Category Archives: rant

Miserable Melanie

My crazy aunt and homoscidal cousin are back here living with us again.  My happiness lasted for about a day and a half….

Damn hard day today was.

I had to go into work early for a client I never massaged before.  He was a man with a Groupon – he bought his massage from an online deal site and if I had one of my therapists massage him, it would’ve only cost me $3.

I pay my therapists $10 when they don’t have any clients, and $13 an hour for online deal clients (I know it sounds cheap, but we’re not massaging many deal clients anymore).

So, I went into work and saved myself $3.  I resented being there – I loathed it.  I was only there because of a technical malfunction.  He was a big black man with thick dreads and he kept his shorts on so I couldn’t massage anything above the knee (because his shorts were in the way), he didn’t want to put his head in the face cradle which made it hard for me to massage his neck and shoulders – and he wanted his abdomen massaged.  His thick dreads got in the way of massaging his neck.  Basically it sucked.  He was really nice though…

When the 60-minutes were up and I told him his massage was over, he looked up at me and said, “I thought I had 90 minutes?”

I’m the one who booked the appointment and there was no mention of it being 90-minutes.

Damn.  I massaged him all over again in a half-hour.  He liked it though, so that’s what’s important.

I worked a lot this week and kept reminding myself that starting next week, my new therapist will work Tuesdays and Wednesdays for me.  I’ll be free.  I always think I’ll be free, but no matter how many therapists I got working for me, I seem to always get booked.

I went home after massaging Mr. Dreadlocks and watched some TV and tried to relax without letting my crazy aunt and cousin eat at me little by little with running water and weird OCD grunts and my aunt saying “I love you, I’ll be right there” to her 45 year old son plugging up his ears and humming to himself – no he has no mental retardation.

“I can’t do this.  I can’t do this.”  I opened my laptop to look at apartments.

“20 more members.  I need 20 more members and I can afford one.”

I started going crazy.  Members.  All I could think about were members.  I need I need, I want I want.  I started spiraling into that dark place of hopelessness.  My whole world revolving around members.

“I need to pay my debt first.  I need more members to pay off my debt.”

“I’m stuck.  I’m stuck here.”

I closed my laptop and took a deep breath and thanked the lord I was going to Thailand.  I thanked the lord for giving me 128 members.  I thanked my new therapist who’ll be taking over Tuesdays and Wednesdays for me.  Thank you thank you thank you!

I went back to work for my last two clients.  One of whom being one of my favorite people to massage.  I made a full recovery out of the spiraling darkness.  How the hell do I do that?  My resilience never ceases to amaze me – seriously!

But then I got smacked in the gut hard with a dagger of a fist.

My new therapist:  “I have to tell you something and it’s not good news, but not horrible either.”

Me:  “Are you pregnant?”

Before she responded to that, I braced myself and remembered to remain calm.  Breathe, just breathe Mel.  Is asking an employee if they’re pregnant considered sexual harassment?  Probably.

New therapist:  “No, I got offered another job with benefits at a hospital and I need to cut my hours.  I can only work Tuesdays starting on the first.”

Me:  “Oh….”

New therapist:  “I feel bad because I asked for all those new hours.”

Is that why you feel bad?  You don’t feel bad because you’re only giving me a weeks notice and I’m going to freaking Thailand in two weeks?!

I didn’t say that, but I was screaming it in my head.  On the exterior, I was calm and understanding.

No no no no oh please god no no no no.

As soon as she left, I went on the schedule and blocked her shifts off before anyone else can book with her online.  Of course she had clients booked up until Dec 22, of course.  And of course she works Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – why wouldn’t she?  Without her here, I’ll only have one therapist working weeknights for all of December while I’m in Thailand.  And we are BUSY.  We’re actually doing phenomenal here as far as clients and money goes – this month felt like a gift from god monetary wise.  But money means nothing if clients aren’t happy.

“I have to find someone ASAP ASAP!”

I went on zip recruiter to repost my job ad, but my initiation price expired and the price they wanted went up to $100 a month.  WTF zip recruiter?

I grabbed my old pile of job applicants and sifted through them instead.

“no, no, definitely not her, eh, nah, wait who’s this?  Oh yes!  Oh please oh please god….”

I found an application from a girl who applied here in April when we first opened.  I loved her and wanted to hire her but I held back because she didn’t seem confident enough.

I rolled my chair back over to the desktop and typed her up a pleading email.  Well, not horribly pleading, but pleading enough.  I sent it.

I waited 5 minutes.  I waited 10 minutes.  I was just staring at the computer screen.

“That’s all I can do.  I can’t do anything else about it tonight so I should just go home.”

But I didn’t go home, no.  I texted her instead.  She replied with:

IMG_2127

 

And once again, I made a full recovery back into feeling fantastic.  She’s willing to put in her two weeks at her other job tomorrow.  Words can’t explain how thankful I am.

The girl who cut her hours, honestly I didn’t think much of her anyway.  She’s one of those athletic types, you know what I mean?  Running, lifting, drinking kerotine or whatever it’s called.  I don’t get it.  I’m not saying she’s a bad person, just one of those types who have absolutely nothing in common with me.  It’s always the athletic type that I have the least in common with.  It’s weird because I really like karate and I run to my car in parking lots.

The person I have the most in common with?  My 22 year old puerto rican male therapist.  I adore him!  He ran track in high school, but he did it for fun because he thought he was the fasted kid ever.  We discuss video games and how much we don’t like dating.  And he has a true bona-fide love for people just like I do.  I can see it just by the way he treats people – he really cares.  He treats old people with genuine kindness.  Not to mention he’s a goldmine as far as clients re-booking with him goes.

