July 5th, 2003

running, bomb tech

Tradition

Our family's 4th of July traditions never involved fireworks. Rarely does that happen, at least the large sparkly kind, in summer, in Fairbanks.

Instead of playing with things that go boom, the whole family would go out to the place of some friends of the family, who might as well have been family. There would be hot dogs, and other assorted junk food, and we would run around and play (but not get near the sled dogs). We'd avoid/taunt Tickling Uncle, who teased us without mercy. In later years, I'd wind up inside with a book and/or my crocheting, especially to avoid the youngest cousin, the appalling brat who somehow only I got along with.

It was the calm, quiet sort of family celebration, without canned music or speechifying or even much in the way of flagwaving. There'd usually be music in the evening, and I tried to sing along, sometimes.

It was always peaceful out there. Sometimes the neighbors would stop by, and that was interesting, because there were more kids to play with. I'd go down and talk to the birds; swallowtayle was more interested in the horses.

I never got used to the idea of July 04 as being a fast-paced, gotta-get-stuff-done holiday. It's amazing how hard you can work to cram so much relaxing into one day. Somehow, despite the sometimes-elaborate preparations, that holiday was generally slow for us. There were other summer holidays there, like birthdays... and they were all fairly much the same, except for the kid birthdays. The grown-up birthdays were like any other holiday out there: laid-back, quiet, with all the time in the world...
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    peaceful peaceful
documentation, writing, quill

W00t!

It really says something to me, something good, when I make one of my rare /. posts and it's modded up.

Funny, no less.
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    pleased pleased
documentation, writing, quill

Potter

"Infested with Nargles" is the new catchphrase, isn't it.
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    confused confused
Azzcalm, Quiet

Reading, bleeding

Hit the plasma place, while engrossed in Elvenborn, Norton & Lackey. Read through a movie and a half, barely even noticing the finer points of the donation process. There was a nasty long wait, too, made bearable by the book. (Who am I kidding? Well-nigh unnoticeable. Shana's been a friend since CTY. [To be distinguished from Shanna, a late predecessor/mindmate most noteworthy for the cries of "Shut up, Shanna!" that marked her presence.]) Tried to get something from the vending machine, as my body was giving me early warning signs that would indicate something funky happening with my blood sugar a few hours in the future; the machine ate my $0.50. I complained, and got my complaint written down for refund when the guy comes through again.

My screener was the cute lady whose husband is going to be at DeVry come the 14th. He's not going for ECT after all; he's going to be an EET, which is cool. I went in the big room and waited more, still in the book. I wasn't noticing the wait until people started complaining; after that, I went back to my book. I was dragged out of the book-trance once by a guy coming up, getting a good look down my cleaveage and incidentally at my necklace, asking me where I'd gotten it (Spencer's) and revealing that he, too, was a pagan. (Cool.) The guy next to me remarked that he rather liked Egyptian peace crosses. (Cool.) Finally, a bed was assigned to me, and I sat down to await the slow process of bleeding.

Evidently, I wasn't bleeding as much as I normally do, which may have been in part due to the book; I was forgetting to work my hand to make the blood flow faster. It took five cycles (well, four and a fraction) to fill the bottle.

Finished the plasma-collecting process, got unplugged from the machine, and was immediately hustled over to an unoccupied bed without a machine so that someone else could take my place. I sat there for a good amount of time, pressing the wad of gauze against my arm to give the wound a chance to seal up. The guy came by with the bandaid after what he thought was at least fifteen minutes.

Against my better judgement, I took it and put it on, and went to pick up my purse and bag-for-book-and-icepacks... and noticed that the arm of my black overshirt was wet. What? I thought. Surely I didn't sweat that much... Then, I noticed it was getting wetter. I clamped fingers securely over the place where the puncture was, and marched over to the sink where I'd seen other people marched when their arms pulled the same trick. There was already someone else over there. The bossy guy who is new who tells everybody what to do about stuff gave me some more gauze, ascertained that I was not a danger to myself (mostly by seeing that I looked like I knew what I was doing and wasn't looking like I was about to faint) and directed me to sit my ass back down and do that thing with the arm again.

This time, it worked. I peeled off my overshirt (I am in the habit of wearing a tank top to go donate, with a button-down long-sleeved shirt overtop to deter the rays of good ol' Sol and the gazes of creepy guys) and the blood-soaked bandaid was removed and replaced. I stayed in place for a bit longer, then got up to approach the counter.

And not. I sat right back down; I was NOT about to be moving for another little bit until my brain stopped getting the uneasy feeling that I was about to pass out. A small verbal fight ensued, between one staff member and some brutha who had chosen to get argumentative about some finer point of the plasma donation process. Fortunately, as both parties were black, race did not enter into it, for which we can be grateful (those arguments get nasty fast). I decided it was safe to get up again.

This time, I actually approached the counter and stood there for some time, enough time for the dude who'd been doing the fighting to emerge from the office he'd disappeared into and come back and get his stuff, and for the guy who was supposed to have been behind the counter to get ready to do that thing with my charts. It was only then that I got that feeling again, and immediately made tracks back for the sitting-down place, much to the confusion of the guy. He only clued in a few moments after I'd sat down, as I'd not had the energy to spare to let him know what was up. "Are you dizzy?" I nodded. "Would you like some water?"

"Yes, please," I responded in the loudest voice I could manage, which wasn't much.

After the water, I felt much better, and was able to keep my feet to get my money and depart. I went to the bathroom to wash the blood out of my shirt. The dried blood on the inside of the sleeve looked like encrusted ketchup. I waited in the building for about ten more minutes, to give myself time to walk to the bus stop, and to make sure I didn't have to sit out in the sun too long.

At the bus stop, the big guy who's always reading Pratchett came along and introduced himself. His name's Dan. I didn't ask about LJ; I elected not to. We chatted about this and that. It was fun. We exchanged e-mail addresses. He didn't twinge my psycho-sense; that's a good first sign. He'd looked like one of the people that I'll wind up talking to someday, on first or second meeting. So that's good. We chatted on the bus until my stop.
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