Saturday, August 28, 2010

LIVING LIFE: Broke My Back Mountain

I’ve been a little stressed out lately.

Nothing more than usual. I’ve just been feeling more frustrations at work, with our finances, and with all the “Glee” Emmy nominations.

You know, typical stuff.

Normally, I can deal with life’s simple struggles without breaking stride, but here recently I’ve been incapable of handling even the most insignificant issues.

So when my Wife and I were making plans to celebrate our first wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago, she was determined to find me some rest and relaxation. She pitched a weekend retreat to a resort up in the mountains that included a couples’ massage and spa package.

At first I was hesitant because I’ve never really been into the whole intimate massage scene. But when I found myself screaming at an old man because he wasn’t taking a right hand turn at a stop light as quickly as I would have liked, I knew that these were desperate times calling for similar measures.

Besides, I had gotten a massage once before a couple of years ago, and it wasn’t completely terrible – despite the fact that it violated every rule I steadfastly maintain in regards to protecting my personal space.

When my Wife and I got to the massage place (is it a “place”? Salon? Parlor?), a woman with a heavy French accent greeted us and took us to our massage room. She invited us to sit in a steam room for a few minutes and that they would be back to give us our massages (more on “they” in a moment).

ME: So we just go sit in the steam room?

MY WIFE: Yeah. What’s wrong?

ME: What do you do in there? Just sit?

MY WIFE: Yes, it’s supposed to be relaxing?

ME: Well, what do you wear? Your clothes will get wet if you’re just sitting there in steam.

(If you can’t already tell, I am painfully new to all of this)

MY WIFE: You don’t wear anything.

ME: WHAAAAT? You just sit there... naked... doing nothing... just looking at each other?

MY WIFE: It’s supposed to be romantic.

ME: Are you supposed to do… something in there? How is that any fun? It’s already way too hot and steamy in.

It’s a minor miracle that she stayed married to me for an entire year.

After five minutes of us sitting in the steam room in all of our awkward glory, we dried off and the woman returned to get us set up for our massages.

To measure what kind of intensity we wanted, she said she was going to squeeze our necks with her hand and then we would tell her if we wanted more or less pressure. She then proceeded to give us each a Vulcan death grip and after we picked ourselves up from the floor, we both told her that we wanted less pressure.

A lot less pressure.

She laughed one of those evil villain laughs and said “they” would return in a minute to begin. In a moment of panic, I pawned my Wife off to Annie Wilkes and ran to the other table, knowing that whoever came in couldn’t be any worse.

I’ve been wrong before, but I have never been quite this wrong.

Like from some terrifying horror film, the door slowly opened and a hulking beast of a man walked in. His name was "Steve" and he looked like a henchmen from a 1980’s Sly Stallone movie. He was wearing short gym shorts and a tank top with muscles bulging out of his muscles.

Based on the pressure the French lady applied to my kneck, my very first thought looking at him was, “Well, I had a good run.”

Like I said earlier, my only memory of a massage wasn’t that bad. As much as I didn’t like being touched all over, it was genuinely relaxing on the whole.

This experience would be defined as the opposite of that.

Steve crunched and crushed every bone he could find in my body. I kept trying to remember the secret war plans that had I had apparently been brainwashed with so that I could give them up and end this torment.

At one point he pressed down on my back so hard that I legitimately saw my soul trying to escape out of my physical frame. The crazy thing is that I didn’t try to stop it.

My Wife sauntered out of her massage relaxed and rejuvenated. I limped out and, weeks later, still have nightmares.

MY WIFE: So, do you feel any better?

ME: Well, I’m too broken and sore to feel stressed and angry.

MY WIFE: Mission accomplished.

ME: Thanks?

Follow Josh on Twitter @Just_Being_Josh and follow @INDT_popculture for entertainment updates

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Classic Sitcom Scene of the Day

A pre-"Back to the Future" Christopher Lloyd proves why he is one of the comedic greats in this epic scene from "Taxi". Of course showing this scene as a classic is like showing Jordan dunking from the foul line, but I just want to ease everyone into the new feature.