Male therapist:  “We’re like the same person you and me, it’s scary.”

Me:  “Ha ha, I know!”

This new girl I’m hiring, I feel like she’ll be a narcissistic supply for me, you know what I mean?  One of those people who feeds ego’s.  All my other employee’s make me feel good about myself, sure, but then you meet someone who looks up to you and they hang on your every word more so than normal.  It’s not about love, but admiration and inferiority.

When something inspires you, it’s because you want to find that same hidden gift inside yourself.  It’s not real love, but a key.  Once that lock is opened, the love for the thing that once inspired you is gone and you’re left with nothing but love for yourself.  I know this is true, trust me.

And once you’ve opened the gift inside yourself, you want to keep it by never returning the power back to its source, so you push the original owner of the key down into inferiority.  Gaining power is what happens.  Stupid ego…

This is why celebrity gossip can crush a career.  Why oceans of people can tear a person down who once stood so high.  If celebrities, politicians, or any type of leader can make a mistake, that means they’re no better than the rest of us.  All their greatness gets transferred over to the people judging them.   It’s inspiring to know that great people are no better than the rest, so we keep the offenders far below our stilettos until we get inspired by a new target that is far more superior than anyone who has ever lived in our lifetime!  And then of course, ruthlessly crush them when they fail.

Martyr’s…I guess it’s part of our evolutionary process.

Truthfully, ego-feeders annoy me because of this.  But they have no idea what’s going on, so they can’t help it.

Whenever I’m admired I always I have the thought in my head, “find your own, don’t take mine.”  Because that’s what it feels like.  It feels like taking someone else’s gold nuggets without bothering to find your own.

I end up sounding rude, impatient, or being in a generally bad mood.

It’s a good thing I don’t have many admirers.  It’s a shitty thing to be admired.

 

 

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An update on my business. You can skip this post.

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed b...

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed by Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, is arguably Tolkien’s best known elf. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh God blog…..

I can’t seem to catch up to anything.  My thoughts, my debt, my job, my life.

I got back from Ecuador, hmmm, when did I get back?  Three days ago?  Four?  My suitcase is still laying where I left it before slipping into bed after a long two weeks.  An awesome two weeks.

I have no time to unpack just like I have no time to write.  I’m laying in filth which I call my bedroom.  

Destroyed since my brother decided to go on a cleaning spree while I was away and threw a bunch of my old stuff in my room in order to “clean” his area of the house.  A guitar, old mail, storage containers, a life-size cardboard cut-out of Legolas from Lord of the Rings (don’t ask).

I gave one of my employee’s more hours.  Two extra shifts hoping that will free up some space.  So I don’t have to work so much.  But it seems like no matter how many hours I give my employee’s, I’m still fully booked from 11-8 six days a week.  Mornings and nights, before and after work, I find myself working still.

I need one more employee.  Just one more.  To take this burden away.  But I haven’t done the math yet.  I have yet to do the math to figure out if or when I can hire another.  All the numbers are there from last month – how much I made, how much I paid, my projected income for the months ahead – it’s all there.

But instead of pouring over the numbers, I’m writing this blurb.  A blurb that tells you absolutely nothing about anything of real importance.

It’s like having a lump of upset in your throat, only it’s in the pit of my stomach.  A tightening, a sort of wrenching feeling of constipation, only I’m not constipated (I ate so much freaking papaya).  My heart is beating so fast.

Oh God blog….

I’ve sold 74 memberships so far.  I need to do last months numbers to figure out how many more I need to sell in order for me to start breaking even every month.  But it’s a catch-22.  From every angle, it’s a catch-22.

If I continue having all these clients, giving shitty massages because I’m so damn worn out, I’ll never sell more than 74 – who would want to get a monthly shitty massage from me?  Not to mention I can’t get myself out there to market my business whilst I’m busy giving shitty massages all day.

Solution?  Hire another therapist.  Catch-22?  I can’t hire another therapist until I can make sure I can afford them.  I can make sure I can afford them by selling more memberships.

And the members that I DO have, I’ve promised them easy bookings.  They can get in whenever they want whether it be short notice or not.

I’m not keeping this promise.  All of us are completely booked solid for the next seven days.  There are five of us!  What members are going to want to stay if they can’t get in?

We have 550 online deals still circulating out there.  Once they get redeemed, we’ll have more space.

There’s always some kind of crunch to go through, you know what I mean?  Two months ago I was going through the online deal crunch – groupon debt.  This month I’m going through an entirely different crunch.  74 monthly members need to be able to conveniently schedule with us at the same time we’re redeeming all those stupid online deals.  Member clients make up 90% of our income (I’m not making anymore from the online deals), so they are priority, however, I need those online deal clients to sell more memberships (not to mention to keep my employee’s booked).  Catch-22.

And I’m drowning in skin, lotion, limp bodies, back and neck pain, sore legs, empty stomach, no sleep, stress.

Crunch…..

I need to do those numbers.  I need another therapist.  I haven’t been eating away into my personal line of credit yet, in fact, I paid half of it off leaving me with a remaining $4,500 of debt.  The only thing that could bring me into borrowing money again is a new hire – it’s the only thing that can tilt the scale.

But if I allow myself to borrow again, will I eventually be able to pay it off once we sell more memberships?  How long will it take to sell enough memberships until I can stop borrowing?

Oh.  My.  God.  Blog.

Growth seems to happen on a gamble.  Although, I don’t like to think of it as a gamble, but an investment.  We plant crops on a gamble hoping they’ll grow.  If we don’t plant, there will be no growth and where there is no growth, we find ourselves scrambling to the nearest wild berry brush, gnawing on cattails and grubs.  Always starving.

Do I start planting or start preparing for a hard winter?  Catch-22…..

