Sunday, December 30, 2007

Video for YOU

My poor blog has gone so long without an update, and it's going to go longer still without a real update. For now I have a video to show you though. So most of you know that I donate platelets as often as possible; it helps the patients at the cancer hospital as well as neighboring hospitals and it's a nice thing to do. I also have a high platelet count so in a way, donation is therapeutic. I've donated 27 times now and barring one incident where the needle went through my vein, have not had any issues. We-eeell that was until Thursday.

I made a special trip to Boston to donate as I took this week off work (joy!) Everything started out quite normally. One of my favorite apheresis techs was in (he puts the needle in the best, ie least painfully, you literally cannot feel it going in your vein!) and he screened me and I passed all the tests no problem. I got settled in a bed and got to choose a movie - the Bourne Ultimatum, SCORE! The one thing out of the ordinary was that the apheresis machine was on my right, and usually I go with my left arm, cause the vein is so damn good, LOL. I didn't think much of the machine being on the right and figured I'd switch it up, not remembering the issues that were had on the right arm before.

To understand the issue, you must understand how the apheresis machine works. I know the basics, but you can find the details here. First your blood is taken from your arm and it goes through tubes into a machine that looks sort of like a dialysis machine. There the blood is apparently centrifuged and separated into parts according to weight. The platelets are separated out into one bag, while the red blood cells are mixed with an anticoagulant and cycled back into your vein. The machine used where I work is one that draws and returns in cycles, so one brief cycle is the draw and then the next is a return. Usually I can't feel the difference between draws and returns, but Thursday the returns were painful, which is weird for me. I felt a slight burning at the needle site, but then the tech adjusted the machine and a blood pressure cuff around my arm and everything seemed ok again. I was about 90% done with my donation when the machine stopped drawing and the needle site went from sore to agonizing. It hurt SO BAD. I could see my bicep was swelling. An alarm went off in the machine because it couldn't draw and a couple techs came over to figure out the problem. They were puzzled at first; the needle site looked good, there wasn't grotesque swelling of the arm or bruising. What was it? Because there was no clear answer and I was in obvious pain, they decided to terminate the donation, as there were enough usable platelets collected. Soon the pain was unbearable and I needed the needle out and to sit up. Ha, couldn't sit up with the needle in and when I tried too, I was told to "LIE DOWN!!!" I started to go under.

I have a high pain tolerance and have rarely felt faint in my entire life, but for some reason, this pain triggered a faint response. I felt like I might vomit, then I couldn't breathe, then I started to tingle. I told the techs "ummm I am really trying not to panic, but I'm going under" That did it, that brought immediate attention, lol. Luckily I neither vomited nor fainted and was ok after about 15 minutes once the techs talked me through it. They said that my blood had clotted in the machine and that the machine was sending sludge-like blood back into my body til the clot was so solid it couldn't return it anymore. They said I might have a little bruise, but I looked ok. Well.
I think that opens up the stage for the video (excuse the weird lighting and busted UP hair)
This is what actually happened:

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Suddenly It All Made Sense

This weekend Jam and I were in a bootleg taxi (ok he calls it a "dollar cab" I just call it bootleg. It makes me feel highly illegal and badass. But I digress) The driver had on a soft rock station playing Christmas tunes. One song came on and it was kinda weird. We sort of looked at each other like "WTF?!"

Then I read this post. And feel kind of insensitive that we were "WTF"-ing poor Dan Fogelberg. Whoops. At least stuff makes sense now!

Anyways, it's snowing here yet again. My ISE 5 pal had emailed me a bit ago describing her fantastic Australian Christmas plans and today I received another email saying that it's hard to imagine it's snowing somewhere while it's so warm in her neck of the woods. Ha ha I feel the same way about imaging it being warm somewhere else! She also mentioned that she should take pictures at home and post them on her blog (please do Christine!) and I think I might totally steal her idea. Stay tuned for some snow pictures and some crafty pics of what the heck I've been doing all this time I've been away from the blog!!

P to the S My Dad had an awesome bday, lots of great presents, it's been a while since I've seen him get so excited and happy about stuff. It was nice, cause dad works hard and is often overtired and kinda cranky, LOL, I won't lie, but his birthday yesterday was just great. Ha, just wait til he gets his Christmas present from my mom. He'll flip! I don't think either of my 'rents read this blog, but in case they do I won't mention what the gift is.

