the original kStyle blog.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Not a Ho

no no NO

You cannot receive shiatsu naked.

I will not come to your house. You must come to my office. O-F-F-I-C-E. Like professionals have.

Did you read the ad? Because if you did (and perhaps you're just barely literate, yes maybe that's the problem) you would see that I advertise prenatal support and healing IBS and hospice and palliative care and 700 hours of training! and fully licensed! NOT HAPPY ENDINGS.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Adventures in Shopping

Today is a grab-bag day: saw a shiatsu client, then zipped 40 minutes away for a TB test required to do volunteer work, made a couple phone calls, and en route back from TB test, stopped at a mall to shop for my friend's bridal shower tomorrow. (Still have to get teeth cleaned, pick up antibiotics, and--the fun part--dance away at a Nia master class this evening.)

But let's zoom in on the mall for a moment. After grabbing delicious Indian food at the food court for lunch (naan and everything, hurray!), I stopped by Macy*s, hoping for a hat. The invitation to the bridal shower--tea at a seaside inn--encouraged me to wear a garish garden-party hat. You don't have to ask me twice to don a floppy monstrosity. I've been looking for the right hat for a while, but I have a relatively large skull and mounds of hair, and therefore all hat-contenders have been too small. But luck was a lady today, as I found a bright bright bright pink straw hat with a ribbon, and it fits over my curls, for 50% off*. Blessing #1 from the Mall Gods.

I felt rather out of place in Macy*s, a store populated by manicured, coiffed, made-up women in pastel sundresses and color-coordinated heeled sandals. I left the mall and paused to drink wonderful chai from Indian food court place in my car, blasting the A/C, and call my mom to ask about shower gift protocol. She encouraged me to go off-registry, save the registry items for the actual wedding, and just purchase something from the heart my friend would like. I appreciated my dear mother's counsel, specially because it spared me a trip to the heinous, big box store known as Bed, Bath, and BEYOND.

So back into the mall I trooped, making a bee line for Williams and Sonoma. And I have to tell y'all, in stark contrast to Macy*s, at W&S I felt as if I'd been beamed up to the Mother Ship. There we all shopped, casual in our Eddie Bauer tees and khakis (or variations thereof), most of us wearing distinctly different, yet similar, plastic frame glasses, no "done" hair in sight. I became best friends with the checkout guy in 5 seconds. In addition to the heat-resistant (to 800F!) spatula for my friend (in pink, naturally), I picked up a book about tea for me. It was marked down to $7.99, but it rang up at $5.99--it was on a double sale, my new BFF the cashier told me! Blessing #2 from the Mall Gods.

Then, blissing out in the good shopping mall A/C, I had to stop by the bookstore because W&S, love it though I do, has no Jacques Pepin cookbooks, and what shower is complete without Fast Food My Way? Well, the Little Chain Bookstore (name still on the sign) was bought out by Big Chain Bookstore (name on the bags), and although normally this would make me sad, this Big Chain really is better than the Little Chain was, and besides which, I have a discount card for this Big Chain. So, Blessing #3 from the Mall Gods, Fast Food My Way was 30% off today, which wasn't even posted anywhere.

Dentist time!

*Yes, in fact I am wearing my favorite new hat right now as I type. No, it doesn't go with my red tee shirt. What's it to you?

Monday, July 23, 2007


I have an odd pain around the area of my right kidney. I can't tell whether it is muscular or organ pain, so I visited the doctor this morning, where we ruled out a dizzying array of maladies: pregnancy, gallstones, pneumonia, two possible kidney infections. It may still be another kidney infection or an ovarian cyst, however. My money is on the cyst. Been there before.

Ah, you precious little organs, all that can go wrong with you...It boggles the mind.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I Just Decided

I've been wondering whether Clinton of Obama should be my contender for '08. Been leaning toward Clinton, because she seems most qualified to me. Obama is a little too green. Does he have the fight? But then, I argued with myself, we need a relative outsider for real change.

I just read this Slate article about the Pentagon insulting Clinton, and I decided that she's the one for me. It's good. Go read it. Not too long.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This Test Is Freakishly Accurate.

Your Score: Sad Cookie Cat

67% Affectionate, 46% Excitable, 62% Hungry

You are the classic Shakespearian tragedy of the lolcat universe. The sad story of a baking a cookie, succumbing to gluttony, and in turn consuming the very cookie that was to be offered. Bad grammar ensues.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Thanks to Trifle.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Flavor of the Season

Each summer has its own mood. A lazy summer, a summer-love summer, a lonely, angsty summer, a beach summer, a carefree summer, a summer that whispers promises on shady breezes. Summer 2007 is kicking off as a crazy summer.