Ayahuasca told me she will give to me as long as I give to her.  The more I drink, purge, let go, surrender, don’t slink away into control and darkness – she will show me everything that I’m ready to understand.  If only I give to her everything I have.  My heart, my curiosity, my strength.  I’ll get it all back.

How much faith do I have?

I go through this every time I hire someone new.  A period of torment.  And after each new hire I always exhale and say to myself “now I can relax.  Now I won’t need to work so much.”  And each time I’m wrong.

Shit I need to sleep.  Sorry for these types of posts.  They are mainly for myself so I can record my progress.

I’ll write about my trip to Ecuador after I crunch those numbers.  My next post I’ll tell you exactly how much I make and what I pay each month.  As of now I don’t know if I’m plus or minus.  Literally no idea.

Monday.  I’ll figure it all out on Monday.

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My Brother’s using my laundry detergent

I’m almost sure he is.  Not only that, but my toothpaste too.

He has the tendency to fall asleep during a movie and the menu screen pops up and plays the same theme music over and over again.  Very loud mind you.

We both live downstairs in my parents split level house.  I have my own enclosed bedroom, while he sleeps on the couch without any real privacy. The place is a sty.

Two nights ago I woke up to the loud repeating theme music playing on the DVD’s title screen.  I couldn’t fall back to sleep with it on.  So I got up, opened my bedroom door and caught him in the act of “cuddling” his girlfriend.  I didn’t care.  I went right over to the TV and shut the damn thing off.

Not to mention there’s never any hot water anymore.

I’m sitting here in my stink hole office feeling thankful that my first client never showed.  My brain is still on autopilot.  I have no time to delve into deep thought.  My cheese is sliding off it’s cracker.

But him using my laundry detergent really irks me.  I need it to wash sheets everyday.  And the other day when I told him I needed to take a shower, he put a load of wash in and set it to warm/cold.

“But there’s no hot water for me!”

“This laundry needs to get done.”

I needed to be at work in an hour.

I switched it on cold/cold the first chance I got.  There was no warm water anyway!

I blocked yesterday off so I could focus on my new office.  I ran around from one store to the next, and stayed at the new office until 8:30 at night – when my stomach could no longer contain its hunger.  And I’m still not done.

I’m so close.  Sheets need to go in the cabinets, lotion bottles need to be filled.  I need to set up my Kuerig, unroll a rug I bought from Ikea, move a bench from my old office into the new.  Mount mirrors in each room, write up a cheat sheet so my employee’s can learn how to book appointments online and oh yeah, hire employee’s.

I can’t do anything while I’m here in this stink hole waiting for clients.

My excitement manifests into frustration whenever I can’t have my way immediately.  I have no patience.

And I’m sick on top of everything.  My phone won’t stop ringing.  Some weird guy just called asking about massages.

My blog will duly suck for the time being.  I must end this post.

 

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Snags

I severed my phone line.  Yes I did.  I chopped it down and threw away the cord.  Why?  Because the last business that occupied my space was a telemarketing company.  There were wires everywhere!  Climbing up the walls and out of mouse holes.  Hanging everywhere like cobwebs.

I went crazy and sliced them all down.  I filled the small dumpster out back with gobs of unused cables.

When I was done, I trudged back into my office like the little soldier that I am and glanced at my office phone.  NO LINE shown on its display.

“Shit.  Oh no come on.  Shit!”

I sat and I pouted.  Too tired and defeated to move.  Too depressed, too overcome with debt, with doubt, with overwhelm.

“What am I even doing here.”

I went home and slept.  I slept until I woke up today at noon.  Still tired, still without energy.  And I called the phone company.  AT&T.

I hate automated answering services.

“This is an automated service.  You can talk to me like a real person.  Please state your problem.”

Me – “I want to talk to a real person.”

“You can talk to me just like a real person.  Please state your problem.”

After about an hour of getting transferred to talk to more robots, and getting hung up on because – “We’re sorry we’re having trouble understanding you.  Please try again later,” I finally been directed to a live person.

Live person – “That number shows up as SNET New England.  It’s different from us.”

Me – “Okay, so I’m not with AT&T then?”

Live person – “It says here you’re with SNET, sorry.  I can’t help you.”

And I was at ground zero again.  This time worse than before.  All the SNET websites out there directed me to AT&T.  They directed me to the same number as before.

And so I called the same number as I did five times previous and got the same talking robot that walked me through the questions I already answered numerous times before.  Only this time, I answered one question differently and was directed to a live person.

“Thank God!”

I told her I severed my phone line.  She told me someone will look at it tomorrow.

“Will I need to be there?”

Her – “No.”

She gave me a ticket number and ended the call.

“But it’s not outside, it’s inside.  Why didn’t she ask me where the phone line was cut?”

Five minutes later another woman from AT&T called and asked me just that.  Where the problem was.  I explained everything.

“This is why we’re here.  Don’t worry, we’ll take care of everything.  The same thing happened to me actually.  Someone will be there tomorrow.”

“Would you be able to have them call me before they come?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you thank you thank you.”

She felt like an angel.  An angel that came to rescue me in my darkest hour.

I had one client today at my other office.  I don’t want to work anymore.  I don’t want my life to be taken over with massaging people over and over again.  Who in their right mind likes this?  Who?

It’s 7:45PM and I should head home.  It was so nice out today and I missed it.  I missed it because I was on the phone with AT&T for most of the day, then had to give a massage.

Life is too short for this.  It goes by way too fast.  My client even told me this.  She’s turning 60 and can’t get over how fast life happens.

Client – “This is sad to say, but I would’ve been happier if I never had kids.”

That comment is besides the point, but just thought I’d share.  I mean shit, right?

