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The Adventures of Spray Tanning

No I’m not blue with sadness, nor green with envy…I’m a shade of orange that would make an Oompa Loompa howl at the Moon.   I wore my very large, geek-chic glasses to work today, the first time I’ve worn glasses in the light of day since I was 12 years old, to distract from the obvious tangerine hue radiating off my gams. My boss says it’s not fooling anyone. So I decided to make light of a dark burnt-orange matter, by retelling my tanning tale…

I recently acquired a daily deal for a tanning salon near my office in the French Quarter that would afford me the opportunity to get a Spray Tan for half of what it would cost. I scooped it up for when I might need an expedited tan. I always say, “those who can’t compel themselves to workout, tan.” It helps hide some of those unsightly contours around the hips, belly and buttocks to give you that slim look and feel.  It makes women feel like magicians, and what man-boy doesn’t love a good magic trick.

Right now you’re judging me, but before this, I had only partaken in this misting ritual once at the end of high school. The first time was when I was 18, and the tanning salon I worked for (there are those judging eyes again!) bought into this new-fangled technology called the Mystic Spray Tan. I was the guinea pig for the maiden voyage to Tan Town. I went on my senior trip to Cancun looking like I had a serious case of Vitiligo, i.e. Michael Jackson disease. I’ve been a bit wary since then, but I assumed after 9 years the technology had improved…

On my route of errands in the French Quarter, I popped into the tanning salon to hand in my daily deal, fill out my application and make an appointment for that evening.  While sitting next to Double D’s Magee, I realize this is most likely the tanning hot spot for the strippers that work on Bourbon Street. Just glad I’m in good company.

Around 8, I go back in to get my spray tan.  The attendant asks me, “Light, Medium or Dark?”

“Dark” I say, considering that I’d rather fade to the right color then be too light. Tan logic, of course.

She says, “Medium?”  At this point, I could change my mind. She is probably subconsciously telling me I should go lighter. I correct her.  Now there’s no going back.

She pops in the canister for Dark and gives me the step-by-step directions, though she reassures me the shower-like room I’m about to step into will let me know when to turn and when I will be misted.  She also suggests I wiggle my butt when the mist is hitting me on the back-end to cover everything evenly; slightly more stripper than tan logic, but I thank her for the rec.

I de-clothe, put on the cream that keeps your fingers and feet from discoloring, throw on my hair net and jump in to the booth. I wave my hand in front of the start button and stand facing the nozzle that will paint me tan.

The angelic voice emanates from the depths of the machine to welcome me to the tanning cave and prepare me for my misting. The nozzle travels up, gently swinging back and forth. A little cold, but not too uncomfortable. The soothing voice then asks me to turn. I do the naked robot and prepare for the nozzle to travel back down, which it does…but not without spraying my feet for a copious amount of time. Who knew it was natural to have your lower calf sprayed a little bit more than the rest of your body.

I have many fears; the biggest being death and scary clowns. My seventh worst fear is what happened  next…the sweet voice that was to guide me to an Island tan without setting foot on a beach, sternly tells me to, “contact the attendant for assistance.”

I am currently standing perfectly still in my best “Walk Like An Egyptian” pose while wearing my birthday suit contemplating my options. I’m half-basted with Spray Tan juice like a Thanksgiving turkey and no one likes dry turkey. 

I step out, dry a little, and put on my clothes to ask the attendant to help me out.  She comes in and flips some switches to get us back on track. The voice, who I have dubbed Stella, invites me back into her lair.  I close the door, drop my clothes and jump in once again. This happens at least 2 more times, with Stella calling back for the assistant because she can’t get her groove back. The attendant is perplexed but after a few tweeks, we think we have it.

I get in the nude for the 4th time, and can mildly relate to some of the other patrons of this tanning salon at this moment.  I jump into the sarcophagus and wait for the spraying to begin again.  There is a weird noise, and my tan or take-off instinct kicks in. Alas, I wasn’t quick enough and Stella sprays my calves with an excessive amount of mist. 

