a complex athletic choreography

It’s with a similar embarrassed-pride to that conveyed in this entry last year that I begin this Monday entry.

I’ll start at the end and work to the beginning, if that’s OK…

My calves ache. My knees feel a little inflamed, and whatever part of my thigh-muscle (I probably know the name, but it’s funnier, and more in-line with my shtick, to feign ignorance) runs down the back part of my upper legs burns to match the calves. Even the little crescents of muscle at the base of my butt where my legs connect smart. Strange muscle groups; ones I’m not used to receiving feedback from. I mean, I’m better off than I was a year ago… I’m lighter and leaner and continue to take myself out for some exercise on a regular basis. Only thing is, even with a year of doing so I’ve not switched things up much. Sharaun says this is why I’ve stalled-out and am not losing more weight. Maybe she’s right. A year on the elliptical alone does seem a bit of a pigeonholed workout. But even being better off, even after that year, the muscles not worked in my limited workout protest when worked.

It’s an hour after noon on Sunday and the weather here is simply fantastic. Brilliant. The best we’ve had in weeks. Not a cloud in the blue sky and the sun is strong enough that the chill air doesn’t cut hard enough to push you back indoors. It’s the kind of “winter” day that makes you pine for springtime; the kind of weather that settles under your skin and itches as you hide from it inside the house. I’m in the garage. I’ve backed the car out into the driveway to clear one side and I’ve got the iPod playing through the speakers. I’m wearing a pair of “workout” shorts, a t-shirt, some tennis shoes and a hat to keep the sweat out of my eyes. In each hand I’ve got the ends of a blue jumprope and I’m whirring the thing over my head as I bounce on the balls of my feet. The “rope” is dark blue and made of soft plastic and the middle section is scuffed badly. I’m counting. Fifty-three, fifty-four, fifty-five, fifty-six, fifty-seven, fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty. I”m trying as hard as I possibly can to establish a rhythm while remembering to breathe. I have considerable trouble with each.

It’s getting late on Saturday afternoon and the shadows in the yard are getting longer and darker. There was some real sunlight today for the first time in a long time, but big white clouds billowed in before long and made the air seem cooler for no sunlight. I’m slicked in sweat anyway, and my eyes are dry and burn from the cold air. My throat hurts from sucking wind and my head is throbbing a bit. I imagine my brain swollen just a little too large for my skull, too tightly packed. I’m counting. Eighteen, nineteen, twenty. Crap. One, two, three, four. Damn. One, two, three…

Mid-afternoon Saturday and I’m jumping too high, I can feel my knees bend and it’s taking much too much effort to get off the ground. Doing it wrong is still hard work and I’m sweating. Those guys in the gym looked like they were almost bouncing on their toes. If you didn’t see them from the waist down you might think that’s what they were doing. I need to shoot for that kind of “bounce jump,” something that won’t be like doing hurdles in addition to trying to time this infernal spin-jump spin-jump combo. What finally clicked for me was the sound of the plastic rope smacking the ground as it came around. I started timing my tiny jumps to that sound, just a split-second afterward. From there I just realized it’s all just a continuum. I can time the jump to the sound, to the position of my hand in its rotation, to a beat, to my breathing, to anything. I can get two or three successful jumps in a row now. Small but it’s huge to me.

Saturday before noon. Just got back from taking Keaton to dance class and I’m standing in the garage. Just standing. I’m swinging a blue jump-rope from ground behind me, over my head, and to the ground in front of me. Over and over again; back to front. I’m not jumping; I’m just trying to be coordinated enough to whip the thing around my head consistently without smacking myself in the neck, getting it tangled, or having the resulting arc bulge out on one side and catch my hip on the other. I can’t explain why this is so difficult for me. I have no sense of muscle-timing, I think it’s why I’m so bad at sports. I have to think incredibly hard to get my body to do something; what might be innate to someone else is a complex athletic choreography for me. I can’t even begin to try jumping this thing until I can reliably swing it around my head and back, so I’ll start there.

