Sunday, May 25, 2008

Damn that Ashlee Simpson!

For those of you that don't know me personally, I'm going to have to fill you in on a little secret of mine. I LOVE Alice in Wonderland. I love the movie. I love the book (yes, I read the book). I love everything about it. I have a rather large collection of Alice in Wonderland themed items (only a few pieces of which are pictured.) The majority of my collection is still at my parents house in Indiana (due to lack of space.) At one point, I would say I was nearly obsessive. Any stupid little thing that had Alice In Wonderland on it, I had to have. But that has since been quelled due to the fact that I live in a tiny little apartment and also have cash flow issues.

Upon reading yesterday about Ashlee Simpson's Wonderland themed wedding to Pete Wentz, it makes me want to get my entire collection into a pile and light it on fire. (I'm really not an Ashlee Simpson fan, if you didn't catch I don't care what she says. she's completely pregnant.) I mean an Alice in Wonderland themed birthday, ok, I can see that, but a wedding, even I would not go that far!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Blood Bank Experience

I used to give blood all the time. Then I had three bad giving blood experiences in a row, and so I stopped and I dropped off the blood bank radar. Well, then back a couple months ago one of the areas I work with had a blood drive, so in a show of support, I signed up. Now I'm back on the map!

Yesterday, I had an answering machine message. "This is Donna from the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank. We are in extreme need of your blood type. There is an organ transplant patient at Hershey Medical Center that has depleted our supply of B positive blood and we are looking for people that would be able to donate before the holiday weekend. If you are able, please give me a call so that we can schedule a time."

My first cynical thought was "I bet there really isn't an organ transplant patient with B positive blood, and this is all a clever scam to get my blood." Then my second thought was "if there is an organ transplant patient with B positive blood, do they know that they are being blamed for the shortage of that blood type in Central Pennsylvania?" Either way, they got me, so today I called and asked if I could come over right away. They said sure, so I hopped in my car and went over to the donor center.

I passed all the little tests they put you through. It's kind of like the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he has to go through all the tests in the cave or whatever to get the Holy Grail. I'm always worried that I'm going to check off the wrong box and the testing lady will turn to me and say "you chose poorly." But I didn't. Then they put my blood in the little vat of blue water to see if it had enough iron, and it took it's good old time sinking to the bottom (seriously like five minutes). Secretly in my head I was yelling at it. "Sink damn you. Sink"

Finally I got through. They shove the needle in my arm and start pumping away. Then this guy comes in, and the needle sticker lady cannot get a vein. She's poking around and keeps asking him if "he's ok." He is, so she keeps digging in his arm. I'm trying not to look because the last time that happened to someone near me, I almost passed out and they had to flip me backwards, so my feet were up in the air. Then the poker calls her supervisor (at which point my thing beeps to say that it has all the blood it needs...thank goodness!). The supervisor is now digging around in his arm. They're trying everything. Give him a stress ball. Take away the stress ball. Undo the elastic strap and put it on tighter. I walked out, and they still hadn't gotten it in. I wanted to suggest that they try his other arm, but what do I know. So I go out to the "cantina"...Cantina apparently means table set up by the receptionist's desk with cookies and juice on it...and start drinking some apple juice and eating peanut butter crackers. All of the sudden the needle prodder lady, sprints out to the "cantina" grabs a Pepsi and a straw and runs back into the little room. That's not a good sign! I was fine though. I didn't follow the directions to leave the bandage on for an hour and not do strenuous exercise for 24 hours because I had yoga in 40 minutes. It was fine though, and I'll probably donate blood again in 8 weeks or whatever the time limit is.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Green Tea Hershey Bar

This past week my friend Kerri stayed with me for a few days on her way from Indiana to Connecticut. Of course, we took time to go enjoy Chocolate World and enjoy the free ride and free chocolate and also scope out what bizarre new candy concoctions Hershey has devised.

While they were pushing their Bliss line pretty hard, I had already tasted them and they were pretty normal and yummy. The Batman themed dark chocolate Reese's cup looked interesting, but still a little too normal. We decided to be adventurous, so we decided to try this:

A green tea Hershey bar. Note that is not English on the wrapper. The most disturbing part of this candy bar is when you bite in and see this.

Candy bars should not look like that on the inside. The candy bar is a little distorted because it melted slightly on the car ride home. The whole thing wasn't that bad. The green tea flavor was a little overwhelming for the chocolate and the texture was interesting. I probably will not buy another one, and I doubt if we'll see this hit the American supermarkets.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A 3-Day Update

I thought it was time for an update on my training, fundraising, etc for the 3-day in October. Sunday was a big step in my 3-day efforts. I decided to do my third 10 mile walk. I had to switch my training location because my cousin told me that women had been sexually assaulted at my previous location. That might only be an urban legend but even if it is, I wouldn't be able to walk without constantly assessing the people and woods around me. So I mapped out a 1.5 mile loop in my neighborhood. This is good and bad. 1) It's closer to my apartment which is both good and bad. Should it start to rain, I'm only at most .75 miles from my house. But its also bad because I can choose to give up at any point where on my other trail it was out and back, so I had no choice but to finish it in order to get back to my car. 2) I'm now walking on cement vs gravel. Again good and bad. I no longer get gravel in my shoe, but it's actually a lot tougher on my feet than I expected. 3) there are more people around. Good and bad. Good because should I suddenly break a leg or something there is help nearby. Bad because I'm walking loops and get weird looks at about my third loop. I had a lot harder time with this walk than my other ones. My shoes gave me blisters for the first time (I thought about taking pictures of them for the blog, but decided not to gross you out), so I guess I have no choice but to spend some money on some good walking shoes. My body also kinda gave out afterwards. The next day I had a fever, body aches, chills, cold sweat and intense malaise.

