Fuck the Police: Part III

Sunday, August 29, 2010 | 1 Comment(s)

I've been blogging for less than a year, and this is already my third post about getting pulled over.  I think it's fair to say that the force here is . . . active.  I can, off-handedly remember being pulled over at least 6 times in the last 4 years here.  Imagine if I actually did something wrong!

Enjoy the latest installment.

Friday was my friend's last day of work at the bar.  We all turned up for his last shift, and over the course of 3 hours i consumed 3 drinks, and bread and anchovies.  Afterward, I got some pizza.  As i was walking back to my car, i saw that a cop had pulled over a car just outside the town center.  As I pulled my car out and onto that same road, I realized that the cop was waiting for me to go by before he pulled out.  I have a headlight out, and since i knew it, i had my fog lights on.  Even so, I am smart enough to realize that broken headlights are exactly what cops are looking for at night as an excuse for pulling you over (apparently i wasn't smart enough to take a different route home, however).  I drove about a mile with him behind me before he decided to hit the lights.  I sighed to myself.  "Again!" i thought.

He told me he was pulling me over for the headlight, and he asked if i'd been drinking.  I said I'd had a drink but also had eaten food.  He realized that things were legit, and headed back to his car to do his cop stuff.  I sat there.  I soon realized that I hadn't even turned off the radio when the cop came to the window.  I'm that desensitized to it.

Now, up to this point, while i may not have appreciated being pulled over, i totally understood it and was ready for my warning and ride home.  As he hands me my written warning, he drops this on me, "Now i want you to know that you said you'd been drinking and I smell alcohol on you, but i followed you for awhile and you're driving fine so i'm going to choose not to pursue it . . ."  that pisses me off.

A) I knew i had scotch, and that it smelled.  I either had to lie and say i didn't have a drink -- which i think looks worse-- or just be honest (apparently this is not a good thing to do, but the entire interview is geared around making you admit to doing something wrong.)

B) He's essentially saying, "I know you're not drunk, but you should know that I could pursue this interaction as if you were."  And I resent it.  And because of the f'd up power dynamic I just have to sit there and take it. 

I just don't feel that the police should be reinforcing a culture of fear, and every interaction i have with them, has at least one "fear statement" involved.  In fact, i'm pretty sure that it's "part of the script."

When I get home, I look at the written warning.  Under name is says, "Matthew Zimbler."  Which means, that the same asshat that was implying that i might be drinking and driving, can't even transfer my name from my license to a piece of paper correctly.  Fuck the police. 

Epilogue:  At 10am the next morning I went out on my porch and found my landlord (who i really like) and his buddy drinking a beer and chatting.  I remarked that I had gotten pulled over etc etc, and my landlord commiserated that "those friggin police, huh." I decided not to go all "fuck the police" on him and instead said (honestly) that i had resented their need to induce fear.  My landlord kept with his "damn cops" demeanor.

Later that day when i returned to the house, my landlord told me that the friend he was drinking with was the chief of police.  I'm glad I didn't take the bait.

The Incomparable Grandma Rita

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | 1 Comment(s)

Sometimes you don't get a dose of a reality check, you get a hammer full.  After my last post RE: my back pain, i received this comment:

I can identify with your mind and body issues. Don't give up
the fight! I' m not. Your 84 year old grandma Rita 

My grandmother, Rita, recently went in for a relatively safe operation, and. long story short, things went terribly awry.  Rita fought for her life the past month and went from "we hope she gets some oxygen in her blood" to "we hope she starts breathing on her own" to "rehabbing her as she walks the halls of the hospital."  This is not one of those "fight for your life" lead-ins to some tv story, this was real, and she soldiered through it.  It was, hope-building, incredibly emotional, and unbelievably inspiring.

For whatever reason (i have long since given up trying to control my first impulses) i thought that the post was a poignant joke from my brother.  Considering that my grandmother isn't really a "blog follower" and is working on regaining her fine motor skills, i don't think it was that unreasonable to think it wasn't actually her typing in to my blog.