Well I hope all of you readers (all 3 of you) have an excellent Christmas, if that's what you're celebrating, and if not and you're some place cold and snowy, I hope at the very least you're staying warm!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Father The Hero

State police descend upon Cardinal Cushing School

December 4- The Massachusetts State Police brought Santa Claus to campus by helicopter. Students and staff watched from the hill. Pictured here, Sgt. C. Afterwards, the State Police escorted the bus convoy into Boston for a Christmas party at the Garden.

Happy Birthday Dad!

(tee hee he looks freezing in this pic!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

blah blah blah angsty free verse

The people on the conference call talk nothing but crappppppppppp!

The snow is falling outside my

I don't give a *bleep* about the protocol table

But I shall be driving in the blizzard

hahahahhaha well this amused me for 2 minutes. sigh. I can't believe we've been talking about a change in the protocol table for 14 minutes. stab my eyes with a spoon please.

I suppose since I haven't blogged for a week I should discuss something intense and real, like politics in America, issues in Pakistan and Sudan, global climate change, the health care crisis or why people can't leave Britney alone. Buuuutttttt I think I'd rather be bitter about the fact that my boss is at home. She left at noon, after telling me explicitly I could not leave because I had to be present on a conference call at 2pm. She's dialed into the call from home. From her cozy little house. Must be nice!

Normally I would not be this bitter or angry, in fact, I'd probably hardly care. I find navigating a large snow storm an adventure, about as ultimate fighter as "man v. nature" gets here in New England. Snow, I shall vanquish thee! Not today though, mostly because of what happened yesterday.

Yesterday my boss called me into her office because there was a stat of mine that was looking funky. I saw it and thought about it and I said "yeah, that stat would definitely be a little funky, but if you look at all my other stats for the quarter, you'd see that they're through the roof because I swapped my priorities. I will make this issue my new priority, this will not be a problem, and thank you for bringing this to my attention." My boss sat back in her chair and said "You know, it's one thing to slack off, but it's quite another to be caught at it." I sat there dumbfounded and eventually left her office without sticking up for myself, and I'm kicking myself for it now. I mean seriously, she's looking at one small aspect of my job!! Nevermind the fact that slacking and Allison don't go in the same sentence. I thought maybe I was slacking, maybe I was delusional or in denial til I casually mentioned it to my coworkers. They were horrified, mostly because they see me busting my ass to make my 40 hours each week and go to school and maintain a B average (requirement to stay in the program) hauling my laptop from home to school to work to maintain this frickin' project and I get called a slacker. Awesome.

Sigh. Then my boss informed me that she expects me to work here til I graduate. I don't have much of a choice to be honest, but if she thinks I'll wait to look for a new job til after graduation in May, she's the delusional one.

That being said
Off I go
Into the snow


Friday, December 07, 2007

Things I'm-a Lovin' Today

I really have nothing to write, so instead, I will make of list of things I'm liking today and not be an ornery whore like I was yesterday, heh heh heh.

Here goes:

Zazzle. Why? Because I made 3 sets of customized photo stamps yesterday. If you're reading this and you're on my "Holiday Card" list, you'll be seeing them. (Said like Oprah) *Looove it*

The Daily Coyote. Can't. Stop. Looking. Cuteness. Wildness. aasldkfjalsdkfdfja

These coasters. They're awesome, and I'm gonna make some. After I finish the 3,000 Christmas gifts I'm making.

Speaking of handmade, I love this too. I think it's great. I didn't personally take the pledge, cause I was like "dude, forget buying handmade, I'm making handmade....."

Ravelry. Obsessed.

These hats. I've made one and another is on the way for two special ladies I know. Of course not having kids and not having a concept of how large an 18-month old child's head actually is sizing is a shot in the dark. The bright side is that kids grow, so I only really had to focus on making the size correct or LARGER. And since the had fits around my head and is a little short, I'm thinking I'm in the clear.

G.A.P Adventures. We went with them to Costa Rica and the experience was *amazing* Now they've added some incredible trips, including one to space (as in "the final frontier") which frankly scares the shit out of me. I like the Africa ones they've added, particularly the South Africa ones, even though my bigoted coworker thinks that if Jamaal and I went there we'd be stoned to death because we're a biracial couple. Whatev, she's clearly jealous of Jam's hot bod, LOL.

The Paper Source. Kinda makes you want to roll around in embossing glitter, eh?

MEMORABLE WOMEN. I am going to knit a shawl with yarn named after the founder of my Alma Mater. I will be unstoppable!

This site, because frankly, I don't know what the hell to say on my "email of interest" and how to word a salary requirement into a document with some modicum of class

FREE RICE Why? Because there's finally an internet game site that does something good for someone else and I feel my IQ rising as I play.