Sharaun’s still got all the women from church over at the house so I can’t head home yet. Keaton and I stop at a sports equipment store so I can pick up a jump-rope. Her bun has fallen out and has turned into a ponytail. I have to carry her through the parking lot because the asphalt is still damp from yesterday’s rain and it’ll soak right through her thin slippers. They have a bigger selection of jump-ropes than I’d anticipated but in the end I just go with whatever’s cheapest. It’s synthetic with black plastic handles, probably made in China or Taiwan. I choose the blue one over green and purple options. Five bucks. Not bad, I guess, but I can’t help thinking a piece of cut rope taped on either end would probably have been cheaper. I buy it anyway because I’ve only got a few days to figure this out.

You have no idea the flood of good feelings I have walking into the coffee shop with Keaton next to me. It’s early Saturday morning and she’s all decked-out for dance. Pink tights, black leotard, pink ballet slippers with little bows tied in the thin lace-things, and a black knit “bun cover” in her hair. The bun cover has little jewels on it and I did the bun myself. Gave her a ponytail to begin with, twisted it around into a lump and pinned it with a pin I found in the bathroom. She looks all thin and tall, like girls do when they’re becoming whatever comes after “toddler.” Little girls, I suppose… but to me the period is marked by that lanky look. Because it’s just her and I people look and smile. I get the feeling that it’s a rare thing, a dad and his little girl out for dance. I see other dads at class so I know it’s not true, but people still look like they admire it or maybe they’re remembering a time past or it just makes them smile. Either way holding her little hand I feel proud, of her and myself.

Maybe I can get a rope and practice over the weekend. With three days to learn I should at least be able to look reasonable come Tuesday.

Man, getting to the gym in the beginning was hard enough to overcome for me and I can still stay in my own little world there. A class, some kind of social workout where I’m supposed to be keeping up and doing what everyone else is doing and not making a fool of myself… that’s something else all together. In my normal world I’d never do this, but for some reason I’m excited to try. It’s just that jumping-rope thing that’s got me worried. Sit-ups, pull-ups, stadiums, I even think I can make a passable uppercut or straight punch to the bag without looking wretched. But jumping-rope? All that timing and spinning and whatnot, that sounds hard. Not at all up my alley. I’m worried about the jumping-rope part; I really am.

Thursday morning at work and I’m talking to to a buddy who’s signed up for a “boxing fitness” class offered at work. It’s over at the gym every Tuesday and Friday from 4:15pm to 5pm (canceled this week because the instructor is sick). I know the guy who’s teaching it, works at the sawmill but is a spare-time boxing enthusiast, I think he may have punched around some local amateur circuit or maybe still does. I met him through Ben and Anthony some ten years ago and he used to sit near enough when I worked one floor down from where I am now. The class is basically circuit training. Hitting the bag, sit-ups, push-ups, medicine ball passes, and jumping rope. A but-whooping three-quarter hour endurance race. My buddy convinces me to sign up, I keep thinking back to Sharaun telling me I need to “switch it up” to get the weight loss going again.

“Yeah. A boxing class.”

“A boxing class?”

sore loser

Greetings, year of our Lord two-thousand and ten.  Greetings indeed.

Tell you what, you let the passing of the 00s help ease the memories of the worst of the mistakes made therein and I promise to make less in the 10s, OK?  Deal.

Wednesday Keaton and mom were playing Memory.  Remember that game?  Little tiles with pictures on them, always in matching pairs, that you flip over and then hunt through looking for matches?  Of course, Keaton’s set the Disney® Princess™ version; need you even ask?  First game went to Sharaun and Keaton was not happy.  Her reaction was unlike anything I’ve seen from her before.  She got immediately frustrated.  She denied her mother’s win loudly, started grabbing for Sharaun’s pile of matches.  She then tried to deny her defeat.  “We weren’t even playing for a winner!,” she declared.  “I didn’t lose because there is no winner!  We weren’t playing it like a game!  We were just playing it!”  At that she stomped off back to her room and slammed the door.  Odd, irrational, and seemingly unprovoked.  She stayed back there pouting while Sharaun and I looked at each other, considering.

