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Thursday, June 14, 2018

I Got Saved by Sexy Firemen

Well, one of them was sexy. I think. According to my supervisor, who was outside the elevator taking pictures.

Since I was trapped inside.

Luckily, I wasn't alone. Not because I'm an introvert and being in an elevator with talkie people is the worst possible situation for someone like me, but because according to Rosanne (my sup) I would have been a low priority for property management. 

Ah, the politics of an elevator rescue.

So let me start at the beginning. I was heading home from work. I'm on the 2nd floor of a 4 story building (not including the garage). I got in the elevator with a Bonnie Hill patient and her young daughter, who was probably 7 or something (I don't know, I'm horrible with child spawn and their perceived ages). A Pulmonary employee from the 3rd floor was already inside. 

The elevator reached the Lobby level where I get off, but the doors wouldn't open. They tried to, but acted like they were stuck. We try the emergency button and get nothing. We try the emergency phone but it's dead (isn't that comforting??). We try going down to the garage to see if the doors will open at any other floor but they refuse. To top it off, the elevator keeps being recalled to floors for other people but the doors never open, so we are unwitting travelers and it's making the Bonnie Hill patient feel dizzy. I call my office with my .5 bars of cell service and ask Bev to get maintenance. We can hear them talking on the 2nd floor, asking if we're all right, and how many people are inside, etc. When they learn that a patient and her small daughter are on board, they decide to call the fire department. That's about 15-20 minutes in. They manage to stop the elevator from moving at this point. The child is playing on the phone drawing butterflies. She's blessedly silent and unafraid. I think the mother is worse off than she is.

Neither the pulmonary employee or myself are worried. The elevator is not broken; we're at no risk of plummeting to our deaths (not that we'd have far to travel), it's just a little stuffy and annoying. I have plenty of battery of my phone and start facebook-tweeting the event. I even have food if we end up being trapped for too long, but needing a bathroom in the future was much more likely and pressing of an issue. 

The fire department comes, and that's when things get interesting. The clinic closed at 4:30 so everyone is out there watching the action, including my supervisor who I can see in a crack through the door.

"Shouldn't you be working?" I call out. After all, they are getting paid to watch me suffer while I am off the clock. Rosanne snaps a photo in response.

We start to hear talk of possibly having to access the roof of the elevator and pull us up from the 3rd floor. I look up at the already partially removed panel (that literally had nothing to do with our rescue), and kind of got worried. There's no way I can pull myself up through that.

But just when things began to look grim, the doors finally open. At this point we'd been stuck for an hour, but it wasn't a horrible experience. We weren't overly crowded. No one tried to strike up awkward conversations, or anyone who ended up crying and afraid for their lives. We just kind of silently sat around on our phones, waiting for rescue. Even the little one was amazingly chill.

Unfortunately, the apparently sexy fireman that Rosanne was texting me about was currently on the 3rd floor in case we needed to be pulled up, so I never got to see him.


After going back inside to use the restroom, I decided to take the stairs down to the lobby and caught this picture of our rescue-mobile. 

People joked (including me) that I should be taking the stairs from now on but I really don't care. I mean sure, taking the stairs is great but my building is built strangely and taking the stairs is kind of an inconvenience. Plus, it's hard on my ankles when I wear heels :P

So that's my excitement for the year. I can definitely strike "getting saved by sexy firemen" off my bucket list!



 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I Dream of the Devil

Grabbed you, didn't I? XD

Personally, I'm not religious in any sense of the word. I consider myself agnostic, which even for me is kind of a stretch because I'm a logical "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of person. I'm a hardcore believer in evolution but I will concede and say that it's possible that evolution may have been jump-started by a an all powerful being. It's not out of the realm of possibility for me.

But the point of this post is not to talk about God or argue semantics, but to explore a show that I completely fell in love with and never expected to: Lucifer.

