Monthly Archives: April 2007

And the Bloodsuckers Strike Again!

Big blood drive on campus here today. I’ve tried to donate a few times and always been rejected because I’m anemic or on the verge. The boss came in today, though, and said, “Hey, let’s go donate!” Well sure! I figured I’d try and then be rejected. But at least I would have tried.

Well, I wasn’t rejected! I actually have the hematocrit to donate, which is a minor miracle. And to top it off, my weight actually worked for me for a change. You see, as a biological mother (i.e., having been pregnant in the past) my blood can contain antibodies that can make others sick, so they would have to throw away my plasma after a whole blood donation. However, they now have this slick new technique that immediately separates the plasma and the red cells so that I could actually donate twice the red cells I would be able to otherwise. Then I get the plasma back with a little saline to make everything kosher. Trick is, you have to be over a certain weight. Ha! Like that’s an issue for me! Hello!

So the boss stops by my little station as they’re setting me up. SHE was rejected – anemic. Well, at least one of us was able to help out. So I sat there for close to an hour getting the draw and then waiting until I was cleared to go. Poor little college girl next to me lost her cookies – literally – after donating. I felt bad for her, but it happens. People get woozy and sick after donating blood. It’s a fact of life. Me? I’m apparently strong as an ox.

But after they cleared me to leave, they gave me this lovely little card that told me I was to drink a lot of fluids today (not a problem), make my next meal a hearty one (again, no problem there), and refrain from exercise for the rest of the day (did I just go to heaven?)

So I’ve been told to sit on my fat butt and eat today. I am soooo donating blood again!

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Filed under Life? You Mean I Have To Have A Life?

How Do You Even Respond?

I won’t post a link. Go to any news site and it’s there. 32 dead. Insanity.

When I was in high school, I’d been to Columbine High School a dozen different times for everything from music contests to French Club. I’d changed clothes in the closet off the choir room where some of the kids hid during the incendent years after I graduated. When the shooting happened that April, I could picture the rooms they were talking about, and it felt… wierd.

Now my father has that weird feeling. And my uncle. Both are alums at Virgina Tech.

In the coming weeks, we’ll all ask why. It’s natural. But there is no reason good enough. There never could be. Forget the killer – he is not even worth a footnote in the history books. Remember the victims. Memorialize them. And, in good time, move ahead and make a new life beyond the hurt.  Over the years as I return to the Denver area, I see so many people stuck in that day at Columbine. I see videos of the gunmen and hear those names over and over. I don’t want to hear those names. I don’t want to see their faces as they taped themselves readying to murder what they hoped to be hundreds. Forget them. They’re not worth our energy or emotions.  Move ahead and forge a new life – just as the people in Virgina will now have to do.

There are no words for their grief. Perhaps the best we can wish for is that everyone in the world will be a little kinder to one another today. Other than to say that, how does one even respond? You can’t.

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Priceless

So far this morning, I have spent about an hour correcting others’ grammar, syntax, punctuation and the like. Spelling I leave to MS Word since I couldn’t spell my way out of a paper bag, but the rest tends to fall into my corner.

I decided to take a break and read some news, so I toodled over and find this article on the Chinese as they prepare for Olympics 2008.  It covers how signs in China often have a nonsensical English accompanyment, such as “Eyebrow Tatoo” and “Ear Spa.” Fun stuff.

Firstly, let me just say how amazed I am that country would try to learn another’s language for an event like this. Now it’s true that English is one of the most widely spoken languages on the planet, but as I recall (and I’m just riffing here) Mandarin Chinese is actually the most prevalent language on the planet and I don’t see American citizens rushing into Chinese classes to learn it. Kudos to the Chinese.

Still, I presume an English speaker wrote this article. And this is a major news outlet, folks, not some dinky little blog like mine. So when the following sentence ends the piece, I had to laugh just a little:

“They can have very simply conversations, like: `Who am I? Where am I going?”‘

Hmmmm… can they really have very simply conversations? Last time I checked, simply was an adverb and  conversations was a noun. And on a morning when I am endlessly switching then/than , making articles agree with nouns, and ensuring that tense is consistent, I find it amazing that some reporter who is getting paid gaziollons more than I am is getting to pass off poor English grammar skills. In an article about how the Chinese have poor English grammar skills.

Seriously. Priceless.

Now you go ahead and count how many errors I made in this post.

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Filed under And She's Opinionated Too!, It's A Writing Life

No More Holidays, Please.

We had plans this last weekend. Friday, I was going to do some shopping, some housework, get some home improvement projects started or at least start researching them… that sort of thing. Saturday, we were going to go visit the husband’s mother and brother and the whole fam-damily. Sunday we were going to have a nice, quiet Easter.