Feel free to comment below with any of your favorite sitcom moments and I'll get them posted in the coming days (and as a bonus, I have also posted the Classic Sitcom Scene of the Day from yesterday since it was only included on my twitter account)


"Poor Horatio"

Follow Josh on Twitter @Just_Being_Josh and follow @INDT_popculture for entertainment updates

Monday, August 2, 2010

Living Life: My Resolution is Not Working Out

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.

My thinking has been that if I couldn’t make something happen in the first two decades of my life, it’s probably not going to happen now.

But this year was different. Coming into 2010, I committed myself to getting into shape. Not necessarily peak physical condition – just some semblance of any actual shape, as opposed to the blob of flesh I have turned into.

I don’t know where it all went wrong. In my teens and early 20’s, I was one of the most active people I knew. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I got off track somewhere between the introduction of fantasy football and DVR technology.

Recently, however, even I had to concede that there were some minor health related issues starting to develop. Simple tasks such as climbing a small set of stairs, standing up from a sitting position, or even breathing had suddenly become more difficult; so I promised my Wife I would start working out with her.

The only problem with working out with my Wife is that she is one of those weird human beings that actually enjoys inflicting pain upon her body. I’ve never understood that mentality and that’s always been my biggest barrier to physical fitness.

Why do something that hurts when it feels so good to do something that doesn’t?

With carefully crafted excuses and "schedule conflicts", I was able to hold her off for a few months but when her dad surprised us with a membership to a gym (that sits in front of our apartment) as an early anniversary present, I knew my goose was cooked.

I could sleep easy at night knowing I was blowing off a gym membership that I paid for, but there was no way I could live with myself when it is on someone else’s dime.

Part of our package included two free hour long sessions with a personal trainer and I found myself dreading this more than anything else. Blame it on the male pride, but I just pictured some perfectly sculpted Adonis laughing at me as I lay crying on the floor trying to complete a single sit-up.

So I was actually a little relieved when I got a call from a perky female trainer to set up my appointment. She was exactly what I needed to get back into the flow of things. She was extremely nice and personable even though we both knew she was probably judging me a little on the inside.

Unfortunately, once the clock started on our session her niceness disappeared faster than a thought from Snooki’s brain.

It was like one of those hours where time stands still and you think 40 minutes have gone by but then you look at the clock and see that it’s only been 12. Three minutes in, I thought I was going to throw up. 17 minutes in, I was pretty sure I was going to throw up. And 33 minutes in, I knew I was going to throw up.

For the last bit of our session, she put me on a treadmill right next to my Wife and of course they had to hit it off. It was one of those nightmarish scenarios that you feared in high school (or at least I did) where two girls were making fun of you... right in front of you.

MY WIFE (jogging along at a breezy pace on her treadmill): It’s taken me so long to get him to come here with me.

TRAINER: Oh, I know, my husband was a big wimp at first too.

ME (hanging on for dear life to the treadmill that I’m pretty sure the trainer set to “Rocket Launch” speed): I’M RIGHT HERE. I CAN HEAR YOU!

The pain suffered during that hour was nothing compared to the soreness I felt for the next couple of days. To talk on my cell phone, I literally had to use one arm to prop the other arm with the phone up to my ear. To add more injury to injury, I contracted an annoying head cold a few days later. Between the head cold affecting my balance and the stiffness throughout my body, I lurched around our apartment like a zombie.

I hate to admit it, but now that I’m past the initial push, I’m starting to feel a little better on the whole. Softball season starts this week and it will be nice to get to first base without the aid of a stretcher.

It only took me seven full months, but I’m finally starting to make good on my resolution.

Next year, I’m going to commit to something I can handle. I’m going to be the best nap taker of 2011.

Follow Josh on Twitter @Just_Being_Josh