The other thing that happened Sunday was that my cousin in law Heidi held a fundraiser for my walk at Sam's Club. She called me Friday to tell me she was doing something for Sunday and asked who checks should be made out to. I expected something small like a bake sale, selling hotdogs or maybe cakes (since that is her area of knowledge.) Boy, was I wrong. I stopped by Sunday to see what was going on. She had cupcakes (like the one pictured...thanks to my cousin Aubrey, the cupcake model with the green fingernails), ribbons, paint a flower pot, candles, bears with vases and roses, and Mother's Day cards. I haven't heard how much she made, but it seemed to go well.

Currently I'm at 18% of my goal. That doesn't include whatever Heidi collected on Sunday, but even with that I still have a long way to go! Thanks to everyone who has contributed. If you haven't contributed yet, there's still plenty of time. Even a small amount helps towards the goal ($15 would be 25 cents per mile, $30 would be 50 cents per mile). To sponsor my walk, you can either click on the horribly large picture to the right, or click here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Massive Head Wound Harry

My dad is not only training to do the 3-day with me, but he is also training to do a marathon. Yesterday morning he woke up, ran 11 miles (which I have to say I was pretty impressed with) and then fainted in the shower. Probably due to lack of proper nutrition since he just thought he would eat breakfast after he changed. You can't run 11 miles with nothing in you, dummy! Anyway, he had to go to the ER and get 11 stitches (aka 1 stitch per mile) in the middle of his forehead.

My mom was pissed because it was "a beautiful day and there was a Notre Dame baseball game." I'm a little surprised that she didn't just dump my dad off at the hospital and tell him to call when he was done. My dad sent me an e-mail yesterday and instead of a smiley face at the end he put this \:-) which is apparently supposed to be him with a scar in the middle of his forehead (dork!) He's really concerned because he has a big board meeting this week and apparently he looks more than slightly ridiculous. I called my mom today for Mother's Day (did you remember to call your mom?), and she kept referring to him as Massive Head Wound Harry which I think is hilarious.
Is Your Ticket Application In?

It's that time of year again. The time when Notre Dame alumni and donors scramble around to friends and family and try to make heads or tails of what everyone wants. Luckily this year, I am only looking for one ticket to the Syracuse game in November (yes, I'm serious), which I'm pretty sure will not be an issue.

My mom has apparently instituted a new rule this year for some reason. She is not giving tickets to anyone that will not promise to wear Notre Dame gear to the game. (AKA our family friend's son that went to Pitt or my dad's coworker that is a rabid Michigan fan). Keep in mind that we have given them tickets before, so I'm not really sure what the sudden change is. When my dad told her she was crazy, she apparently yelled at him "Remember the Nebraska Game!" Keep in mind that my parents didn't even live in South Bend during the 2000 Notre Dame/Nebraska game, so they only witnessed that embarrassing display of fanship on TV.

Little known fact: If you watch the 2000 Notre Dame/Nebraska game, you can see me running behind Bob Davie during the pregame with a football in my arms. I was a student manager that year, and that just happened to be one of my onfield games. I got to work the nets behind the goal posts. I think my parent still have that game on tape because of that. I wonder if my mom pulled it out on a whim, and that's why she's all fired up again all of the sudden.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Disturbing Crafts

In a few weeks, I have to do a community table at an Environmental Day event. I was not in the mood to do actual work today, so decided to try and figure out what recycled/earth friendly craft activity I would be taking with me. I searched the web and one site that I came up with was this.

Please scroll down to the post for May 4th. Not that the toilet paper wedding dress is not disturbing in its own way. It was not, however, at the top of the page when I was searching earlier today. The baby doll coat rack was! I'm not really sure what type of a person would be driven to make such a thing (unless you're an ax murderer or have a prosthetics fetish). I also do not even want to think about what type of decor your house would need in order to warrant a "that would be perfect in my foyer!" type exclamation. I love that its described as a "cute and creepy coat rack made of doll appendages." I'm just thankful that they left off the head.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I Think She Forgot, What Do You Think?

This morning we had a meeting at 9am in the York office. My boss was supposed to pickup myself and Carmen at the Harrisburg office at 8, so that we could car pool down. At 8:20, she still wasn't there, so I decided to call her thinking she may have forgotten us and was already on her way to York.

Me: "Hey, it's Jsto."
Her: "Hi, what's up?"
Me: "Um, you were supposed to pick us up at 8 to go to the meeting in York."
Her: "Oh, I'm running a little late. I haven't left my house yet and when I get there, we have to unpack the back of my car, so that you can sit in the backseat."

Luckily, a person from another department was about ready to leave for York, so Carmen and I just went with her instead. It was good because Carmen and I always argue on who has to sit upfront and talk business. It usually comes down to who arrives last. I was last this morning.

Sidenote: When we get to the meeting, at the beginning we had to "check in" by saying the title of a movie, a line from a movie or a character from a movie that best describes how we're feeling at that moment. We go around the table and it gets to my boss: "I'm Maria from the Sound of Music because I like to sing and I want to change the world." Really? You're going to go with Maria? Really? And you mean this completely seriously? I apparently had a reflex snicker because I didn't even know I had done it but the girl beside me said I did. This is what I put up with every day.