Bloodletting

So yesterday was interesting!

My buddy Mur Lafferty (famous podcaster, author, creative type–merely knowing her provides a level of geek cred that I could never achieve on my own and certainly don’t deserve) needed a ride yesterday, first to the tattoo parlor for a consult (alas, foiled by tattoo artist’s schedule) and then to the doctor.

Mur’s got a condition known as hemochromatosis, (and believe me, no one is more impressed than I am if I managed to spell that correctly) that causes her body not to filter iron, so it builds up in her tissues. It’s potentially fatal if untreated, but the treatment is simple and medieval.

They bleed her.

Plain, ‘ol fashioned bloodletting. Go figure.

Problem is, of course, that Mur is a wee little thing* and losing a pint of blood leaves her distinctly woozy, more so than can be fixed with a cup of juice and a cookie. So I happily volunteered to drive her out to the Cancer Center (who for some weird reason is the best place to get blood drawn–the blood bank refuses to bleed her, because her hematocrit level is too low, despite the fact that she needs to get blood drawn every coupla months in order to, y’know, not DIE. Paperwork, man, go figure.)

I always feel a little weird in doctor’s offices–the specialist places, anyway. I am too damn healthy. Visiting the urology center was awkward, they have so many people who’s prostates are exploding and kidneys are failing, and here I am, half the age of anybody in the room, going “Yeah, just need somebody to check on how well the Kegels are working…” It’s notably worse at an oncology clinic. (This is probably a horrible thing for me to feel, but I suspect it’s human nature to feel a vague urge to apologize for being so gauche as to not be sick in such circumstances. Our society segregates the ill in weird ways.)

Anyway, they had a whole phlebotomy room set up, with rows of recliners and IVs, for people who need the drips and whatnot. Mur’s had this done sufficiently often that she can speak with authority on the comfort of the needle vs. the catheter, although she doesn’t watch them do it, lest she faint. Me, I just watched in mild fascination as the nurse shoved a needle the size of my thigh into Mur’s arm (which, kung fu or not, is teeny. And I should know, I designed a tattoo for it.) and started filling a blood bag.

The nurse was very nice about suddenly having a strange chick peering over her shoulder and going “Oooh! Neat!” and explained about how they used to use glass bottles for the blood, which generated a vacuum to help draw the blood in, and how they’d stopped using the (apparently more comfortable) plastic catheters owing to cost cutting. (I occasionally think that my ideal calling would have been “18th-century naturalist.” I find everything fascinating, and I like to draw. Pity they don’t really make those any more.) Then we started talking about the black plague, and how it’s theorized that hemochromatosis may have arisen from a specific immunity to the plague, much in the fashion that sickle cell anemia provides malaria resistance if you’ve got one of the genes, and kills you if you’ve got two.

So that was all very neat. I got Mur home okay, although her speech definitely became slower and a bit groggier after the bleeding (although one might only notice that if they’re used to Mur’s lightning fast repartee…) and headed home to work on a little art.

Saint Barnaby the Belligerent

*Who knows kung fu. Don’t fuck with Mur.

Tea! Tea! Tea!

Hey, guys!

Super, uber, totally limited quantities of Red Wombat Tea are available at the lowered test price, as Ellen tried out yet another batch of printings! (Shoggoth Jasmine and Dead Dragon are in short supply, so if you’re interested in either of those–and I say without an ounce of capitalism in my heart that the Shoggoth Jasmine is awesome–order fast!)

Get it quick!

The long-awaited soaps have been ordered and should also be available soon–watch this space for details!

Scent Blogging #…something or other

Today, something slightly different, as I’m blogging odors that I have handed off to favored guinea pig

for testing. (Not sure how long most of these last in practice–if I were a good scientist, I’d pick a day we spend mostly together and sniff him at carefully measured intervals, but…err…I haven’t.)

Wrath — Spicy, rather heavy. Smells….um….red, if that makes any sense. I think it’s the cinnamon. Test subject liked this one.

Dragon’s Hide — heavy on the dragon’s blood. Not a bad smell, but the musks make it difficult to separate from most standard men’s colognes/body washes/etc, so while pleasant, not terribly distinctive, except for the somewhat metallic undertone from the dragon’s blood. Test subject also liked this one.

Golden Priapus — “I don’t know about this one…” Test subject felt he smelled a little too pretty. Test subject is confident enough in his masculinity to order pink drinks, but feels the line may need to be drawn somewhere.

Hellfire Club — tobacco and leather, but not particularly potent in practice as far as I noticed (or may just have gotten lost, since test subject is a light smoker and wears a leather hat.)

De Sade — raw leather, very potent. Very nearly climbed over back of couch to sniff behind test subject’s ears. Don’t know about the rest of the world, but that smell goes right to the animal hindbrain for ME. Long lasting, too, sticks around for quite awhile. Test subject requested a bottle of this one.

In conclusion, highly highly recommend De Sade for men. Wrath’s not half bad either. The others I could take or leave. He didn’t seem to have the problem of scents turning into baby powder on him, which might be simply a male chemistry thing, or pure luck.

I knew Indiana Jones 4 might be a problem when they mentioned the Nazca lines and I started twitching violently in my seat. Kevin put his arm around my shoulder and said “There, there. It’s okay. It’s just a movie.” I retain just enough of my South American archaeology chops to get twitchy.

It wasn’t a good movie. I’d say it was about half a good movie. The other half was mostly “We have CGI! And George Lucas still can’t write!”

