Thursday, April 30, 2015

Feature Interview: Neesa Johnson, Massage Therapist

Neesa Johnson, LMT.
THE USUAL UNUSUAL DISCLAIMER: I certify that the information given in this interview is correct and accurately reflects my past and current thoughts and feelings regarding the spa industry. I will notify the interviewer of any changes in mind-set, but probably not, because I totally know what I’m talking about. Like, seriously. I understand the information requested will assist the interviewer as well as the general public (who have no idea just how crazy the industry can get) in finding the right spa/massage therapist/etc. I totally give consent to have these questions blogged for all to see, and am not being held at gunpoint by the interviewer until I answer all of her questions so that she can make her deadline because she is running late with her post yet again. me!

Karma Girl: When did you first know you wanted to become a massage therapist instead of a doctor, lawyer, or pony…Not that I’ve ever wanted to be any of those things. (Insert sneaky eye here)

Neesa Johnson: Since Hurricane Katrina. I have always said I'm a bodyworker because of the influence of my Asian body work training (Asian Bodywork, Tuina, medical Qigong, Qigong for health, acupressure, and Shiatsu).

KG: How much training did you have to do get certified, and what is your favorite modality? Did it require you to travel to the Far East and take classes from a bunch of ancient monks what live on some mountain somewhere?

NJ: I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for twenty years where the Asian population is very high. I love to give Trager and to receive meridian stretching. My training began over twenty years ago taking myofascial release CE as an Occupational Therapist. I then enrolled in 2007 my program at Blue Cliff, Metairie, so I could get licensed in LA.

KG: Have you ever held a managerial position in the spa industry? What was the best thing about the job? What was the worst? Did the service providers have to pay homage to you, and if so, why did you give up that shit? 

NJ: I was a Clinical Administrator at Old Metairie Massage Envy, then briefly at Tchoupitoulas Massage Envy. I enjoyed mentoring new LMTs. The worst was the customer complaints.

KG: What is the hardest part about being a massage therapist?

NJ: Not being able to take full days off when you work for yourself.

KG: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in your work as either a service provider or a manager?

NJ: When I asked a pregnant client to get on the table facing the wall. When I was about to come back into the room, I said, "Ready?" She said, "Yes." I came in, and she was naked, standing against the wall!

This is the part of the interviewing process I like to call, The Serious Three. It includes a series of three temporarily noteworthy, implausibly staid questions. You are obligated to answer them as seriously as possible:

QUESTION #1: When a client pisses you off do you tapotement the shit out of them?

No. I just go deeper.

QUESTION #2: Can I steal your BioMat? It was awesome.


QUESTION #3: Where can my readers follow you (Facebook, Twitter, website, etc) and how do they go about booking a massage from you?

Neesa Johnson on Facebook.

And for those of you looking for a massage or to purchase a BioMat of your own, be sure to message Ms. Johnson for details.

Thank you, Neesa, for taking the time to answer these questions. I’m sure you should have no problems chewing through the ropes to make your escape.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Massage Time: What's In Your SpaB

I hate out calls, and not just because of the seedy connotations the term brings up. Just google the word, and you'll see what I mean.

No, I will not "enlarge" so you can take down Cassie's digits. Pervert.
For those of you not "looking for a good time", an outcall is when the massage therapist comes to you. My spa offers this service (The legal kind. Not the happy ending type.). My boss won't force a therapist to do an outcall, but seeing as you get half the amount of the massage plus gratuity, it's a damn tempting offer. Still, it's the type of work I dread for various reasons.

First, there's the hassle of schlepping a portable table to the clients location. This isn't so bad if they're located at the same hotel as the spa, but if they're staying at the Ritz or Harrah's or any of the dozen or so hotels in the area, I have to worry about transporting the thing across town. This isn't fun, especially when my boss gets the address wrong. This nearly happened to be the last time I went out on an outcall. If we hadn't called the client to confirm the time, I would have had to roll that thing two blocks and back.

The second thing I hate about outcalls is the fact that I'm usually going in blind. If the client isn't a regular, they could be the Jack the Ripper of poor tippers for all I know. I won't take a client who isn't a spa regular or someone my coworkers don't know and trust. I'm going to have to get over this fear real quick since I've recently decided to take outside work. Most, if not all, of the clients I get will be outcalls. Guess I'm going to have to include pepper spray as an aromatherapy choice.

That asshole isn't even licensed. Someone call the LBMT!
But the thing I hate the most is that I never feel fully prepared. When I do a massage at work or at home, I have everything I need right there. I have my oils and sports creams. I have my mind-numbing spa music. I have a clock. That's right. A fucking clock, people. That last outcall, I couldn't find a clock anywhere, and this was a two hour massage. I could have asked if he had one in his bedroom, but the last time this happened (yes, this has happened before), the client was flabbergasted that I had come so unprepared. Because only she was allowed to be a luddite. It was only luck that his hotel was located right next to the spa's location, and I was able to quickly retrieve my phone. Because, of course, I forgot that too. Which would have come in handy if he had been Jack the Ripper.

