miss_yt: (Default)
Twenty-seven years ago, the University of Michigan and its rival, Ohio State University, initiated what is now a traditional annual event called the Blood Battle. Each year during October the Red Cross holds a blood drive at both institutions. Students come in to volunteer and, of course, donate blood. The institution that has donated the most blood by the end of the Battle wins. So far, we are tied thirteen for thirteen with OSU. Now, our football records are a different story...

Anyway, I took part in the Blood Battle myself this year. I like to donate blood when I can. Because I am AB-, and only a relative handful of people share my blood type, my whole blood is not in great demand - although there had better be some available when someone needs it, I always say, so I might as well provide. AB plasma, however, can be used by anyone. So even if my red blood cells don't end up helping somebody, my plasma probably will.

The donation did not exactly go smoothly. I had an appointment, but the Red Cross people were running way behind, so I didn't actually get to donate until about an hour after I was supposed to. After they collected my blood, I went to sit at the table where they give all the donors drinks and snacks to get their fluids and blood sugar back up. I was chatting with one of the student volunteers when I started to feel really dizzy and nauseous. I said so. All the volunteers within earshot freaked out and urged me to lay my head on the table. They got one of the real Red Cross people - one of the ones who actually takes blood, I mean - and she, along with a couple of the student volunteers, shuffled me over to an empty recovery cot, where they put cold towels on my head and neck and had me breathe into a paper bag for a couple of minutes.

I was more bemused than scared by the whole thing, although I did feel like crap for a while. I asked my attending Red Cross volunteer what had happened: I think she thought I meant I didn't remember what had happened, although I actually just wanted to know the actual physical event that had made me bad and freaked everyone out. She said it was just my body's way of telling me that it didn't like losing a pint of blood. I bet there's a specific medical term for it, and tomorrow I am going to call Mom the Anesthesiologist and ask her. One of the student volunteers later told me that a number of things can cause a reaction like I had, such as a lack of food or sleep. I think my problem was that I didn't drink enough water beforehand.

When I was able to stand up and move around again, I went and got dinner and drank lots of water, which made me feel better. Now I'm feeling kind of tired, weak, and I felt out of breath just going up and down the stairs to my apartment. That's not a surprise: I'm not oxygenating the way I usually do.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] desdenova and I have hashed out plans for my trip to Chicago come Thanksgiving weekend. My mother reminded me that she has cousins living in Chicago, and is going to call them to see if I can visit. This might throw my schedule a bit wonky but I can't really say no if they want to see me. Maybe they will invite me for Thanksgiving dinner - which would be nice, because otherwise I'm not going to have it this year.
miss_yt: (Default)
Since I can't go home for Thanksgiving break, and I've been reading a lot of Dresden Files books, I'm thinking of maybe-kinda-possibly visiting Chicago over the break. ([livejournal.com profile] desdenova, pay attention!) I've been there before, but the last time was years ago, and I was always together with my immediate family visiting members of my extended family. I haven't gotten to see much of the city.

It's about four hours away by car, so I'll probably want to make an overnight trip of it. Does anyone have any recommendations for where I should visit (other than the Shedd Aquarium, which is already on my list)? And where can I find really, really good deep-dish pizza?

EDIT: Oh, yeah! I have to go to the Field Museum to and see Tyrannosaur Sue, right?
miss_yt: (Nervous much?)
Remember what I said a few days ago about my TV being broken? Well, the estimate from the repair shop was $360 dollars, minus the initial fee of $25 that I paid. The television itself cost a little more than $400. I checked out some prices for small flat-screen TVs from Best Buy and decided that it would probably be more cost-effective to get one of those new than to get my old one fixed.

I called the manufacturer to register a complaint. A $400-dollar TV should not blow out a bunch of its components after less than a year. I am going to get a new TV of a different brand.

I admit that I had a hand in creating this problem for myself, because I bought the TV from a guy on Craigslist (it was new, BTW) and not an authorized seller, which means I got no warranty. Let that be a lesson to you, kids. Always make sure you get the warranty.

