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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Five Months?

I realized this morning that I have been out of school for five whole months! Today is actually five months EXACTLY since I sauntered across the stage at graduation. Ok, well maybe it was more like a lumbered across the stage, but we won't discuss that here.
A lot has changed in those five months.
1) I passed my national certification exam
2) I applied for the State of Maryland exam
3) I took the State of Maryland exam
4) I applied to get my license in the State of Maryland
(Do we sense that the State of Maryland has been an issue that has stuck in my craw?)
5) I received my license from the State of Maryland
6) I had to put my 14 year old kitty to sleep
7) I applied for a full-time job with a massage chain of which people tend to get envious.
8) I was offered a part-time job with a massage chain of which people tend to get envious.
9) I graciously declined the job offer from a massage chain of which people tend to get envious.
10) I started my own massage practice in the evenings and Saturday afternoons.
Yes, I started my own massage practice! I have named it Mini-Me.
Well, ok, I named it Allgood Therapeutic Massage (www.allgoodmassage.com).
11) WGH left his position with his J-O-B. This has been a truly recent event and there's not much to say at this point, except - hey - is anybody looking to hire an Audio-Visual wiz who also shoots and edits video and plays bass guitar?
No? Well, thanks anyway and keep that in the back of your head in case you run into somebody who may be doing just that.
12) I had my first chiropractice adjustment.
I did that because I'm renting space in a chiropractor's office and since both doctors have experienced my massage techniques, I felt that I needed to experience what their patients may experience.
Wouldn't you know that the good doc found that one of my legs appeared shorter than the other?
He said it was probably due to a subluxation in my sacroiliac joint.
In English, that means that my pelvic bone is out of whack.
13) I gave free chair massages at "In the Streets" in Frederick while I also passed out business cards and stalked Bryan Voltaggio of Volt restaurant and runner up of Top Chef: Las Vegas.
Much has changed in the last five months, and who knows what will be going on in the next five, but for now, things are getting very interesting and exciting.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Official (Almost Three Months Out)

After one year, 14 months, and 27 or 28 days, I am officially finally a Licensed Massage Therapist! I'm not sure how to think about the passage of time during this process, but it seems like it's been forever and yet it seems like it was just a few short months ago I started school, not finished.
I've learned a lot in this, one of them being that if your instincts tell you one thing in an exam, go with that answer. It's generally correct. I've also learned that the State of Maryland must like circuses because I feel like I've jumped through many hoops to become licensed in this state.
In the next few weeks, I will be starting and finalizing some plans for me to be able to start my own business.
The same day I celebrate receiving my piece of paper that says I can earn my living doing massages is also the day I had to make the decision to put down my 14 year old sweet kitty. Very bittersweet day.
To those of you who have let me practice on you, read my blog posts, commented, and prayed for me during this time, thank you. I could not have done this without a support system.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Can I Breathe Now? Probably Not (Two+ Months Out)

Several (ok - many) years back, there was a commercial for Rice Krispy treats and how simple they were to make, with the mom in the commercial holding her pan of treats, tossing flour on her face, and exclaiming in her most melodramatic voice, "They're finally done!"
I'm feeling a bit like that right now, however, I don't need to be overly-melodramatic...but maybe I'm finally done!
I took my Maryland state jurisprudence exam this afternoon, and while I don't know my results, I'm hoping that I passed and that I should be able to begin my career as a Maryland State Licensed Massage Therapist.
As far as actual career goes, I'm in the planning process of starting my own business. I need to get some game pieces in place and then rock-n-roll on the Plan! I have several ideas to hopefully build a clientele quickly and this blog may change or more likely, move to my new website that's in the works, but have no fear, I don't plan on giving up my writing!
So, if you know of anybody who's looking for a massage therapist, please give them my name and information and have them contact me! If you refer somebody to me, you could benefit, too, with some free massage!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Almost Two Months Out

I have been out of the massage therapy program for nearly two months. In that time, I have taken a weekend trip, a week vacation in Orlando, and the national certification exam. I have also submitted my application for the Maryland State juris prudence exam. And now, I am waiting to hear back from their office that I am approved to take the exam.
Until then, I am in the process of really trying to figure out what I want to do in massage. Ultimately, I believe, I want to be a sole proprietor and have my own clients, setting my own hours - even if it's 50 hours a week - it may not be the nine-to-five style that most Americans are accustomed. I am thinking of a name for my business and what exactly I want it to look like. Once I have a couple key elements down, then I'll get a better idea of what my pricing would be for various services. I think in the business world, they call it a "business plan" - and something we even discussed in our Professional Development class many months ago.
Looks like I'll be spending a lot of time with spreadsheets.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seems Like It Never Ends