All I need is a few more months to stabilize and everything will be okay.  Just a few more months.  It’ll be worth it.  I’ve technically been waiting my whole life for something like this.

The thing I haven’t been waiting for?  Having kids.

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Following my unexplored heart

Life is certainly bizarre.  I could’ve settled into my one-room office doing everything myself, building a 401K, paying off my bills, eventually saving enough for a house.  Get married, double my income, pop out a few kids.

But instead I’m choosing the scarier, more unexplored option by following my heart.

I would’ve been miserable in that other, more stagnant life.  I know what I want, and I don’t want that.

Anytime a person follows their heart, it moves them towards progress.  And while in the act of progressing, you WILL suffer.  It’s all part of the game.  It’s all part of growth.  The suffering that takes place is all done in your own mind.  A rewiring of old beliefs to make room for the new.  You’ll doubt yourself, worry, suffer loss.  Any type of change you face, has to do with also facing some type of loss.

It’s the loss that makes you suffer.

I’m losing the ground beneath my feet and investing everything I have into following my heart.  And I’m doing it all without a mentor, a guide, a Dumbledore to tell me what to do.

Do you have any idea how much an employee actually costs?

I have to pay:

  1. Employer portion of Social Security tax
  2. Employer portion of Medicare tax
  3. State unemployment tax
  4. Federal unemployment tax
  5. Worker compensation insurance

Plus I still have to figure out about liability insurance.  Massage therapists come equipped with their own, but I’m not sure if I need more.  I can’t find this information anywhere!  And I searched my towns website for a general business license, but I can’t figure out how to get my hands on one.  Maybe I don’t need one?  Legal Zoom has a company that says they can get me one for $100, but they might be scammers.  Legal Zoom also offered to obtain an EIN for me for $79, even though it’s free and easy to do yourself.  Research such as this is the stuff I have to learn on my own.  And it’s time consuming.

Before I buy anything, I always do my research.  Just as I did while hunting for a new car.

When I get home from work today, I have to sign my business up with federal unemployment tax and workmen’s comp.  Tomorrow I have a Spa Booker online training seminar at 3:00 and the phone and internet guys are scheduled to come to the office between 1:00 – 3:00.  I have four applicants waiting to hear back from me, a shit ton of Ikea crap that needs to be put together.  My new website has yet to be built.

My deadline is March 31.  If I can be done by March 31, I can leave my old office.  Once I’m moved into my new office and my clients start going there instead, I’ll be somewhat settled.  The transition will near its completion.

I was a live wire of emotion yesterday.  Any cruel look or comment could’ve sent me into a crying frenzy.  Mostly from the Facebook haters.  They really did a number on me.  It’s insane how cruel and hopeless the world feels after getting the shit kicked out of you by 70 plus people.  How everything, and everyone feels mean.  It’s something darker than depression, it’s fear.

And today I feel fine.  I’m back to my old self.

I asked my brother yesterday – “Do you need liability insurance for your workers?”

My brother – “Ha ha I hope you have a lawyer.  Do you have a lawyer?  I paid my lawyer 10 grand last year.  Yes you need insurance and it costs a LOT.”

Me – “Can you help me?  Do you have the name of the guy you use?”

Him – “Sorry, you’re on your own.”

He was back to his phone.

My brother was preoccupied with his phone all while I was trying to talk to him.  He was laughing and saying funny things as usual.

Him – “No ain’t going to help you.  You’re moving in here and taking my business away.  No way.”

Me – “You’re kidding, right?  You must be kidding.”

I literally felt the tears welling up.

Me – “I would help you if you were me.  You really won’t help me?”

Him – “Yeah, I’ll help you.  But I’m still going to spread rumors that your place has maggots.”

I felt a 100 pound weight lift from me when he said that.  I’m not joking when I say I was a live wire of emotion yesterday.  Even though he was having a go at me, I still wanted to cry.  It felt like not only did Facebook people hate me, but my brother hated me as well.

I’m insanely sensitive at times.  Times when I feel not together, when I feel there’s too much that needs to be done and nowhere and no resources to pull from.  It’s like finding myself stranded at the bottom of the ocean with half a tank of oxygen left and no strength to swim up.  I can’t swim up because it’s hopeless and I won’t make it out in time.

But then I bounce back.  Like today.  I’m perfectly fine and have my head back.  Thank God for my resilience.  Maybe my resilience comes from never wanting to give up and lose hope.  I can get through and get over anything because I never give up.  My heart always leads me, and I trust it.

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I’m being chased with pitchforks and torches by an angry mob of Facebookers. Just another regular day in the life of Mel.

“Get a massage by me and find out if you’re an alien!”

This was posted on a billboard for my new massage clinic.  Directly in front of my building.  It even depicted a green alien holding up a peace sign.

“What a great idea!”  I thought to myself.  “People can finally find out if they’re aliens by getting a massage from me.  It’s brilliant!”

Then I woke up.

“Is this really a good idea or was it only a good idea in my dream?”  This was my first thought of today.

Nope, only in my dream.  Damn, it sounded really good.

Today was hard.  First item of the day was to contact Spa Booker for my new online scheduling system.  I’m taking a big hit financially by signing up with them, but the perks of their software are worth it.  I won’t bore you with the details, only that they are fantastic.

The financial hit with Spa Booker sent me into another panic mode frenzy.

“Shit I’m screwed if this doesn’t work.  I don’t even have employee’s yet!”

I freaked and started posting jobs to various sites.  I even posted a job to Massage Nerd, a Facebook support group.  And got shunned.

I’m using Massage Envy’s business structure as my own, and this is the first thing that people spotted about my Facebook ad.  They read between the lines into who I really am – someone looking to profit from another persons hard work.  Duh!  Isn’t that the point of employee’s?