I'll be honest, it had a lot of things going against it [for me]. First, it was a cop drama. I hate cop dramas. I find detective stories, mob boss stories and gang stories completely boring and hard to follow. And on top of that, it introduced religion. Well, kind of. For a show about the Devil it never talked about belief until Ella joined the cast in season two. To me, it introduced a supernatural element, and I was all over that.

But I'm writing this to kind of explain to people what this show is and what it isn't. And I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who is not religious, has not read the bible, and only in a vague sense even know the "history" of all that jazz. 

I know a person or two who refuses to watch Lucifer because it's a show about the Devil. And The Devil is evil. And sinful. Super sinful. mmmmmm ---------->

*clears throat* Anyway, I only half understand this reasoning. I don't know if it was Neil Gaiman (who wrote the original Lucifer story line in his graphic novels) or the writers of the series, but they go to great lengths to define and describe Lucifer. Over the last 3 seasons, his character has had many existential crises who is sometimes even at a loss to describe himself and what his nature truly is. The more time he spends on Earth, the more "human" he becomes, but we never forget that he is an angel; fallen or not.

Is he evil? No. What he is tasked to do is search out evil and punish those who do wrong by others. He often blames his dad for his shortcomings but realizes that he is only who he makes himself.
He helps detective Decker because they have the same goal: to find evil and make them pay for their crimes.

The writers made his character deep and complex. On the surface he is selfish, narcissistic, and brash, but on the inside he questions his existence. We learn that he regained his angel wings and lost his devil face because he finally believed that he was not defined by that persona. He guards the gates of Hell as punishment for his rebellion; he doesn't want to be there; he's not going to be characterized by his job.

Considering I'm not religious, I'm fairly convinced that if Lucifer Morningstar did actually exist, he would be like this character in Lucifer. This series is more than just the sum of its parts. It's more than just a "controversial" drama. And this is why I have written this piece and to join the movement to #SaveLucifer. I think it is a show that deserves to exist. 

Just like Lucifer Morningstar.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Birthday Weekend

Usually, my birthday goes by without much fuss. I'll hang out with a friend and drink at home, watch some movies, play some games. Maybe go out with my parents to dinner at some point during the week. However, for journaling purposes, I feel like this one is good enough for the memory books!

So, after my supervisor told me to "take more time off [dammit]" (unsaid but implied), I took that to heart; mostly because my co-worker had to take 2 weeks off due to a medical issue and man those two weeks were greaaaaaaat. 
-_-

Anyway, I decided to take off the Thursday, Friday and Monday surrounding my birthday. But, because I know how to adult, I figured I'd schedule some things that are hard to do during off-work hours, such as finally getting the recall notice taken care of on my Sonic.
Turns out, even though I confirmed twice, they had scheduled the repair for Wednesday at 10 and not Thursday. I don't even understand why the "key chime indicator" was a recall anyway - how could that possibly be dangerous to anyone? (and this is why it took me 2 years to finally schedule the damn thing). Plus, after what Gilchrist did to my Malibu after I took that in for a recall notice, I decided to drive to another one further away to get it taken care of instead.
I basically walked down 112th for 30 minutes, grabbed a drink from Bigfoot Java, and walked back. I definitely got my 9,000 steps in that day.

Friday was a blast. I had invited a couple work-friends over to my apartment (Brenda, Beverly, and Kim) to feed them some food. 

You cooked them dinner on your birthday?

Why yes, I did. I bought some brisket and smoked it in my Emson Pressure Smoker (no longer available for purchase but well worth it). It took only 90 minutes to cook roughly 2 lbs of it. I also air-fried garlic/rosemary red potatoes and corn on the cob using my Breville Smart Oven Air (love that thing). Brenda bought the cake from Metropolitan Market and I dolled out some Barefoot Red Moscato because I can't handle real red wine lol.
The cooking part was easy. I enjoy cooking for other people (sometimes) because I don't ever make meals for myself. I just eat whatever random crap I happen to have in my house. I wasn't slaving over a hot stove all evening while my friends chatted in another room. My apartment is barely big enough to hold four people at once lol. So, I had a really good time. We drank, we ate, we laughed. The food was super good. I will definitely be smoking brisket again in the near future. 

