2018 Resolutions (Delayed)

I have a tendency to start writing something and then it gets drafted and I forget to post it.  So that is my first resolution:

Resolution 1: Follow through.
Whether it’s a text message, a blog entry, an application, whatever! I will follow through with it.

Resolution 2: Weight Loss
Yup. Back on the list. I have been through a lot with this one. One year I gained a lot and then next I lost it. Last year, I gained a lot again. Whether it was stress, diet, hormonal, or lack of exercise — it will not be repeated. I admit I am more than 160lbs. That’s bad. My final goal is to be between 120-130. If I get down to 140, I’ll be pleased. If I plateau at 135, I’ll be still quite happy.
How will I change this? I’ve already started watching what I’m eating. I’m cooking for myself again and tracking how much I’m eating and when.
I’m going to also give myself 30 day food challenges. 30 Days with no pizza. The next 30 with no Mexican food, etc. Let’s see how long that lasts. Taco Tuesday will rue the day.

Resolution 2.5: Exercise
To follow up the weight loss through diet, I am also challenging myself to be more active again. In Korea, I had hills and stairs to climb every day. I didn’t drive as often, so I wasn’t as lazy. Being back in Orlando, I don’t have the natural inclines or the beautiful hiking options. But I do have lakes and water, along with a new paddleboard. I want to get a few hours of paddling in a week if I can (weather permitting). I’m also going to take advantage of ‘New Student’ specials offered by gyms and fitness studios. The first will be 40 days $40 Power Yoga. The next will be 30 day Barre classes. Having these near to my work will allow me to keep to a schedule while avoiding traffic. Let’s see how it goes.

Resolution 3: Make that money!
My new job is wonderful. But no lie, it does NOT pay very well. True, I get paid better than others in my position at the company, but it’s just not that much!! So I need to get back my passion projects. Voice acting and massage therapy. Today I reapplied for my Florida massage license. As soon as I’m done with this cold, I hope to start my voice over demos again and start auditioning. I need additional income one way or another.

Resolution 4: Stick with the Blogging!!
That was my resolution last year and I SUCKED at it. In fact, I went the ENTIRE year without a single blog post. Luckily, I’ve started a new blog that is not connected with this one. If you are interested in checking it out, I ask that you contact me privately. It’s not meant for everyone. Not yet at least.
I hope that I have some new experiences I can share via WittyLMT as well.

Resolution 5: Visit 2 new places this year!
In the past, I have said that I will visit 2 new countries. That maybe more difficult now that I’m state-side and not making the money I did before, and living in a higher-cost-of-living location. This year, I’d like to visit 2 places in the US that I’ve never been. Considering that I’ve barely been around the US, this should be easy. Let’s rack up some mileage points, hey?

Resolutions 2015 Update: August Edition

It’s August 4th. The year is more than halfway completed. I have 5 months to make these resolutions happen. I am so pleased to update this post. There have been some seriously good improvements, and some others that still need improvement. But hey.. ce la vie right?

1. I want to lose weight.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

May UPDATE- – – I think I have lost some weight. The heaviest I was at was 75kg (about 165lbs). My average is about 73 kg (about 160lbs). The last time I weighed myself I was at 70.6kg (about 155lbs). When I wrote this, I was thinking of how much to lose, not really a goal weight. I’m changing it to goal weight now. I want to be no more than 140lbs (About 63.5 kg). I have a ways to go, but I will not allow myself to get back up to 165 again. The last time I weighed myself was on my birthday – – I will go find a scale today and see again.
AUGUST UPDATE – – – I HAVE DEFINITELY LOST WEIGHT!! I recently weighed in at 66.7kg (147lbs). I don’t know how I did it. I kind of want to give credit to Mirena, but I also now live on a hill and maybe that has helped a bit?

2. Get laid.
Resolution: get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.
May UPDATE – – – Yes. This is a much better year than last year. Numbers aren’t needed.
AUGUST UPDATE – – – 😉 😉 :* :* I should say mission accomplished, but far from over!

3. Travel
Resolution: Visit 2 new countries again! I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal is Malaysia.
May UPDATE – – – 1 down, 1 to go!! Malaysia was visited in February. I am going to Japan again this weekend with my mother, but it’s still early enough to visit another country!!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – I have visited Malaysia, Japan, and Jeju (and island in Korea). Still have another country to try and visit!