Yes, I’d never previously seen this behavior from our little angel.  I have, mind you, seen it before though.  From me.

And so I said silently to myself, “Lord… please help us teach Keaton patience and sportsmanship.  Please help her to best the me in her in this regard.”

While my folks were here they recommended a book called The Road to me, said they thought I’d dig it.  I bought it, and read it through, on Tuesday.  Powerful book; hard to put down and as such a quick read.  Well written and came nicely to life inside my head.  Apparently there’s a movie now.  After my birthday, I told myself that I needed to shake this fantasy-only book kick I’ve been on since… oh, I don’t know… twenty years gone now…

See, I got the latest novel in the Wheel of Time series for my birthday.  You know, the massive fantasy series I’ve been reading, off and on, since college?  Yeah – that long.  I’ve re-read the series once in its entirety to catch up when a new book is released… but at 10,000+ pages it’s more than a quick effort as a refresher. I devoured it, feeling accomplished at finally coming to the end while there are yet books to be published.

See, this last one was supposed to be the final book, was supposed to end it all.  But the author died before he could bring it to a close.  His wife, who’s also his editor, asked a young fantasy writer at the same publisher to take up her late husband’s extensive and detailed notes and finished his unfinished masterpiece.  Only, the new guy, upon seeing the original authors final story arc, deemed it impossible to fit into a single volume and so now we have three final volumes, spread over three years.  So, even though I thought I’d be done, turns out I’m still only through twelve volumes of an eventual fourteen… and have at least another two years to wait.

In the meantime though, I have to diversify my reading material more than I have in the past years (thanks Ham On Rye, Vonnegut, and On the Road).

Goodnight.  Happy New Year.

keep my waistline in your prayers

Oh yeah?

Keep my waistline in your prayers, brethren.

In October we went to Mexico.  A month later I went to China.  A month later we went to Florida.  Each time a week away from home.  Each time, no going to the gym and no counting calories.  Now here we are in December and two months have passed without me keeping to my still-infantile (in the scope of time I’ve been alive versus time I’ve been doing it) “healthier living” regimen.  Two months may seem innocuous enough, but for me it’s been deadly.  I’m too close to halfway back to where I was when I started.  Guess it makes some small amount of sense, mathematically at least… six or so months of good behavior, three or so of not-so-good, and you erase half of what you achieved.

The new “thin” pants are bunching in strange places and the belts all of the sudden chafe.  My clothes are the first to complain.  “This cannot stand,” seams and buttons and zippers say in solidarity.  It’s then with head hung low and tail squarely betwixt legs that I once again make my face known at the local sweatatorium.  It must be done; this simply cannot be the undoing.  I’ll make my stand by being there every day this week, working hard again to get back on the wagon (off the wagon?).

I went there tonight, in fact.  I listened to the new Beach House record while doing my time on the machine.  My stars that album is fantastic.  When it actually comes out, in 2010, it’ll surely rank up there with the better ones.  Anyway, I went round and round listening to it; burning an hour’s worth of calories.  Tomorrow I’ll go again; early in the morning I think.  Doubling-down, fat; doubling-down.


my junk is 100%

Talk about the passion.Hello Wednesday. As you read this I’m already on a plane. But I wrote for you. Go.

Being that Keaton is now three-and-half going on four, I’ve found myself more and more lately fielding questions from relatives and friends alike about if or when Sharaun and I plan to “go for number two.” Most folks who we hang out with on a regular basis know the answer I typically give to that question, but, being that it will segue me into a fun blog, I figured I’d answer it here too.