From April 19, 2010 to April 14, 2011, my focus was on finishing school - and doing it well, I might add. Once I got that done, I needed a break and I took WGH and myself to Florida for a week. Since returning, my focus was on studying for my national certification exam, which I took - and passed - yesterday.
To say I was relieved would be an understatement. During classes in school, the instructors would talk occasionally about what might be on the national exam. My understanding is that the national board uses a database of 3,000+ questions and (somewhat?) randomly chooses 160 questions for the applicants to answer. The questions have to be weighted in different areas and I wonder if they may have a handful of questions that are asked of each candidate, based on legal, business, and ethical subjects. It's been one of those mysterious things that you have to do, but you don't know exactly what to expect, but it eventually gets done. Which is why it is such a relief.
On the computerized exam, they have a button you can press on the question screen if you want to "flag" the question for further review. I flagged the very first question on my exam, which I thought was a really bad sign. However, once I got into the exam, I knew most of the questions right away and began enjoying it. In all, I had flagged maybe 10 questions. Out of 160, that's not too bad.
At any rate, now that I am done with the second hardest part of the whole process, I am beginning the hardest part - applying for the State of Maryland Juris Prudence exam. I say that it is the hardest part because of some of the loops that the state makes their applicants jump through. Such as not accepting personal checks, only certified checks or money orders. Or requiring two passport type photos, one of which is placed on the notary(!) page and stamped by the notary. And then, getting my signature notarized.
I know I will get it done, but it's a matter of taking the time to do it all. I've gotten this far, I know it's just a little bit more aggravation and then I'll be licensed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scheduled! (Note: Really Long Post)

After finishing school, WGH and I went on a weekend trip to the Eastern Shore, which ended up being a nice getaway for us. Our big trip, however, was going to Orlando, where we went on our honeymoon and where my sister and I own a timeshare.
The day we left for the trip, I got notice that I was able to schedule my national certification exam, which I promptly did. I am scheduled to take it Monday, May 23rd, about one week from now.
In the meantime, we left for Orlando after I "worked" half a day at the J-O-B. I don't know that I actually got much done that morning, but at least I was there.
We drove through the night and were able to watch the sunrise in St Augustine, FL, from Ft Marion. Unfortunately, there was some cloud cover on the horizon, so basically, we just watched it get lighter. We drove to Daytona using Rt 1 instead of the typical interstate, which makes for more interesting sight-seeing.

Uh-oh

Once we got back onto I-95, I realized that we needed to make a pit-stop before getting onto I-4, so we exited off the ramp for Ocala. While we waiting at the stoplight at the bottom of the ramp, we heard this HUGE crash and looked next to us (out the passenger side), where a pick-up truck had slammed into the back of a SUV. All the airbags were deployed in both vehicles and the young woman in the SUV was able to walk away after the paramedics checked her over. The driver of the pick-up, an older man, seemed confused and it appears that he may have been experiencing a some sort of medical event (diabetic? stroke? Alzheimer's?) and did not even try to stop at the light. According to one man who had seen him from the previous exit, he had already gone into a ditch and taken out a sign while getting back on the road. The other witness was on the phone with state police reporting his erratic driving and told them that the accident had occurred.
Also freaky about this event, was that there was a motorcycle rider, whom I had noticed before, who was sitting at the stoplight behind the SUV - on the passenger side. As the rider explained to me, the proper positioning of a rider is behind the driver, not the passenger. However, if he had been on the drivers side, we would have not been talking to this rider. The crash happened about a foot from him, and had he been in the proper position, we would have been finding pieces of him all over the road.
We stayed and waited until the police didn't need us any longer as witnesses and then proceeded to our waiting adventures in Orlando, albeit very freaked out and finding it somewhat difficult to get this out of our minds. What if we had been in the middle lane? What if the rider had followed protocol and been behind the driver? Needless to say, this won't be easily forgotten.
About an hour later, we found ourselves in Celebration, FL, sitting down to a scrumptious breakfast at the Market Street Cafe, where I had the best grits I've ever had. After breakfast we walked around a bit and then went exploring the Orlando around, seeing as how we had about four hours to kill until we could check in at the timeshare.
We got checked in and then went back out again to get the necessary groceries for the week and then came back and chilled out for awhile. Since we had been up for way over 24 hours, we ended up going to sleep early.
The next day, Sunday, we went swimming and then greeted my sister and hubby for their arrival. We had dinner and discussed about what we were going to do the rest of the week. It was mostly a "down" day. Meaning that we didn't do much. I love those days.