On Saturday I had double plans. 2pm was my hair appointment (which getting on a Saturday was an amazing feat in itself) and after my best friend Mary got done with her daughter at a birthday party, we hung out and watched shaky cam movies.
[They're called pirated or bootleged movies but I blame Justin for getting me stuck on using the "shaky cam" phrase. It stems from people taking cameras into theaters and sneakily recording the screen. A lot of the time they would shuffle and such, which is where I get it from.]
But actually, the bootleg for Black Panther was rather good. Mary and I had decided that they either must work at the theater or rent out the entire place, because it was set up tripod style with no background noise. 
I ended up getting bored with Black Panther rather quickly. It was way too political for me, and I told Mary to just keep me informed while I made macarons lol
Btw, still not quite getting the hang of making them. I went out and bought finely milled almond flour after my first debacle but then I made the cookies much too big. They still taste good, but are not very macaron-y. 
Did you just say macaroni in your head because I just did xD

On Sunday, I already had plans to hike with the Meetup group at Capitol State Forest down near Olympia. The trail was Larch Mountain Loop, and it was going to be roughly 8 miles. Rob, his girlfriend Bonnie, Debi and I all went. It was a long rough ride on forest roads to get to the "trailhead". 

 This is Mima falls. Different trail, but same Forest

Once we hiked about 6 miles, Bonnie had an injury. She had tripped over a rock, and her arm got tangled in her trekking poles on the way down. She was in a lot of pain, but luckily we had literally just crossed a bit of the forest road when she fell. While Debi stayed with her, Rob and I took the road back to the car - about 1.5 miles away. We booked it, especially since we didn't know what was wrong with her. Signs were good though: her fingers were moving, there was no blood, bruising, or bones seemingly out of place. Other than the pain she was doing all right.
Rob dropped me off back at my car in Olympia and they all went to the ER together. The next day, I got a message from Rob saying that she had dislocated her elbow but that it didn't require any surgery - just 6-8 weeks in a sling, thank goodness.

I didn't even know that you could dislocate your elbow - ouch!

That was one thing that I didn't have in my 10-essentials bag: painkillers. Will be adding them now!

Monday was another great day. I hadn't even planned anything to do until Saturday, when I decided that I couldn't wait a whole week to see Avengers: Infinity War. I had already asked my friend David to come with me on Saturday May 5th, but he was perfectly happy seeing it on Monday the 30th instead. So, I bought the tickets for the 11:40 show, and we went to the Waffle Stop to have brunch. Man oh man; those waffles. I don't know why I didn't have the sense to take a picture of my BACON COOKIE BUTTER WAFFLE before digging in, but it was amazeballs. David had the french toast waffle. Almost as delicious as mine!
After brunch, we stepped into the Pacific Northwest Store, which I'd been wanting to visit for a while and had had no idea they were right next door to the Waffle Stop until I'd parked my car lol. This place is basically the abbreviated version of stories you find watching Evening Magazine. Hell, I even discovered the store by watching that show. Anyway, David was acting weird the entire time and I quickly discovered why: the things I was pointing at saying I'd love to have, he picked up and then bought for me as my birthday presents - despite my objections, of course! 
I ended up getting a 253 sticker (253 pride!! Always wanted one), a very pretty one-handed stainless steel pepper grinder with a Native American design on it, and a Truelux candle, which I'd seen on Evening Magazine and wanted to pick up. I got the blood orange scent and it smells amazing.

So after that little shopping excursion, it was time for the movie. David still bought a large popcorn and candy. I don't know where his other stomach is but he has to have one!
No spoilers here, but all I'm going to say is

DAMMIT.

Fine, it's fine. Everything is fine. I'm fine.