What I usually say to these inquiring minds is some variant of, “As soon as my junk starts working again, we’ll make it happen!” I then laugh, because, whatever the message, delivering it with a bit of humor seems to take the edge off. And, if you’re a read-between-the-lines kind of person, you’d probably come to the conclusion that maybe my joke hides some hidden meaning. Is there something wrong with my “junk?,” are Sharaun and I really actively trying to “make it happen?”

The answer, for the blog’s sake, to each of those in turn goes like this: “No,” and “yes.”

But it’s the story behind those two single-word answers that’s the material for today’s blog. So, let me start at the beginning, which entails addressing the “yes” answer first…

When we were blessed so richly with the arrival of our #1 favorite child, Keaton, I think Sharaun and I both had it in our mind that we’d someday like to give her a sibling. We still very much feel like that today. Originally, we imagined a two-to-three year space in between progeny – something we’d idealized from the gaps between us and our own siblings, no doubt.

But, both she and I are pretty much realists, and we’d long known that just because two-to-three years “seemed right” didn’t mean things would work out that way. We did, however, want to try to hit our schedule. So, going on a year-and-a-half ago now, we began “trying” for number-two in earnest. Yes, this means timed and tested trying. Nearly a year-and-a-half of these tries now (which, admittedly, only amounts to a measly eighteen actual chances) with no results.

And that brings me to the “no” answer. Being that we’ve been at it now for this long with nothing to show for it (well, other than a week’s worth of beaming, smiling confidence and bravado from an over-sexed me on a monthly basis, that is), we both started to wonder if maybe there weren’t some external factors at play in the whole thing. We agreed that, after a year of measured trying, we’d run the idea by some sort of medical professional and see what they’d recommend.

That eventuality came to pass a few months back, with Sharaun putting the question to her lady-doctor. This first-pass visit was largely non-revelatory in that it consisted of the woman-bits-PhD asking Sharaun questions and then, satisfied with her answers, recommending I get my junk checked. Far from a frustrating response though, as it now gave me some tangible checkpoint to look forward to. Finally, after my junk-checkup, we’d be able to rule out my junk as the party at-fault in the matter (not that either of us were vindictively assigning blame or anything).

In fact, let me take that last parenthetical clause as an opportunity to sneak in a bit of an aside thought here. The gist of it being that neither Sharaun nor I are anything near “heartbroken” that our last year-and-a-half of coitus has failed to “bring it.” Nor are either of us wrung tight in a fit of frustration about it. In fact, we both look at the situation through a similar kind of “when it’s supposed to happen it’ll happen” lens. Now, if we didn’t have Keaton already, maybe our attitudes would be different… and we’d be more aware of the proverbial ticking of that proverbial clock, but, in our current situation, we’re both just a bit… curious. That’s not to say that we don’t wish things would have happened already, but they simply haven’t.

The thing I wanted to know, not at all out of desperation, was if perhaps there was some “issue” behind the “delay.” I wondered to myself, more than once, “What if Keaton was our one-in-a-million chance?” Of course, my self would then immediately answer myself with something like, “Man, what an amazing one-in-a-million we got. I couldn’t be happier.” But, part of me (and to a lesser extent, I think, Sharaun) was indeed curious as to if there maybe were some real, explainable “reasons” we hadn’t been “successful” yet (note to self: to cover the bases, insert apologetics about usage of the word “successful” here; themes should include – Keaton is a success, monthly sex is a success; etc.).

Anyway… the bottom line here, the point of this now two-paragraph aside, is that we were, and are, far from distraught about how things have played out thus far and are, honestly, supremely happy overall with our current lot in life.

So, where was I? Oh, yes… the junk-checkup.

