THE BLOG
05/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Status Updating the Mudbath

This Friday I will join friends in the Jewish nonprofit Reboot in a National Day of Unplugging. (Many others -- even the non-chosen -- are participating. Heck, Katie Couric's doing it!)

No phones, no computers, no TV, no iPhone, no TV. For 24 hours.

Easy? For some, maybe. Not so much for me. Flash back to my Facebook page, not long ago:

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 11:22 am: On final approach to Sonoma airport for weekend getaway. About to relax the shit out of Napa Valley.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 12:05 pm:
Big ups to NoCal for retro bermscape; Geraniums on side of freeway are so '70s.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 12:14 pm:
Computer voice on rental car GPS sounds like pissy ex-girlfriend. Don't take that tone with me, missy.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 12: 34 pm: View out windshield looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting. Nature: how tacky.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 12:36 pm: So need to unwind, relax, slow down.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 12:43 pm: Why can't I use dashboard GPS to update Facebook? Hassle to juggle iPhone on windy roads.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:02 pm: Lunch rezzie at Tranquil (thanks for rec, @rhonaconte!) Japanese fusion veggie restaurant? Dubious...

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:09 pm: Sorry, but having never had a chop stick splinter in my lip, I'm pretty sure that mad, intense rubbing thing people do before they eat is just obnoxious.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:13 pm: Lunch standouts: onion donuts, greens with white chocolate crumbles. Turns out you don't need meat if you go big on butter. New word: uncomfort-full.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:13 pm: Calistoga hot spring options: kitshy/mod Dr. Braunner's or fancy/serene Indian Springs?

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:30 pm: Votes are in: Indian Springs it is (thanks for tip, @morganeville!). Mudbaths with spring water and volcanic mud! Let's get dirty.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:45 pm: Sure-fire way to spoil mood for a $200 massage-mud-bath treatment: read disclaimer. Good chance I've just dropped two Benjamins to tweak spine and/or die of cardiac arrest.

Friday, Jan 22 2010, 1:50 pm: Feel like douchebag lounging in Quiet Room in slippers and robe. Grateful robe has pocket for iPhone.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:51 pm: Feel like douchebag for using word "douchebag."

Friday, Jan 22 2010, 1:52 pm: Sulfuric spring water smells like it came straight from Earth's lower GI.

Friday, Jan 22 2010, 1:53 pm: Waiting room copy of Time says 80% of total health care costs are incurred in last 2 weeks of life. Maybe Death Panels not such a bad idea after all...

Friday, Jan 22 2010 1:58 pm: Am I the only one who snickers at phrase "stimulus package"?

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 1:59 pm: Dear spa keepers: enough with the cucumber water. Lemon is fine. Just saying.

Friday, Jan 22 2010, 2:03 pm: Just noticed single white nipple hair. Leave it unplucked; makes me look sophisticated.

Friday, Jan 22 2010, 2:14 pm: Massage therapist is named Wilamena Wickens. Am I in a Pynchon novel?

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 2:19 pm: Wilamena asks what she should focus on. "I enjoy the head," say I. Makings of horribly awkward (or awesome?) misunderstanding.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 2:23 pm: No confusion :( Wilamena gets busy on scalp. Solid B overall. Points off for insisting I'd be more "comfortable" if I put away phone.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:02 pm: Wilamena passes me to Rico, "mud bath technician." Really?

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:08 pm: Lying in concrete tub, neck-deep in hot black muck. Can't believe I am that guy: mudbather. Rico back in 15 minutes.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:12 pm: Longest quarter hour of my life. Hot and bored. Thank God for Words with Friends.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:14 pm: Just scored 86 points with RATHOLES. Suck it, @BeeGee!

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:16 pm: Onion donut, coming back to haunt me. Wonder how often sulfuric mist used as alibi.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:17 pm: Not sure I could get out if I wanted to. Truly, I might die here. Where the hell is Rico? Please God don't let me drop phone...

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:17 pm: Horror! Status update blockage! Can't come up with good slang term for mud bath fart.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:19 pm: "Hot pocket?"

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:25 pm: Rico is back; helps me out and leads me to showers. I'm black from head to toe, like tribal warrior! Why no photography allowed? Killing to be made on post-mudbath portraiture.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:26 pm: Rinsed, dried and robed, I'm sent back to quiet room. Carlos tells me to "relax and reflect."

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:27 pm: "Buried bubble?"

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:28 pm: Older I get, the fewer mes become possible. At 40 I must now accept that I will probably never be a special-ops commando.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:29 pm: On other hand, could still be a mud bath technician.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:30 pm: Forget that; too many muddy schlongs.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:32 pm: "Scenting the cinders?"

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:32 pm: Can't find word in letters REPPGOL.

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:35 pm: Got it: "Glopper."

Friday, Jan 22, 2010, 3:37 pm: Ahhh.