 


Also David and I


Anyway, that was my busy weekend. I had loads of fun with all my peeps. Definitely a birthday to remember.
 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Tacoma Outdoor Singles

So, my co-worker Dora told me about meetup.com and specifically a group called "Tacoma Outdoor Singles" who organize hikes. There are over 1,000 members, but obviously only a few sign up for each hike. On Saturday, I went on my first hike with the group.

Although I want to gush about the location (Deception Pass State Park), this is more about my personal experience and something that I didn't even realize had happened until after the fact.

I wasn't scared. Like, at all. Re: very little to no anxiety. I mean, if you know me, you know that I freak out and overthink about everything. This is a prime example of my thought process. I mean sure, I had a moment the night before thinking I might end up miserable because chances were good it was going to be cloudy and cold and possibly rainy, and I was hiking with a bunch of people I'd never met etc. But it didn't last long.

I ended up carpooling with a couple of nice ladies named Lisa and Tracy. I had no trouble talking with Lisa about a variety of topics. In fact, Tracy was decidedly more introverted (re: silent) than I was. And oddly, Lisa is very introverted as well. It was a two hour drive there and back, and even though there was a rain/snow mix up in Marysville, by the time we reached Deception Pass, the clouds had parted and it was completely gorgeous. I met a lot of nice people. Some were faster hikers, and some were slower. The group leader had no trouble waiting for the stragglers. He was very nice. 

I even had no trouble agreeing to dinner afterwards with the group. Can you believe it? Not 5 hours ago I had met these people for the first time and just did a 7 mile hike, and now we're all going to a sit down restaurant to eat! Not a lick of anxiety!

...Where the hell did it go? lol Did I just randomly change a huge part of myself? You know, I didn't feel hardly any nervousness in meeting the Trailsiders group either. Although we haven't gone on any hikes yet, I've been doing weekly conditioning walks with them and there's people dropping off and joining every week. 

It's just... so unlike me to not feel any apprehension when meeting new people or doing new things. My brain was blessedly silent. I wonder what this means.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of Deception Pass. If you live local, I highly highly recommend a visit. If I lived closer I would go all the time. It's one of the most beautiful, mind-blowing parks I have ever seen.

One of the ladies in our hiking group


Yes, that's a rope



 tilt shift

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Photography

I've had a lot of bloggable ideas in my mind rattling around for a while, but I just never had the gumption to write anything down. And then, if I forgot about them within a few hours then they probably weren't worth writing about anyway.

But today, I feel like writing about one of my hobbies. My friend Dave and I both got into photography at roughly the same time, although he probably started a few months before me. Oddly enough, the fact that my father is a professional photographer did not lead me to be interested in the slightest. What got me there was working at a hospital and seeing professional photos of what I like to call "blurry water" - long exposures that blur the movement of the water.

 My first attempt at blurry water. Editing is not my strong suit

I told myself that I wanted to learn how to do that. And I slowly began to research because that is what I do best. I learned that point and shoot cameras will never allow you to get that kind of effect, so I would have to upgrade. I began to read about lenses, and I remember getting annoyed at the fact that I would essentially have to give up digital zoom - a favorite feature of mine. I still get frustrated sometimes, that I have to switch lenses if I want to do certain things, but it's par for the course.
Since Dave is an electrician and much more technical-minded than I am, he was easily able to grasp the mechanics of photography, while I still struggle to this day with some more advanced concepts. He also went backwards - rebuilding super old cameras as a hobby because they allow him to take photos in medium and large format. Digital cameras today can barely do this, and the ones that do cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.


I still struggle with concepts like depth of field (dof) when it comes to aperture settings. I get confused when Dave tells me that any photos that I take with my 1.8 aperture on my lens will not be sharp regardless of whether the shot is in focus. 

Who knew that "in focus" and "sharp" were not the same?! Mind blown.