I was wrong.  My mother, who has been steadfast at my grandmother's side and amazingly supportive, read the blog post to my grams, who dictated her response.  When i realized this, the enormity of the comment started to sink in.  She is in the middle of doing the seriously difficult walking of the walk in terms of committing to her life, and in deference to my grandma, i'm making a new blog rule.

If you are currently or have just finished fighting for your life, you get a top 5 list about you.  No questions asked.  You have to appreciate the things in life that are real.

Grams--these are for you.  Enjoy.

Top Five Grandma Rita Moments/Traits

1.  When i was a boy, i went to visit my grams in New York City -- where she has lived as long as I have known her.  I'm not sure if it was my first trip to NYC, but it was certainly one of them.  Two highlights of the trip included A) my Gram and her best friend taking me to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  Not only had i not been on a ton of boats up to that point, but i still remember the sunny day, the smell of the water, and adventure of seeing that enormous lady o liberty.  I remember it as a wonderful day with my grandmother.  Simple and beautiful.  B) And i may be mixing young Matt NYC stories, but we went to a relatives birthday party at a fancy schmancy NYC restaurant that turned out to be kind of a family reunion.  Being little, i remember it as being a lot of older people who knew me, who i didn't know. What i DO remember is that i ended up with a crapload of helium filled balloons.  Like, a lot of them.  And we then proceeded to take a city bus back to my gram's place.  It was an ordeal.  A hilarious ordeal.

2.  Gram.  I know you're going to get to read this.  Please remember that at least one of these had to poke fun at you.   Here it comes.   One Hannukah, again, young Matt and brother, we received presents (as we always did) from grams.  As per tradition, we held off opening said presents until the holiday was in full swing.  Most years, gram went to Macy's and got my dad, my brother, and I all similar but different sweaters.  They were always tasteful and I didn't even need to be forced to wear them :)  This year, however, when my brother and I opened our gifts, what we received could only be described as, well, leather purses.  They were smallish rectangle purses of black leather that were longer than they were wide.  The leather tassels and one long arm strap really ruled out the other interpretations of what these bags might be.  Murses?  We hesitated, my mother's brother also has two kids, both girls, who are approximately the same ages as my brother and i, so we thought it was totally possible that the presents got switched when mailing.  I remember we made my mother call, "Hi mom . . . so what did you get the boys for Hannukah this year (she asking respectfully yet probing).  Handbags.  Ah ha.  All the rage in NYC?  Awesome.  thanks mom.  love you. byebye."

While man purses, murses.  may have been all the rage in NYC, in Western MA in the late 80s, that was still the kinda thing that could get your ass kicked.  But to be honest, the laughter that the whole family got from those purses made them one of the best gifts ever.

3. My grandmother gives it to me straight.  Always.  While this can be a difficult trait for many people, I love it.  When something sucks, she says it sucks.  When she is touched, you always know its genuine.  I feel that people generally present you with their own flavor of the truth, the unfortunate side-effect being that when things (let's say, aging, for example) start to transpire in a less rosy reality--i find myself caught off-guard.  I have never had that problem with my grandmother.  She tells me how it feels and while accepting the reality, she doesn't deny the experience of it.  Much like her comment on my blog, she keeps me grounded, prepared, without feeling sorry for myself.

4.  My grandmother is an incredible sculptor.  Over the past several years she has begun making figurines, about 10 inches tall out of clay.  There are academics, weightlifters, one with a dog, a couple -- she's done it all.  They are organic and they capture the essence of a person.  Her big showing will be at my brother's wedding in two weeks.  She has made all the centerpieces!!!  (i often picture my brother cracking the whip, pushing grandma to churn out more and more centerpieces.)  One of the themes of the wedding revolves around birds, and she has made clay bird centerpieces.  This is, hands down, her most refined and professional work to date.   They are incredible (i can't reveal a pic pre-wedding--no spoilers here).  Additionally, she has made, essentially, clay replicas of my brother and his bride to be that are their spitting images, holding hands.  This is her grand opening.  Her work will be featured prominently, and i know we will be thinking of her a lot.