Two weekends ago we had my sister's graduation cookout-party all day Saturday. It was great fun, it was over an hours' drive. This is not inherently crazy until you factor in the teeming mass of chatterboxes we call my family. Take, for example, the act of getting up from the table to fetch a drink. I said, "I think I'll get a drink. Anyone want anything?" This led to a 3-minute conversation about how the table could use another chair. New plan: pick up extra chair, bring to table, get drink. I pushed up from the table, strode 3 steps across the deck, and ran into my dad's best friend, Roger. Roger and I talked for 10-15 minutes: how are his kids, how was his daughter's wedding, what his son, with whom I graduated from high school, is doing. My mom went by to get grandpa a drink; I mentioned I was about to bring an extra chair over. She handed me a chair, which remained in my hand as I talked to Roger. Mom went by again a few minutes later, grabbed the chair, brought it to my table. My dad came by to talk to Roger, and I escaped in search of thirst-quenching goodness. Two more steps, and there I was with Roger's wife, Beth, and my great-uncle, Ray. Another 10 minutes before I could disentangle myself and get to the coolers. Then there was getting back to my seat, which was a matter of reversing the process, but with different players. Later that day, I went inside to get my sister Chapstick and did not see her again for 40 minutes---having run into an aunt, uncle, and more friends of my parents---at which point she had found her own. A while after that, she went inside for playing cards and did not get back out for about half an hour. My husband passed her in the hallway, the cards dangling from her hand, talking to more relatives. G. was perplexed when were still at the party 2 hours after we'd agreed to leave. My dad pulled him aside and said, "There's something you should know, now that you're part of this family. You will never be able to leave until at least 45 minutes after you decide to go."

The next day was our anniversary, and we spent it in pretty seaside towns up the coast. We had a nice dinner. But boy were we tired. In between all the festivities, I was working my regular job, treating shiatsu clients, and planning to move my shiatsu office.

Then things got really crazy. I'd rather not get into all the gory details, but G's dad was embarking upon a happy second marriage, his wedding on July 7. I worked Monday and Tuesday after the graduation/anniversary weekend, G picked me up from work Tuesday night, and we drove straight to Connecticut, dodging accidents on the Mass Pike, to throw the mildest bachelor and bachelorette parties humankind has yet seen. Hartford rolls up the sidewalks at 9 PM sharp. Still, it was a loooong day for us, and then we spent the night at a Howard Johnson's. The next morning we drove to the town of our alma mater and ate lunch with good friends. I also found a wonderful oriental rug for ninety percent off, perfect for my new treatment room, which is spacious and well-located but poorly decorated. We were well but tired. We drove back home to spend Thursday in our place before returning to Connecticut Friday.

But not all was well beneath the surface. First, my friend in Florida emailed and said that she had a mysterious venomous bite on her neck that blurred her vision, but her acupuncturist's advice of applying warm compresses was helping tremendously. I wrote her back and strongly, strongly advised her to see an MD and not mess with this. Turns out she has no health insurance as a freelancer, and so can't afford it. I became (again) enraged at the joke of health care.

Oh but then we got a call. G's dad was in the ER. The day before his own wedding. Blood clot in the leg plus compartment syndrome. So we drove back down and had a hectic weekend between helping him and his bride at their home and the reception hall, and then back to the ER the morning after the wedding. The wedding itself was lovely and I only hope the groom will remember some of it through the haze of oxycontin and/or codeine. Then followed a harrowing week of him being in the hospital, getting surgery, and the hospital being a general ZOO and/or 3 ring circus of miscommunication. To the point where the new wife began keeping a log of every doctor's order so that she could call staff on it when they began giving him the wrong medication, oh yes. Fucking wankers, as I like to say. Lots of nervous phone calls and emails last week. But thankfully neither the hospital nor the clot killed my dear father-in-law, and as of this morning he is home and still temporarily drugged. And thankfully we did not have to return to Hartford and sleep at the HoJo's again this weekend, though I must admit it was a very clean and serviceable budget hotel. But I like my fancy mattress at home. It has memory foam and pocket coils. As a side note, if you're going to spend a lot of money on anything, a top-of-the-line mattress is an excellent choice. You spend a third of your life there. A good night's sleep is invaluable.

On top of all this there was some drama surrounding my current treatment room, which I'm thankful for in a strange way, because it reinforces my decision to leave.

So I worked at Day Job Mon-Thursday this week, and thankfully it was relatively drama-free, because I couldn't take much more action. Yesterday was also wicked busy, beginning with NIA class, and then shiatsu demos at a real estate office, and then a new--rather difficult-- shiatsu client, and then a trip to a farmer's market which was twice as far as we'd thought.