Most massage therapists hate massage chains.  They are the McDonalds of massage, only instead of cheap burgers, I’m selling the same quality burger you’d find anywhere, only cheaper and easier to book with.  They are easier to book with because they hire employee’s to sit there for an hourly wage, take walk-in clients, and are readily available instead of other clinics that have to hunt down their on-call therapists (most of whom ignore the call).

It’s so bizarre when first coming into view of these two clashing worlds.  Therapists who want to massage people for a living, work from home or in their own office to make a modest profit.  They like their job.  They like what they do.

But then there are people like me, the people who view the massage industry differently.  For us, it’s not a way of life, but a profession.  A paid occupation.  It’s a tool to profit from.  I can’t escape the gnawing dread of breaking an arm, or getting a nasty gash on my hand.  If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  Something must be done about this.  How are others not seeing this?

And so, I’m using Massage Envy as a base model.  Their system is proven to work.

I’m a person that massage therapists hate.  I am a hated person.  Shit.

They hate me because I lower their value, I lower their worth.  It’s all an ego thing with them and they can’t see it!

When someone offends you, it’s because you feel they lowered your worth.  They take things personally.  I shrug my shoulders at everything, but what scares me most right now is that I want to laugh at all the haters.  I have this bubble of laughter in my gut just waiting to explode.

This is not good.  Why do I want to laugh?  These people commenting on my Facebook ad, many of them shunning me with torches and pitchforks, and here I am wanting to laugh at them.  Is it my egoic baser survival instinct kicking on to block all hate?  Or do I see the true nature of the situation and find it comical?  I feel like I’m the older sibling holding a kicking screaming child by their head while their flailing arms and legs aren’t long enough to reach me.  Their fighting makes me laugh.

Am I a sociopath because of this?  No no, I can’t be.  Right?

Anyway, it’s a few hours later and my Facebook ad got well over 90 discriminating comments.  Okay, not all discriminating.  Half of them are for me, while the other half is spewing vile discharge out of their anuses.  Did you know that synthetic vanilla flavoring comes from beaver anal discharge?  Neither did I.

I received my first legitimate response to my help wanted ad from a reputable job search engine, and a woman on Facebook wants to work for me per diem.  Sorry per diem lady, I need stability.

It felt like a half dozen sparrows encased my heart in silk ribbons and lifted it high into the air when I saw her resume in my inbox.

Yes!  Score.  This will work.  This will work.  Eat it Facebook turds.

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How to neurotically shop for a used car

I think I’m a freak or something.

After writing my last post, I searched for cars online.

“Where do I start?  How the hell do I do this?”

My brother – “Just look on consumer reports for reliable cars or something.”

That was the extent of all the help I received.

I did as advised, and ended up on J.D Power.com.  It gives a list of car ratings.  Then I found myself on thecarconnection.com, which also gives ratings.

One site awarded a car, while the other deemed it un-driveable.

Me – “Shit.”

Honda civic received good marks on both sites, so I searched a few websites to see how much they go for.

I looked on autotrader.com, eBay motors, car guru’s, and honda dealerships.  All of which were over my price bracket.

Me – “Maybe I should just buy one on craigs list….”

The thing is, I hate spending money.  I hate gambling money, is more like it.  Craigs list is a gamble.

Buying a used car by owner makes my stomach twist.  My first two cars were sold by owners and both of them were pieces of shit.

The cars people normally sell are either too old, too expensive, or have high mileage (possibly all three).  Spending $3,000 on a 13-year-old car not under warranty with over 80,000 miles on it, won’t last you as long as an $11,000 3-year-old certified car with 40,000 miles and offering free lifetime oil changes.  I mean, right?  Which one makes more sense?  Which is less of a gamble?

These questions sent me into hyperdrive anxiety.  I still have hyperdrive anxiety and it’s nearly 24 hours after writing my last post.

Wow I’m completely neurotic.

I stayed up until 7AM this morning searching for cars.  Twice I had given up and closed my laptop to try to sleep, but I can’t sleep when I need to decide on something.

It’s now 9PM and I found a total of three cars that meet my criteria.  Three.  Only three!

All three are certified vehicles, they’re ranked high in dependability, good on gas, priced below $12,000 (which is a stretch), and in driving range from my house.

2010 Toyota Yaris for $10,900 with 49,310 miles

2011 Nissan Versa for $11,950 with 33,317 miles

2012 Nissan Cube for $10,980 with 39,219 miles

Out of the hundreds of cars I looked at, it comes down to these three.  I’m going to look at the Yaris tomorrow.  The Cube is a much better deal, so I’ll have to check that one out too.

I still can’t believe that these are my only options.  Not my TOP choices, but my only choices.  Am I being neurotic?

Here is my step by step guide on how to shop for a car the neurotic way:

1)  Know your price limit!

2)  Peruse www.thecarconnection.com for the highest ranked cars.

3)  Write them down.

4)  Search auto trader, eBay motors, and car guru’s to see if these cars are in your price range.  Car guru’s is great for this because they tell you if a car is priced too low or too high.

5)  Write everything down.  Take notes!

6) Look at their ratings on www.thecarconnection.com and http://autos.jdpower.com to compare reviews.

7)  Notice how both rating sites give opposing opinions.

8)  Read real costumer reviews and watch YouTube reviews (if available).

9)  Write down (or cross off) the remaining cars that passed with over-all positive marks.

10)  Look on auto trader, eBay motors, and car guru to find these cars in your area.

11)  Notice how none of them are in your area, but you find another car on eBay motors that you might like.