I’m turning into a calico cat with every spray gone awry, not even sure where I’m going to need to scrub the color off since it doesn’t really show up for 4+ hours. The attendant tinkers away at the machine with a hint of defeat on her brow giving me the run-down of how I should scrub and come back tomorrow…

Suddenly, the bronze gods smile down on us.  The attendant, who must have had a mechanic somewhere in her family lineage finds the problem and alleviates the issue.

I’m elated, since I didn’t really have time to come back the next day to have a waterfall of chemicals doused over my body. The attendant suggests I allow the bed to tan the other side of my body, but doesn’t really say whether I should jump out on the second run since I’ve already drenched my front. Alas…my reasoning was flawed…Stella bathes me in her dyeing extract on the untouched side and allowed for one more spray on my front half…just to elongate the color a few more days.  A little tan lagniappe, if you will, for my troubles.

That night, I curl up in my bed without showering to prolong the marinating process, pleased with the pseudo-success and forth-coming color to my pallor. My boyfriend sniffs at me, wondering what the curious smell wafting off my skin is…I tell him, “4 days on a beach minus the skin cancer.”

Today…I’m slightly more ginger than I had hoped for but am thankful for the mechanical skills of the extremely-helpful tanning salon attendant. I believe this tan will fade or be scrubbed rigorously to a delightful bronze that I so desire for the show I’m in tomorrow morning.

I can’t say I will be doing the Spray Tan again anytime soon. It does look like I poured Yoo-hoo all over my feet with drip marks trailing down my arch (probably should’ve rubbed that in a bit). I do, whoever, have a new found respect for the strippers in New Orleans…not only do they have to maintain a steady schedule of precarious spray tans with Stella, the automated vixen that flippantly decides how much tan she feels like giving you that session, removing your clothes time and time again can be fairly exhausting. Props.

06.07.12 0
“Why My Knees Look Like Justin Bieber’s Mustache”

I cannot be the only one plagued with patches of hair on my knees that have eluded the razor that fail to be noticed till it’s too late…I hope not at least. If I am the only one, please include this post in my eulogy.

Here is the scenario. I lather my legs up with a nice thick white, blueberry muffin-scented shaving cream and mow it down, flicking off the excess and following closely, if not overlapping the bare stripe down my leg. I twist and turn and balance on one foot to get every inch from my butt to my big toe (yeah that big toe gets a swipe every now and then for good measure).  

Yet, I find, while driving to work in my dress that skims my mid-thigh, a strip or sometimes an entire knee cap covered in hair the length of what I assume grows after a couple months of not shaving Justin Bieber’s upper lip if, in fact, any hair grows on that baby face. Don’t let the picture fool you, those could be baby eyelashes brought in from India glued on.


It’s not blatantly obvious, but when the light catches it, you can see the maverick growth of leg hair that may have escaped more than one shaving sesh. After you’ve seen the hairs, you can’t ignore them. It’s as if they’re growing in front of your eyes. God forbid your boyfriend put his hand on your knee and feel the hedgehog that’s taken residence there.

What’s a girl to do? Do I keep a wet/dry razor or tweezers in my glove compartment, then later explain to the police officer who arrives at the scene of the car accident that I was just trying to finish off the rogue hairs on my knee when the Beamer came out of nowhere, and yes that hemorrhaging gash in my thigh caused by my shallow need to be hairless is NBD.

Do I succumb to long skirts and dresses, not only lowering my hemline but my sales for the day because no Amish skirts going to bring home the bacon. Will this wardrobe metamorphous due to the inconsistencies of my razor ruin my chances at true love that of course will begin with superficial physical attraction based on a short skirt and possibly a long jacket? I can’t risk it.

There is always the crossing of the legs, but that only hides one knee and it’s usually a tie between the two. One knee may have more hair but the other knee has three long ones that if I try to pull, just curl like ribbon and then instead of the hedgehog you’ve got Shirley Temple growing out of your knee cap. Again, adorable, but not in this context.

After a long day of crossing my legs, holding my knees and watching the sprouts grow at least a full centimeter longer (Italian women beware, add three more centimeters of growth for every 8 hour work shift), I go home to ridicule my razor and tell it how disappointed I am in its performance that morning.

