Archive for the ‘Personal Services’ Category

Total Bliss

I’ll admit that I don’t have the “do-re-mi” to treat myself to frequent massages, manicures, pedicures… but I’ll take full advantage of a gift certificate for some personal spoiling.

Tonight, I cashed in a gift certificate at Bliss SoHo for their Blissage75. I’m not sure how to describe my treatment, but here’s what the site has to say about it:

“A virtual countdown to ‘butter’, this 75-minute combination of Swedish and Shiatsu techniques, begins with our amazing, warm wax foot softening pack, and is designed to loosen you up and target your most trouble muscles. For relaxation, improved circulation, and stress and fatigue reduction.”


The Secrets of SuperShuttle

I just got back from my first trip home to California in one and a half years. Well, actually, I’ve been back for a week, but times sure goes by fast when you’re inwardly keening away for home like a sick puppy. Anyway, my trip home was nice and uneventful except for the [drum roll] obnoxiousness of SuperShuttle.

Since my misadventure w/ SS, I’ve heard lot of complaints from my friends about their service. The only thing I can think of that explains their continued popularity is the 1-800-Blue-Van number. Ah, the easily memorized 1-800 number. Was there ever a more evil marketing scheme?

Anyway, to keep a long entry short, if SuperShuttle forgets to pick you up, save a receipt from the taxi or car service you have to take to the airport. It’s company policy to refund you for the extra money you have to pay, on top of the SuperShuttle fee. Their customer service representatives totally didn’t tell me this until after the fact, however, when I wrote to complain about the 20-minute, multi-agent, double-hangup pinball ride they put me through just to get my service fee refunded – and you need the receipt to get your compensation.

There’s really no need to take SuperShuttle or a yellow cab at all, however, especially if you live in the boroughs. I live in Astoria, and I used Ecua, a private car service, as my contigency plan. A ride to JFK from Astoria only cost about $30, and an odor-free car with a friendly driver showed up five minutes after I called them. Their number is (718) 204-8412. Not as easily memorized and dialed, alas, but worth the extra brainpower.

New York Company Can Save Your Ass(ets)!

Photo: Courtesy of Denim Therapy

We ALL have our favorite jeans. You know, the ones that show off our best assets.

Well, MY favorite pair has seen better days, and the holes that are near the crotch area are at the point where people are noticing. Not that I care, but when my 3 year old nephew was shocked and appalled when he saw the holes, I thought it was time I did something.

Up until today, I thought my only option was to go out and spend a crap load of money on a new pair. Not so. If I can tear myself away from my jeans for 2 weeks, I can ship them over to Denim Therapy. According to their site, they provide the best quality repair for any degree of worn, tattered or falling apart denim by reconstructing your jeans using the same or similar fabric. Nice! This is EXACTLY what I need.

All you have to do, is wash your jeans, fill out a form, and ship them out (not sure if you need to ship them if you live in NYC). They then inspect the damaged goods and give you an estimate. The site says that the estimated cost is $7 an inch. WHAT A DEAL! Your favorite jeans are worth a LOT more than that.

When I can go 2 weeks without my jeans, I’ll give it a try and let you know how the experience is. For now, you’ll all have to deal with the holes.

Spa Run

I’m an avid read of Time Out New York – well, avid skimmer is more like it, my horoscope and Jamie Bufalino’s column the only items I read thoroughly. Though I enjoy the magazine, there was one thing that drove me crazy: all the “Best of Spas” issues. They seem to come out about 6 times a year, and I used to wonder just how many spas are there in this city and how often do people go? And why would anyone want to go that often?

And I’ve come to realize: because they fucking rock, that’s why.

Ode to Mario (for the haircut yesterday)

For a hairdresser I searched high and low
Before I found my dear Mario.
First it was Keiko at Jeffrey Stein
Who cut my hair like it was smooth and fine.
But it’s not, it’s coarse, like the head of a broom.
My hair ends flipped out, like a goddamned cartoon.
Next was Laura Hair Studio on forty fourth and 3rd.
Expensive they were, plus the haircut was poor.