12)  Search for that car on www.thecarconnection.com and compare their rating with http://autos.jdpower.com

13)  Watch YouTube video’s of that car.

14)  Read real owner reviews of that car.

15)  Notice how half of them are bad.

16)  Look on auto trader, eBay motors, and car guru with another $1000 added to your price range.

17)  Find a car that meets your criteria.

18)  Repeat steps 5 – 10.

19)  Oh and try to avoid tunnel vision.  Tunnel vision happens when you fall in love with a car solely on looks or superfluous hype.  If someone should talk against this car, you will get exceedingly angry for no real reason.  That’s how you’ll know if you have tunnel vision.

After 15 hours with no sleep, it’s a universal law that you will end up with approximately three probable cars in your area to choose from.

This is only true if your search depends on these 6 prerequisites:  certified vehicle, ranked high in dependability, good on gas, priced below $12,000, 2010 or younger, and in driving range from your house.

Oh no, I’m looking on craigs list again….

Certified cars are better, right?  I mean logically, I’m spending less over time, right?  I need a valium.

I don’t have valium, so I taken the poor mans valerian root pill.

Holy shit I just realized that this is the first time I’m actually buying a car.

I paid $300 for my first one (my dad knew a guy), and nothing for the following two.

I hope I sleep tonight.

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Here’s some more stuff that I think about

Man-o-man I’m tired.  I went out last night playing cards and drinking beer over a friends house.  My one drink maximum turned into several and I ended up going home at 1:30 AM.

I have to stop doing this.  I have no control.  If you knew me in person, you would understand this about me.  I’m not embellishing.

I’m in work waiting for my next client to get here.  Lucky for me I only have to give two massages today, and then I get to go home and nap for as long as my phone allows.  But you’re not going to let me nap, are you blog?

“Ha!  Napping’s for suckers with binky’s.”

You’re a sucker with a binky!

“Pfff, pansy.”

Anyway, on Christmas I stumbled upon another insight.  Only this time, it wasn’t handed down to me by the almighty “knowing” power that’s out there.  No, I actually used my brain for this one.

It has to do with people who think they’re “too good” for others.  They use the excuse, “well, we just don’t have anything in common”, as their main reasoning.

There are several people I know who told me that they’re either “too good” for someone, or that they have nothing in common with them (most of the time both).  They say this about friends they’ve known for years.  They say it about people who care about them.

And the people who say these things are either divorced or going through a separation.

“Where’s the connection?”  I thought to myself.  “Do they just not want to get hurt again?”

“No, it’s not that simple.”

I’ll use crazy John as an example for this.  He’s the guy I wrote about in my last post.  He’s the guy who felt that he was too good for everyone and dismissed us all by saying we’re all crazy.

Here is what my analytic brain came up with:

John is divorced with two kids.  His wife left him, and not the other way around.  This left a scar on him.  It left the scar of rejection and of not feeling like he was enough for his wife.  He feels not good enough for the person he cares most about.

If John believes he’s not good enough, and agree’s with his ex-wife, then the people in his life who actually do care, won’t be good enough for him.  They’re not good enough because he’s not good enough for himself.

Oh man how can I explain this better?  I said it perfectly in my head on Christmas.

Basically, the only people who are good enough for him, are the one’s who don’t actually care about him.  They’re more valuable to him because he has yet to win their approval and respect.  If he can somehow win their approval, than maybe he can win his wife’s approval too (hence, regaining his power).  But it has to be won by a woman (or man, or people) more attractive, and overall more awesome than his wife.

Anything less will not count.

And because he doesn’t think of himself as being enough, he brags and boasts about his riches to prove that he is enough.  Also, he is undeniably jealous of anyone who is successful and happy.  He’s jealous because he believes (subconsciously) that he can’t have what they have.

His belief in himself was taken away.  No belief = jealousy.  Jealousy = narcissism.

Okay, here’s another way of looking at it;  John misses his wife and nobody can fill the void she left in him.  And because nobody can fill that void, nobody is good enough for him.

I said it better in my head at Christmas.

My next client is going to be 17 minutes late.

John – “I’m a VP in Manhattan and I have money and the life that goes with it.  If you want that life, than give me a call.  That’s all I’m saying.”

Me – “Sometimes it’s not about the life.  It’s about the person.”

(That was an actual discussion we had – it happened after he circled around and I lost him to his ego again.)

I think this is where the initial urge comes from.  The urge for validation that happens when you don’t believe or have faith in yourself.  It all starts with a separation of someone who once approved of you.  They stole your power and left you with nothing.

John’s father and his ex-wife left him powerless.

Gah my last client tried ripping me off!

Me – “Is this a half hour massage?”

I like to double check to cover all my bases.

Him – “That’s right.”

Me – “Since it’s only a half hour, do you want me to just focus on your upper body?”

Him – “No, I like it all over and with a little extra focus on the feet.”

Me – “Okay.”

(I was pissed.  It’s nearly impossible to do this in 30 minutes.)

Him – “Can I make it an hour if the half hour isn’t enough?  I just don’t know if I can do an hour just yet because I’m running an ad.”

Scam!  You are a total scammer!  First off, you were 20 minutes late, you’re calmly chatting with me while in no rush.  Time is obviously no issue for you.  Your phone is in your bag turned off.

Me – “Yeah, that’s fine.”

HIm – “How much is a half hour?”

Me – “$35.”

Him – “And how much for the hour?”

Me – “$70.”

Him – “Okay, is it okay if I use the bathroom first?”

Me – “Sure.”

He was trying to get me to give him a full hour massage without having to pay for it.  I know this scam.  Most of the time it happens inadvertently, very few times has it actually happened on purpose (with a scammer).

I gave him exactly 30 minutes and managed to massage the full body.