I eagerly made an appointment at the fertility clinic. And, when the appointed day and time rolled around I made my way to the facility. Not being someone overly crippled by shyness, I walked in as if I were going to have a cavity filled. I guess maybe there is some amount of “stigma” about having to go to the wiener-doctor… I mean at its most base level it does mean a man is entertaining the thought that perhaps he’s not as virile as he should be. Maybe that he’s somehow “broken” as a man; non-functional. I thought about these things as I picked up on the tone of the office. The place was quiet, and the people waiting in the lobby were keeping to themselves, studying magazines or talking quietly to each other in pairs. The air of the place didn’t really shake me, but just made me cognizant that I was really there to get my junk checked… thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Still though, curiosity and desire to know topped out fear or apprehension in my gut more than 2:1.

A nice lady took my copay and then a woman in scrubs called me into the back. There, she silently escorted me to an open door leading to a small room. Here she said her only words to me the entire visit, “Once you go inside, close and lock the door. There is paperwork that explains what you need to do and you need to follow it exactly. Everything else you’ll need is in the room.” “Thanks,” I say, and proceed into my own private masturbatorium (trying not to think about how many other people had called it their own private masturbatorium that day, let alone all-time). I locked the door behind me and began to take stock.

The room was small, about the size of a typical bathroom. On the far wall was a small bench with pillows, long enough to lay down on. There was a sink with soap and paper towels to my right, and a small cabinet to my left. Sitting on the cabinet was a pen and clipboard with a stack of paperwork and an empty plastic specimen jar with a blank label on it. On the wall above the sink was a watercolor of a semi-clad woman, tasteful and remotely erotic if maybe someone thought long enough about it. On the wall above the cabinet, more of the same. On the back wall, above the bench bed, was a small wooden cabinet door, about the size of a medicine cabinet. Next to that was a light switch. On the floor behind the cabinet with the paperwork was a magazine rack stuffed full of well-worn magazines (more on that later).

I took a breath to bring myself around to the moment and sat down to read my instructions. They were, more or less, as follows: 1) Wash your hands and junk, 2) Put your specimen in the jar, 3) Close and label the jar, 4) Fill out this paperwork about your specimen, 5) Put the specimen and this paperwork in the cabinet in the wall and flip the switch to let us know it’s there, and 6) You’re done. “Right,” I thought, “Let’s do this then.”

I looked at the watercolors; nothing. I decided to check the magazines. Boy, what a collection. Something for everyone. One with fat chicks, one with black chicks, a couple tasteful ones, more than a couple really-not-tasteful ones. I thumbed through a couple of them, unsure, and managed a little forward progress. Unsatisfied, I just set about getting down to brass tacks and making it happen.

Time passes. Things happen.

I put my name and the time on my little jar and put it in the wall. Then I flipped the switch, washed my hands again, and headed out. There was even a special back door for specimen-givers to sneak out of, so we (presumably) didn’t have to do the “I just had a manual self-administered orgasm in a little room back there” walk of shame. Nice of them. With my job done, I called Sharaun on the way home and decided to try and parlay my personal conquest into a real one, “It was kinda lonely in there,” I began. “I don’t feel like going back to work, I’m gonna come home first.” Lo and behold, it worked… and, as I’d hoped, some real lovin’ helped offset the odd clinical lovin’ feeling. But I digress…

More than a week later Sharaun heard from her doctor: My junk is 100%, nothing wrong. Virtual high-fives to all the dudes rooting for me as they read along; my crank works.

We’re both a little relieved, I think… but honestly this is what I’d expected to hear. “You’re both fine, keep trying.” And, whatever… that’s actually fine by me. We will keep trying, and we’ll keep praying and hoping and whatever else. When it happens, it happens. Wish us luck.


two entries on the week

Close to the edge.Two entries on the week.  That’s not so good.

Sitting here listening to Yes’ Close to the Edge, one of those albums that’s about as close to a perfect album as there’ll likely ever be. Up there with Dark Side of the Moon and other luminaries, it just never gets old or ceases to be fascinating in every little note, downbeat, or Anderson-dominated harmony. If you don’t have this album, your collection is sorely lacking. Maybe one day I’ll put together a list of my top-ten “essential” albums or something; that would be totally fun and interesting… for me only. Moving on.