Monday

WGH and I went to Hollywood Studios at Disney. A long, hot day, but quite enjoyable. Highlights: the Indiana Jones adventure, the backlot tour, Prime Time Cafe with our waiter/brother Mark, and the extreme stunt show.

Tuesday

Mark, WGH, and I went to Universal's Islands of Adventure, where we got to experience the new Harry Potter world. Highlights: Dr Doom's tower, Poseidon's Fury, the Mystical Fountain, and Spiderman.

Wednesday

I treated myself to a day at the spa: hour massage, hour facial, 20 minute foot massage, and a& paraffin hand treatment. After all that pampering, I was able to walk so much better. For dinner that night, the four of us went to Universal's City Walk - to Emeril's restaurant. I had the short-ribs special (boneless!) and WGH had the filet mignon. For dessert, I had the vanilla bread pudding with cinnamon& ice cream. We were all quite full when we left.

Thursday

WGH and I went to Universal Studios, where "The Mummy," my favorite roller coaster, is located. It's not big like some of the others, but it actually tells a story and has some unexpected elements to it - besides the fact that it's an inside roller coaster and a good portion of it is in the dark. At Universal Studios, one thing to do to avoid lines for a couple of their more popular rides: get in the "Single Rider" line. You will get pulled to fill spaces left by groups of uneven numbers. For instance, on The Mummy, I walked up to where I was supposed to wait, but the attendant saw me coming up the steps and said, "Single Rider, line 4." I literally walked right onto the ride! WGHBeetlejuice Rock-n-Roll Revue, Twister, Jaws, and Disaster (formerly Earthquake).

Friday

We did nothing but hang out by the pool and in the pool.
Saturday morning, as we were getting ready to leave and still packing up stuff, the cleaning crew came in and began cleaning the other unit. I'm thinking - uh...we haven't even checked out yet. Can you give us a few? We checked out at exactly 10:00, the check-out time. And we had checked-in the previous Saturday at 4:00, the check-in time. I believe in getting my full vacation!
We met a lot of rain on the way home, and about 25 miles from home at 1:00 am, my mom called to say that she was stuck and needed help. Her blood sugar was down and she didn't have the strength to get herself to some food to bring up her sugar. She'd had a couple oreos that she keeps next to her for such occasions, but it wasn't enough. So, I pushed myself and got to her house and got her situated and back to where she needed to be. I certainly didn't need coffee after that adrenaline rush of getting to Mom.
After a tiring 14 hour drive, we finally got home, were greeted by the kitties, and then got to sleep.
My task this week is to study as much as I possibly can for the national exam in a week!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

After School Special - Two Weeks Out

I'm in my third week of being out of school and spending my life on I-70 going to or from school. My original plan upon getting out of school was to study for my national exam every night for at least an hour, do my housework, and not plop myself in front of the television.
That worked great for about three days or so.
I have studied a little for the national, but the pressure is not there since I don't know when I will be taking the exam yet. I'll do better in studying, probably, when I know when I need to be ready.
I have caught up on a good portion of my housework, but as with any housework, it needs to be repeated. Often.
I haven't been watching that much television. However, my computer tends to get more action than it really needs.
I have been able to catch up with some friends that I haven't been able to see that much for the last year. In person! Not just on facebook!
There are still things on my master TO DO list (at least the one in my head) that need to be done. The room in my house known as my "office" has been sorely neglected for the last year or year and a half. It's about one step away from looking like the show "Hoarders" should be coming to visit. It's not something that can be tackled in one evening after work. It's going to take a whole weekend or two. But that will have to wait for a couple more weeks. Unless, of course, the people from the show come knocking at my door.
This coming Friday, WGH and I leave for Orlando, Florida for a week's vacation. Usually we do this kind of trip in January or February, but since I was in school, we waited until I finished and this is my big celebration trip. We're planning on going to Disney for a day, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for a day or two, and just doing whatever. You know - vacation!