5.  When i was just starting out living in NYC post college, i was unemployed and looking for a job for a number of months.  Not fun.  My grandma invited me to lunch in midtown and i accepted.   We went to a bar that had a side act that did an "Ol Blue Eyes" show.  The bar was worn, like it had been around, but classy enough that you thought it could be an after hours joint for movie stars.  The bartender comped our meals.  I was Rita Wortman's grandson, and in this bar, that definitely meant something.  And for a moment, i was pulled into my grandmother's world.  At 84 she still works (arranging buses of people wanting to come visit the city) so as not to get bored, and in this world of restaurants and acting -- Rita is a force.  Everyone treated her with the utmost respect and you could tell she had connections to everyone.  I was super proud, out of the misery of the job search, to be treated like a king, cause i was Rita's grandson.

I still am super proud.

Limpy the Limper

Sunday, August 22, 2010 | 4 Comment(s)

As my profile on the right says, I was a dance major in college. (i actually double majored in psychology and dance, but people tend to fixate more on the dance part even though, or perhaps because,  i'm currently a psychologist.)  This is an accomplishment that I am both immensely proud of and that has affected my world view significantly.  Most centrally (and especially in that it is the theme of this post), the Wesleyan dance program instilled in me the idea of a mind/body connection. 

There are a number of different ways to consider one's own body.  These days "judgmentally" is probably the number one way (sadly).  But, just for example's sake, let's take Judaism.  The Jews say that your body is borrowed, on loan to you until your death.  That's why tattoos are (only by the orthodox standards) considered a no-no (you'll be fine, Amare [and welcome to the tribe]).  Since your body is not yours to begin with, it follows that you shouldn't go permanently marking it up at your whimsy.  In this definition, what makes you you, is your essence, or spirit.  A non-tangible collection of your personality, memories, etc. etc. etc.

And for me, that simply doesn't work.  A dancer is trained to understand that your physicality is optimally in direct connection with what makes you you.  That you can't discount the part of oneself that we use to touch, move, relate, react--that we stare at in the mirror.  Furthermore, dancers are taught that the mind/body connection is an extremely positive thing.  When you take ownership of your body as you, you are simultaneously empowering yourself.     I believe it.  I tattooed it.  Because it, is me. 

So here is the question im now asking myself.  What do i do now, 10 years later, as my body is failing me?  My recent chronic back pain has been truly humbling.  Most horribly (and hilariously) one of the muscles in my back that i've damaged is the one i use to stop peeing (kegels anyone?).  So on top of limping around everywhere, I also need 100% concentration while peeing or i go all jackson pollock.

add my night vision issues and sprinkle in other various ailments that i'll spare you the details of, and that = a struggling mattitiyahu.   And one of the reasons this is so difficult for me is that i DO feel so connected to my body.  I have truly started questioning whether or not this mind/body thing is as effective (or beneficial) as we get older.  Unfortunately, I think i already know the answer.  The answer is that the harder it gets, the more important it is.  As my body weakens, committing to its importance and its re-strengthening has to be a priority.  Because to give up on your body, is to give up on yourself.  And that my friends, is a very slippery slope.

All in the Family

Friday, August 20, 2010 | 0 Comment(s)

As per my last post, here is my brother's response RE: assigned reading.

In terms of reading, I feel you. As you know, I have always been an avid reader. Reading has always been like a tougher, clear skin around me that I can walk around wearing and nobody knows. A wardrobe, if you will. But I read zero Victorian novels in a Victorian novel class in college (I remember writing a 13 page paper for Victorian novel class entitled: Why I didn't read this book and other post-Victorian musings), and then, when I was later depressed, I read every Victorian novel known to man and loved them like siblings.  Pressure, little bro. It makes diamonds of perfectly extraordinary coal.