Oh, and the water system in my apartment building is broken. The landlord says it will be fixed this afternoon. Until then, I can't flush the toilet or get anything from the faucet. Joy.
miss_yt: (Default)
My grandpa said he saw a sign outside of a B'nai B'rith in Florida that read "Vote for the Schvartze." Heh.

It's Yiddish. Look it up.

So...

Nov. 5th, 2008 01:01 am
miss_yt: (Default)
Obama's won the Presidency. I feel relieved: I thought this was going to be a repeat of 2004. I don't expect the man to live up to all his campaign promises, even if he's as earnest as he appears to be, because you'd have to break the laws of physics to make that happen. I do expect that he will bring some perspective and common sense to the Executive Branch. Congratulations, Mr. Obama. When you're in office, please remember who you work for.

That said, I hope no one on my f-list is going to go around taunting Republicans. It's a crass and unsympathetic thing to do. No matter who's gotten elected or what happens from here on in, we're all in it together, so let's act like it.

"We" includes the stupid undergrads on my block, including my next-door neighbor who is playing his guitar and singing (very badly). I'm in too much of a good mood to call the cops on anyone tonight.
miss_yt: (Oh noes!)
Gah. My TV died on me last night, for some reason or other. This unfortunate occurrence has, at least temporarily, suspended my enjoyment of Fable 2. I'm especially upset because the thing cost $400 dollars and I assumed it was of good quality.

Fortunately I can get it repaired. I called the manufacturer and they referred me to a local repair service that is certified to work on their products. I left a message for the repair service and hope to get someone here to fix the TV soon. It may make a dent in my wallet, but as long as repairs cost less than replacing the TV, I won't mind.

Oh, well. I have some Netflix DVDs I need to watch (on my laptop, of course) and some knitting to do, so perhaps it's for the best.
miss_yt: (Default)
Some of the costumes at the School of Information Science's Halloween party are good indicators of who's pissed off the librarians this year. Last year someone came in a costume made of vacuum tubes (the Internet, as imagined by Ted Stevens). This year we had a McCain, a Joe the Plumber and two Sarah Palins.

Other interesting costumes included:

Ugly Betty, with a loud Guadalupe poncho
A lolcat
Future Hiro
A Duracell battery
The Fourth Doctor (but with the Tenth Doctor's sonic screwdriver)

See any interesting costumes this Halloween?
miss_yt: (Happy Happy Joy Joy!)
Because I am very pro-patent reform and believe that software patenting has, in general, been very badly handled up until now, reading this made me smile.

Happy Halloween!
miss_yt: (Default)
So, I finished Fable 2 the other night. A bit near the ending actually had me shouting at the TV (well, the villain on the TV) with a line straight out of the Dresden Files: SPOILER "You killed my dog. Get your affairs in order." SPOILER

The game is pretty awesome. By the end I owned most of the real estate in Albion and I'd had four spouses - not all at once, although granted, I did have two at once.

I think I might get a game guide or something so that I can obsessively collect all the Easter Eggs - the silver keys and the gargoyles and such. I plan to play the next game with a male hero and maybe be a little less well-behaved this time around.Yes, I know, having two spouses at once was not "well-behaved," but you can do a lot worse in Fable, which is one of the cool things about it.

In RL news, I'm eagerly anticipating the School of Information Halloween party on Friday night. This year the party is within walking distance of where I live. However, I'm not looking forward to the antics of the undergrads in my neighborhood come Halloween night. I bet some of them will be TPing things, the bastards.
miss_yt: (Oh noes!)
Last night I was feeling fine until just a few minutes before I started throwing up. Luckily I knew it was coming and got to the toilet, but it was pretty unpleasant. I decided not to go to kendo this morning so that I could sleep.

Not that I got much sleep. The goddamned howler monkey undergrads in my neighborhood partied into the wee hours last night and started up again this morning. Since it's daylight hours I don't think I can call the cops on them. Seriously, how can they behave like this?

