Tuesday, May 29, 2007

how to get a half-price bikini wax

Here at e-L's amazing journey, we really do try to keep it clean. You know, there might be the occasional swoon over a certain ageless rockstar, or perhaps a super-smart tv star or two, but for the most part, we try to keep it above the waist, keeping it more cerebral. Sure. Having said that, e-L is about to delve into areas never-before explored...you know, in blogland that is...

So my aesthetician is on an extended sick leave (I say "my" as if I own her, but clearly she's just the friendly girl who rips hair from me on occasion) and I do wish her a speedy recovery, for reasons which are about to become abundantly clear (and also because I want her to feel better). Since I have no idea how long she's going to be off, I was pleased when the owner of the place called and said she'd be happy to book me in for my waxing with one of the "new" aestheticians. So ok, sounds fine, but little did I know that "new" meant not only new to the spa, but also "new" to the profession. Oy.

So at the appointed time, I head on down and am greeted by this "new" person - she's friendly as all get-out, takes my coat and tells me she's all ready for me *cue horror movie incidental music* and leads me to the spa room. She leaves me to get organized (as is the custom) and when she comes back, she's all smiles and let's get down to business. So we chat, and have you ever done the bikini wax chat? It's like no other, really. "How was your day, can you believe this weather, any plans for the weekend?" all while coating your crotch with blazing hot wax. Surreal. Anyway, she gets all set and red flag number one: she's clumsy. Clumsy. Not a word you normally associate with this profession. So there's wax dripping, strips knocked off the counter, gloves dropped, lamps hit... Okay, no big, it's obviously nerves, she's new to the place, I'm new to her, I can handle this. All the while she's super chatty, spreading the wax, chatting, more wax, chatting. Now, I'm no professional, but I do know this little equation: wax goes on liquid + too much chatting time while not removing wax = wax hardening to lavender-scented concrete. This would be red flag number two. So okay, now for the removal "I'm just going to take the strip off.....now" Ohholymotherofgod. "oh gosh, sorry, I bet that hurt!" Um yeah. But ok, whatever, I've got good pain tolerance, we continue. Eventually, through chatting, all is revealed (no, thankfully not all that) and she is, in fact, a brand new graduate from aesthetics school! And this is her first bikini wax! And nope, she's never ever had one herself! Which explains why she seemed to have no idea of the Nazi-grade pain she was inflicting. Oh, and all of this first part? Took close to 20 minutes, which is way, way too long to hang out on a vinyl table in your gitch.

So...moving on to the next side...

Things go from bad to worse now, as the wax continues to harden and she starts to sweat and practically needs to use the table as leverage to rip the strips off and e-L is nearly on the ceiling at several points. But still, I'm handling it all until I hear... "uh-oh...um....I think I need to go get someone..." I'm all wtf??? What is going on down there? So I look and there is a strip and it's way, way too far in for my liking. Great. So off she goes and fetches someone else, and now there are 2 of them peering at my privates and this is how it went down:

2nd girl: oh dear
1st girl: I'm so sorry!
2nd girl: don't worry, we'll just have to use the scissors
me: you have to what now??
2nd girl: we'll just have to cut it out! (said in a cute sing-song voice like she was offering freezies)
me: um.....ok?
1st girl: (now in tears) oh my gosh I am so sorry, I feel so bad!
me: haha...oh not to worry (for the record, I don't think I've ever had anyone cry whilst gazing upon my nether regions before, I really think that's a first)

So now the two of them are performing this wax-strip removal surgery, and as I was lying there, I flashed back to the time I spent in labour and delivery, and fully expected one of them to tell me how far I was dilated, and to breathe through the next contraction. And I nearly sat up and said "thanks but no thanks, I'm taking my leave now" but then I thought, you know? This isn't going to kill me, I can deal. The poor girl really did feel so badly, she was crying for goodness sake. And doesn't everyone deserve a fair chance? I mean there are nurses out there setting their first IVs, giving their first injections, someone has to be the first patient, right? Everywhere there are stylists doing their first haircut, police officers making their first arrest, librarians conducting their first reference interview...my point is, everyone has to do something 1 time first, in order to do it right again and again. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and so I hobbled out of the spa room (for reals) and up to the counter to pay, and they kindly offered me a 50% discount and loaded me up bunch of free samples of lotion, sunscreen, body wash, etc. to help with the pain and suffering. I told them it really wasn't necessary, but they insisted and thanked me again for being so patient, so understanding. I honestly think the phrase "dream client" was used, but that could have been the pain talking...

So I was glad I stayed, because what if her first time had been with someone who wasn't so patient and understanding? It could throw a person off their chosen career, it really could. Some pain in the crotchal region is a small price to pay for helping someone along on their path.

Plus? I get to blog about it. And I'm a whore for free samples.

Friday, May 18, 2007

stuff that's got me riled

Um, CSI? Seriously, how could you do this to me? Crazy ventriloquists and scary dolls? Creepy-girl killers? Not to mention outing the Grissom love and then planting the object of the affection under a flipped over car to drown in the desert? Now, this is all very well and good if it were a "just wait til next Thursday to be continued" but dude, as the season finale?? Cold, my friends, very cold. Fortunately there was just enough Nick hotness to make up for the downright scariness of the plot and characters....