My brother is a reading champion.  He'll be like, "i probably should read all those long books people talk about."  And then will tear through Moby Dick, War & Peace, Infinite Jest, and Atlas Shrugged over the next month (i have read 0 of them).  It seems that we just plain don't like being told when to read.  Even if we love to read.

The Visual Learner

Monday, August 16, 2010 | 0 Comment(s)

There is a joke in my family that goes WAY WAY back, which involves me being (and i believe i coined the phrase) a "visual learner."  As a kid, what i was saying, essentially, was that reading wasn't bringing me much enjoyment . . . but TV was.  While I had/have a deep love for cartoons (if you feel similarly, stop reading and go see the Scott Pilgrim movie), I also did spend a ton of time watching educational shows: Nature shows (i have crazy animal knowledge thusly), Square One Math television, PBS, etc. etc.

Turns out, that it wasn't the books that i didn't like, but the environment that pressured me to read them.  In other words, while i occasionally stole my brother's old English tests instead of reading every book i was assigned,  i was merely revolting against was the "read 4 chapters of this by Tuesday" mentality that was forced upon me.  The reason I know this is because when I was 17 or18, I took a leave of absence from college (aka. came down with a serious bout of mono during orientation) and lived the year out on a kibbutz in Israel.  And while this became the setting for a number of hilarious misadventures, this story is about books.  While in Israel (this is before email was ubiquitous fyi), i wrote my parents a letter.  It went something like this:

Dear Mom & Dad,

I am having a great time in Israel. Please send books.  I would like everything by Douglas Adams and any other book you think is excellent.  Love, Matt.     
ps. please send candy.  recently i've had a craving for Paydays (perhaps its because of the lack of compensation)

Now, when I left for Israel, I was still my parents' little "visual learner," so you can imagine their surprise receiving this letter.  A little over a week later, I receive a large box in the mail.  It contains pretty much EVERY book EVER by Douglas Adams, The Red Badge of Courage, The Power of One, Lord of the Flies, and almost every other book i was supposed to read in high school. (i also received more Payday candy bars than i ever could have imagined.  How many you ask?  To this day, I have never eaten a Payday candy bar since that care package.  Call it immersion therapy.)  I read all the books.  Voraciously.  Quickly.  When I finally had some time to myself, reading became relaxing.  I sat on a cliff, overlooking the Israel/Syria border, and lost myself in words for the first time.

Later in college (in the late 90's), this visual learner joke lent itself to my parents telling me that I should read the newspaper more to know what's going on in the world.  I tried to explain to them that I DID follow what was going on in the world . . . online.   Since, once again, the internet was not yet something that we carried with us in our phones (people were just getting cell phones at this point)--my parental units felt that somehow getting news "online" was akin to watching tv on my computer.  In fact, I was going to news sites and actually reading the news.

Now newspapers are going out of business.  It seems that people are getting their news almost exclusively online.  Crazy right?  The parents have since apologized.  They realized the error of their ways.  It was glorious.  It turns out, there are millions of visual learners out there just like me.

I'm not sure there is a moral to this story, but i will end with a story from last night which is at least part of my point.  I made an offhanded un-serious comment to my friend (while playing video games) that he probably has ADHD (i don't think he does).  He replied, more seriously, that he thinks that too many kids these days are just told they have some sort of learning disability as an excuse for the kid's poor performance in school (sometimes true, certainly).

My take was a bit different.  I said: "Well you have to figure that the educational system is much more likely to say that a kid is somehow deficient, as opposed to recognizing that the system itself is deficient in not being able to convey the material."
 What's the difference between this . . .
. . . and this?

We are told we "lack" so much and so many times in life; from so many places (advertising in a sense is just telling people what they don't know that they need).  In my experience, people are almost always better than they think they are, and if they can be convinced that they are as good as they actually are, they become almost unstoppable. 

Become unstoppable.

Happy Birthday to All of You!

Saturday, August 14, 2010 | 2 Comment(s)

Last year i tried to remember to send almost everyone i knew facebook messages on their birthdays.  i wasn't perfect, but in an effort to help my chances, I generally used the pattern:

HB (*insert persons initials), HB!  L, MZ  (*thats my initials!)

simple, thoughtful and a little different. 