This is how the weekend really went:

At 7 AM, the youngest child climbs into my bed and complains of a stomach ache. While he was sick on Monday of last week and had had a bad tummy for most of the rest of the week, I wasn’t that concerned. Until I rubbed his tummy and he flinched.

Let me rewind about three years here, to Mother’s Day weekend when Son #2 was in kindergarten. He’d been sick for a week with a fever and strep that just didn’t seem to be getting better. He’d had stomach aches off and on for weeks but nothing we were particularly concerned about. The docs were figuring it was stress related since he’s a little high strung. But that Friday night, after a week of antibiotics and a fever that wouldn’t quit, I was laying on the floor rubbing his tummy when he flinched. Four hours later, he was having emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. The strep had masked the symptoms.

So on Friday morning when the little one flinched, I didn’t waste any time. We went to the ER right away, even though I figured I was being paranoid. No way I could have two kids with appendicitis, right?

Son #3 was in surgery at 3:00. The doc and the nurses all said it runs in families. If Son #1 has a tummy ache ever, we’re so going to the hospital!

Today, he’s home from school but doing well. Our middle boy had a terrible time after his surgery and ended up in the hospital for a week. This one is made of tougher stuff, though his was not nearly as serious as we caught it sooner. Still, he needs to take it easy and he’s more interested in running around like a yahoo. He’ll learn when he wears out. And he will wear out.

I was just having a conversation with a good friend the other night about how we, as mothers, really need to trust our guts. We have so many doubts and so many voices telling us what’s best for our kids, that we;re being paranoid about their health, etc. etc. When Son #2 got sick, I doubted myself. When we went to the ER, I kept telling the doctors and nurses that he was probably fine. He wasn’t fine, and my gut had been right. This time, I thought I was crazy, but went with my gut anyway. Good thing I did. I was right. That makes me feel a little bit better as a mother. Oh, I still screw up. A lot. But I guess when it counts, at least with their health, I have good instincts. So I need to listen to them more. But that’s another blog altogether.

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Filed under The One Where I Waffle On About The Kids

Name That Kid!

No, I’m not pregnant. Thank God. No, Son #3 represents our last foree into that insanity. But there’s the problem. Son #3. Not very creative and, while accurate, not exactly descriptive, either. Now I’ve seen blogs that identify children by name, which I don’t exactly object to. However, for a variety of reasons, I’m just not comfortable naming Johnny, Tommy and Ben. Just kidding.  Then there are the blogs out there who have wonderful names for their kids, like Sweetness and Light, or Science Boy, or That Little SO— never mind that one.

So I need better names for my children for the blog. Son #s 1, 2 and 3 is rather cold and, especially for Son #2, not very flattering. Oldest, youngest and middle plays into that whole Freudian BS my sister’s been trying to milk for years, so that’s out. Unfortunately, all their nicknames around here are plays on their names, so those are out. So since I’m all about audience participation (A.K.A. lazy) I thought I would bring this to the blog readers for input. But to name my kids, you may need a little description.

Son #1 – He’s at that “tween” stage where puberty is hitting, but he still is my baby. Son #1 is not a typical tween, though, as autism has stolen a lot of that typicality. He’s sweet, though, and loves movies. As in he watches them once and can quote them from that point on. Currently his obsession is Star Wars. In fact, he’s given the dog a new name – Darth Puppy. He also has a Darth name, but since it includes his name… He’s engaged, by the way. A little girl in his class who has Down’s Syndrome has recently survived (yay!) a bout of leukemia and it empowered her to propose. He accepted. Lord preserve us.

Son #2 – At age 9, he understands more about quantum physics than I ever will. He reads non stop and does not discriminate – Ramona and Henry Huggins are both okay with him. Not to mention his favorite book: the world atlas. He’s so in his own head, he can barely function some days. And he can’t tie his own shoes. But he can explain the most abstract concepts with amazing clarity. My little genious. Current obsessions include Roller Coaster Tycoon and Sim City. Yes, he’s a computer geek, too.

Son #3 – My baby and my oopsie. Nope, he was not intended, but is he fun to have around! He’s still cuddly and sweet, until he turns into a mad dog and has a tantrum. Very bright little boy with 100% on all his spelling tests for the last two quarters at school. Yes, I am beginning to wonder if he was switched at birth with the child of some spelling bee whiz, because he cannot possibly be related to me. He loves the ladies, and they love him. I watched him practically get torn in two last year at a birthday party because two of his little conquests had arrived at the same time. His current obsessions include Mythbusters and begging me to stay up late to watch “just one more show on the Science Channel.”

Yes, I’m raising geeks. Thank God.

So what shall we call them, dear readers? Obi Son Kenobi? Jabba the Kid? Computer Geek Savant? Ladies’ Man? You tell me. I’m sure you’ll come up with something much better than I could.

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Filed under The One Where I Waffle On About The Kids