Friday, October 2, 2009

Florida: Donating Blood & the FSU-USF Game

I headed to Florida a couple days before Jonathan since I had some stuff to take care of there. On Thursday afternoon, I went over to the Blood Center to donate. I've been giving for a few years now (I started when I was in college), but have been having problems with my hematocrit for about a year now. Every time I go in, it's too low. It has to be 38, and I kept getting numbers like 36, 37, even 37.5. But this time I came in with a whopping 42, the highest I've ever had. Because of that, they asked me if I'd donate just red blood cells, to which I agreed. I'd only ever done a normal donation before, and the red blood cell donations are very important. It allows them to take two units of just the red blood cells, and they actually get used without having to go to the lab and get mixed with other blood, making it a lot better for the receiver.

It was kinda neat, using the ALYX machine. It literally sucks the blood from your arm, then divides it into three sections. After a while, it starts pumping the platelets and plasma back in, but it keeps the red blood cells. Then it'll take more out (the draw) and give you back the stuff it doesn't need (the return), and it does this until it gets to a certain collection point (I donated 360 ml). You can only do this half as often as a regular "whole blood" donation, so I'm not eligible again until January (which makes me a little sad, I always like to donate around Christmas). It's a longer procedure (it took me 29 minutes... on the high end of "average"), and you get cold, which is different from a normal donation. Many people apparently don't like to do it, and won't do it more than once. I didn't mind, although I was pretty tired for the rest of the day. I'd probably do it again if I can manage to qualify (you have to have a 40 hematocrit, among other things). Plus, you do get double the perks (at our local Blood Center they give you gift cards out the wazoo).

Because the football game was a noon kickoff, we took off at 6:03am. I drove the first half, Jonathan drove the second. It was a smooth drive (we used a free rental from Avis and got a Chevy Malibu), and we rolled into Tallahassee about as early as we could, at 11:10 or so. We stopped to look for a white shirt for Jonathan (it was a "white-out" game) at Bill's, Garnet & Gold's outside shoppe, and the Seminole Sports Shop in the stadium, but there was very little to pick from. We might've given up sooner if we knew there was going to be another flyover, but we missed it. It was crazy hot, and we used nearly an entire can of aerosol sunscreen throughout the game trying to keep from burning (we actually did a really good job, all things considered). In the second half, we faced a lot of rain, and although it was nice to cool down, the moisture just hung in the air and made us (well, me) miserable. We left with 3 minutes to go, since we weren't gonna pull off a win. I really don't want to comment on the game, it was bad and let's leave it at that. The halftime shows were pretty good, and the Marching Chiefs played "Mr. Roboto," among other tunes.

I seriously take this photo at every game I go to. I love getting good shots of Osceola and Renegade. Here's one for you guys. :)the balloon release worked out a bit better this time... no students were allowed to mess it up like last timethe USF marching band. I liked how they held their tubas before playingour world renowned Marching Chiefs!!

After the game, we drove over to Heather's house. We stayed there one time last season, and it's a cute place (not the place with the amazing closets that we shared for the two years I lived in Tally for graduate school). After taking showers we headed off to my favorite locally-owned restaurant in the world, 1 Fresh Stir Fry. They now have three locations all over town. Billy, the owner, sends a personal email every Monday, telling about his week, wishing us a good one, and sharing a "code of the week" which gives the opportunity to get a free drink, veggie, topping, piece of sushi, or other fun freebie. Everything is so delicious there, really. The saddest thing about 1 Fresh? I wasn't introduced to it until Fall 2005, a good three years after moving to Tallahassee. Anyway, this week we had the "free topping" phrase, so I was able to get cilantro in addition to white cheddar (I allllllways get white cheddar). It was delicious, and I gobbled up my "half-size," savoring every bite.

From there, we made a couple of stops, then it was off to play pool at Snooker's. After about an hour, we moved on to watch football at Heather's place and play board games. We had a few rousing rounds of Scattergories (definitely an updated version of lists compared to the version at my mom's house!), then a game of Clue. Then, an order of Gumby's was needed. It's a pizza place just off-campus, and it's good & cheap. While I wasn't surprised that we ordered some, I was completely shocked at how we did it... somehow Jonathan and Heather schemed to get them to deliver outside their zone AND use a coupon which didn't exist. It worked out, and a pepperoni pizza and an order of pokey stix showed up... albeit after 70 minutes instead of the 45-60 we were originally quoted. But, these were the BEST pokey stix I've ever had, hands down. And I honestly can't tell you how many times I've had pokey stix... between RA socials, football games, and other occasions. yay.

1 comment:

  1. Jonathan and I are just charmers....aka good manipulators lol. I can't believe you and I were hiding when they delivered lol