Recently, I have gone in a different direction.  I'd call it "bizarro heartfelt."  A sampling (ps. yom kuledet sameach is happy birthday in hebrew.  pps. names have been changed to protect the innocent):

Jody Goldstein:Birthday girl::Mattitiyahu:not wearing pants
both are happening right now. love. mz

yom kuledet sameach. et al. dot com. etc. etc. HB!

Gaw. Happy Birthday. Birthpy Hapday. Daypy HapBirth. Shuffle Up and Fly. Soar to the celebration of you.

(to a chef friend): yom huledet sameach Maya! shower in red wine, shampoo with a reduction, and condition with something force fed. And that's all before breakfast. Enjoy the b-day week and celebrate yourself with verve.

Gorgeousness is the birthplace of Ithaca, the sunrise, and you. I hope the happy of amazonian endowment sends anaconda sized love downriver to your self. happy birthday.

And then sometimes, my thoughtfulness is greatly outweighed by my assiness.  For your pleasure:

(for a friends' anniversary):
Tia and Jonny, sitting in a tree, m-a-r-r-i-e-d. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes debra and jack in a baby carriage.

Tia's response: Mattitiyahu- thanks for your cute Anniversary wish. You got 1 out of the 2 kids names right- not bad :)

My response: im such a raging ass. in my defense, im on pain killers--and i havent met the little human boy yet. A for effort, D+ on the execution.




Pop Goes The Pelvis

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | 2 Comment(s)

I've heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve.
And I've heard of having your head up your ass.
But never have i heard of a heart in your leg.

That said, the physical therapist had my leg a-beatin.

turns out my sacroiliac joint on the right side has somehow rotated back.  aka, the bones that look like an elephant's ear has slipped backwards in a way that makes pretty much the entire lower right side of my body sear in pain.  Anyways, once you guys all stop playing your teeny tiny violins for my sad story ill get to the important part, which is, what the physical therapist did to me. Enjoy.

1. First she says, "now in order to see what's hurt, i'm going to have you do some range of motion tests which will hurt."  They hurt.  Actually, a "range of motion" test is having you stretch in one direction UNTIL it hurts.  So even if I wasn't already in pain, this probably would have sucked.  But i survived.

(i should say that my PT woman was wonderful and even though i am waxing on about the pain she caused me, she was intelligent, insightful, and overall knew what she was doing.)

2.  Heat and stimulation.  Sounds super hot right?  not so much.  First came the electrodes.  Two sets of two electrodes which stuck to my back similar to how you would hook up a car to jump-start it.  As i was making that analogy in my mind, she turned on the electricity and pretty much jump-started my leg and back.  As, and this is really informed conjecture as to what was happening, the electrodes sent a current to their mates, they made the muscles the currents were running across twitch.  And the 2 electrodes alternated, giving the impression of a heart beat (which also alternates its beats--thus the bah-dum bah-dum bah-dum sound) in my leg.  It was pretty awesome.  I was laying there, now with a warm blanket on top of the whole mechanism, thinking of funny interpretations of what was happening to me.  "I found my inner child, and he's in my leg!"  I imagined my leg pumping up like one of those old Reebok sneakers.  Growing to hulk-like proportions.  "You wouldn't like my right leg when its angry!!!"
Heart LOVE Chunk!

I digress.  Big time.  Turns out the electricity stops the nerves from firing and hurting so much.  Kinda.

3. This next one was the show stopper.  After they unplugged me, she had me lay on my back with my knees bent.  I then pushed my knees out, her pushing my knees in for resistance.  After 4 of those, we did the opposite, she put her forearm between my knees and i pushed in on it.
And then i hear and feel simultaneously, "POP POP."  I was stunned.  Speechless.  Um . . . um  . . . the pops had come from my inner pelvis, one on either side of my  . . ah . . . junk (groin?).  This is not a location that i am used to feeling pops.  I would go so far as to say i am "pop averse" in that area specifically.  My PT, on the other hand, lit up.  "Did you feel the pop?" she asked.  "Two of them," I replied, tangibly less enthusiastically.  It was like her smile was a reaction to my pain.  "That was your pelvis snapping back into place," she countered.  "oh." "I  . . .  ah  . . . totally knew that."  "Feels great." "Does that mean we're done?"