There are still a lot of things I don't understand about photography. It's not nearly as easy as snapping photos with a point and shoot (P&S). I mean, my first real camera was a Sony NEX-5N. I bought it because it was small like a P&S, and had a lot of good software so that you could treat it like a P&S, but also allowed you to switch out lenses and set the camera with manual settings. It was a perfect learning camera. When I finally felt like I had grasped the basic concepts of most of the manual camera settings, I wanted to move up to something more advanced. 

I had decided that I wanted to get into Milky Way photography. I began to do more research on different lenses and cropped sensors (APS-C) vs full frame sensors (see picture above), and decided to stick with Sony because I like the electronics they make, and I like the idea of a mirrorless camera. I'm a lady with small hands - having a camera that isn't the size of your head can be helpful. And less moving parts means less can break or get dirty. Plus, I could use the lenses I'd already bought for my NEX until I could afford to switch them out, even though they were cropped lenses made for a cropped camera. Win win. 

The picture above is of a Sony A7II. Mine is similar - I decided on an A7R. There are downsides to having a Sony camera. Unlike Canon and Nikon, Sony is fairly new to the camera market and not a lot of lenses from outside companies (like Rokinon or Sigma) are making lenses for Sony. They are also playing catch up themselves trying to pump out their own lenses. And Sony's lenses are a bit bigger than their Nikon or Canon equivalents, which is the downside to having a camera with no mirror. But, I still think it's worth it. Sony is a software company first and foremost. Even though my A7R has a lot more knobs and buttons on the outside body than my NEX did, a lot of settings are still in the software, so there's a learning curve for anybody that is used to a Nikon or Canon body. But that also means that the software can do a lot of work for you to help you take better photographs.


 Hurricane Ridge

I'm still learning. This is me not knowing how to set a bulb exposure for 2-3 minutes in order to grab the foreground and blend it with the background. It's still one of my favorite shots, but I'm very much still an amateur. I'm 100% self taught. Even though I have taken a beginning photography class and a milky way shooting class (this picture was taken before that) I hadn't learned a whole lot that I didn't already know.

My goal is not to become a professional photographer. My only goal is to take a photo worthy enough to be printed large on a sheet of metal to hang in my apartment. Being an artist (especially a novice) I have a critical eye of my work, and my criteria is basically "am I willing to spend $120 to print that out on a large sheet of metal?" 

I think I'm pretty close with one of my latest pieces: 

Kubota Gardens in Seattle

 I'll get there one of these days.


 

Monday, January 1, 2018

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

It was roughly 2am and I couldn't sleep. The year was 2009, and I had been on unemployment since March. A lot had happened that year, some bad, but mostly good. As I look back on it, I lost my job at IBS due to the recession that kicked up around October of the previous year, and sales were slumping for everyone. I was slated to get married to my now ex-husband on May 23rd, and had already invited almost all of my co-workers to that wedding (how awkward).

It was also the year that I finally started to work on my weight - as not even the anticipation of a wedding was motivating me, but a co-worker of Justin's told him about a product she was using called hCG and it was helping her lose weight. After a ton of research I finally decided to try it myself. 2009 was the year that I finally took control of my weight and my health in general. It was also the year that I got hired on to work at Franciscan Medical Group with Dr. Saffari - a job I still have to this day and am always grateful for. 

But that was all in October and December of 2009. Before that, around the same time as my honeymoon, I discovered a show that would also change my life for the better.



I had been out of work for around 3-4 months and was getting discouraged. I had no official college education (only technical college) so it was difficult to find work. Not working had my circadian rhythm all out of wack, so flipping through TV channels at 2am was not unheard of for me. I had probably scrolled through the list at least twice, seeing Good Eats pass by, when I finally decided that whatever this show was, it was better than the other random stuff on so early in the morning.

I hated cooking shows with a passion. They were so boring. The hosts were always so perfect, so calm and cool and collected; making everything look so easy. Nothing ever happened in these lame, 30 minute spots. Chop the ingredients, listen to a stupid story about how their mother used to cut onions, throw them in a pan with other stuff, talk about their first thanksgiving, cook the stuff. Take a bite. Say yummy things. The end. I wanted to stab my eyes out. (Martha Stewart and Barefoot Contessa come to mind). It probably also didn't help that I hated to cook in general.