I hear you out there, the advocates for the other forms of hair removal: the depilatories, waxes and electrolysis, oh my. Let me stop you right there. I’m cheap, have a low tolerance for pain and if you’ve ever seen a baby with a bowl of spaghetti, then you’ve seen me with a hair removal cream. Everywhere.

Word up, lady razor makers, I’m over my knees looking like a boy who just hit puberty’s chin. What kind of razor does David Beckham use, because that’s what I’m switching to. I have now realized that my knees are like a set of chiseled chins and whatever works for him, can work for these two knee chins…

Wait. I take that back. After a close examination of Googling David Beckham’s face, he seems to always have a sexy five o’clock shadow. My knees do not look sexy with a five o’clock shadow.

Until this superior razor is developed that can handle the contours of my chiseled knees, I will be unpleasantly surprised to find a flurry of growth on, under and around my knees. I look forward to the colder months when I will assume the role of a female Yeti and rock the leggings.


08.30.11 9
04.29.11 0
Someone In Glassworking Blows, and I’m Not Just Talking About The Glass…

Here is an email thread starting with my simple inquiry into Wine & Design gatherings advertised by a local Glassworks & Printmaking Studio. As you can see someone at the studio isn’t have the best day and decided to punch it out in a short reply to me… Not being a big fan of bitchy emails, I drafted the gem below…alas, I know some individuals have tribulations throughout their work day that can filter to unassuming bystanders and/or potential awesome clientele so I did not send it. Truthfully I still want to learn how to blow some glass, and they’re the only shop in town…

Admissions office (btw I thought that was pretty weak you didn’t include your name and corralled the whole office into sounding like an ass), if you’re reading this, I hope you have learned a valuable lesson in not sending emails out in the heat of the moment. Instead send them to your Mom or post it on your blog.

Me to Glassworks Company:

 I’m interested in finding out more about your Wine & Design days, preferably the glassblowing, if you could send me the details, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!”

Glassworks Company replies to Me:

"This email does not have a contact number or a date. We receive over 125 of the requests a day and have no idea how many people , date or time you want to make the reservations , Thank you, the admissions office"

My conceived yet not delivered reply to Glassworks Company:

"Wow. So someone needs to reel in their caffeine and/or steroid intake. First off, it looks like a 4th grader made the web page for your Wine & Design gathering.  Thought you should know, the sparkling background isn’t compensating for your lack of information regarding this event, hence the polite inquiry I made only to get blasted by your righteous reply. Maybe your glassblowing skills weren’t what they used to be or your prints are looking sloppy today, not sure what got your panties or boxers in a bunch, but of the 125 requests that plague your day, I’m retracting mine and my interest in your program. I will make sure my friends, and my friends of friends and those who I meet on the street know that they shouldn’t dare ask about the Wine & Design gatherings unless they already know what it entails via a fortune teller or divine knowledge; and they are sure they won’t meet whoever is on the other end of this email.

Don’t blow too hard…the glass that is.”

Funny thing is…I still want to know about the damn gatherings. If only pride didn’t exist. I’ll let you know how the second email draft on my end goes. ;)

04.12.11 5
Tricked By My Treat…

This is a story about a dubious Snickers bar, or is it?..

After a crazy good wakeboarding sesh with the boyfriend, I needed to kick Hunger and Fatigue in the teeth so that I would be amped up for my volleyball game that night.   

I grab my Starbucks Can o’ Kickass, two Energy Vitamin Waters and what I think is a King Size Snickers. If you’re not familiar with any of the product plugs I just made, I’m really slacking on my guerrilla marketing tactics ‘cause I’m basically the spokesperson for all three of these products.  

The Snickers felt a little funny to me when I put it on the counter, but Hunger is sampling the inner lining of my stomach at this point. I hop in Rhonda the Honda and zoom away, cracking open my Starbucks Liquid Speed like the first beer of the football season and chug half of it down.  At my first stop light, I peel back the wrapper of my Snickers only to be assaulted by a mini bar half the size of my King Size Snickers. 