Me – “Sorry, it goes by fast.”

HIm – “So if I get the hour, would you just go over everything like you just did?”

Me – “That’s the hard part.  It’s hard giving a massage when I don’t know how much time I have to give it in.”

Him – “Oh, okay.  I’ll get the full hour next time.”

Then of course, he asked me out.  He asked me out because if he couldn’t score a full hour massage for half the price, then at least he can score a date.  I felt it in my guts what was happening.

Me – “Oh, no….no thanks….”

I was too tired to be nice.  I didn’t care at that point.

So anyways, it’s already almost 5 PM and I’m still sitting here at work.  So much for my nap.

I’m really not a hard, cold person.  I may sound like I am, but I only sound like it because I see through people.  I see through everyone and it sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I have an incredible insight into the inner workings of people.  I am NOT boasting here.  It’s just that I can’t be fooled by anyone.  I know people better than they know themselves because I’m an outside viewer not emotionally entangled in their ego illusion.  Their beliefs aren’t my own.

Ego connects as much as it separates us from each other.  Compassion happens when you see this happening.  Compassion is not the love you think it is, which is why I want to write about it in my next post.  Our literal definition of compassion doesn’t sit well with me.  It manages to be both vague and narrow (I know that doesn’t make much sense).

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Get Enrolled!

This is a government ad with federal funding aimed at getting gay people to enroll in Obama Care.  Oh man oh man.

Let me take a dramatic pause of confusion.

Is this real or a spoof?  It’s real my friends.  Our government thinks that all gay people are men who walk around naked with six-pack abs and a pretty face.

If this ad is for both gay’s and lesbians, then where’s the butch lesbian in dockers and flannels (since we’re getting into stereotypes)?  Is she out chopping wood for the fire?  Or chopping down a christmas tree for the gay men to prance around and decorate?  Where’s baby Jesus?  Can baby Jesus enroll in Obama Care too?

Would you let your children watch this?

I’m all for Obama Care, don’t get me wrong.  And I like gay people just about as much as I like any person.  But pa-lease ladies, America ain’t no Province town.

I’m one of the few people that will benefit from Obama Care.  That’s the only reason I’m for it.  Unfortunately nobody realizes this yet, but when Obama Care patients get old and need hip replacements and cancer treatments, the government won’t be able to afford to help everyone.  There will be an age limit to determine who’s worth helping.  There is a price for everything and someone will pay.

The real problem lies with how much the hospital charges for a box of tissue’s.  MRI’s are $300 everywhere else in the world, but here in the states, they cost $1,000.  And don’t get me started on prescribed medication.  Old folks have to stock up when visiting Canada, or order online from India and pray their heart medication isn’t a sugar pill.

As soon as I get Obama Care, I plan on taking as much advantage as I can from it.  How long will this last?  Someone’s going to pay and it will be the old folks and the corporations paying the fine because it’s cheaper to pay the fine than it is to enroll.  And anyone stuck with good old-fashioned insurance, they’ll pay too!

It’s a bad idea and I knew it from day one.  But hey, cheap insurance for me suckers!

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Why I Don’t Date: Part Two

Damn I hate being right all the time.

The guy I wrote about in my last post, the guy I’m seeing, I was right about everything.

My gut was telling me that he was after two things and two things only:

He wanted sex, which is natural and okay (I never judge a guy for wanting this), but what he really wanted more than sex was validation.  And since sex is tied in with validation, he’d be one of those guys to hit it and quit it.  Sleep with a girl and not call them back the next day.

Why?  Because he doesn’t really like or care about me.  Liking or caring about someone would be too much effort – he would need to either trust the person he cares about, or entrap them into needing/ becoming dependent on him.  He’s one of those guys who has no trust (read my last post).  And where there is no trust, any relationship would be too difficult, too painful and not worth the effort.

I never slept with him, I never gave him the validation he wanted by begging him not to move away, and so he blew me off yesterday.  He blew off the girl whose kisses left him supposedly “flustered” and “breathless”.

“Oh wow, ha ha, I haven’t felt this way since high school.”  He said after kissing me and making “whoa” sounds.  He had to take a step back to “collect” himself.

“You’re full of shit.”  I thought to myself.

He wanted me to take my massage table and bring it to his apartment yesterday.  He was going to pay me to give him a massage at his house.  My empathy felt that he was going to transition it to sex.  It’s not just empathy that can read between the lines, it’s common sense.  Any idiot would know that.

If you really think about it, it would be the closest I can get to prostituting myself.  But prostituting myself isn’t the issue here, I’m not judging him on something that is a silly coincidence.  No, the issue here is, I didn’t lug my table to his house.  I didn’t massage him.  Why?  Two reasons; I’m way too lazy for that kind of bullshit and secondly, all he was after was validation.

And maybe he would’ve called me after.  Maybe we would’ve dated for a while or even gotten married.  Yes, it could’ve gone that far!  But it would’ve been from me playing him like a fiddle.  Taking his weaknesses and using them for my own benefit.  Giving him all that he wants and needs.

I know him too well to not play him.

But what about Love Melanie?  Don’t you love him?

First off, I hardly know the guy and secondly, I can’t love anyone in that way if they’re incapable of loving themselves that way.  If they’re incapable of loving themselves that way, they will never truly love me.

They will always want, always need, and in return, I will always manipulate.

Back in the day I had my fun with this.  I had my fun until my guilt pushed me into compassion.  I no longer wanted to hurt or to use others for my benefit even though my rational brain thought, “hey, they’re having fun too.  They enjoy my company so it’s okay.”

I have yet to meet a person who is head over heals in love with themselves.  I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t need validation.  I have never met anyone who has unconditional love and trust.