4.  We are not done.  Next I lie on my back, right leg hanging off the table.  She lifts my left knee and pushes my right leg further down to the ground.  She is literally cranking my leg back into the correct place.  If it didn't feel like a dozen ninjas' throwing stars landing solidly in the small of my back, I would have hugged her.  Manually cranking the body into place is just something that i can dig, i can totally get down with that.  It makes sense.  It's old school.  It hurts a bunch.  And that was it--until tomorrow morning at 9:30am . . .

Back Up in Arms and Legs

Monday, August 9, 2010 | 3 Comment(s)

When I was a little kid, any bump or bruise to the legs was an amazing excuse to wrap an Ace bandage around the ailing limb and limp around.  And oh did i limp.  In my childhood mind there was something cool to having a limp--something rugged-- something badass.  Now 80 lb. Matt was not badass.  If your kid's glasses change color in the sun and have strings attached to them so he'll stop losing them . . . its a pretty safe bet he's not moonlighting as the bully, taking smaller kids lunch money.  A really safe bet.  And i know that on some level I was self-aware enough, even then, to realize i wasn't causing anyone nightmares.  But man could i limp.

Many years later, as a budding social scientist (still in high school however), I once walked around Tel-Aviv for an entire day with a club foot.  I was interested in what the response would be (im pretty sure no one cared, and even if they did, i didn't know much hebrew so i wouldn't have been able to understand them--like i said, i was a budding social scientist--obviously just not a very bright one).  And looking back i cringe at the idea that i was that little douche-bag who pretended to have a club foot to see how people would react.  But what can you do.  We all have to be d-bags at one point or another, i figure i could have done worse (and probably did later).

I say this because as of the last few weeks i have so damaged the musculature of my back that i once again have found myself limping.  Grown-up Matt finds this decidedly UN-badass.  I've taken some drugs and finally have seen the doctor (P.T. tomorrow) but i almost lost it today when i got in the pool and it hurt too much to swim.  That's really not good.  So i must practice patience which, if you made a list of my attributes, would be in teeny tiny lower case letters at the very bottom edge of that list. Probably last. This is also one of the reasons that the creative juices haven't been flowing blogwise.  I apologize, but in the life of any blog/blogger there will be ebbs and flows.  I promise to never flow away without warning.  Pinky promise.

And now, for your amusement:

Matt fact #44:  I really like to poke at my belly button with my thumb--shirt on or off.

I have no idea why this is comforting to me.  Ask Piaget or Freud or some other dead pscyho-analist.  For a long time, i didn't even realize i was doing it.  Finally one of my roommates in Boston pointed out that not only do i do it, on some of the t-shirts that i've had a long time (which, since i still have almost all of my high-school t-shirts, could have been one of many), there was actually a dimpling of the cotton right over the belly button area.  The fabric of the shirt had been over-stretched in that one spot to the point where it dimpled.  I know that's totally weird, but i have to say i think that this falls under "incredible cool incredibly weird things i do."  I mean, post the whole "birth" thing, what else is the belly-button good for if not to be a thumb-rest.  I telling you guys, im ahead of my time.  Bellybutton thumb-rests; they'll be all the rage someday--i mean, as it stands, people are shoving this crap through them:

I rest my case.

*editors note: for an explanation of the above jewelry, see the comments section.

Rubbed the Wrong Way

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 | 0 Comment(s)

Family matters have arisen.  Please forgive the infrequency of recent posts.

Moving on.

Today I got a bad massage.  Now this post is not about shaming the guy who did it (which i have no need for), but rather, I have found that getting a bad massage is the kinda thing i need to vent about in order to get over it.