Some shows didn't need to have celebrity guests
in order to make them watchable

My parents had tried to teach me some basic things when I was younger but I just wasn't interested. Cooking seemed like way too much work and gave such meager, useless results. To be bluntly honest (sorry mom) the food I grew up with was not "blow my mind" delicious, so what I had was all I knew, and I didn't know it could be better. Oh so much better.

Poison, poison, happiness. This is how
some oils are made :D

I wish I could remember the first episode I ever saw. I'll say it
might have been Tender is the Pork, because that episode first aired May 26th, 2009, while I was on my honeymoon and the 2am showing might have been a recent repeat. All I remember thinking was that it was entertaining. The guy hosting the show was a geek. He wore glasses, he was smart, he was quirky, and he was funny. And I was learning. I had forgotten how great it felt to learn.

I told the DVR to start recording his show, and I began to watch them almost religiously. It took me a long time before I ever made my first recipe of his, though. But, Alton Brown of Good Eats was the first person to ever convince me that cooking wasn't nearly as hard as it seemed. But how did he do it, you ask? Well, Alton and I are like of mind in the fact that we must know why. 

Why do I need to add cream of tartar to my egg whites? (If I have to run to the store for this vital ingredient, at least tell me why it's important!)
Why do I need to add acid to my brine? (fun fact, when you add an acid it becomes a marinade)
Why did John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, invent the sandwich? (Okay, that one wasn't something I had to know, but it was an entertaining answer)

I think the first recipe I ever attempted of his was guacamole. It seemed easy enough, and turns out - it was! And definitely cheaper than buying it premade in the store. After that, the flood gates had opened. Good Eats was not only entertaining me, but I was learning and actually wanting to cook the things he was making. All because he explained how things worked. Gave me the science. Told me why. Turns out that's all I really needed.

[This is an old list where I was keeping tabs of all the Good Eats applications that I was making. I'm sure it has expanded by now!]

Good Eats ran alongside my new, thinner me (which would take years to accomplish, and I'm still working on it), and gave me the confidence I needed to try my hand at other people's recipes - healthy versions of food I already knew. And in some cases, feel bold enough to change them up how I knew science would allow, and make my own recipes

Crazy, right?

It all led down this path to self-reliance. To not have to buy pre-packaged, processed foods. To know how to eat healthier and to save money. And that's all Alton Brown's goal ever was: he wanted people to learn how to cook for themselves. And he definitely accomplished that with me. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I'd discovered his show when it first aired - in 1999, I would have been in 9th grade; a prime time to begin learning how to cook for myself. And then sometimes I wonder where I would be today if I hadn't been up at 2am that fateful night, bored and tired and begging to be entertained.

It's interesting to wonder about, but I'm glad I'll never know.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Donating Plasma

This is one of those situations where Biomat ended up on my spite list. I'd heard about donating

plasma for money from a facebook group, and they listed Gilfols as a place that you could donate plasma for cash.
Now, I don't give much in society, but what I can do is give blood. I have O-; the universal donor. And I will gladly take time out of my day to donate as much as I can. The process of giving blood is pretty quick - usually takes about an hour (including the prescreen, the blood draw itself takes about 17 minutes) unless they are slammed. But plasma is a bit different. With plasma, you are hooked up to an aphresis machine and it separates your plasma and returns the red blood cells back to you along with saline. Due to this, the process takes roughly one to two hours. Plus, plasma regenerates in the body very quickly. While whole blood takes 56 days, plasma takes about 48 hours. Another downside to plasma is that it takes 6-10 donations from the same person to make just 1 dose of medicine for someone, where as whole blood can save up to 3 lives for one donation. So, because of these caveats, it makes sense that companies have to entice people with monetary gain in order to keep coming back to donate. A sad but realistic truth.

