Friday, March 27, 2009

On donating platelets, and hating Duke

So, this is how my week went. Monday, I went to work, then went to BJJ. After BJJ (which didn't end until 10), Brian and I had a US Grappling meeting at Glory Days with Andrew. I got home around midnight, and in bed around 1 AM. I think I fell asleep by 1:30 or so, and the alarm went off at 6:15. Tuesday, I knew I had to get to bed early, because I had to be at work at 5 AM on Wednesday. So, I made it to bed at about 11 PM (so much for early), and got up at 4 AM to go to work. Another night of 5 hours of sleep. Yay. After getting to work well before dawn (not good times), we couldn't even start testing until around 7, so it was a waste of my sleep-time anyway. Boo. At 11:30, I headed down to the blood drive, which brings me to donating platelets.

Donating platelets is weird. Just weird. First of all, it took nearly 2 hours. I sat in the room for nearly an hour before I could even start, because they only have 2 platelet-donation stations. So, I watched Forest Gump with the rest of the donating folks, and sent a bunch of text messages. At about 12:30, Forrest Gump ends and it's finally my turn. One of my coworkers had already warned me that when they're returning your blood (well, the non-platelet part), you'll feel cold and your lips will tingle. Boy, was he right! Since I had never donated platelets before, I got to experience the default 8 cycle system. For 5 minutes, they pull blood out of my arm (with a giant needle, I might add). The entire time, I'm squeezing a little sponge-type thing, so I can keep the blood-sucking machine happy with the rate that I'm bleeding. The more I think about this, the less I like it. Anyway, even squeezing every 2 seconds, I don't bleed fast enough. I suppose this is good for most aspects of my life, but not at all good for donating blood on a schedule. Moving on...after they draw blood out, it starts getting returned to you. Now, the cells that they're returning are mixed with saline (hello, cold) and something else. About 2 minutes into the 5 minute return process, I start feeling queasy. I have a terrible metallic taste in my mouth, my lips are tingly, and I'm cold. About 4.5 minutes in, I'm shivering. Repeat 7 more times. At about the halfway point, one of my coworkers got me a can of orange juice, which was nice. It got the weird taste out of my mouth for a few minutes, anyway. Now, normally on release Wednesdays (the crappy days that I have to go in somewhere between 3 and 5 AM), I get off work in time to go to the 2 PM BJJ class. This is by far the best class of the week, and I hardly ever get to go. Unfortunately, after this whole platelet fiasco, training for 2 hours was not on the agenda. Instead, I went home around 2:30. Brian and I got some groceries, he made a delicious London broil, and I fell asleep around 6:30 PM on the couch. At 10:30 or so, I got up, brushed my teeth, and went to bed. I slept until 6:30 on Thursday morning. Oh, and if you're interested, if you're just looking at a bag of platelets hanging there on the blood separating machine, it looks like melted ear wax. It's this weird yellow color, and looks thick and goozy. It was gross.

Thursday and Friday were normal work days (all crap). Tonight, I am skipping BJJ. I have no good reason. I just want to be on my couch, and not drive across town in the rain. I'll go tomorrow, though. It's an open mat, since Andrew is out in LA for the Pan Ams.

Oh, and Duke can suck it. They were supposed to win the stupid NCAA crap, and they lost to crappy Villanova. Way to screw my bracket, jerks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


For years, I've wanted to like oatmeal. I like oatmeal cookies (but not the ones with raisins in them), so it seemed like there should be a way for me to eat oatmeal for breakfast. I tried all of the instant oatmeal with fruit, with cinnamon roll flavoring, maple and brown sugar, etc., but they all tasted weird and mushy to me...sort of like a bowl of mushy chemicals. So, I had pretty much accepted that I wasn't ever going to actually like oatmeal. Then, I found McCann's Irish Oatmeal in the hippie section of the grocery store. I liked the can, so I figured even if I didn't like the oatmeal, I was still getting a neat can out of the deal. (No, I had no plans for this was just neat.) So, Brian makes some of this new oatmeal, and it's not too bad. I put some fresh fruit in it, and some nuts, and I found that it wasn't too bad. The only down side is that it takes like 45 minutes to make it. Boo! No way I'm getting up 45 minutes earlier to make oatmeal for breakfast. Sometimes Brian will make a big batch, so we just have to reheat in the microwave, which works. The other day, I found oven toasted oats in the hippie section, and they claim that this oatmeal cooks in 3-5 minutes. I made some this morning, and it was more like 10 minutes, not counting the time it took the water to boil, but that is still preferred to 45 minutes. I'm having a bowl of semi-instant oatmeal right now. I added a little brown sugar, a bunch of pecans, and some sliced almonds. It's good. Not tolerable, but GOOD. It's so nice to finally have a breakfast option!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New plan redux

So, I made my grand new plan, and promptly got sick. AGAIN. I'm so freaking tired of coughing. I think I've trained 3 times in March. Sigh. I did go to the open mat on Sunday, though. That was a lot of fun. MikeByrd showed me how he sets up a bicep slicer using his 'squirrelly foot' that I'm looking forward to playing with. Even if slicers aren't legal for me for about another 10 or 20 yeas, it's a good setup...leads to a reverse armbar / kimura / straight armbar (if the person defends the first, you go to the next, and so on).

Other than that, things are about the norm. I would like some Thai food. That is all.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New plan

Over the last few days, I've been thinking about changing my BJJ mindset. Typically, I go to class when I feel like it, & train as hard (or as soft) as I feel like training at that moment. Since I'm fairly lazy & hate losing, this tends to lead me toward rolling light, or just staying home. My new semi-plan is to treat BJJ more like a part-time job. I need to be training 3 times a week, & training hard. I'm starting to think I need to commit to competing in a certain tournament or something, in order to make myself stick with it for more than a few weeks. Guess I'll have to look at the tournament calendar & find one to do, or come up with another way to get motivated.