I don’t play games with people.  I am always here for them.  I always respond back (eventually), include them in my life, and care about them.

I’m always the one with the power in a relationship because I’m the one who loves herself.  The one who doesn’t need anyone.  And then when I see these games being played, all I see is them trying to tip the scales in their favor, wanting me to become the one who wants and needs – it’s not going to happen, sorry buddy.

If I hurt a person, I do all I can to fix things and make it right.  In the case with the guy I’m seeing, he’s only hurting himself and blaming me – he doesn’t care enough to fix anything because you can’t care or feel compassion towards a person if you’re too busy blaming them.

I know what I did.  I didn’t love him the way he wanted to be loved.  Please refer to my Stupid People post (it’s really good!).

When you’re not getting the love you want, you blame the other person.  However, if you truly care and empathize with this person, you take responsibility and try to fix your mistakes.

In this case, I’m not giving him the validation he needs.  That is my mistake.  He has conditional love for me, he’ll only love me if I give him validation – it’s not real love.

If I agreed that his needs are valid, I would hold myself accountable and fix my mistakes.  But they’re only egoic fear-based needs.  They’re not my mistakes, but his own doing.  It’s his own doing because he has no trust in himself or in others.  He’s the victim of his own doubt.

And because he’s unable to see into himself, he’ll always be the one who blames.  And because of this, he will always see the worst in me even when it’s not there.  He will stray further away from trusting himself, and further away from trusting me.

Love for me, is inspiration.  It’s a warm palpable love that transcends all weaknesses and see’s into the heart of who you really are.  It can be painful, as real love often is (because you have to confront your demons), but It’s a partnership and a team.  A team that see’s the core being in each other.  It’s transfixed like in a family.  No matter what, that love never goes away.  It’s a foundation in which your true spirit arises.

Why do people have to wait or rescind their love until they know for certain the other person care’s about them?  How can they turn everything off and put it all on hold?

As long as you need a persons love, it will never be real love.  It’s not compassion.  It’s not empathy.  It’s need.  It’s validation.

Real love transcends all that.  Real love transcends all need and lets you let go.  It helps you let go of all attachment whether it be people, things, comfort, security..

It’s complete understanding (empathy) and when you can understand completely, you can let go.  You let go of all that is unimportant.

It’s not about putting your love on “hold” until it’s reciprocated.  Real love let’s you transcend all that.  And remember, it has to start with you.  You have to have unconditional transcending love (and trust) for yourself before you can grasp what I’m even saying.  Trust that you are lovable and are worthy of being loved so you can fully love yourself.  And in return, others will fully love you.

The love is already there and people like to take the road of least resistance.  It’s the law of attraction, if you’re familiar with it.

Relationships help you become your stronger self.  And once a person get’s their fill and starts believing in themselves, they drop whoever they’re with because they no longer need them.  Their validation is full.  Again, this is not real love.  That stronger person now has the power in the relationship because they don’t need validation from that person anymore.  They have no need for them.  They begin to resent their spouse or lover for their weakness of being attached.  The same weakness that fed the person in power their validation.

I know all this because I was one of those people.  The person not needing validation.  It was only my empathy and compassion brought about from guilt that made me realize the damage I was doing to a person’s heart.  The person that I no longer needed.

I learned transcendant love.  I learned family, foundation, inspiration, partnership.  I learned to use my empathy for compassion, not power.  I learned what real love is.  Real love is family and family is relative.  Family is where your heart is.  They don’t want anything from you, they only want what’s best for you.  They want to see you succeed and be happy.

When a person can only love you for what you bring (provide) them, it’s not real love.  Love is about seeing potential (beauty) in others.

Being the stronger person helps you to let go of people, but transcendent love connects you to them.  You want them to be in your life because you truly care and love them.  And because you truly care and love them, you will always be there even when they push you away – even when they don’t need you anymore.  That’s what family is for.  A return home after life’s journey teaches you hard lessons.  You return home.  You return to what matters.

It takes a strong person to have transcendent love, but it’s the answer and solution to everything.  It’s the only thing that’s real.

If the guy I’m seeing, if he really cared about me, he would call.  And I will answer.   I’ll answer because I care about him.  But all romantic notions are gone from me now.  I’m incapable of loving anyone superficially.  I hate to say I lost respect for the guy, but I did.  I can’t love anyone intimately whom I don’t respect.

And the games he’s playing are child’s play to me.  They’re so transparent.  He has no idea of my breadth of understanding.

So no, I did not bring my massage table to his house.  Instead, I gave a massage at work to a favorite client of mine, I went hiking with friends, visited a friend at her house, visited another friend who cooked me dinner.  I extended an invitation for him to join me in all of that (minus going to work with me).  But because he wasn’t getting what he wanted, he blew me off.

The more you need from a person, the more you push them away.  It’s the opposite of family and transcendent love.  You push them away so they can’t hurt you.  You hurt them back so you can tip the scale in your power.  You hurt them to prove to yourself that you don’t need them and you want them to feel the pain they caused you.

All of that DOES NOT MATTER.

There is no logic to it.  Why would you ever want to hurt a person who care’s about you?  And it’s for this reason, why I think the world is insane.

My ex-boyfriend, Dave, know’s transcendental love.  It’s because of his transcendent love that allow’s him to keep me in his life, and for that, he will always be family.  And I will always love him unconditionally.  But I can’t love him intimately because he lost my respect (it’s a long story I won’t get into).  I respect him, but I’m not in respect with him.  You get me?

I know it doesn’t make much sense, but it’s like, I respect him as a person living his own path in life, but I don’t agree with his actions.  That little twinge of respect that is needed to push me into loving him intimately is gone.

And so, this is why I don’t date.

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