The Aftermath

Rarely have I wished so heartily as I did this morning to have been wearing my Wellingtons. As I walked the dog, gingerly stepping amidst the gauntlet of slugs that my street has become in the wake of last night’s gorgeous rain storm, flip flops just seemed incredibly inadequate.


The song of the morning as I whinge is the imagined voice (or at any rate the Stephen Fry rendition) of the little kid at the Quidditch World Cup campground saying to his mother, ‘You bust slug! You bust slug!’ Only, I, very fortunately, seem to have escaped that fate, though only just.


Good god, they are everywhere.

The World of Disney

I think I am abnormal in that I have no interest whatsoever in visiting a Disney theme park.





Surely I’d have loved to go on my first trip to California when I was 8. But the allure has long since died down. I drove past Disneyland once. That’s as close as I’ve ever gotten and as close as I care to.


It’s not that I have any great malevolence towards them. I simply do not care.


My husband and I both feel like we must be missing some key feature that our Disney-adoring/Disney-obsessing Adult friends haven’t told us about that draws them back again and again. Something top secret you only find out about once you are there.


Because I sure don’t get it.


But we’ve both been told by numerous people, “Once you go, You’ll understand!”




That suggestion doesn’t seem to hold water.


I’m not convinced that airfare plus hotel and food plus $80+/adult/day entry fees are a good way to crack the mystery.


My idea of a good holiday is flying to England, eating lunch in the park, going to the museums, taking ourselves on a Harry Potter, Doctor Who, or Cadfael tour, having tea with our overseas friends, and climbing the towers of local cathedrals.


Vacations need to be personal. Otherwise, why bother?


When your bragging rights run out, what are you left with?


A bunch of memories that are yours but also Not Yours because they were built around what a bunch of other people deem appropriate?


No Thank You.


I like Adventures. You can keep your theme parks.




Fairy Tales. I love them. I love all forms of them. Books, movies, plays, ballets. I especially love new versions of them. Because the old ones sometimes leave something to be desired. Really, retellings of fairy tales are the closest thing to ‘fan-fiction’ I can stomach. I adore retellings.


“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.” -Albert Einstein


I grew up on fairy tales. ‘Raised by them’ might even be accurate. From backyard reenactments of Rapunzel to kitchen dance routines with a straw broom pretending to be Cinderella, my childhood revolved around fairy stories.


As an adult, I have become embittered to a great many of these sugar coated tales but I still cling to what’s underneath: the potential for true love and self actualization. And I’ve come to appreciate more than anything, my proud role as Self-Rescuing Princess.


I dare say that most of us here probably grew up on fairy tales as told by Walt Disney and his successors. And many of us, now that we are actually grown up, have realized what a load of shit most of what we learned from them really was.


When you look at all the lies we’ve been fed, it’s really no wonder that we’ve had such fucked up relationships and relationship expectations.


True Love does not come to you as Instant Gratification.


I can’t know every situation, for you maybe it did come to you like that, but I can’t see how that is ever possible. True Love is something so deep that it takes time to come to life and even more time to recognize.


As our generations grow older, and we are the ones behind the camera, controlling the production of new work, penning new versions of old tales, it is no wonder that we have made strides in shifting our culture’s view and started producing tales from the opposite perspective. Because we have finally realized that the flowery, sugar coated stories about instantaneous love and always being happy, joyful, and kind, just don’t hold up when you’ve been faced with death, betrayal, heartbreak, abuse, manipulation, divorce, child loss, et cetera et cetera et cetera.


It is time to tell the story from a different view point. And Disney has finally risen to the call.


I am so thankful that Disney is finally recognizing the folly of glorifying Love-Without-Friendship, which often seems to coincide with Stalkery Love (we have Twilight and the like for that), or even Love of Riches (I can’t explain this one without sounding like an asshole, so I’m just going to leave it for you to think about).


“Nobody poor was ever called democratic for marrying somebody rich.” -Sabrina (1954)

Seriously, though, I don’t even want to be a princess! (It’s the Queen or Nothing, bitches!) I really don’t want to wear a formal dress for more than two hours at a time (despite how much I dote over pretty clothes, I’ve already mentioned how much I love yoga pants, and pants in general). I don’t want to deal with Politics. I don’t want to be watched 24 hours a day. And I don’t want a Prince Charming. I want my hardworking, caring, normal guy, who can laugh with me and makes me laugh more than I have ever laughed before in ways I never have, build a life With me within our means, play with legos, walk the dog, clean the toilet, complain about the horrendous bigotry and all the beauty we see in our daily lives, write silly or serious stories with, wear ripped jeans or stained shirts, leave off the makeup for a night, belch in front of, and never be afraid of being less than cartoon perfect.