Still, it’s Harrison Ford, and I’ll watch him read the phonebook if he’s got a bullwhip in his hand.

Either I’m hot, or men are desperate.

(I can hear y’all now…”A little from column A, a little from column B….”)

Went out to get the mail, and nearly caused a car accident, as a young man practically gave himself whiplash slowing down and staring at me, which might have been unsettling, except that he nearly drove into a parked van while doing so, after which he hastily overcorrected and drove sheepishly away.

Dude. I’m not even wearing the Boots.

The Boots, of course, put things in a whole new world, I’ve discovered–I went to Food Lion in ’em the other day and had two people try to pick me up. The most entertaining of which was a gentleman yelling across the parking lot–“Hey! HEY! What’s your name? What’s your phone number? Can I talk to you?”

Brimming with the confidence that only metal spikes and leather demon skulls can give you, I yelled back “No, but nice try!”

(I related this story to Kevin, who promptly performed an abbreviated and largely mimed version of Male Territorial Dance #23 — She’s With Me, Muthafucker to a nonexistent but appreciative audience. Men are so damn cute.)

There was a time in my life that this sort of thing would make me uncomfortable–these days, I figure life is short and you take the compliments with the sincerity (if occasionally tactlessness) that they’re meant. Plus, shit, if I can cause a fender-bender walking down the sidewalk, at age thirty-one, life is good.

THANK GANESH THE GODDAMN PRIMARY IS FINALLY OVER

Actually, the title of the post probably says it all, but I’ll expound a bit, ‘cos I can.

I have not been posting about my politics because frankly, they don’t really matter. I’m an Obama supporter, but if Clinton had taken the nomination, I would have voted for her, because I’m a Democrat first and foremost (or, perhaps more accurately, I am anti-Republican first and foremost.) My politics have actually been largely moot throughout the primary, because whoever won, I’d vote for them, and so I haven’t bothered to blog about it.

Now, Clinton had plenty to recommend her, and I certainly would have liked a woman in the White House, on general principle. But in the long run, Obama spoke to that chunk of idealism that I have been trying to kill for years with alcohol and the Daily Show, and I voted for him as a result. I felt an enthusiasm for Obama, rather than the resignation that has largely characterized my political leanings, lo these many moons.

Still, if Hillary had won, I’d have bitten the bullet and said “She’s the candidate of my party, and I’ll vote for her.” Because if she got through the primary, she’s obviously competent, and furthermore, she’s what we’ve got. All the whining about if-my-candidate-loses-I’m-voting-for-McCain makes me roll my eyes painfully hard at the sour graping of it all, on both sides of the campaign. Suck it up, take your lumps. Hell, my candidate of first choice hasn’t made the primary ONCE in my entire voting history, (seriously–my first choice was Edwards. Well, actually my first choice was Kucinich, but c’mon, we knew THAT dog wasn’t gonna hunt, hot wife or not.) and I’ve sucked it up and voted for the nominee every time,* because that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Yes, like a lot of people, I’ve felt Clinton’s been distinctly ungracious in not conceding before now, or at least yesterday, when the math became so cut and dried. But I also think that there’s plenty of room for her to redeem herself still. She can still actually work for party unity, she can smooth over some of that sour graping and tell her supporters that what matters is the party, not the candidate, and if she does it with style and grace, I’ll salute her.**

The one thing I believe about politics is that like it or not, we’re all in this together.

So at the end of the day, while I’m glad that the candidate I liked won, I’m frankly a lot more glad that the goddamn primary is OVER, and SOMEBODY won, and we can focus on the really important thing, which is November.

And maybe I can turn on NPR and hear about a book club or a heartwarming tale of a heroic kitten or SOMETHING for a change…

*FINE, okay, I voted for Nader ONCE, alright? But I was in Minnesota at the time, and it’s not like the Democrats weren’t gonna pwn that state anyway. And I feel guilty over it. Talk about a barking moonbat…yeesh. Oh, well. I was young.

**If she insists on digging the corpse of the primary out of the grave and having it wander around, I’ll get awfully pissy, though. Please, god, just let it END…

So last night, Kevin and I are settling in for a pleasant evening, by which I mean we both had books, we had cartoons, we were planning to spend an hour or so reading and snuggling, maybe commit a few of the more easily accessible sins of the flesh, and then hit the sack.
Then an ad for Pop-Tarts came on TV. It was hypnotic. It sounded really good. There may have been ninjas.

“Damn,” I said. “Now I really want a pop-tart.”

“So do I.”

We stared at the TV for a moment, then at each other.

“Wanna go get pop-tarts?”

“…yes.”

And that is how we wound up at a Harris Teeter at eleven at night, buying pop-tarts and Orangina. Since this is Chatham County, where they roll up the streets at six ‘o clock, no one was in the Harris Teeter but us, and given how much we were giggling, the staff had to think we were high.

The best thing about being in love in your thirties is that you can still act like a stupid teenager, but you have a car and funding, and if you want pop-tarts at eleven at night, you can by god have pop-tarts!

The other best thing about love is finding someone who is willing and eager to go make a pop-tart run in the middle of the night with you, but maybe that goes without saying.

Cedar waxwings are a pretty common bird, all things considered, and it shouldn’t have taken me–what–three years? of birding to FINALLY spot one, but I somehow never managed to be in the right place at the right time.

Until today, when I went to get the mail, and there it was, just as described, a female cardinal with a softer crest, wearing too much mascara.

Hot damn! It’s a good day.