Anyway, my stomach feels fine now, but I'm going to be cautious. I'll stick to what my dad calls the BRAT diet - bread, rice, applesauce, tea. I have some rice and applesauce and plenty of tea. I hope whatever made me sick has gone away.
miss_yt: (I can bludgeon pretty hard.)
Some of you may remember my summertime LJ rant about charity muggers. This is in the same vein.

Lately I've seen two kinds of clipboard-carrying people around the U of M campus: the ones who ask you if you're registered to vote in Michigan (I did register with one of them, since I moved apartments) and the ones who ask if you have a minute for the environment.

Kind of long and ranty and with lists, so behind a cut. )
miss_yt: (Mock the Stupid)
Ugh. Do all those undergrads living on my block actually think it's fun to chug cheap beer and then whoop and scream like demented apes, or do they think it's just obligatory?

Seeing as it's a Saturday night, I bet someone's going to start playing their music at dance-club levels again and I'll have to call the cops. Again. On the bright side, the cops tend to take noise complaints seriously and respond to them quickly. I think they also bust a few people for underage drinking wherever they respond to a noise complaint around here, which is a bonus.
miss_yt: (I AM geniuses!)
Here's a creative way to annoy the Republican vice-presidential nominee, while contributing to a good cause. It comes courtesy of someone on the Bryn Mawr Alumnae mailing list.

One can make a donation to Planned Parenthood in honor of Sarah Palin and have the acknowledgment card sent to the McCain campaign headquarters. If you go to the Planned Parenthood home page and bring up the "donate" menu, the first option on it is to make an "Honorary or Memorial Donation." Give a donation to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's name!

If enough of us do it, it may make the news! Let's give it a try!

EDIT: By the way, in the "send acknowledgments to" fields when you make the donation, put in the following address:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark St, First Floor
Arlington, VA 22202
miss_yt: (Cuted to Death!)
Three years ago today, I found this little cutie wandering the streets of my neighborhood in South Philadelphia. I took her home and she's been a spoiled brat ever since. Here she is now.

Yes, this is Roo's birthday/adoption anniversary! To celebrate, I got her a can of gourmet tuna cat food, which she seems to have enjoyed heartily.

Here's to many happy returns of the day!
miss_yt: (Default)
Today was the first practice session of the semester for the Michigan Kendo Club - and my first since April. For all that I think it went rather well. I got my zekken (and I will have my bogu in a couple of weeks!), I showed off the awesome shinai sleeve back Marjorie made me, and was generally a happy kendo-ka.

(If you didn't recognize all of those words, go look 'em up!)

In less happy news...well, I don't usually talk about politics, because in my experience it generally leads to arguments and frustration. But I'm worried about this whole Sarah Palin business. Not the business with her daughter getting pregnant - the fact that McCain probably picked her to draw in disgruntled former Hillary supporters. No, I'm not kidding. My mother was a fan of Hillary Clinton, although I wasn't. Fortunately she's sensible enough that she'll vote for Obama on election day, but I know a lot of people aren't. She told me that a lot of blue-collar women who liked Hillary are now planning to vote for McCain because he chose a woman as his running mate.

I understand the urge to get a woman in high public office, but seriously, Palin is the wrong woman. She's practically Hillary Clinton's polar opposite, while Obama's positions on many issues are similar to, if not the same as, those that Clinton espoused. Palin is aggressively pro-life, ran as a fiscal conservative and then turned around and increased spending and taxes in her home state, and is, from what I have heard, is even less keen on listening to the views and advice of others than our current President...unless, of course, the people giving the advice are her flunkies. The whole business makes me sick.

By the way, yes, I am registered to vote in Michigan, a swing state that is projected to go Republican this year. You've probably already guessed who I'm voting for. May the best man win.
miss_yt: (Default)
I just signed back on to Netflix, which I signed off of when I left Philadelphia. I plan to use Netflix movies as something to knit to (I haven't been knitting a lot lately).

