Sunday, August 23, 2015

Missed a Spot

When Deb and I drove back from Savannah last week, I thought about getting a massage to help relieve my aches and pains from driving 12 hours.

It had been a while, but I remembered that last time I got a massage I prepaid for two more (I'm a sucker for those "specials" that I never use). It had been so long ago that I didn't even remember where the place was … but to my surprise, I still had that tattered card in my wallet.

I called and asked if I could swing by …

"We have one more appointment open," the girl on the other end said.
"That's great," I said reading a name on the card, "There was a girl last time named Carol. Is she available?"
"Well … we are working the rotating schedule this afternoon."
"So who do I have?"
"I really don't know."
That was apparently all the information I was going to get. I suppose I was lucky to get the one appointment. I just hope I didn't get a guy named Rocco.

It's an interesting place. The outer waiting area had a little desk with five women squeezed into a space that could barely accommodate two. They all were busy with important massage stuff. Two were on the phones (one had a real problem with someone she named Bobby who didn't pick up the kids), another was on her cell phone texting messages while chewing her gum in an alternate rhythm, one just stared into space and the other said ….

"Hi … Do you have an appointment?"

I told her my story and she walked me into the inner waiting area with the standard massage parlor interiors: sticks of bamboo in corners everywhere, comfy couches that sit two inches off the floor, water coolers and Ravi Shankar music mixed with ocean waves piped in every corner.

I settled into (literally) one of the couches knowing I would need a crane to lift me out. Out of the corner of my eye I saw … Rocco. No … don't come to me …

"Hello," he said. "Would you like something to drink?"
"Um … no thanks …" I started to try to get up.
"Wanda will be with you in just a few minutes."

I settled back … smiling. Whew. That was a close one.

I started to wonder what Wanda would be like. All I could think about was Wanda the massage therapist on In Living Color. Remember Jamie Foxx? It would just be my luck …

"Hello, Mr. Momberg?"

I looked up and there was Wanda. It was right there on her badge. She looked more like a retired school teacher than a therapist. I would guess she was a few years older than me.

"Yes. That's me."
"Very good. Follow me to the Fern Room. We have names instead of numbers. People get a little lost in the maze and it's easier to find your room this way."

Hmmm … I wonder how many people get up and move around the hallways during their massages.

"Here we are." She led me into the room. "Take off whatever you feel comfortable with and just lie here face down. I'll be back soon."

I started to undress as soon as she left. It wasn't two minutes before I got my pants off and she knocked and entered. "Oh … sorry … not done yet?"

"No … " stupidly ducking behind the table. "Um almost…"
"Okay … I'll just turn my back."

I slipped into the sheet and put my face into that dumb ox collar that pushes all the blood from your head. "This should be interesting." I thought to myself.

"Now I will apply pressure and you just let me know if you need more or less. If you don't speak I will assume all is okay."

As she started on my shoulders, I had to ask it. "Have you done this a long time?"
"Oh heavens no. I came here from Ohio and have been doing massage for about two months ...
(great) … actually I am a retired elementary school teacher." I KNEW IT!

She eventually got to a lipoma on my shoulder that has been there forever. "Did you know that you have a lipoma here?"
"Yes. Been there for a long time."
"You should have that removed."
"Well … I know it's not really dangerous and really cosmetic …"
"I had one on my back that was removed. Here … She pulled up her shirt and showed me. You can touch it."
Oh man … get me outta here. "No really that's okay .."
"Touch it. It's a miracle. No scar and no problem. It was as big as yours."
I touched it. "Yes … I see. Incredible."

There was a lot of information shared that afternoon. I didn't ask but found out all about her kids, grandkids, Ohio, book clubs, and more. I was really afraid to ask about her training as a masseuse but based on the final results, my back pain was still there so I think it might have been minimal.

I drank a lot of water that afternoon … mixed in with a lot of scotch.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Amazing Grace

Grace Quinlan Cohen was born early Thursday morning.

Right now, her temporary home is in an isolette in the NICU at Memorial Hospital in Savannah. It's only temporary because she is all clear. Breathing is normal and all her vitals are good. She is just kicking back here for the weekend.

She was not quite ready to make an appearance at first. Her mom was 2 cm dilated when she went to the hospital and started contractions. Grace was almost 9 pounds ... Nikki is only 5 feet tall and not even 100 pounds.

We drove to Savannah as soon as we got the call.

The trip is one that typically takes about 6 hours when the traffic is light and the weather is good. Well ... no such luck.
The traffic was stalled outside of Tampa. One car had crashed and stalled traffic for miles.

Then the rains came.

But we got to the hospital in plenty of time to see Nikki before she was given the epidural which speeded up her delivery at 1 in the morning.

Steven had us follow him to the house where we saw baby brother Cole and gave him a special shirt we bought for him.

Cole took us on the tour of the new nursery and proceeded to steal (borrow) most of Grace's toys. He is just starting to talk now and his favorite word is PaPa (well ... maybe it's my favorite word).

So ... baby arrived in the middle of the night, turned out she lost a pound ... and mom and dad finally got some rest as they took a few pictures with Amazing Grace right after delivery.

I know I'm a little prejudice here but she is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.

There ... I had to say it!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rays Beat Mets

Rays took the series today. They beat The Mets 4-3. This is the second loss in a row for the NL leaders. It was capped by a homer smash by rookie Richie Shaffer.

Chris Archer struck out 10 batters in six innings. That meant that everyone at the stadium got free 6 inch subs from Subway.

And it was Mascot Day at the stadium so every furry, matted looking creature from marlins to horses and  ... Raymond ... was there.

All in all  ... a great day.   

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Comic Con, Alissa. Nate, Josh, Jim Halpert and Rain

Lots of rain and lots of traffic this weekend in downtown Tampa.

The Comic-Con convention/ show/ meeting/ whatever the heck that thing is was in town at the Convention center. All kinds of costumed super heroes were there ... Ant Man, Superman, Superwoman, Batman, Garbageman, Deliveryman ... all shapes and sizes. I don't really understand why people dress up ... Just a guess: It seems to me like there are a bunch of people who want to pretend they don't work for Best Buy or Radio Shack for a day or two and spend a ridiculous amount of money playing dress up.

By the way ... right down the street, Alissa and Nate arrived in Tampa this weekend as well.

Saturday morning, they set up temporary housing in our apartment on Harbor Isle. They took the Auto Train from DC, which stopped in Orlando and drove home from there.

They decided not to visit Comic Con and instead unpacked the car and took a well deserved nap.

We helped them get settled and then went home and also settled in while the rain poured outside and watched 328 hours of "The Office".

Yes ... I was just as dorky as the Com Con group ... just didn't buy the costume.  

The show brought back so many memories. I was just as embarrassed for Michael today as I was when I first watched it. Dwight, Andy, Pam and of course ... Jim Halpert. He has always reminded me of my son, Josh. Even has the same expressions.

Well, I have to go now.

It's time for episode 56 or something. It's one of my favorites ... the one where Michael hits Meredith with his car and then does a fundraiser for Rabies when he finds out that she had it and was discovered in the hospital.


Ballad of the Big Prostate

Here’s a little country tune I wrote just yesterday to commemorate a dark day in my history. I don’t have a tune but realized you can use an...