For really though? Awesome freaking episode. I heart all over the CSI.

Next up, is the having to read Cancer Vixen this week, cos someone here at my centre thought it was "fabulous and would be a fabulous addition to the patient library!" (first red flag? people usually don't call books by/about cancer survivors "fabulous!") I was down on this book from the start, (and incidentally backed up by Jessa Crispin on Bookslut, thank you very much) long before I even worked in a cancer library. I heard it described recently as "it's like Sex and the City meets cancer!" and friends? It's so not. To be fair, I hadn't read it until it was dropped on my desk this week, and since it came "highly and fabulously recommended!" I figured I'd better read it before, you know, sending it back with a post-it note saying "this book is going in my library in your dreams, bitch". So I did my best and I read it. And let me tell you, it's boring and offensive and juvenile and self-absorbed and...awful. Maybe it's just me, but I really didn't see what anyone (breast cancer patient or not) would get out of this book. There's not much information for anyone going through treatment - unless you count knowing just what shade of lipstick to wear to your chemo appointments as information. And if it's meant to be a quirky, humorous ride through cancer treatment, and how to be fabulous while doing it, I think it falls way, way short. The women I see on a day to day basis are all sorts of fabulous, let me tell you - they're fabulous for for still being here, for trying to stay positive, for fighting and hopefully winning the fight. But there are just as many who come in and tell me that the cancer has now spread to their brain, or that they just can't stop crying because they're doing this on their own and need help coping with a recurrence; and I don't know that a story about a socialite who worries that her fiance is going to dump her for the next available skinny model is, you know, the best resource. I know humour is healing, I use it all the time for personal crises, believe you me. And so even if Cancer Vixen was funny and hopeful and interesting and useful to some of the patients here, I would consider overlooking some of its other shortcomings. But the truth is it just bored me, and at the same time made me very uncomfortable.

I am truly happy for the author, in that I'm happy she made it through surgery and treatment and is in recovery and - as she claimed in a recent interview - cancer free. To me, that is fabulous.

But now apparently there is going to be a movie starring Cate Blanchett? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

way down, way down in alphabet town...

ok Viv, tag duly noted, and acted upon:

possibly (see C)

January 16th (me and Ethel Merman)

Roger Daltrey (since I was 15, we go way back)
CSI Vegas men (esp. Grissom)
my new iPod nano (oh, baby...)

some mmmmerlot

Viv is right up there - and Carly

The Who

Maynard's wine gums

Hamilton (really, and not just cos it starts with H)

um...clarinet (ages ago)
iPod nano

balls? not so much. but life? always.

not yet...

Hamilton to Florida. Oy.

boys to the yard

just one




my boys

Throwing Muses - Bright Yellow Gun (did I mention my new iPod?)

too early for a Sunday - 7-ish?


can't think of any


name it

please, I'm 40


Monday, May 07, 2007

scary canadian spy coins and other stuff that's on my mind

This totally made my day. I now pledge to give out random poppy quarters next time I go anywhere just, you know, to see if they actually work like they're supposed to.

So John was in Atlanta the week before last doing some crazy-ass IT guy schmoozing and stuff that I'll never ever get to do in my chosen career. Nope the library conferences that I get to don't seem to ever include giant lobster dinners with bottomless glasses of expensive wine, nor do they ever have private John Mayer gigs either (not lying to you people, he was there). No, our worlds are very very different when it comes to that sort of thing. And one of the biggest differences? It's all in the swag. John brought home a metric tonne of swag - and not crap swag either - we're talking jump drives and toolkits, and other fancy schmancy stuff. Sure there were some less exciting things - like the proverbial t-shirts and pens and stuff, but when he dumped it all out of his suitcase? It covered the whole bed. Nice.

Now at the library conferences you do get swag, but it tends to be in the post-it note/pen/lanyard realm - nary a jump drive to be seen. Or maybe I'm just hanging out at the wrong booths. At any rate, what I was astounded to see was that John didn't bring home one single lanyard. Lanyards were all the rage at OLA a couple of years ago, oh my I probably brought home a dozen courtesy of Brodart and Oxford University Press and you name the library supply place, they lanyarded me. I really thought the library peeps had the upper hand on the lanyard - people were sporting them (as best you can sport a lanyard) - 2, 3, 4 at a time! Craziness! My colleagues at the academic library where I worked at the time were all over the lanyard. I personally can't stand wearing lanyards and I go to extremes to avoid them, and I really thought it was just a library thang...until I started working in healthcare.

Now at the hospital and the cancer centre? Healthcare people are all about the lanyard, and not only do they wear them (for their ID badge) they pimp their lanyard!! You see people with pins and buttons on their lanyard. Stickers are not uncommon, and some even have jewellery - beads, and even keychains hanging from them! It's bauble city! And not just a couple of items, but literally dozens of things pinned on and hanging there! I tell you it's weird - and distracting too when you're trying to talk to someone and their chest is glinting at you and you have to keep shielding your eyes from the lanyard bling.

So my point? Just putting it out there for y'all. And ensuring you that e-L has no plans to go the tricked out lanyard route. My ID badge? Clipped tidily to the bottom of my shirt. I've got enough problems worrying about the chain for my glasses that is practically imminent. Oy.
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