Today I got hit by a mini-wave of morning-time malaise… something that I’m unaccustomed to as I’m usually quite the morning person. I went through my well-rehearsed routine: Waking; heading to the water closet to evacuate and read, in order, CNN, MSNBC, the local California paper, and paper local to where we grew up in Florida; saying a small prayer of thanks for the things I have, a smaller one asking forgiveness for some of the more ridiculous things I’ve done to put those things in jeopardy, and another one as a catchall for all those among humankind who hurt and have needs (with age, these prayers, you see, don’t seem like just so much soliloquy to me anymore); stripping for the shower; dressing post-cleansing; and heading out the door after kisses for Sharaun and Keaton.

At some point in this daily dance I was struck by a gloomy thought: This is what I always do, and this is what I’ll be doing for a long time to come. Really, it shouldn’t be a gloomy thought… but this morning it seemed that way. While I consider myself far from a person prone to depression, for a flash there today I felt a little “locked-in.”  But, the moment passed almost as quickly as it alighted, and (almost) all was right with the world again.

And now I sit here in the evening, like so many other evenings, perched above the keyboard of this machine again.  I changed the music; Close to the Edge played through nearly three times and it was time to shuffle.  Playing a nice Emitt Rhodes track now, pleasant, sounds right.

Well guys, after that… time to talk Halloween.  I’ve been becoming more and more aware that I’m actually a little late getting started on my annual prop project.  I’ve already decided what I’m making this year, and even have the a parts list; I’ve just not started cobbling it all together.  Moreover, I’ve actually been a bit on the fence this year about doing our annual party.  I do this every year though; start thinking we’re too old to throw such a raucous bash, start thinking it might be nice just to decorate the house as usual and save the Halloween fun for trick-or-treating with Keaton instead of having a houseful of drunk folks.  But… in the end, upon sharing my reservations with Sharaun, she always manages to convince me to go ahead with the status quo (she’s nearly done it again this year as well…).

Before I go, I figured I’d link-drop the P4K’s recently finished weeklong feature, “The Top 500 Songs of the 2000s.”  I’ve been enjoying the list immensely; and while I don’t always agree with it (who could, at 500 tracks strong and Pitchfork’s love for freak-folk and electro-dance), I do heartily support some of the choices.  For instance, while I’d liked to have seen Amerie’s “One Thing” crest higher on the list (I love that song so hard), I do agree that Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” is definitely in the right sitting atop it (if you wonder why I chose those two to compare, just give each on a listen and you’ll get it).  And, as for the #1 pick… I was surprised.  Interesting, in that Sharaun has always loved that track, even more than I did (or ever have) upon first hearing it waaay back when.  I always knew she had pretty decent taste in music.  No wonder I married her.

Goodnight friends.


Driplets.Going on Wednesday here in Oregon (I write these the night before I post them, for those who either don’t know or have never been here before).  How you guys doin’?

Despite my best efforts to dodge it, I was sucked into a “working dinner” after our all-day meeting today.  Dragged, kicking and screaming, to a nice seafood place down on the docks, set about fifty feet out into the flow of the Columbia river.

I walked the dock in the bright sunshine, had a couple beers did some priceless networking, and had some great local seafood.  So, even though I really wanted to head home and hang with Sharaun and Keaton and Mom and Dad instead… I think it worked out OK, everything considered.

Today I took public transit to work.  I’ve written before about how I enjoy riding the public transportation here in Oregon; they have such a well-run network of light-rail, buses, and trains, and the whole process is so easy and cheap.  Makes a body feel all “green” just staying off the road, and affords one some time to listen to tunes and people-watch to boot.

This morning, my route included a short train ride and then a transfer to a bus before a brief walk to my final destination.  As I left the bus, the skies were grey and, despite the sun and blue skies we’ve had ever since getting here, the clouds opened up for a few scant moments and dropped a light rain on me as I walked.  For a moment I paused under a leafy tree to escape the drops, but soon realized it wasn’t much shelter at all… and, after all, I had a schedule to keep.