This is when I got to thinking about zombies. Stay with me on this one. It's relevant to the topic, I promise. There's this website called The Zombie Squad that I used to read religiously. These guys are survivalists that like to make things fun by preparing for any crisis as if it were the coming zombie apocalypse. No, they don't really believe in zombies. Probably. But they came to the conclusion long ago that you could get more people to prepare for any eventuality (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, Black Friday sales, etc...) by adding zombies to it. Because zombies are awesome when they're not eating your face off.

And they won't be doing that. Not if you're prepared. Just saying.

But I digress.

I thought of the Zombie Squad because one of the things those guys loved to talk about was how they organized their BOBs, or bug-out bags. For those of you who think the best way to prepare for an emergency is to stock up on Ramen and hurricane candles, a BOB is a bag loaded with stuff that you might need while evacuating your home from a disaster lasting a couple days (sometimes more). I thought it would be nifty if I had such a bag, but instead of ramen and zombie repellent spray, I would have spa stuff in my spa bag. I have decided to call this invention a SpaB. I'm so creative, I know.

My SpaB will include the following:

1. A freaking clock. Very important that.

2. A portable music player. I could use my phone, but I don't have unlimited data.

3. Oil or sports cream. Preferably nut-free for clients with allergies. Please don't make an inuendo out of that.

4. Linens. I usually stuff these in my table bag, but there's barely enough room for that and my headrest.

5. Client intake forms.

6. A check list to make sure I have all of the above items and replenish them after use.

After five years of licensed work, you would think I would have figured this thing out by now. But, as I said before, most of my work has been done in the home or at a spa, so cut me some slack here. I'm going to start working on my SpaB next week when I have the time. What do you guys think? Did I leave anything out? What would you put in your SpaB?

Um, probably not. I'd never fit that rifle in my bag. The 9mm, however...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Doomtown Theater Presents: Daredevil (The Movie)

I was beating my head against the wall trying to come up with a movie to review when my friend and fellow blogger/writer James Butler mentioned the new Daredevil series. I haven't seen it yet, but when I have the time, I plan to sit down to binge watch as many episodes as I possibly can without destroying my marriage.

My first thought was, "Maybe I should review the first episode." And then I thought, "Wait. Wasn't I feeling guilty about something? Certainly I did somebody wrong some time in my life. Why don't I rewatch Daredevil the movie as penance?" That's exactly what I did. Not only are my sins forgiven, I may have actually made myself a virgin again in the process. I can even perform miracles. I can't walk on water yet, but I've been practicing on rain puddles, so any day now.

And yet, still not as bad as Fifty Shades. Congratulations, E.L. James. You've lowered the bar. You've lowered the bar.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lazy Time Reblog Sunday: Draw My Life by Swoozie

Adande Thorne, AKA Swoozie!
I always feel like I'm last to the party. Like to the point where it's 4 a.m. and the other guests are long gone and the host is all, "Party's over, bub. And hey, did I even invite you? Who the hell are you, anyway?" It's my own fault that I wait until the last minute to show up, or even bother to show up at all. That's how I feel about blogging, Facebook, YouTube, and pretty much life in general.

I started my blog in 2005 when everyone had one, and even then, it was starting to get old. The whole idea of blogging, I mean. I don't even know what possessed me to start Doomtown, but I did. And I updated. Sporadically. I think I even went an entire year without writing an entry. life is so...full? Maybe I knew you guys needed a break from my constant whining.

I get half a dozen of these a day on Facebook. Don't know why.

When Facebook came out in 2006, I had no intention of joining. I had enough distractions in my life without being barraged by a million Farmville requests. But in 2010, my big Sis convinced me to join up. Probably because of Farmville. Or one of those games I no longer play. Now everybody's into Facebooking to the point where it's no longer "cool". At least, that's what I've heard. They're into Twitter now, and yes, I do have an account, and I do use it. Sort of. I post stuff without really keeping up with everyone else's tweets. It's like being in a huge room where everyone is screaming so loud to be heard over everyone else that you can't hear anyone. Much like Facebook.

Then I found out about "vlogging". YouTube has been around at least ten years now and, for the most part, I knew people downloaded videos and stuff, but I was a little fuzzy on why you would need to have your own channel. Or why everyone who had a channel had a subscribe button. I had never downloaded anything before. I didn't see the point since cameras are afraid of me. But eventually, I discovered that there were these channels with ordinary people putting up ordinary stuff, just telling other people about their lives. It was like blogging, but with video.

And no I will NEVER do that. Of course, that's what I said about Twitter. And Facebook. And Blogging.

What I will do is keep checking for updates from my favorite channels, like tadelesmith, Wisecrack, and Swoozie. For those of you who don't know about Swoozie, you really, really need to check him out. His animated video blogs are hilarious and uplifting and far from ordinary. In honor of my promise NEVER to start a vlog or anything of the like, I'm dedicating this week's Lazy Time Reblog Sunday to Adande Thorne, or Swoozie, as he likes to be called. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, YouTube.

Keep on vlogging Adande!