This morning I was exhausted and out-of-whack, still kind of tense from all the craziness, equilibrium not yet reached. But it's been a very therapeutic day, beginning with a shiatsu trade with a great practitioner whom I still can't believe likes to trade with me. Then G. and I went to a wonderful picnic-party with Italian food and mask making. This artist who makes amazing, astonishing masks opened his studio to us (and his wife is the amazing cook--her grandfather cooked for a king of Italy!). First we ate and chatted on the cool patio beneath a giant oak. Then we sat among his mythical, huge, beautiful masks--the sun and moon, a raven, Cyclopes, Bacchus, an Elder with a giant beard, dragons, lions, and on and on--and made our own humble creations with feathers, paint, pipe cleaners, sequins, and so forth. But each of us made an expressive, wonderful, unique mask, that was the coolest part. I was especially impressed with my own husband's mask, with the earnestness and concentration he brought to an activity he didn't initially think he would enjoy. Channeling perhaps some grad school angst, he glued gold rope in rows to look like the sticky, side-parted hair, and glued on a crazy mustache and beard of Easter basket grass: it was an amalgram of poorly-groomed professors and graduate students. He topped it off with silver pipe cleaner eyebrows angled a little too high and messily, just right for his character. I attached fake flowers and a teeny little parrot to a gold mask, creating something like a tourism mask for Puerto Rico, if you can picture such a thing. Two people used a cat mask base to create very different, wonderful felines. One woman made a lacy mask with devil horns of sparkly red pipe cleaner and a halo of sparkly silver pipe cleaner. Another woman took a mask covered with feathers and added some well-placed beads and sequins to make it her own Mardi Gras expression. It was very therapeutic, and somehow making these individual creations brought us together as a group.

Tomorrow, another cookout, this one a potluck at the home of my teacher who is recovering from cancer. (Oh yes, I also made a dessert for the potluck today.)

But tonight, a movie, I think.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Few Reasons It's Good To Be Home

  • My own schedule
  • Our own bed
  • Shower filter
  • Real soap
  • Conditioner
  • Eating regular food prepared at home
    • Including fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Tomorrow I will eat
      • Breakfast: blueberry smoothie, oatmeal, Earl Grey tea
      • Lunch: salami and provolone sandwich, tomato and basil salad
      • Snack: donut peach and pluot
        • No, I'm not sure what a pluot is or how it tastes, but I always have to try the new fruit at the market, to the distress of the cashier. Later this week I will try a velvet apricot, which is purple, unlike most apricots, which are apricot.
      • Dinner: cannellini beans with Swiss chard and a poached egg, according to a recipe from our new Lidia cookbook
  • Guaranteed tea when I want it
  • Two cats
    • Rather than seven
    • And they're ours
  • No dogs
    • I really don't enjoy dogs very much
  • Shiatsu practice in a period of growth
  • Lots of windows letting light in
  • Bright colors on the walls
  • Bloomfield: What's The Point

Friday, July 06, 2007

Some Reflections on the 4th

I have trouble being "patriotic", as I discussed with a dear friend in town from the other coast yesterday, because I have no clear conception of what "America" is. I'm a New Engander, and I would gladly defend my beloved fishing villages, mill towns, clam chowder, liberalism, and even Dunkin' Donuts and the local R-less dialect from threats by, say, Manhattanites*. But I have no idea what it means to love America, even if I can love Massachusetts.

We're too big. Wouldn't we be better off with a more Federalist set-up, independent states held loosely together by mutual respect? Or maybe we need a few "mega-state" regions, dividing up into New England, Mid-Atlantic, Dixie, Midwest, Southwest, West Coast, Yellowstone-Park-Touching-States? Make the cultural divides the political divides. I promise we in the Bay State will try to resolve our differences with New Hampshire if we don't have to deal with Alabama. Right?

I'd write more, but it is steamy and hot (in a bad way) in this little home office.

*A friend from Florida emailed me and asked if I ever read the New Yorker. Ha! I replied that it's not exactly a rivalry with New York, because we're so obviously superior, but no, I don't read the New Yorker.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Ah, I'm tired. Much activity, less sleeping.

I'll be moving my shiatsu space soon, to a better-trafficked location, but a room that is not quite as pretty. But I know the woman I rent from currently is having big! feuds! with the landlord! and, as if to confirm my decision, the hallway of that office flooded over the weekend. The carpet is soaked with what was once inside the air conditioner. Soaked. Didn't keep me from seeing a client Sunday, though.

Saturday was my sister's graduation party. Very fun. Nice weather for it, in the 70s and clear.

Sunday--yesterday--was our very first anniversary. We had a lovely day strolling by the shore and a wonderful dinner. Best quail I ever ate.

And on Saturday I received my registration packet on the Zen Buddhist retreat I'll be doing (or should I say, being) in August, led by the Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh. He is 78 years old and only visits the States every-other year, so I thought it best not to delay. It should be a difficult and wonderful week, and I'm looking forward to it.

This week brings my father-in-law's wedding. We'll be back and forth between home and Connecticut all week for the festivities. Looking forward to it--but already oh so tired. Toothpicks holding my eyes open.