Then I walked into Bon Bon just by luck.
Lucky for me cuz my hair was fucked.
They put me with Mario, again by chance.
I’ve been with him for five years since.

Mario, Mario, you know your shit.
With each cut, each angle, and every snip.
You treat a haircut like a piece of art.
Your skills are really a world apart.
“Bravo Mario!” you mutter when you’re happy.
Rarely does my hair look crappy.

From Bon Bon you moved to Monhair
And I vowed to follow you everywhere.
Monhair’s out, Alfangi’s the one in now.
I don’t like it, it’s the wannabe-club-kid crowd.
But you’re there so I won’t go to another.
You charge me less than you charge the others.

If you ever quit hair, I’ll have to restart my quest
But for now I say, “Bravo Mario, you are the best.”

Barbershop Confessional – A Sincere Apology to Slick the Barber

I’m sorry Slick. I’m really sorry. You cut my hair from when I was 17 until about 22. These 5 years I cheated on you only once, yes, I moved to Chris’ chair one day when you weren’t there and well, I really liked the way he cut it. He was smoother than you were, he didn’t jab the buzzer into my lower neck portion like you sometimes have the tendency to do. Oh Slick, you were a cool dude, you know what I mean? But he just had this way about the way he cut my hair that made me feel better. After that day, I knew you weren’t the barber for me. But Chris was a principled man, he didn’t want to support my cheating ways. The way he looked at me after that one time I slipped up was unbearable. So, I came back to you and you were none the wiser as to my indiscretions.

I always enjoyed listening to you. You always made racist remarks about the Jews and about the blacks and even the Indian people, even though I’m Indian myself – it never made much sense – but you made me comfortable and tried your best to earn that $2 tip.

I just nodded my head in agreement because you were cutting my hair and frankly, the way you handled that razor always scared me a little. Do you have any mob ties? I hope you don’t – I was always afraid of what might happen if that razor slipped. So, I never corrected your politically incorrect ways. But you come from a time when men were men.

Towards the end, I got sloppy – I started coming in on days I knew you weren’t going to be around so I could get my haircut from the young and hip Russian whose small talk almost made me pass out with disgust. He kept on asking me about how many bitches I had boned the past weekend . . . because to him this was the height of cool.

TrimSpa Baby!

With the New Year comes New Year resolutions, and at the top of that list for fat America is to get healthy, get fit, lose weight, and stop being so goddamned fat.

So we’re bombarded with commercials about how we can do this in the easiest, laziest way possible: by popping a pill. There’s Relacore, which is all about “reducing stress” and very specifically “stress-related abdominal fat.” Of course there’s TrimSpa, famously (or infamously?) endorsed by Anna Nicole “TrimSpa Baby!” aka “Like My Body?” aka “Trainwreck in Slo Mo” Smith.

And then my favorite, Zantrex, not because I have a favorite diet pill but because the commercial is like softcore porn with some woman walking towards the camera in black lingerie and then a dancing silhouette against a colorful backdrop that bears a striking resemblance to how the Gotham Uncovered ads used to be.

Then there’s Bally’s. Bally’s Bally’s Bally’s. Going to the gym is better than popping pills, but Bally’s really does suck. (The Bally’s Sucks website is gone now due to trademark infringement – corporate bastards!) When I joined years ago, they basically LIED and said I could quit anytime and didn’t inform me that I was in fact signing a three-year contract. (Shoulda read the fine print, I know, but I was so trusting back then.) So I lied back and said that I had moved more than 25 miles away from the nearest Bally’s – their weird rule – and that I’d tell everyone I knew what lying, conniving jerks they were if they didn’t cancel my membership. They did, but I told eveyrone anyway.

Anyhoo, now that I’m off that only tenuously related tirade, do you know want to know what the trick is to losing weight? You wanna know the big secret? Hold onto your hats now. Are you sitting down?

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