I know what you’re thinking, WTF, but there was a SECOND mini bar in that wrapper. First thought, I’m missing at least a tenth of a centimeter of roasted peanuts, nougat (what God’s mattress must be made out of in Heaven), caramel and milk chocolate and as Meatloaf so eloquently put it, “I WANT MY MONEY BACK.” (You can blame my mother’s poor music choices for that reference).

Second thought, JACKPOT.

I devour, and I’m telling you, I inhale that first bar, cause Hunger waits for no man. I leave the second mini bar snuggled in the other half of the wrapper till I get home.

I’m sure you’re wondering, what’s going on in that old nougat noggin’ of hers at this point. This is what I’m thinking. This Snickers bar is like that Beanie Baby that they put the wrong tag on, or that penny with Abe smoking a pipe. I’m about to hit it big. 

I’m mentally drafting a letter on my personal letterhead to Mars, Inc., owners of the Snickers company, about how disappointed I was in this defective two-barred King Size Snicker and that I demand they bring together the Board of Directors at Mars to figure out how I should be compensated for this poor excuse of a product. 

I’m doing this while taking pictures with my iPhone of the anomaly to include with my letter as evidence. I’m contemplating how I will store the rest of this golden ticket of a bar so that when Hunger strikes, I won’t be tempted. All this time, I’m thinking, “I’m going to make it rain Snickers bar this Christmas. Get excited, Mom, Dad, person that washes the windows at my work, Greg the UPS man, volleyball team, hell, volleyball league…” 

Maybe Mars will even throw in some M&M’s or Pedigree dog food if I play my cards right… Vienna Sausage Ford, my weiner dog, will never go hungry again!

As I’m snapping away with the iPhone and dreaming of the endless possibilities, I look over the wrapper for a “Comments or Complaints” phone number or mailing address to which I can send off my ticket to a better life.   

That’s when I see it… 

All I can say is this…Damn you, Snickers. Damn you for not changing the color of your package for this new fangled product that made me feel like a senior citizen who just discovered that the Internet is taking over everyones’ lives, and no one thought to hook my IV to it. 

Right in front of the Snickers name, it says “2 TO GO”…Bastards. My hopes and dreams dissipated like a rogue tornado that had, for but a half an hour, turned my life upside-down.

I had been duped, baffled, bamboozled, beguiled, betrayed, conned, deceived, double-crossed, flimflammed, hoodwinked, hornswoggled, jerked around, misled, rooked, shafted, spoofed, swindled, tricked, victimized… Yeah, I said it, hornswoggled, look it up.

The Mars Corporation may still get a letter from me regarding the lack of a “Comments or Complaints” phone number and address on this sneaky double-barred Snickers they’ve smuggled onto our shelves, parading around as if it were a King Size Snickers.

Until then, I’m sorry Greg, you will not be getting a Christmas present from me.

Now you’re thinking, I wonder what she did with the rest of that bar. Did she eat it, and allow corporate America, in turn, to eat away at her hopes and dreams… 

I had to, Hunger came back with a vengeance. But, I just want you to know, I showed that second mini bar NO MERCY!!! Its little photo shoot didn’t make it any less of a liar or any more attractive than the first bar. Initially, its defectiveness made me feel sorry for it, even covet it a little.  Even the resealable package (a feature I just found out the packaging had, psh) wouldn’t have saved it from Hunger, less of a Jim Henson-esque puppet chasing me with a dozen donuts and more of a terrifying beast from your worst nightmares. 

So that is the tale of two Snicker mini bars that tricked me this month. Could it have been a subliminal marketing strategy for this dubious bar to be presented to me during the month where trickery runs rampant. Who knows… They sure had me flapping my fingers about it, that’s for sure. 