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)
May UPDATE – – it did happen! GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – Gary is coming to Seoul! for like.. a day ish. But still!!

5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.
May UPDATE — it’s not as easy. I had two medical procedures this year already that has cost me nearly $1,000 USD. I also missed a market (which makes me a few hundred extra) and haven’t done any massages. My side business is seriously lacking. Hopefully I can start massages again soon though and make that dough!! On the bright side, I found out I have 3kUSD already saved thanks to that pension plan!!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – Failing. After the whole medical procedures thing, I was let go from my job and have new employment. (Details about that in another post coming soon.) So ..yea… not really doing well on the savings resolution. I have been doing massages and voiceovers again, but they haven’t quite added up to a savings bundle. However, it seems that I am at least doing the other stuff right!

The Table is In!!

Hip hop hooray!

After many weeks of struggling to order a massage table, my goal has been accomplished. And this morning, the sun shone through my window and woke me with good spirits. A foreign number appeared on my phone, followed by a voice speaking Korean. Which I know nothing of. After much babbling on both of our parts, he said ‘ahhh. no english.’ and i said ‘ahhh no korean. err, hangul, or whatever’ and then he continued to babble and I hung up because it was useless. My manager called on my behalf and informed me a large package was awaiting me downstairs. There it was. A giant box with my soul’s purpose within it. It was waayyyy too heavy to lift so i had to slide it to the elevator and across the entire building to my apartment. Then, with the ferocity of child on a Christmas present, I tore that bitch open. Out came my beautiful new massage table. It was quite heavy. I opened it up and it came with more little gifts!! It’s like Hanukkah early! Not one gift, but many gifts!! I had a headrest, arm sling, arm rests for the side of the table, and the gift I least expected… a carrying case. OH JOY!!!! Only thing missing is a car to get me from here to there with it. 

But it’s here. And I am going to start my side-business again. Regaining my peace of mind in this country of Khaos. I welcome back my massage abilities.

Massage Your Imagination for a Moment

I attended massage school when I was 20 because it was something I loved to do. Since high school I had been giving friends and classmates massages during class or rehearsals in theater. It was something I was good at. People would sit in front of me with hopes that I would get the urge to touch them. And I did. And sometimes I still do. Many people choose professions that suit them, but it’s not necessarily what they love. I love to give massages. People love to get massages. The feeling of settling awkwardly on a massage table semi- (or sometimes completely) nude disappears when the therapist makes that first move. Slowly gliding their warm hands along the sides of your spine. Within minutes, you can get lost in the session. Muscles are being manipulated and blood circulation increasing. Yes, a good massage can do wonders for a person.

            But there’s something amazing on the other side of that story. The hands that do the manipulating guide a peaceful journey away from the world that envelopes us. As a therapist, there is a sense of magic when the client’s breathing slows down and the inhalations and exhalations lengthen. With the right music, a simple muscle manipulation is transformed into an art form. It’s not quite dancing to a smooth flow; it’s not quite conducting a ballad. It’s a rarely observed art with which neither word nor pictures can describe. It’s a kinesthetic art form that can only be truly appreciated by being in the moment.

            Like the edge of the water lapping the sand, thoughts fill my mind and then disappear with each breath. The flow of the massage begins to sync with the music. The flute holds a sweet note as I lengthen the muscles beneath my hands. The comfort and warmth of the room soothe both my own and my client’s energies. I can feel my own eyes droop as my client dozes. I never fall asleep, but the rhythm of the massage seems to sync with the slowed exhales. For a client to feel complete relaxation, a therapist must send out the same energies.

I nearly fell asleep writing this. I look forward to my next massage 🙂            

Bringing the Casino(skillz) to Korea!

No, actually it’s illegal to gamble here. It’s for the best. LAWD knows I’d be in troubbbllleee.

I was hanging out at school this past Friday preparing for a testing day by… checking Facebook. On the group created for my town in Korea, someone put up a post asking if anyone wanted to play poker. I couldn’t get in on the action because 1. I’m broke 2. I haven’t played since I left pre-Thailand 3. I’m broke. But I watched as a few guys responded to the post saying they wanted to join. After about 5 people joined in, an official event was started.