Disney is beginning to see that a better example of Love is one in which relationships are based on friendship, trust, and long standing relationships where the people in them have had time to get to know the deepest secrets, greatest fears, and most magnificent strengths of each person involved.


I am so thankful for their shift in dynamic from Love with a Stranger to the amazing journey that is Love, and even the many different forms Love can take.


I am so thankful for Toy Story, Brave, Maleficent, Once Upon a Time, and even Frozen (which I actually hated, but I’ll explain that later).


Maybe it’s thanks to their relationship with Pixar that Disney is finally changing their representation of Love and How People Find it. It’s rarely handed to us freely. There is almost always a struggle. And there is almost always a little heartbreak thrown in (sometimes a lot). Sometimes that’s the catalyst that makes us finally act, express our feelings, fight for what we want, or which leads us to a new and better path.


Now as The Disney Generations are becoming The Adults, we are, you might say, taking revenge upon those that lied to us. We are becoming the Fairy Tale Villains and telling the world how things really happen. And it is beautiful.


My director, John Fagan, of the Upstate Shakespeare Festival in Greenville, SC, once told us, during a rehearsal of King John (2003),


“Villains are never completely evil. They have Reasons for being evil.”


As a writer, I’m finding it a challenge to write villainous characters without them reading as flat – cardboard cutouts and stereotypical evil-doers. No backstory, just a lifetime of tying damsels to railroad tracks and over taxing the poor to build their seventeenth mansion.


Remembering that the Villain is also a person, has their own story, and probably has a reason for what they are doing is a very important thing. Both as motive for your character, and to make the story believable and full.


Look at Maleficent. Look at Regina and, to a lesser extent, Zelena. Look at Mor’du.


I won’t include all my thoughts on Maleficent, which I attended last night, because I want you to go to it Fresh. I will say these two things, though.


1. The movie and Story are Sheer Beauty

2. Heartbreak Changes People.


“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” -Neil Gaiman

Or as someone once responded, Befriended.


While I’m working on a much longer post (regarding the magic and myth of childhood happiness) I want to share with you something I have recently discovered a surprising liking for.

Slam Poetry.

I don’t know how it happened. It was somewhat recent.

Someone I know shared a link to a piece about a subject I care about.

Then someone else did.

Then I saw one linked on a Buzzfeed quiz sidebar.

Then I found one on Pinterest.


However I found them, I have found them mesmerizing.

Everything from Body Image to Rape Culture.

Mainly those two, actually.

Two of the things that women have to deal with every day that bug the crap out of me. And these women, these speakers, these poets, these performers, these prophets of women’s truth wield their subjects with expertise.

I thank each of them for their honest, open confrontation of our fears and needs. Thank you.


This is the one that spoke to me today.

I beg you all, watch, listen, and try to understand.


“Asking For It”:

It Doesn’t Look Like Much

As is typical of a Sunday, my husband is at his best friend’s house and the dog and I have our whole house to ourselves. This inevitably means that I stare at my computer screen for three hours trying to remember what scene I was planning to write and flipping through Pinterest and listening to Jordi Savall on the internet radio trying to get myself motivated.


a view from my writer’s nook

My dog chills in the closet.


Best Nook in the House

The three of us have done a really good job getting settled, but there are still plenty of boxes to unpack. Our new house has lots of storage spaces yet to be filled, but there is quite a process ahead of us determining what needs to go where. And despite all the storage, there simply are not enough bookshelves.


as yet unused linens closet

My craft room opens directly into the smallest ‘bedroom’ which someday hopefully will be a nursery. My desk faces away from that doorway, which until about forty minutes ago was blocked purposefully by my standing mirror. I now have the doorway open and the window open to air out the upstairs and am hoping to organize or at least unpack a good portion of what’s been stored in there since we moved in. Lots of book, fabric, old pictures I clipped out of magazines back in college to give me inspiration for whatever forgotten adventure I was writing back then.


Sunny Side of the House

* * *

Thad and I just took a little break from writing/lounging-in-closet to walk our neighborhood and play briefly in our yard.


