Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The T-Shirt Was Cool

On January 20th I decided to celebrate the American version of democracy in a very low key, personal sort of a way.

Friday morning I went to the city for various boob squishing procedures.  The radiologists always have trouble reading my pics, so I make multiple visits and this time finally concluded with a squooshy sonogram.  Thankfully the imaging center I frequent is one of those that go to almost creepy lengths to make you feel all special and cared for.  (Why do I keep turning down their offer of a warm robe?  Is it some sort of left-over puritanical, Protestant distrust of things that feel good?  Or is it because it sounds like how you might be greeted at the Playboy Mansion?  Or both?)  Even though I spent triple the time there that I'd intended, I still felt up to pursuing my Celebration of Democracy.

I drove across town to the blood donation center. 

I donate blood on a fairly regular basis, but it's always, every single time, been at a mobile blood drive.  A drive with an actual driver.  In an RV. 

I have one of those semi-rare blood types, so they normally ask me to do one of the oil change donations where they siphon out a lot of blood, strip it of the good parts, then squeeze it back in.  It usually takes about 45 minutes, start to finish. 

This time I was going to the headquarters building in the city.  It's a really nice place!  Lots of lushly comfortable recliners, flat screen TVs mounted high on the walls, buckets of snack food and pyramids of juice boxes and water.  (Only one of the televisions was tuned to a news channel.  And that was not Fox.  And they were all muted.) I'd even received a text message directing me to complete a preliminary health screening online so I could save 20 minutes during the on-site screening process.  (I'd also avoid that litany of "No.    No.    No.    No.    No." to all those questions about my sexual and travel history.)  

While waiting in the screener's office, I noticed a sign with info on platelet donation.  I asked her about it.  "Oh!  I was just about to suggest that," she said, after verifying my blood type.  "Do you have some time?  It takes a little longer, but we're experiencing a shortage of platelets and it would really help us out if you can do it."

"I've got lots of time.  Why not?"

Before long I was ensconced in one of those comfy chairs, feet up, swaddled in warm blankets and squeezing a liquid heat pack because I was sitting next to the air conditioner vent and my delicate digits might get chilled.  I was happy.

I stayed happy for the next three hours. 

The vampires were all atwitter about my ridiculously high platelet count and wired me up for a triple donation.  "It will take a little longer," they warned.  I had no where to be.  I said ok.  I did just fine except for that bit when my feet started cramping.  They gave me some calcium and put my feet down so I could work the cramps out.  Then I almost fainted, so they put my feet back up. 

And then brought me more juice boxes.  And snacks.  And told me what a good person I was. 

It was like being in kindergarten again.  In a good way.  I am all but sure there is a gold star beside my name in their database.  I'm hoping to show it to my mom at "Meet The Phlebotomist" night.

At one point during the process, an administrator and the tech who did my paperwork held a low-voiced conference within earshot.  "They wanted us to get at least six platelets today.  With the four we have coming in later and the one you turned," a head nod in my direction "we're going to hit the goal.  Good job!"

"The one you turned."

I'm the one she turned. 

Wow.  I'd been turned and I hadn't even realized it.  Emperor Palpatine would not have been impressed.  He would find my lack of resistance...disturbing.

But then I looked down at the snack in my hand, and laughed.

The dark side really DOES have cookies!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Monte Rachel Just Didn't Sound Right

Today is my birthday!  Earlier this month, I splurged and bought myself a drafting table that I'd had my eye on for a year.  Called it an early birthday present to myself.  Every day since, I've sat down there after supper and drawn or colored to my heart's content.  My dogs are completely unimpressed with it, as this severely limits the amount of time they can use me as a human heating pad for their epic couch layabouts.

Plus, they are hopelessly gauche in their artistic sensibilities.

I'd be sitting there now, but I've wanted to write all week, just couldn't think of a thing to say.  Not being one to let that stop me, I've promised myself I'd at least do a first draft of a blog post before sitting down to my inking tonight.

This has been a good week, so far.  I've learned a couple of things:

The first thing was the discovery of my new sandwich, which I expect to patent forthwith.  Can one patent a sandwich?  I've been bemoaning my food options of late.  Or the lack thereof.  I bought one of those chopped salad kits the other day.  I used to buy them a lot, but of course that burned me out on them. For the past week or so I'd been craving vegetables, because, truthfully, I hadn't eaten any for quite some time.  On Sunday night I made a smashing roast beef sandwich and half the salad.

Holy Moses, that was the best salad ever.

On Monday night I had the same thing again with the other half of the salad.  Heaven, revisited.

On Tuesday night I was (a.) out of vegetables and (b.) craving something different.  So, after a good ten minutes spent shuffling between cabinet and fridge, expecting to have something edible jump out at me, I invented a new sandwich.

I call it the Rachel Christo.

Peanut butter, jelly and ham.

It was not at all bad.  Not at all.  Try it yourself.

The second thing I learned was much more inconsequential, but it made me feel all superior and stuff, so I have to tell you about it.

Tonight I learned I can use chopsticks with my left hand.

I've used them right-handedly for decades.  After leaving the courthouse, I decided to drive into Fake Cow City for Chinese food.  The waitress seated me in a newly reupholstered booth in a corner far enough from the blaring flat screen TV so as not to interfere with my reading.  After arranging my dining space to the perfect configuration for both culinary and Kindle enjoyment, I discovered my sushi plate was on the left side and my soup bowl on the right.  So, I tried the chopsticks left-handed.

It worked. Score one for me.

The third thing I've learned this week was the discovery of the object of the rest of my life.

I turned on the TV last night and caught the last couple of minutes of PBS Newshour.  They mentioned a poem.  This poem:


The title piqued my interest, what with having had several Jennifers play roles in my life, both pivotal and the occasionally beslubbered. But the first line of the article following the poem really caught my attention.  The poet had a friend who described her work as "First you are laughing.  Then there is a knife."

Holy Mary, Mother of Pearl.  That's it -- that's the whole object of my writing!  That right there is what I'm aiming for.  I think I'm pretty decent with the first part.  There is a lot of work to do on the second part.

And that's ok. I'm only 46.  I still have lots of time to work on it.

What are you working on?

(You owe me, Janet.  I did in fact manage to work your favorite Shakespearean insult into this post. It was clumsy, but it's there!)