*insert mischievous grin* “I may not be able to play,” the grinchess thought, “..but maybe I can make them pay!”

Old memories of my times at the casino flooded my brain. I messaged the game-starter and mentioned my services. He said ‘I guarantee you’ll leave with 40K tonight’ (((keep in mind.. 40K in won… not dollars))) So I told him i’d get there after school.

School ended, I ran outside to catch a bus. *Insert an hour of trying to figure out which bus to catch from where I was* The game had started at 9:30p… I got out of work at 10pm…I didn’t get there until 11pm. 😦

But the game was still on! I had lotion and stretched my hands. And since this isn’t the casino…. I had myself a lovely gin and tonic. *content smile*

I offered 10 minutes for 7Kwon. I did two 30 minutes sessions and a 10 min session. After a couple of drinks, a horrible game of darts,  and a basket of chicken strips ((omg chicken strips!!))  I left. .. with 40K (won). AND a couple of new clients. One who will hopefully be a regular, and since I know his wife, they’ll be a couple of regulars 🙂

HIGH FIVE FOR MASSAGE DURING POKER SKILLS!!

My First REAL Korea Massage

This was an actual massage I gave! Not just a 5 minute backrub.

One of my neighbors was moving out last weekend and had a bunch of stuff to sell. But since moving here is expensive and payday is another month away, we bartered a little bit. I got a bunch of her stuff for an hour massage. I won’t tell you what I got, but let’s say my kitchen is happy.

Other than Thai massage, I have not done massage on the floor. I prefer not to because it’s not good for my body or the client’s. There is typically no facerest causing the person to have to crane their neck to one side and the other constantly. I feel it defeats the purpose of the massage.

 

Anyway, I have several yoga mats. One average one, one thick one, and a random eggshell type. I put the regular down first, followed by the eggshell, and then the thick one. I put a blanket down over it and the client was able to lay on a cushioned mat. At the time I didn’t have a facerest still so we used a mini pillow but she still had to keep her head turned to the side. Since then, I have purchased a nice thick ‘neck pillow’ (think of what you use on a plane) and its use as a face rest is perfect.

The massage was smooth I think. Not my best since I wasn’t accustomed to being on the floor, but i was able to give good pressure and flow.

I’m hoping to offer my service to other foreign teachers/workers in my area and earn an extra won or two.

Thank you, S.A. C for letting me work on you and experiment for a bit!! And thanks for helping my house get cozy! Good luck on your new adventures, your engagement, and travels! xoxo

First Korean Massage!

The title is all wrong.

 

I haven’t received a massage here yet. And I also haven’t given a real massage yet. But several minutes after my last post, my manager was the at the printer and rubbing and rolling her shoulder. I asked if she was okay and she said ‘Yes. It just is hurt a little’ and I gave her the knowing smile. I asked if she needed a massage and she said ‘Yes. But I dont have time because I work here so much.’ It took her a moment to realize that I was a massage therapist and her eyes lit up in the way only excited Asians’ eyes can. It was classic. I told her to sit down for a minute and I worked her shoulder “chair massage” style. It seemed to work out pretty well. It was only a few minutes worth but it seemed to do the job.

She was called away by another teacher and rolled her shoulder a few times on the way out. She came running in about 2 minutes later exclaiming: “Shannon Teacher! Wow! You are miraculous! How did you know? My shoulder is very… ” then she ran to her computer to translate a word and returned with “congested! congestion? conjest?” LoL. I wouldn’t use congestion as a term for tight muscles but it worked out okay. For the next 20 minutes she would come back and say ‘Wow. Amazing.” or “Magic hands”

It seems the word will spread with the help of a manager. Now, people, don’t get me wrong. I did not do this to win points with my boss or get help later when I need it. She’s cool enough that’d she’d do that anyway. I offered her help because that’s the kind of person I am. I see a person in need and I offer my help. In this case, she took it and has no regrets.

