Tag Archives: Bir

Freaky Friday: Rubbed The Right Way

by Richard

I figured it was time I took my own advice.

About a month or so ago, I wrote about how scientists had been doing some actual scientific research on some good stuff. They’d been looking at massages and found that getting a good massage actually altered your body chemistry, leading to a reduction in cortisol, the stress hormone.

So I went out and booked myself a massage. Now I have only one question: Why in the flark did I wait so long to get a good massage?

After an hour of subtle, delicious pressure, I was barely able to get off the table. I felt that relaxed. Plus, you know, getting rubbed with oil. When is that ever a bad thing?

Anyway, I went to see a certified massage therapist in the Charlotte area named Rachael Schrader. First a disclaimer: I’m not writing about her because I expect to get free massages out of this. I didn’t even tell her about the blog here. I just really enjoyed the massage and want to tout its benefits to you dudes.

I will say I’m not all that enamored of the New Agey stuff that comes along with the massage, but I’m willing to put up with it if it leads to me getting a great rub down. And I did get a great rub down.

First I got asked to disrobe to my comfort level. For some people, that’s stripping down to their birthday suit. To me, that was keeping my suit on. Well, I did strip down a bit, but I stayed (barely) clothed. That’s me, though.

So Rachael oiled up her hands and got to work. I don’t know how she did it, but she found every tight muscle in my body and rubbed, poked and prodded there until those muscles finally unclenched. There was some pain involved, but it was really worth it. The feeling as those muscles finally let go was magnificent.

I really can’t say enough good things about the experience. At the end, Rachael asked if I wanted to schedule another massage, but I demurred. I was floating somewhere above cloud 10.7 and wanted to wait a bit before deciding, not wanting to spend more money based solely on the euphoria I felt in the moment. Well, I waited long enough.

I’m going back. If you can, I recommend you start getting this done. Find a good massage therapist and get into the rub.

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Cheating: A Rant

by Richard

Remember way back when Dennis Miller used to be funny? Yeah, I know. Hard to reach back that far. Still, he was at his funniest when he was at his angriest, when he was on a rant.

I’m not that funny, but I’m about to go on a rant. And I do mean to go off on it.

Back on Valentine’s Day, we got a comment entered in an post that was so old we had to blow the spiderwebs off it so we could actually read what we wrote. Which means, usually, we got spammed by some kind of robot. And not the fun kind. This robot-installed spam was hawking academic papers that you could buy.

Yeah, that’s right. The place, which I will not dignify with a link, is a cheating factory.

There’s an argument that buying papers off the internet isn’t cheating. That those papers only serve as a guideline to the — ha! — students who buy them. A way for them to help focus their thoughts.

Yeah, right. And I’m the Queen of Iceland. Admittedly, I do look good in a nice mauve prom dress and a tiara, but Iceland doesn’t actually have a queen. I think you get my point.

The purpose of an essay is not to punish the students. Well, most of the time. Seriously, it’s so that the professor can make sure the students have actually grasped the point of a section of knowledge and are able to synthesize ideas, resolve contradictions and form coherent opinions about that knowledge. These are all important skills. And buying papers off the internet doesn’t help achieve that goal.

I know I’m speaking as a very old person here. There’s no student who likes writing an essay. I know I didn’t when I was that age. But, now that I’m old, I can appreciate what it’s trying to accomplish. It’s a worthwhile goal. That and it’s fun to watch little dudes suffer like that.

I still remember the two all-nighters in a row I pulled in trying to write a coherent paper about Kurt Vonnegut’s Jailbird. That thing, like most of Vonnegut’s books, is a mass of twisting narrative that can confound the most agile mind. Of which mine was not. Still, I managed to get the paper done on time and turn it in. I got a “B” and counted myself lucky. I later found out I got that high a grade because the professor felt sorry for me when he saw how I looked when I turned it in. I know, how could he tell the difference? Har, har.

Still, even though it’s hard, people need to learn how to write coherent bits of narrative. You will be judged on how well you write. No one’s going to demand that anyone write as well as Christopher Moore or anything, but you have to be able to get your ideas across in print, or pixel as the case may be.

I just do not like these kinds of services. I think they cheat the professor and the student. And that’s not good.

Okay. I’m done. End of rant. Go about your business.

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Me First And The Gimmie Gimmies*

by Richard

When dads sit down around the campfire after a long day of herding little dudes and cleaning up after them, there’s a cautionary tale that gets told to the shivers of the listeners. It goes something like this.

There was a family with three little dudes and or dudettes. It doesn’t matter. The family was planning a vacation to somewhere warm, sandy and delightful. As they were doing the final pack up, they heard the news. At the resort, a bird who’s species is on the verge of extinction had flown into the engine of a fully loaded jet as it was coming in for a landing. The jet went down in a ball of flame, killing all on board as well as wiping out the resort and causing a fire that devastated the tiny island.

“Oh, how horrible,” said the mom.

“That’s just terrible,” said the dad as he began to unpack their suitcases.

The middle little dude looked on, aghast. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“Wait,” he said. “Why are you unpacking? That doesn’t affect me, does it? Well, find something else.”

And the group around the campfire shivers, knowing the little dude just didn’t get it. All he worried about was whether or not he was going to get something. The dads hoped they were raising their little dudes to be better than that. They picked up their plates of beans and started a fart contest. Whatddya want? They’re dudes.

The problem is that little dude’s reaction wasn’t all that unusual. There’s little dudes all over the world that only care about something if it affects them, or how they want to do stuff. I may, just may, know this from personal experience. Maybe.

I’m not sure why this happens. I’m not sure how a little dude becomes so focused on himself that he sees the entire world through the lens of how it will affect him. I think, though, there are some ways to work with the non-functional-brained little dudes.

One way is the bait and switch. Offer the little dude something he or she really wants, or says he or she does, and then make it contingent on doing something nice for someone more than once. Or tell them they can’t have it. And then give it to them only after they’ve made an unprompted gesture of niceness toward another member of the family.

I think we need to make sure kids like these widen their perspective more than a little bit. Let themselves see the outside world has more to offer and needs more from the people living in it than what happens to them.

*not the band, although they’re awesome.

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