10.22.10 0
Sideways Conversations: Portland Women

Where: Volleyball Game
Who: Big-boobed petite brunette, aka BBPB, convo with dude
Subject: Portland Women
*Disclaimer- sometimes my brain skews conversations I hear…This is due to my lack of short-term memory and for the benefit of my readers…

Dude: "Hey so I heard you were in Portland [Oregon] this last week…"
BBPB: “Yeah, my awesome, soccer-playing boyfriend played up there, so I went to be a groupie on the sidelines.”
Dude: “Cool, so how was it?”
BBPB: “It was awesome, except everyone’s super liberal and the women there were huge, butch, ugly women, I mean massive, thick girls, ugly faces, bitchy..yada yada yada…”
Dude: “Wow, so tell me how you really feel…”

Little background about me… My sister lives in Portland. I really wanted to call this girl out and make her feel like a blabbering idiot since my sister is a cute, petite blonde with oodles of niceness and then some. What I figure is she must have a pretty decent-looking boyfriend who may or may not have gotten a few googly-eyed looks from the local chicks. 

So word to the Portland ladies. Get your act together cause bitchy, persnickety, petite girls from down South are calling you out. Apparently you all look and act like Kathy Bates from Misery. ;)

1st rule of eavesdropping: “Never, ever, ever comment on the commentary that your eavesdropping on…Believe me. I’ve made the mistake. It makes you look really, really creepy.

08.11.10 1
The Art of Eavesdropping

Five years from now there will be no such thing as traditional “eavesdropping” so I figured I’d compose my ode to eavesdropping while it still exists. 

Just now while eavesdropping at a coffee shop I frequent, a gentlemen just said in all seriousness, “Facebook is like real life now” while commenting on the Facebook wall of the girl he said this to… While I was privvy to the sophomoric yet cryptic commentary, I will never know what went on her wall though I have a feeling it went something like, “hey girl, what’s up, you’re sitting right across from me, yada yada yada… big loss.

Facebook, texting, twittering, and the death of verbal communication will bring about the demise of eavesdropping, one of my true addictions, right up there with Starbucks Double Shot Energy drinks and cuddling.

The origins of the term eavesdropping as defined by Wikipedia is the act of secretly listening to the private conversations of others without their consent… The reason it’s referred to as eavesdropping is from Ancient Anglo-Saxon law punishing eavesdroppers, who skulked in the eavesdrip of another’s home, with a fine.

The thing is…I can’t help it. I blame it on my journalistic upbringing or maybe it’s from trying to listen to my parents behind closed doors. My ears have a insatiable hunger for a good story and perk at the first hint of a deep conversation or a whispered exchange of words. Nary should I be confused as a good listener. Lectures and church homilies have a way of lulling me to sleep whereas an undirected dialogue sends the little typewriter in my head whizzing away at the words that travel down my ear canal and penetrate my brain.

Coffee shops are the best place to slake this thirst, and as long as I keep my eyes on my computer screen I am able to pick up on a cornucopia of communications, from the interesting to the unintelligent. If we are given the freedom of speech, I am given the freedom to listen. I find my head sometimes cocked toward my unsuspecting lip-flappers but never have I been called out for my unethical abuse of other people’s privacy.

While my significant other is far too keenly aware of when I’m honing in on a distant gab fest, he is growing accustomed and has accepted that it is part of my nature.  He even finds himself unintentionally sharing in the pseudo-espionage.

So, to all you eavesdroppers out there, count your convos.  Soon our ears will no longer hear the whirring of whispers, gossip and gab.  Our eyes will be the new collectors of typed dissertations and diatribes. While I already have trouble hearing people directly speak to me, alas, I may go completely deaf when I can no longer hear sideways.

UNTIL THEN!!!!! I will drop an eavesdropping line once a week called Sideways Conversations and reiterate some of the silly conversations I hear for your personal enjoyment…

See you after the drop…

08.11.10 0
Whale Sharks Don’t Break Character…Thank God.

I know it’s been awhile, but I was recovering from a once-in-a-lifetime (unless I go back…which is easy enough to do) experience at the Georgia Aquarium.  I was able to swim in their 6.3 million gallon tank chock-full of sharks, rays, groupers, groups in general of tons-o-fish. And the best part, 4 WHALE SHARKS!!

