Friday, September 05, 2014

Update Just to Update, 1st Week of Sept 2014 Edition

1. I'm about a third of the way into Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. How I missed this one until now, I have no idea. It's a peculiar book: takes place in the early 1800s in an alternate England where magic still exists, though only two "practical" magicians remain, other magicians being merely "theoretical," reading up on the history and theory without actually doing any magic. At the beginning of the book, actually performing magic is considered a bit improper, though thrilling.
Anyway, I'm very much enjoying it so far. If you know the end, don't tell me!

2. Today I'm listening to Hank Williams over and over. A friend made mention of the song "I Saw the Light," and his version is the one that plays in my head as soon as I see those words. Listening to him is bittersweet now: this is music I listened to as a kid until every word is part of me...but now that I'm more familiar with the hard, short life he led, I can't help hearing double-meanings in so many of these songs, and it tears at my heart. Love his voice, though.

3. Tomorrow I'm going to do something that scares me, rather. I've been a regular blood donor for several years now, but yesterday I got a call/plea from the Puget Sound Blood Center asking me to consider donating platelets. This requires being hooked to a machine for several hours: blood goes to a cell separating machine that collects platelets, and then red blood cells are returned. This is WAY, WAY creepier than merely bleeding into a bag. I'm a pro at bleeding into a bag at this point. I have a 2 gallon pin to prove it. But a) the nice blood center lady said they're at "emergency" levels, and b) I accidentally totally missed my last appointment to donate, so I have guilt. we go. Maybe I can include it in a story someday.

Added bonus: totally legit excuse to sit on my rear reading a book for several hours on Saturday.

4. I appear to have been conclusively adopted by a desk, whether I like it or not. It's a sturdy but unattractive thing that used to be a nurse's station at a gynecology/urology practice, just to add to its charm. (Everybody, CRINGE!) I got it for free when I helped some of the folks there move to a new building.

In a lot of ways, it's an ideal desk for me: it has a file drawer plus another drawer for junk, a pull out work-surface for times when I need more paper space, a big built-in space for organizing documents, plenty of book space up above. However, the lamp on the underside broke, so it's dark. Also it's ugly. And did I mention ugly? I thought to maybe sell it and eventually replace with something slightly more of my own choice, but no bites. Beyond conning friends into helping me haul it to Goodwill, I seem to be stuck with it. And I'm beginning to think I'm not meant to get rid of it. It seems to be My Destiny.

So I guess I'm going to try to find a new LED light to mount on the underside of the hutch bit. And maybe I can pretty it up. Somehow. Maybe I can cover it in decorative duct tape. That would go along with my milk crate and garage sale rejects motif.

5. I've been posting a bit more poetry and such over on my reflections-and-thoughts blog, Thorns and Blossoms. Some of it's a repeat of what I've posted here, but not all, so check it out if you've a mind to.


Bill M said...

Hank Williams was quite a guy. One of the best concerts I attended was Hank Jr. He did the video of him and his dad, but then, and as I understand as he was telling us during the interview at our station, that it was the only time he did it. He pulled up a stool, sent the band off stage and for the next hour non-stop he sang his dad's songs. Best one of his concerts I ever attended.

I wonder why they do not want whole blood since they can get platelets from whole blood. Maybe they can't get enough.

Hope everything goes good for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning the Clark book. It's been sitting on a shelf for a few years but sounds like an ideal leisurely read for the winter. I've lately been reading books by C.S. Lewis on religion and literature. The man was a genius! Fascinating analysis and spritely writing.

Good luck with the platelets procedure. I used to be on emergency call for blood at a local hospital and still participate at blood drives but never did the platelets donation. Let us know how it went.

As to the desk, I only have two words: shelf paper.

I'll have to listen to some Hank Williams and see how he compares to the jazz, traditional folk and sea chanties I grew up with.

Jeff The Bear

Elizabeth H. said...

Donating platelets wasn't too bad! They actually have a system that only uses one needle--it alternates between drawing whole blood and returning red blood cells after extracting platelets and plasma. I did get a little chilly (the return feels a bit odd), but they gave me a heating pad, and all was well.

From what they said, platelets are always in high demand and have a short shelf life. It takes many whole blood donations to get as many platelets as they can get from a single platelet donation, so that's why they need those. Also, you can only donate whole blood once every few months, whereas platelets can be donated every few weeks.

It took a lonnnng time, but other than that, not too bad.

Jeff--C.S. Lewis is one of my very favorite authors in several genres. I love how approachable he is even when discussing fairly lofty topics. Of all the authors I've read, he's near the top of the list of people I wish I could sit down to dinner with.

I checked Lowes for lighting today, and they were out of stock of the light that seemed most promising...but it's good to know they're out there! May check Home Depot instead. With the days getting shorter, I'm going to really want a decently lighted workspace soon.