So, here I was: Dressed to the nines with intent to impress, walking along the side of a busy highway onramp (no sidewalk, mind you, so I was in the shoulder), laptop slung over my shoulder and the rain making dark blotches on my new brown leather shoes even as it slicked my hair.  In the cans, one of my favorite songs of all time shuffled up: Buffalo Springfield’s Hung Upside Down.  A Stills track from their 1967 sophomore effort, it just fit the early-morning rain-walk moment so well.

For me, the song conjures up precious memories of middle school, and those recalled emotions fit perfect with the odd sense of solitude-amongst-busyness that walking alone amidst heavy morning traffic can give a guy.

There then; near an entire entry about walking down the road in the rain.  Just kinda happened.  I like it when it just kinda happens.  Goodnight.

waxed & ready (& hurty)

My shoulder today.Well guys, I’m ready.

Yesterday evening I went to my pre-Aruba “appointment.”

For those who don’t read regularly, a very succinct summary: I’m a totally hairy dude, hair all over my back and shoulders. And while I’m not ridiculously self-conscious about it, I made an appointment to get a waxing, something I’ve never done before, prior to our vacation in Aruba this coming week. Last night was that appointment.

First off, the process took seventy-five minutes start to finish. That’s an hour and fifteen minutes. Of waxing. Of ripping and tearing and pulling, over and over and over again… for more than an hour. By the end of the whole thing I was in a pretty irritable mood, and was, in general, ready to go. My “technician” was a nice Asian lady who was good at making conversation and asked me at every turn if I was “OK.” The “procedure” takes place in cramped coffin of a room, laying down on a towel-draped table while a woman slathers hot sticky stuff on your hair, presses a little napkin thing down on it, and then rips it off a lightning speed.

And, just to cut to the chase – yes, having your back waxed hurts. There is no denying that. However, having heard from folks just how much I should expect it to hurt, and having steeled myself against the immense pain that fear mongering had prepared me for – I have to say it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined. No I didn’t cry, and only cried out once. I rocked it like Superman, if I’m being honest. But yes, oh yes, it hurt. I found that the worst of it was my shoulders, along my collarbones, and the very nape of my neck. In fact, the one time I had an audible reaction was on my left shoulder, where something must have went wrong because the pain was at least 2x what it had been for everywhere else.

Mmm hmmm there was blood too. Not at first though. My lower back went easy, very little “large” pain and Chong commented how well my skin seemed to be taking it. But, the higher she went on the back the more blood flowed and the more pain I experienced. But, reiterating, overall the pain was bearable – although surely unpleasant and uncomfortable and nothing I’d wish on someone unless they lie down on that table willingly. My main complaints would be the time it took, and the post-pain and problems… such as…

What I find upsetting now, however, is that today’s pain – post-waxing by about twelve hours – is worse than the pain I experienced during the actual waxing. I had hoped that the redness and irritation would subside, but if anything today it looks brighter and worse than last night. In fact, I’d be more self-conscious about going to the beach right now all red-prickled and mottled than I would as my former follicled self. I just hope my skin returns to normal before Sunday.

The pain I have now is more like a bunch of little pinprick needle sensations, as well as just a general sensitivity over my entire skin. Unfortunately I have a little dark red dot where each of my trillion hairs used to be, and my skin is hot to the touch and raised and mottled red in large swaths. I’m not sure if this is a rash/reaction to the wax, or just my skin reacting to the trauma, or a little of both. Either way, I’ve got crossed fingers for it to fade prior to getting poolside come Sunday.

And that’s it. Next time I’ll write it’ll be from the tropics. Take care internet.

Oh… you want pictures?! I’ll post some later today when I have time (that’s my shoulder up there accompanying this post). I’ll try to get the worst of it (how it looks now all red and pokey) and maybe follow up with a hopefully much less irritated “after” pic from Aruba.