I have a three-at-a-time unlimited plan and only 16 movies on my queue. Since most of you know at least a little about my interests, could you help me by suggesting movies to add to my queue?

Moved!

Aug. 29th, 2008 03:15 pm
miss_yt: (Default)
So after a nine-hour drive and days of unpacking, I am pretty much moved into my new place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's an efficiency so it's small, and unlike my previous apartment it doesn't have a washer and dryer in the basement, but it suits me - and I don't have to share it with terrible, horrible, no-good very bad roommates. Good riddance to them.

I don't have internet in my apartment (I'm using the campus internet now), but I may be able to make an arrangement with one of my fellow tenants to share their wireless connection for a monthly fee. Meanwhile, I'm working on figuring out my class schedule and working on stocking my fridge with basic necessities and such.
miss_yt: (Default)
I'm in New York now, visiting my grandparents (among other people). My brother and his girlfriend now live in Queens: after the grandparents and I had dinner with him last night, the two of us went off on our own for a while.

We went to Brooklyn, where my brother's friend recently opened up a restaurant called The General Greene. It was busy because it had recently gotten a good review in New York magazine, but we got two seats at the bar and had some drinks and dessert. The owner has made up some unique cocktails and recipes, which are quite good. Since my brother worked part-time as a bartender there shortly after the place opened and the owner still owed him some money, we got our food and drinks gratis.

Afterward we hopped on the subway to Astoria, Queens, where my brother lives. I spent the night on their very comfy couch and we went to brunch this morning. My brother's girlfriend works at a publisher's and gets free books - more than they have shelf space for - so they were glad when I took some off their hands.

The apartment, by the way, is smallish but nice. It is also scrupulously clean and organized, thanks to the efforts of my brother's girlfriend, who, so my brother says, berates him for being too messy. The floors are all tile, which is a little ridiculous, but that can apparently be chalked up to the fact that the building's in a historically Greek neighborhood.

Something I learned about my brother's girlfriend: there's a good chance that she's descended from Lapu-Lapu, the king of Mactan, an island in what is now the Philippines. Lapu-Lapu achieved his place in history by leading the native warriors who killed the sixteenth-century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and 30 of his crewmen. When my brother told me about this I immediately thought of the Animaniacs' The Ballad of Magellan.

Tomorrow I get to visit my friend Marjorie! Then I go back home on Tuesday.
miss_yt: (Batman Beyond by Toketsupuurin)
Those of you who missed the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics should go Google a video of it now. Seriously, you should. They're astounding.

Brian Williams described the ceremonies as having "massive scale and minute precision." It made me think of Stonehenge, or the pyramids, to which that description also applies. You wonder how human beings could accomplish such a thing.

The answer: there are lots of them and they're just plain crazy enough to do it.

Good stuff!

Aug. 6th, 2008 03:50 pm
miss_yt: (Default)
This has actually been a good Wednesday! I beat Knights of the Old Republic and received my package of Amazon goodies that I blew part of my internship stipend on. The goodies include a book by Steven Brust, all of the Samurai Jack and Batman Beyond season DVDs that I didn't have before, and the entire Brisco County Jr. series on DVD. That last I actually got in hopes of one day writing a Doctor Who-Brisco County crossover, foolish as that may sound.

With regards to Knights of the Old Republic, also known as KotOR, it's just as awesome as I've been hearing. It has some sound problems on the Xbox 360 and some annoying interface issues that are (mostly) cleared up in its spiritual successor, Mass Effect, but the writing is good, the character-building and advancing system is awesome - albeit much easier to handle if you've played D&D - and, well, it's just plain fun to explore. I played Light side last time: I wonder if I can do Dark side next time around? Although I might wimp out on it, like I do in Mass Effect when it comes to being a renegade.

Oh, I'm going to New York on Friday, and I will be over there through the weekend and into the week. I should still have internet access but I might be too busy to make use of it.

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