Saturday, January 20, 2007

Triple Play

Lovely day with my phlebotibuds at the RC this morning. They have a lovely new machine, the TRIMA. Very nice that I can donate a double unit of platelets in just over 45 minutes. Very nice that it uses only one needle in one arm to both draw and return the blood after it extracts the glue (platelets).

And Monday last (yes I am late in reporting) I was informed that the RC here in Norfolk shall have the go-ahead from the FDA to start doing TRIPLE UNITS on this same machine; and with my platelet count that will just take an additional 10 minutes or so. That is starting the first full week of February, the 6th or 7th I believe, and I have been asked if I would like to be the first triple unit donor. Of course I said yes and am mentally rehearsing my soundbites and trying not to get too political or sectarian no matter what i would like to say.

Because personally, for me, this whole thing is about being prolife in the most personal and also widest scope of the word. I'm not one for hauling off with a ton of legislation about what women can and cannot do with their bodies. But I'm also not about saying that disposing of a life is right in any sense, and that includes not only abortion but the death penalty, war, limiting people's economic access to health care, hunger, homlessness, neglect, and abuse. Either all life is sacred or no life is sacred and it is not for us to sit in the ultimate judgement.

At the same time, people who are in the "pro life" movement but who support capital punishment, war, decrease in healthcare benefits, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, on a neocon agenda? You figure the world I have for begins with an "H". Those who rant and picket and don't have the balls to roll up the sleeves & make another life last.... heh... unless you have a justifiable medical reason, you lose in the game of life.

Tha is why it is so important to me to do as much apheresis as humanly possible. Lives are in the balance. In the case of my platelet makeup that is mostly children's lives: children who I do not know what they will turn out to be as they become adults. One could save the world from its insane course of self-destruction, another could become a mass murderer, another could die a year later from their illness or something else - before they have had the chance to "do" anything as an adult or maybe never even getting to leave the hospital they were admitted to.

But I don't know these things. I don't know the children. But to me all their lives are equally precious. And so, as I go about my daily business, every child, every person I see, is or could be a part of me, and I a part of them. I cannot wish any of them dead, no matter what. It would be suicide by proxy.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sound Of Angels...And Breaking Commandments

Small graces in unexpected places. New Years Eve day was the voice of an angel in the guise of an 80something black-clad Yiayia with the strongest most beautiful voice I have heard in the few "Greek" Orthodox liturgies I've been a part of. Singing the choir and responses all from memory. 100% a capella. Needed my church fix, and here in Greenville, NC where I am currently working, that figures to a group of fifteen or so hearty souls braving this sola scriptura wonderland to carve out a door to that place between heaven and earth for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning. She was up from Tarpon Springs, FL (where all good Greeks go to retire) visiting family that one weekend and then she was gone....a momentary small grace that is sticking inside my head and rattling around like other small exquisite things that are all the more precious because they will never be experienced for the first time again. The first time I smelled orange blossoms straight from the tree, the taste of a 100+ year old pre-phyloxera Madiera vintage, how the perfect pair of fluffy cotton socks feel on the first freezing night of the year, prehensile babytoes.

I prefer to class those as "Acts of God" rather than the scurrilous use of that term used by insurance policy clauses.

We bring craptastic disasters on ourselves and dammit, I want my winters back!

Speaking of craptastic, it kinds sucks being from Virginia what with Virgil Goode's narrowheadedness and Pat Robertson's paranoia mongering, Virginia is becoming a hell sammich with a side of vitriol fries.

Pat and Virgil and Georgie and company want to continue wars. And ya know? that got me thinking about one of the commandments - Number 3. And the more I sat in this extended stay hotel room and thought deep thoughts, the more I realized that it's not about how many JCs or GDs one ejaculates in a fit of pique. Sure, that's not the most pious thing to do but it's a crap load worse to take G-d's name as the reason to kill someone, or beat someone, or deny someone their civil rights, or engender fear, or foster hatred in the "name of G-d".

What with all the evils spewing from the newsfronttelewarmachine, it's the memory of that small yet boundless grace of a lone perfect ancient-timeless-young voice chanting responses in a Greek I do and do not understand, that is pure comfort and joy.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Gone Too Long & Joyful Holidays

In between faith crises and extended business travel I've just not been around mentally or physically. Hope to remedy that sooner rather than later. I am leaving the garret again tomorrow for further extended business travel. Lovely urbane Greenville, North Carolina until the middle of January but listen up Bunions.... da man called me and I am swinging by the office tomorrow a.m. to pick up one of the corporate traveling laptops that became available!!!