Anyway, I'm here to tell you about the process of donating plasma in case you were interested. Gilfols is only one company out of dozens that do this and each place is a bit different, but this was my experience. And I can tell you straight up that they really really need to streamline their process. Although returns visits will take under 2 hours, first timers (me) took 5. Yes, FIVE HOURS.

So the reason that Biomat [Gilfols] was on my spite list was because on my first trip out there they ask you to fill out as basic form that lists your medications. Well, being a good citizen, I noted that I take Phentermine but only once a week. However, they didn't like that and wanted a note from my doctor saying it was okay to take it and donate plasma. Fine. Sent my doctor an email and she said no, she will go by whatever they recommend. FINE. So, I stop taking the phentermine. I go back. I fill out the form again. Then they say I need a note from my doctor that I had stopped taking the phentermine. Sigh. So, turned away again! Finally get the note that I stopped and now we can proceed from stage 1, which was a quick nurse assessment of the form/medications.

Stage 2 was a quick vein check and was told to read a binder about plasma donations and medications I can't take etc. If you give blood, this is similar to that. Then back out into the waiting room.

Stage 3 is watch a short video on an ipad about how donating plasma saves lives etc out in the waiting area.

Stage 4 is getting called back into the prescreen area where they ask you to answer 65 questions about sexual history, tattoos, needles, diseases, travel etc. Again, similar to the whole blood questionnaire. And then they take your vitals. Anything here can disqualify you. Hematocrit, temp, blood pressure, protein levels. My temp was too low and had to wait 15 minutes for another retake.

Stage 5 Getting called back to do the physical. He/she will make you do a urine test and has you rewatch the short video while that's processing (really?) They then read from a booklet that basically restates what you just watched (really?).  Then they will check your reflexes, eyes, nose, ears, ankles, abdomen, basically checking for any sign of infection or needle injection sites.
[By the way, the guy whom checked me and who was the same paramedic who stroke me off the list for the phentermine (which only has a 28 hour half life ffs!) is such a cocky bastard. I can imagine how much of a joy he must be to work with.]


Stage 6 Eat, and wait. Because you've been here for almost 4 hours at this point and you're damn hungry and need to eat before you donate plasma, and they have cup noodles and Gatorade. Yay.

Stage 7 DONATE. This is a bit different than whole blood. They want you to pump your fist the entire time that it's drawing from you. I'm not sure what the cycle timer is but it feels like a while, maybe 10 minutes, and your hand gets tired. Then, the pressure on the cuff will release and you stop pumping your fist as your red cells get returned back to you. You can watch as each cycle drops more plasma into the container and you can see how much longer you've got. I watched an episode of The Flash on Netflix while I did it. You just have to be cognizant of when you pump your fist and when not to.


Stage 8 Wait to get paid. For the donation center up here, the pay scale goes like this:
$75 for the first and $75 second donation (they teach you that you must donate at least twice or the first batch gets tossed. That makes me sad)

$50 for the 3rd and $50 for the 4th donation

$100 for the 5th donation (which is weird because they say they need at least 6 to make a dose of medicine so I'm not sure why it's like that)

$50 for the 6th donation (if it's within the same month) and every subsequent donation adds $5 to your running total that month [In a new month, it starts at $25]. Since you can donate basically up to 2x a week that can add up pretty quickly, but remember, its 2 hours out of your day. So, it's a toss up. Just think though, it's not just about getting money; you are saving lives, even if it's the pharmaceutical companies shilling for your bodily fluids.

I just donated for my 6th time. I will get up to 7 before I turn around and donate whole blood on September 1st. Then I have to wait 56 days before I can donate plasma again. My body needs a plasma break anyway. I've started to bruise easily and I have to take a double dose of my iron pills just to keep my levels high enough to pass the screening. Not to mention that I need to slam back even more protein with weight training and plasma donation. It can be tough. But, I thought I'd let you guys know the process just in case you were interested!