were only one or two low star reviews and I believe that these are the people no one can make happy, (you know the type, I talked about them in my coffee shop post). Not one person mentioned being sold into white slavery upon entering, or being molested in private rooms, so I thought I would give it a go. I called and made an appointment and it went something like this....

"Hi, Kam...Karm re....this is...Karma Relax......ation...Spa...this is Tom, thank you for calling Karma Relaxation Spa" (Mind you, this was accompanied by broken English, but I have been known to answer the phone at one job, greeting someone with the other jobs name, so I was gonna give the guy a break).

I wanted to make an appointment for Sunday afternoon and it was now Saturday evening. I wanted 2pm and he said he could do it if I didn't mind having a male operator. I thought the word operator was a little out dated but agreed because I have never been one for modesty, I have male doctors, so who cares. I opted for the presidents package which included a 60 minute foot massage, body detox, 60 minute body massage, Vichy bath, milk bath and hot towel/sauna, for the price of $80. This was a tall order to fill.

So I showed up at 10 til 2, the front desk waiting area was small, but nice and the receptionist asked me to fill out a form asking if I had any medical issues and which area of my body needed the most attention. I should have just circled the entire person, but I chose my lower back, shoulders and neck and lower legs and feet. Then the receptionist and some other guy started speaking some language I couldn't quite grasp and he asked again if I was ok with a make operator. I said yes and then this guy appeared and introduced himself. I think he said Asher, but I am not very good with details.

We walked into a different room and it felt like a completely different building.

It was perfectly lit (just enough to see where you were going and where things were), was super quiet, smelled really nice and had a bunch of these really comfy looking chairs. I was excited knowing I was going to be able to fall asleep on one of them very soon. He led me to one of the chairs, instructed me to lie down and leave my feet dangling. He then put my feet in a wooden bucket with really warm water and I noticed he was about to plug it in. I was slightly terrified, considering everything thing they say about electricity and water together usually isn't good, but I didn't recall anyone writing about being electrocuted on Yelp, so I let him do his thing, although paying close attention just in case. Much to my surprise, I didn't fry in my own foot water, so I finally relaxed and took comfort in the fact the next to and a half hours were all about me.

I laid there in silence for about 15 minutes and then he worked on my neck, arms and shoulders while I was still "detoxing". I wasnt expecting this so it was a really nice surprise. He then removed my feet and showed me my water "color" which was supposed to let me know where my bodies toxins were being pulled from. Ive heard that this is mostly a scam, but thought my results were interesting enough, so I believed him. But I also believe the kids when they said they will clean the living room. He started on my foot massage. OMG. I know that in both of my jobs I am on my feet, but I had no idea how good it could feel to ave someone who knew what they were doing release all that pressure. At some time in my bliss, half sleep induced haze, two young girls came in and were seated close enough to me to be able to hear "I know, I think she is lame too, I mean its like.....blah blah blah." Obviously these two girls dont have two jobs, work six days a week, have two kids and know that I need this relaxation more than I need both my kidneys. I tried to just tune them out, but when that didnt work, I cleared my throat very loudly (totally reminded me of Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes..."Because Im older and have better insurance", but anyways, moving on). They got the hint and shut up.

When the sixty minute foot massage was over, I was lead into another room for my body massage.

The room was comfortable, clean and totally relaxing. I couldnt wait for this to begin. He totally paid attention to the areas I circled in the pamplet.The lotion that he used was always warm. I hate when it is cold and startling. It was a little rough at first, but when I asked him to lighten up it became the perfect amount of pressure. I could feel all the knots up and down my whole back. It was so crunchy it was unbelievable. I felt bad for him because I could tell he just wanted to get them out, but I was being a baby about too much pressure. I went to another place during the massage. Some place where no one wanted me to do anything for them, no one wanted me to make a decision and no one was asking me to give them money. I could have been there forever. After about 55 minutes, I was asked to put on a robe and follow him once more. We walked into this room that had what looked like a horizontal shower with a detachable shower head. He told me to lay down and cover my lady parts with what can only be described as a hand towel. Like I said, I am not modest at all, but even this was a bit uncomfortable. When he came back in the room he started to wash me down with the hose. I was kinda laughing on the inside, but I couldnt deny how good it felt. It was like what I imagine it would be like to be a quadrapalegic and have someone bath you. I was lathered up and rinsed down with something that smelled amazing. Still feeling funny, but not in a creepy way, so I tried to relax. I found it to be too hilarious to actually be relaxing though, even though it did feel good. Last but not least, I was layered with hot towels and then off to the sauna for fifteen minutes.

(Caution, images in picture are WAY smaller than they appear, but still nice.)

After everything was over I felt like a different person. I felt light, happy, smelled great and was finally calm. I went up to pay and totally overtipped because I was so high on relaxation. Oh well, if you make me feel that good for 80 bucks, you deserve it. I need to do this at least once a month. If I was super wealthy, Id do it everyday. I had never felt better.

That feeling stayed with me alllllllll the way til.......I got a flat tire on the way home. Ha, well it was great while lasted.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Villalobos Rescue Center

For those of you new to my blog or those who weren't paying attention, I went to the Villalobos Rescue Center to volunteer this past Saturday. Villalobos is the biggest pit bull rescue in the world. They house up to 200 abused, stray and/or abandoned pit bulls. They are also the topic of the reality show Pit Bulls and Parolees.

As of right now (they are soon to relocate to Tehachapi) they are located in the Santa Clarita Valley, in the small rural town of Agua Dulce. Google maps said it would take about 3 hours to get there. So my fellow pit rescue friends and I headed out at about 6 am, after one mandatory stop to Starbucks. We stopped once to get gas (and for me to smoke) and once to get water and use the bathroom (and for me to smoke) and we made it up there in just under 3 hours. It was an easy drive, even through LA.
It was a little chaotic when we got there, people just kinda wandering around trying to figure out how it all works. Many of the volunteers had been there before and offered advice on how it all goes down. They explained the simple rules, the time frame for volunteering, where we could and couldn't go on the property, and then started to bring out the dogs. There were about 40 or so volunteers and everyone ended up walking an average of three dogs. All of the dogs I walked were Katrina rescue dogs. It really choked me up to think about what these dogs had been through in order to get where they are now. (If you aren't aware of the hardship the animals endured during Hurricane Katrina, please watch the documentary "Mine", which is currently in the play instantly section of Netflix).

Looking around watching all the hustle and bustle, you see how real the show featuring them is. Tia runs around on the phone, loading dogs into and out of her car, talking to potential adopters and managing the parolees working on the ranch. Nothing seemed to be beefed up for ratings. It just looked like a typical day in the life of someone who devoted her life to these dogs. They all work so hard. I was there for 5 hours and was so exhausted by the time I left, I cant even imagine doing it day in and day out. Dogs don't know it is Easter, or Christmas, or Labor Day. All they know is they need to be fed, walked and cleaned up after. It is really tough work that I find quite admirable.

I am not a huge fan of some of the language used, or messaged portrayed on some of their advertising, but because I respect what they do, I stand behind their goal. I am so glad I was able to get out there and do this for them, and for me! If it is something you think you might want to do, let me know and I will direct you in the right place. But if you live in San Diego, you might wanna get out there soon before they relocate because that drive could be twice as long!

Adventures at Villalobos

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No news is good news

I found a folder on my computer today that contained photos, quotes, post secrets and other various things that caught my eye at different points in my life. I thought that while you are waiting for my next post that actually says something, you could check out a few things that I find interesting, amusing or inspirational. You're welcome ;)

Thanks for being a voyeur, and getting to know my mind a little better!