Aaaand finally, what I promised to blog about a week ago, this organization with a world-changing vision. They're amazing, I hope we're going to have a long relationship.

I think that's all I'll bore you with for now. I have a rather large natural resource law paper waiting for me, and I'm going to go see to that before I start rambling about the importance of the Conservation Reserve Program in the '07 Farm Bill renewal. Heh. Fun times.

Have a good weekend everyone!

It's a Jungle Out There

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Perhaps I am just ornery today, but I came back to my office and was sooo irritated. Why?
Because my coworker arrived and turned on the lights!
From 8AM to 12PM the most ridiculously blinding sunlight pours into our office (we're on a corner and have nice windows) so when my officemate Rochelle and I are here alone, we have a strict no-light policy because the office is flooded and the fluorescent lights give us both a huge headache (when Kim is here, it's only fair that they're on because she works in a corner and needs the lights, Laura of all people DOES NOT. She sits in the sunniest window!)
I came to work today and started everything peacefully and quietly in the natural cheerful glow of the sun. I left to wash my breakfast dishes and use the ladies and was greeted by the harsh stare of artificial overhead and ridiculously bring fluorescent. AND IT'S PISSING ME OFF BECAUSE THE PERSON WHO PUT THEM ON, FLICKED THE LIGHTS ON AND HAS LEFT. Where the hell did she go?? She's got 10 minutes to come back, and after that, the lights are going out again. Two can play this game, heh heh heh.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Le Sigh

So I was supposed to post about this wonderful organization called "Health in Harmony" but once again I am dropping the ball in order to see to grad school things.

I'm writing this paper (big paper) on the US Farm Bill that's up for renewal. I've never worked on a paper so long and felt that it still had no direction and was somewhat crappy. Seriously! As an undergrad, I never got lower than a B+ on a paper (before you accuse me of being obnoxious about that, let me have my fun, I barely squeaked by to graduate with a 3.0 - I'm horrible at exams!!!) and most papers were written only a few nights before they were due, if not THE night they were due. I had this knack for working under pressure; I'd barricade myself in my room with a healthy supply of coke (the drink!), ramen, easy mac, doritos, and sour patch kids and get it DONE, even if I had to stay up all night. I tried doing that on Sunday, but had such guilt over eating an entire bag of caramel hershey kissed that whole candy/junk food idea sort of backfired. Then I decided that maybe I'd do a little at a time. I guess a little means "one paragraph at a time." yick. It's driving me crazy! I just want to get it done because the sooner I finish up the paper, the sooner I get cracking on my midterm, then the sooner I can do my holiday crafting (which is going a bit better than I ever expected I must say...

Anyways, for the time being, enjoy this amazing website and the gorgeous photographs.

Enjoy this picture too:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Trend?

So I have some "All Time Favorite Books," books that I read over and over again usually once a year at least. For example, spring isn't spring if I don't reread Barbara Kingsolver's "Prodigal Summer." Everytime Alexander McCall Smith comes out with a new book in the Mma Ramotswe series, I reread the entire "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series so I can refresh my memory before reading the next one (given the waiting list for new books at my library and the length of my commute this is no great feat!). There are some books I just can't stop reading. I've read "Enemy Women" a bunch of time because I just adore the story, a sort of female version of "Cold Mountain" (another great one). I think "The Alchemist" will become a re-read for me too, I found it so inspirational. Of course "Mountains Beyond Mountains" will become my second bible as I start my quest to save the world.

While these books are all profound to me in their own ways, I started thinking about the books that touched me deep down in my soul. I ticked them off in my head:

The Poisonwood Bible (probably my favorite book of all time)
Snow Falling On Cedars
The Secret Life of Bees......

Then I though "Holy Crap......these books have a common theme.....BIRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS!!!! Whaaa?????" I will take this moment to point out that I read all of these books long before I met Jamaal and long before I went to Africa.....Maybe it's just plain and simple destiny or fate or something Jamaal, maybe God or whatever higher power is working up there (where is "there" exactly? hmm) was looking down at each of us studying our Mookie Wilson baseball cards and thought "These two were meant to be" (Though if God really did look down on us and think that it was a bit pervish of him/her since I would've been 4 and you 18...ok jk you would've been 9, but still!). Or maybe we just randomly met, liked each other and fell in looooooooooveeeeee. Eh, either way, I'm glad we found each other ;)

Tomorrow: A Post about Health In Harmony, and how it's saving the world ;D YAY!!!