Some preface.  This is all taking place at a massage school.  It only costs 30 bucks ($25+$5 tip), so results can be . . . variable.  The massages take place in two large rooms, 6 tables per room. 

All the other people getting massages got called into the rooms, I was still sitting there.  5 min later, my guy comes bounding up the stairs, apologizing and saying it'll just take a second to set up his table.  At this point I'm not feeling like my guy (whose name i never caught) has got his game face on.   He's super laid back to the point of seeming like he's not enthused about being there (which is a vibe i've never experienced from a masseuse before--quite the contrary i have found that most have had a particular jua de vive.)  He asks me if there are any particular areas that need work and I tell him that my right side (hamstring from my calf to lower back) has been really hurting (aka. immobile) and that's why im there.  he responds that he's just coming back from 3 months off.  I'm not sure why he is telling me this.  Is he lowering my expectations?  Massages are special treats to myself, and its kinda a buzzkill going into it expecting the worst.  If the secret to a good massage is communication/trust between the masseuse and the client, we are not doing well so far.

I like it rough.  I tell him this.  What i mean is that i have only once or twice experienced a masseuse giving me more pressure than i can take.  This guys early up and downs on my back feel like a mouse scurrying near my spine.  I tell him I can take much more pressure.  He adjusts.  His pressure is pretty good, but something about using that pressure totally f's his flow.  He finds a spot, pushes hard (which is good), then moves and repeats.  What I would call the "flow" of the massage, is just not there.  But he's still only on my back, and my leg is what im more concerned about.  I try to delay judgment.  I try and relax.  When he begins on my right leg I realize that this i'snt going to be the experience I hoped for.   He's going much lighter on my leg, not searching out the tightness, and generally not spending a lot of time trying to pinpoint my bad area (which is particularly surprising since the outside of my hammy is rock hard).   His touch on the bottom of my feet is so light that it tickles instead of massaging.  Next he's bending my knee.  Nope, no ending to that sentence. He just bends it.  I can touch my foot to my back, so this is . . . not even a stretch really.  He later does a similiar thing where he kinda slowly swings my arm back and forth.  It's like the light version of shaking the tension out of someone.  Again, unhelpful. 

I'm starting to tense up. I'm now going through all the negative things about the massage instead of relaxing and just enjoying.  Trying to work out my phrasing for the comment card.  Quick hint, if this kinda stuff is what's going thru your head during a massage--you aren't having a good time.  I'm realizing that getting a bad massage is very much like getting a toothy BJ.  Something that should be so relaxing and wonderful becomes a disappointing letdown.  (And you dont want to see the person again for awhile!)  He finishes my legs, but i can tell that he's done so too quickly--he's ahead of the other masseuses (who started at least 5 min before him).  Instead of going back and trying to work on my identified problem area he uncovers my back and starts pressing again.  I imagine that this is how women feels when a guy with a really small penis is giving it his all and she can't really feel it.  "this again!," i think to myself.  Any hope that this massage will get better as i flip over has evaporated.

5 minutes of the end of the massage are spent with either his hands wedged un-symmetrically under my shoulder blades or with his hands at the base of my skull  (which feels good--but i laid there forever).  I feel like he's biding time.  The "neck work" consisted of turning my head right, and then one move where he moved up my neck over and over again.  turn left--repeat.  right--repeat.  left--repeat.  This is not flow.  It was as if he was running out of ideas or moves or motivation.  He concluded before all but one of the other masseuses.  Maybe he did actually run out of ideas.  Perhaps he should have fallen back on, um . . . the shit i had told him that hurt me.  I've been to this place many many times, and this performance felt less engaged, less professional, and not super helpful.  It's not the money; it's the disappointment.  My expectation had been that my ailing back would feel better this afternoon from having gotten a massage.  No such luck.  I tried to convey this disappointment both when he asked for feedback and on the comment card.  he took it pretty well, but as I was filling out my comment card i could hear him talking about our session in the room behind me.  Unprofessional, even for a student.

Bletch bletch bletch.