Stress Relief

The voices in my head are singing Saving Grace, by Everlast.

Relax, it's my iPod.

Here is a great way to relax when you're in that moment just before running through the streets of your neighborhood wearing only a Happy New Year hat and argyle socks, with a bullhorn, announcing the arrival of the Mother Ship.

I am so there--or I was, yesterday. This helped.

Turn off all the lights and light a few candles.

Start your bath, running the water a little warmer than you normally might. Pour in half a bottle of your favorite bubble bath--lavender scented is great for this. Some Lancome Aroma Calm bath oil is also nice. Throw in a fizz ball. The more products you put in the tub, the better.

Get the champagne bucket and start some chilling by the side of the tub. Sidebar: I have a reputation of ALWAYS preferring the most expensive of everything, and yet, while I've had pricey French champagne that I enjoyed, Korbel Brut (yes, I know technically it's not Champagne) is my favorite. This is an anomaly, as it usually goes for around twelve bucks a bottle.

If you've already had more than two glasses of wine, use Pellagrino instead of Korbel.

Crank up iTunes and make yourself a playlist of twenty songs that appeal. Resist the urge to fret over which songs to pick. Don't sit there and try top make the perfect Bathtub Playlist, and don't choose more than twenty. Remember, your bath water is running.

Transfer the new playlist to your iPod shuffle. The shuffle is best for bathtub use, as it's easily clipped to your bath pillow.

If you don't have a bath pillow, roll up a towel, clip the shuffle to it, and climb into the water.

Pour yourself a glass of bubbly, pop the earphones in, and turn on the iPod and the jets.

Your bath additives, activated by the jets will soon make mountains of bubbles, beyond which you cannot see. Close your eyes and sip the icy bubbly. When you start to feel too warm, hold your champagne flute over your face and turn it upside down, dousing your face, neck, and chest. Pour another glass.

Periodically peek at the mountain of bubbles. Just before they spill out into the floor, pull the plug on the tub. When the water level drops enough, turn on the cold water. This will keep the bubbles at a safe level.

Continue alternately sipping the champagne and pouring it on yourself until you feel human again.

After you get out of the tub, blow out the candles and go straight to bed. Sleep until you feel like getting up.

Disclaimer: Please do not try this at home if you cannot do it without drowning, scalding yourself, or experiencing an irreversible past-life regression.

Peace, out...


Three Words You'll Only Hear at Jazzercise

Sing it, Susan!

This, from the Queen of Pain today, as we writhed on the floor in agony while of one of those American Idol winners belted out a poor imitation of Aretha's Chain of Fools. I couldn't tell you who was singing--I never watch that stuff. I think reality TV is a network conspiracy to make more money by not paying actors and writers. I digress.

To distract myself from the searing pain in my upper thighs--officially known at Jazzercise as the side butt--and because I love Aretha, I sang with enthusiasm. It's a testament to how bad the leg routine was that no one got up and left.

The last time I sang in front of people was during our annual Labor Day Family Weekend in the Mountains. I was jamming around the cabin with my iPod, singing along with The Black Eyed Peas when most of my family bolted from their rocking chairs into the woods, where they fled the vicinity along with all creatures great and small.

Only my brother-in-law, who is a kind soul, and was particularly attached to his rocking chair (and possibly bidding on something on Ebay as his eyes were glued to his laptop) stayed behind. "You sound different with that thing in your ears," he said. Who knew?

I have actually sang on stage, though it's been a, ahh...ahem... a few years. In high school, they let me sing on stage in not one, but two musicals--Bye Bye Birdie, and L'il Abner, although, a case could be made that few of my classmates wanted to sing and dance on stage, making it hard to cast an entire musical, and parts therefore easy to land.

Nevertheless, I sing, not so much for the enjoyment of others, but because it makes me happy. They let me do that at Jazzercise, which is one more reason I go.

Peace, out...