She apparently has told the other “secret” manager (part owner of the school) of my abilities. I guess I can expect some clientele soon. 🙂

 

The Mechanic’s Terminology

A friend of mine put a tiny dent into my car back on a popular summer holiday. He sent me to a mechanic friend of his to get it fixed. This mechanic was a big Italian (possibly) New York kinda guy. *You know… the giant gold cross necklace with fat fingers and creeping eyes* While waiting for a response from my friend on whether to go through with the $500 charge (obviously a rip off) the man and I were talking. He had seen my massage table and asked if that’s what I do. Instead of lying, I said ‘yea. I do outcalls.’ He said he could give me a bigger discount on the car if I gave him a  massage. I’m open to barter and trades so I said ‘Sure. Give me a call.’ Clearly, it had been before 10am since I gave him my card (aka I wasn’t awake yet). I also may have been thinking, “By the time this guy calls, I’ll be out of the country.” My friend ended up not wanting to pay $500 to fix a dent smaller than my fist (duh) so I left.

A few days ago I got a call from The Mechanic. He goes on about how his back hurts from his job and how Massage Envy doesn’t provide the massages he wants when he wants it and how he’s stressed and needs some stress relief. *BING* Flag  is up. Stress relief can mean two very different things in the massage world. It could mean ‘I have a lot of stress and I’d like to relax please’ or ‘I have a very specific location that I hold stress particularly south of my stomach and north of my thighs’. For some reason though (maybe the previously mentioned creeping eyes) stress relief sounded not quite right. But because it wasn’t blatant I had to keep going with my intake. I asked what time length he was looking for… 30? 60? 90? He responded with ‘Wow. Yea 90 minutes would be great.’ I said ‘ok! Just so you know, a 90 minute massage will cost $100’ and he responds with ‘Yea $100. $200. Whatever’ (((((???? okayyyyyy….))))) *BING* Flag turns orange – something doesn’t seem right with $100, $200, whatever.
My warning flag’s color change prompted me to explain what areas of the body I work on in a 90 minute massage. He said ‘yea uh huh okay’ a few times and responded with ‘Well is there any other therapeutic extras you offer? You know for stress relief?’ *Bing Bing Bing* Warning Warning. My flag is now red. Code red. Hooker nail polish red. ‘I usually offer hot stone massage or aromatherapy, sir. But those upgrades are currently unavailable’. “ookay” says he.

Therapeutic meaning therapy. Meaning something maybe out of balance or injured and needs repairing. In this case, The Mechanic used an excellent term to refer to an inappropriate action. Sneaky… but I’m smarter than that, douche.

I proceeded anyway (again, not quite post-coffee time). “May I have an address where the massage will take place?” ‘Uh.. I’m at a friend’s house so I’ll text it to you.’ “Okay, can you give me a general area so I know how to calculate the gas cost please?’ He tells me that part of town. “I’ll see you at 4:30, Mechanic?” ‘Yea. 4 sounds great. See you then. But call before, I want to make sure I’m awake and ready for you.’

He sends me a text with the address and, go figure, the address does not exist. The zip code is correct but the street (in all various blvds, st, rd, pl, ave, etc) does not exist. After my coffee and the review of the alarms ringing and flags waving in my face I realized I needed to cancel that massage. So I called to no answer. To no voicemail. I would think that a businessman would have a voicemail. Or anyone that has a cell phone ever. So I did the most unprofessional thing I could think of… I cancelled via text. My responses were ‘bbbkffpprrr. z. fjklf’ followed by ‘message right.’ followed by ‘flkjrjrrbkfflazzzz’ and again ‘too late’. I had a voicemail with no missed call that was 3 minutes of nothingness. Sorry Mr. Mechanic. But not really.

New Massage Technique: Serenade?

This is a story from a few years back while I was working out in Hawai’i.

I had been referred to a private client by someone who I know longer remember. This client happened to be VP of a particularly prominent shoe brand. As always, I turned the music on prior to setting up so the client can decide if it was what they wanted to relax to. My choice that session was “standards.” Sweet ballads by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, etc. You know… classics. VP asks me how I came to listen to these old singers and I told him I had no idea. I like the music, it reminds me of days that I never lived (in this life). I told him it inspired me to sing and Ella Fitzgerald was my musical preference.
He made a proposition I have still not had matched. He offered me twice the agreed upon rate, if I would ‘serenade’ him to sleep while I gave a massage. I recall agreeing of course. My first (and only) paid singing gig?!  While massaging? Throw in some ballet and I could be on America’s Got Talent!
Like most of my clients, he was passed out within the first 10 (of 90) minutes. At some point I think I went from singing to humming and he actually awoke and said humming was not part of the contract. Ha!!! Amazing. He was asleep and woke up when I stopped singing. ((Good thing I didn’t get caught having stopped the massage – jk. I would never))

Nice guy in a great big cabin in northern west Maui. I never got a bad vibe from him and he followed through with his end of the bargain. If I could make that a new style of massage..  ahhh c’est la vie.