Happy Puppeh

I made myself lunch – the noodle bowl I’ve been craving and that I am now splashing on the keyboard. I also grabbed a glass of water because, o my god, sodium. I took the opportunity while foods were cooking to put away a few things in the kitchen, open the rest of the windows on the second floor, and replace the window in the front storm door with the screen. Welcome to our Airflow Kingdom! I pulled a few more pictures and books out of boxes in the nursery/library, but still have no where else to put them. The empty boxes, however are now out in the pile of other empty boxes, saved for friends’ pending moves. Progress. Our house might still be kind of messy (not unlike this blog post). There are still so many things to do.  But that’s ok, because the cottage is not a show piece. We live here. It might not look like much yet, but it’s home!


  • I am trying Coconut Water for the first time, as recommended to combat dehydration post massage (and exercise) and the typically resulting headaches. I have a feeling coconut water is one of those things that is so oddly flavored that I won’t realize whether or not I actually like it until I’ve had it so often that Stockholm Syndrome has taken over and I can’t get enough of it regardless of how vile or fantastic it might taste. [see also: Boba Tea/Coffee]


  • I think it’s time to admit that my new life goal is to be Claudia Cardinale. Obviously I’ll never be 5’8″. And that’s ok. If you haven’t seen Once Upon a Time in the West yet, please go watch it. She is an asset to the film, playing Jill, one of the leads. But that’s hardly the most important thing. The movie itself is an incredible work of artistic genius. Plus, she’s really gorgeous. I’m working real hard on the hair and makeup.


  • At 2:22pm I was only just having my first meal of the day. I intended to eat breakfast before I went for a massage, but the problem with having one particular plan on a day off is that I somehow always end up running late, despite not having anything else to do all day. This is why schedules are so important to me.


  • I’ve lost 16 lbs since December. Pilates. Meal Planning. Eating Less. Balanced Meals and Healthy Snacks. For the Motherfucking Win.



On Competition, and How I Just Don’t Give a Shit

I spent the first part of my weekend in a very bad mood.

My upset stemmed greatly from a problem I keep encountering in owning a small business: Others have a sort of possessiveness in which they want to project themselves into the running of my business. While I won’t go into the details of the first half of my frustration, as it’s something I am still trying to work out, I must bring up the latter half of my issue.

While it has been a present topic my entire career, it has been of late a very constant pressure:


The False Conception of Competition in My Field


The thing is, I don’t give a damn about competition. I was never good at sports and I barely passed the debate section of my high school English class. And when it comes to people who help other people, I just don’t see how there can be too many. There will never be too many authors. There will never be too many massage therapists.


I work in a very small town and have always been very disappointed in the limited presence of other MTs there. I came most recently from a large city where I worked in a clinic which employed around 40 therapists, and was located down the street from about fifty other clinics, spas, and other healing arts centers. Overall, I still had plenty of work. There is always a need for other members of my profession. Even in a seemingly minuscule town in rural Pennsylvania, three MTs is never enough.


I can’t seem to find an origin for the following. I found it on Pinterest, and a google search has done nothing to turn up its origin. I hope I can attribute it to someone, as the concept has a huge impact on everything I do at work and in life, and I think it’s really important to mention here:


“I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.”


The truth is, that I actually get a little upset when people inform me that I have competition in my field.  Not because I think that I do, but because other people don’t understand.  This is not something that needs to exist in healing.

I don’t have competitors. I have colleagues. That’s what we are and that’s what we should be and that’s how I wish people viewed us all!

I might not be the perfect match for a client, and that’s ok. But without other options for a therapist in town, that person will probably go without the care they need, and that’s not fair. And to pretend that someone else doesn’t exist because it means less clients for me? That’s wrong beyond all wrongness.

On top of that, hey, you know what? I like getting massages, too. I can’t give myself a deep tissue massage. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. I need other therapists in town, for my own sake.


I am very well trained in my area. But there are so many other modalities and styles of massage and bodywork that I am not trained in, not skilled at, or don’t want to do. When a client comes in with a particular need, I will not lie to them and say I know how to ‘fix’ them or their problem. I can’t do that to the client nor to my profession. It’s dishonest and unfair. I must have other resources – other therapists to whom I can refer my clients when there is nothing more I can do for them. This goes as well for when I can’t work. If I’m out of town, sick, fully booked. I need a list of therapists whose names and numbers I can give to my clients and potential clients. If another therapist comes to the shop where I rent my studio space I want them to be able to leave a stack of cards so that others might find them when they are in need! I’m not afraid of competition! Because I do not believe that is what we have between us.

My only competition is myself.


I do not own my clients. No one can steal what I do not own. It’s unfair to the clients and the other therapists to accuse them of somehow stealing my livelihood. I won’t ever do this.


In conclusion:


Please give your support to all members of the wellness community! The greatest concern we should all have is that each client, potential client, and former client is getting the care they need!


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