Whooo! Hooooo! and high speed at l'Hotel des Grits as well. A real treat for a dial-up girl. the meantime...

Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva!

That's Russian by the way... two Liturgies + Compline. My arches are killing me.

Friday, May 26, 2006

where I've been?

Working, sleeping, trying to budget on nothing at all & trying to get the hemocrit up & dealing with verious bone spurs & maniscus issues.. It's borderline now for platelet donations & was able to do the do last weekend. Hope this weekend pans out too.

But...there is a new link on my side bar for Sages of Consciousness. Interesting e-zine that y'all should submit your Multicultural Musings to for their next thematic issue....

Last issue was Death And The Afterlife. They accept reprints. Life 404 was accepted and is up there now in the latest edition that just came out today. Something very nifty about getting that first "registered ISSN number zine" acceptance.

And thank you everyone (ESPECIALLY the HAWT HAWT HAWT BUNION BABES who rock the world) for the encouragement when I first had it up in Flashing in the Gutters. That gave me the courage to toss the piece out there to complete strangers for a yea or nay acceptance.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Open Bar Nite at Jickys

The maitresse'd is stretched out on her fainting couch with a Purple Destiny. The poker for pills game is ongoing so ante up. At the dim back table it's dicing for decants with the perfume pushers. And front and center it's authorial critique jello wrestling. The hostess is tired but the good times roll on. Drinks are free. The pill & decants .... you bring your own.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Not thinking much and a little tired. I treid to do apheresis today but my hemocrit was too low for the second week in a row. I could afford to see my GP if I wanted to take off more unpaid time. But I couldn't afford the tests to tell me why all of a sudden my hemocrit is down to 33 from it's usual 39-42 - or why my back and knee hurt (was supposed to get an MRI for the knee just before I got laid off anf lost insurance and even with the craptastic insurance I had, the MRI would have set me out of pocket $500)- or get a cortisone shot for my ankle at the orthopedists.

This is my apheresis folder.

I have donated 81 times (79 of those double units) of CMV negative platelets. Those fo to infants and the severely immuno compromised who've never had CMV

I won't get insurance converage until November with my new job which I do love despite the wait. All I want to know is why when I've done my part in saving not just a few lives, I can't get any medical care that I can fucking afford and why it would be a whole different story If I'd had three or four out of wedlock puppies, or had been an addict, or a criminal or a dropout, or illiterate, or someone who didn't dig down to pay out of pocket for the meds to keep themselves from going to the happy home with all the other basket weavers.

So I am taking time off and aside from work which I take seriously....I am sleeping and being frivolous with my time and watching television and goofing off. I go to the doctor on the state dime tomorrow though because I now have a "job" albeit that I am uninsured....I'm being told my disability claim/request for some small modicum of assistance....will likely be denied.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Another night at Jicky's

The glare of sodium lights streams through the door of Jicky's. Sam looks up from his piano, stops midway through a quiet Chopin etude. "Where ya, been baby?"

The hostess slips off her suit coat and slides into her smoking jacket. A chorus boy brings her cashmere lined slippers and her jeweled cigarette holder. "Working Sam, gotta pay for this joint somehow."

"They treating you good out there."

"The best Sam. It's old-school, you know, men do the heavy lifting, I get face-time with the big shots. It's all good, sweetheart. Gonna go get me a Purple Destiny now."

At the bar Emily K is holding forth, translating Baudelaire off the cuff and making a mean salad nicoise. Patrons seem to be sipping their absinthe and chartreuse with a certain unusual savor along with the mellifluous words.

MG and Dana are munching on pain au chocolat courtesy of the inestimable Emily K; while Sharon and E. Ann indulge in steak tartare. Their eyes are glued to the glare of laptop screens to the exclusion of all else.

Purple Destiny in hand, the hostess makes her way back to the piano. "Back there, what's happening?" She flicks her head toward the furthest dimmest table in the room, where several soignee folk in black velvet hold forth in a polite and courtly manner.

"The dealers are back, babe. With a vengance."

"Sam, you know what happened the last time I let perfume pushers into Jickys."

"Talked to Katie 'The Nose' for ya baby. They'll pay up this time."

"Anything for a price Sam. They know me too well."