Spa-aaaaaaaah

I have been a massage therapist for 7+ years and have never had a proper spa day. yes, i have gone out and gotten my hair and nails done. yes, i have gone out and received a massage. or a facial, or sat in a sauna. but never all at once.

I have just finished nearly a year of teaching English to students in Surat Thani, Thailand and all I wanted was to spoil myself. But first, I needed to complete some massage courses in Chiang Mai. I discovered a pamphlet (well- many pamphlets). It offered a special promotion:

1 hour aromatherapy massage
1 hour facial (mask, cleanse, scrub, etc)
30 min body scrub
15 min jacuzzi
15 min sauna
_____________=1600 baht (USD $50ish)

I booked that for right after a cooking class (a different entry for later).

There were some technical issues concerning people not showing up on time, but otherwise, the owner picked me up from my hotel and drove me to the spa. It was in a quiet neighborhood-type of area. It was an old huge house converted into a spa. I was immediately given iced tea and slippers. I confirmed my preference and was given a sarong to change into. I was led to a small wooden box: the sauna. I didn’t make it through the entire 15 minutes (although it felt like 20) due to boredom. Then after some bananas and warm tea, I was shown outside to an enclosed patio with a HUGE jacuzzi. It was a perfect temperature and had plumerias floating in and around the water. I enjoyed this for the full 15 minutes with an ice cold glass of water at my disposal. Mind you, it had been over a year since the last time I sat in a bath. When my 15 minutes was up, I dried off and changed into a robe and went into the massage room.
The body scrub came next. I have given plenty of body scrubs before and have rubbed my own legs and feet with it, but have never gotten a full body scrub. DAMN. That shiz is rough! I realize now why the scrub is BEFORE the massage: a person gets tense when being scrubbed with mango scented salt for 30 minutes. She started with the legs and feet, continued my back and arms. She then turned me over and did my legs and arms again. Then without hesitation or warning, my upper body was exposed and she scrubbed my stomach and tatas! WHOA! I didn’t have time to react. In the US, draping is required and we normally put a towel over a lady’s chest before exposing the stomach. Magawd it was not pleasant. WORD OF ADVICE: when receiving oil massage or body scrub outside of the US – let them know in advance that you do NOT want your tatas rubbed (unless you do). 

After that awkward body scrub, I was taken to a shower and brought back to the room. She started the massage. Her pressure was way too deep Thai-style so i asked her to ease up a smidgeon. It was nice after that. But I caught her before she took the top of my blanket off this time – I said ‘no chest or stomach please ka’ and she didn’t.

I know that the next part was the facial. But I don’t remember it. I was passed the fuck out. I dreamed heavily as always. I dreamed the massage was over and I realized I had fallen asleep so I woke up in my dream and then in real life. I took off my eye covers to realize that I had the mask on and my session was NOT over. So I laid down and passed out again. Dreamed of school peers from middle school. ((Matt Heafy, lead singer of Trivium, and other school mates were gathered to ask me if I was attending their concert the next day. No offense, Matt, you have talent, but metal is not for me!)) Anywayhoo – I didn’t realize she was back in the room until a cool compress was washing away the mask. She continually tried to clean the mask from my nose and nostrils and I thought she was trying to suffocate me. . . until I drowned in a frozen lake felt the ice cold compress covering my entire face. You wanna wake a girl up???? Put an ice cold compress on her face!! Asshole. Way to tense me right back up. Goddamn. Anyway, facial was finished, I was utterly exhausted. My face felt soft without me even having the touch it. My body was floating down the stairs and into the changing area. I tipped the lady, and the owner drove me back to the hotel.

If you ever visit Chiang Mai, I recommend you treat yourself to Sinativa Spa.

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