Yeah, yeah you can pay someone 300 bucks to take you out in the gulf to swim with wild Whale Sharks, but there’s the chance you won’t find them and you’re out 300 bucks and all you got was a lousy seasick.   $225 got me:

  • Priority, fast-lane, sucks-to-be-you-at-the-end-of-the-line nanny nanny boo boo pass to get into the Aquarium (which rocks my socks since there were a couple of hundred eager aquarium goers waiting in line with their impatient toddlers).
  • Behind the scenes view at some of their exhibits including the Beluga whale tank with Beethoven and Maris. BTW you think they’re making eye contact with you when they’re swimming around in their tank? Bologna, they hate eye contact and aquarium staff say it’s a big no no, very territorial aquatic mamminals, sorry to have burst your air bubbles, buddy.
  • A sweet tshirt, bumper sticker and photo of all the swimmers you went with which have all been put to good use on my corkboard, body and car known as Rhonda the Honda. Rhonda loves her new tat. 
  • You get to be an underwater rockstar waving to aquarium guests while they’re in the tunnel and in front of the huge glass window.  There were peace signs and waves a plenty from us swimmers. I might’ve spent 225 but I felt like a million bucks when a kid just about jumped out of his pants after I waved to him.
  • And of course, an awesome 30 or so minute experience figure eighting around the biggest swimming pool you can think of with a bijillion (rough estimate) fish you can really, really get a good look at.
  • WHALE SHARKS, need I say more?

The aquarium was awesome, and I highly recommend it but I absolutely recommend the Swim or Dive program.   Below were my apprehensions that I totally got over once I was floating around the tank for a while…

  • First apprehension… Hammerheads. They’ve got about 4 or so good size hammerheads in there. They even tell you once you get in the water, the hammerheads absolutely know you’re in that tank and they’ll come check you out…can we say pee-my-wetsuit scary thought? I even watched minutes before we went in the tank as two hammerheads “playfully” chased a small yellow fish who I could almost hear screaming obscenities as he attempted escape. I’ve attached a link to scary photos that I couldn’t stop looking at before I left town here, here and here. FORTUNATELY!!! No hammherheads came too close, though one teased me a bit by climbing up the side of the wall near me. I held my ground and mimicked a large untasty bulge of wetsuit. I think it worked. Besides the dive masters that joined us said they were like big dogs… This is a big dog. I fail to see the resemblance. 
  • Second apprehension… Though we weren’t diving, we were given tanks of air to use so we could comfortably keep our heads underwater the whole time or if you wanted you could use your snorkel attached to the mask that covered your nose and eyes.  I was already nervous enough about the “big dogs” so I found the breathing apparatus to be somewhat of a conundrum. i.e. I freaked. I started asking the dive lady a million questions including, “Why does this sound funny?am I doing this right? am I gonna get the bends? I don’t get it? can sharks smell fear like bees? why are you looking at me that way?” Needless to say, I was presented with a crossroads. Puss out and use the snorkel, or woman up and stick my head underwater with the freakin’ breathing thingie. FORTUNATELY!!!! I figured it out though I think I was a little over-breathing cause my bubbles were a-plenty, but really, what do you expect when a 15 foot whale shark is coming right towards you and you have to pencil out (put your arms straight back or straight forward)…And maybe they just so happen to brush you cause you stick your butt out a little. AWESOME!!

It really was a great experience, and I hope to become dive-certified just so I can go back and do the dive program. The staff was really great and all my swim mates were very enthusiastic.   There was a no touchie the fishie policy but there were quite a few close encounters and maybe a few tail brushes from the ginormous gentle giants.  

07.09.10 0
So, are you going to tell us about "swimming with sharks"?

Asked by Anonymous

But of course, how can I not? Pictures and all! I’m very excited, might I ask who is inquiring?

06.30.10 0
Zoom Very creative idea. The Dark Monkey has gone out of the box with these Apple Vinyl Decals. I dig ‘em.

Very creative idea. The Dark Monkey has gone out of the box with these Apple Vinyl Decals. I dig ‘em.

06.30.10 0