It is in you to give

I tried to donate blood yesterday. Actually, I first tried two days ago, but due to a physical therapy session that ran long, I was fifteen minutes late for my appointment, and it was closing time. I rebooked for the next day.
Apparently, I am now exciting enough that I can’t donate blood. I wish I could say it was for wild, promiscuous sex, or horrible gashes from knife fights with rebel guerillas, or sharing needles with various homeless people; stories you can brag about. But instead it is because I went to the Dominican Republic and now I am the harbinger of doom for a malaria outbreak.
I could donate plasma instead. But looking at the literature I am a terrible donor for that. Type O blood is a the best blood type to donate red blood cells. It would be better if I was O negative, which is a universal donor, but my O positive is still pretty good. However, that is reversed for plasma: blood type AB is a universal donor for plasma, O is a universal acceptor
The literature does say “Male O+ donors needed to join our Plasma Program”. Since they asked nicely, I should go do it. But why aren’t women wanted? Does female plasma have cooties?


I feel guilty. Constantly.
I have not committed any crimes. I am not religious. God is not judging me. I have no reason to feel guilty.
But I do. If I do anything slightly wrong, it bothers me for a long time. Even little things. The fact that I am too tired and exhausted to work on my resolution is making me feel like a bad person. And since part of my resolution is to make an effort on dating sites, which you should only do when you feel good about yourself, I’m getting stuck in an ugly feedback loop.
Contributing to this is the knowledge that my dating life, and lack thereof, is completely MY fault. If it was important to me, I would work at it. Apparently it isn’t.
Things at work bother me. I’m probably not being as good a friend as I should be. Why do I not give more to charities. Guilt, guilt, guilt.
I’m frankly tired of it. I don’t deserve this. I would like to be free from my conscious. I would like to be able to swear. I would like to take advantage of intoxicated women with loose morals. I would like to not feel bad about asking a woman out. That last one makes no sense, but I always feel like I’m doing something rude when I’m talking to a woman I don’t know.
And if people comment on this post with sympathy, I’m going to feel bad that I guilted people into feeling sorry for me.

No Cabin Fever Yet

I’ve been wanting to do this again for a long time, and tonight I finally got around to doing it. I took my laptop to Starbucks, got a hot chocolate, and did some work. Well, not work-work, but self-improvement work. Starbucks has the advantage that it does not have internet access. (As far as I know. Please don’t tell me otherwise.) So it is much harder to be distracted. I also can pretend I am getting out to see other people. That last one is probably a lie though.
So, I did some work on my D&D campaign, updating the website, even though I can’t post it until I get home. I worked on my French manuscript website. That I’m not planning to post yet, but since I can host it on my laptop, I can play around with the database, code, and presentation. Unfortunately I can’t do any work that I desperately need to do on the dating sites I’ve joined.
This weekend has been rather shut-in. Going to Starbucks is the first I’ve been out of my building since Friday. And I only left my condo this morning to use the exercise room to abuse the exercycle for a couple of hours.
It has been a fairly productive weekend though. I got through a lot of my financial paperwork, getting it into my computer and filing the papers away. I have a lot less loose papers cluttering up my office. I also watched some Doctor Who episodes. (See the reason I go to Starbucks.)
Unfortunately a lot of the progress on cleaning up took a big step backwards when I turned my place upside down trying, unsuccessfully, to find my Starbucks gift card.

Salsa lesson one

Salsa classes started today.
The first class didn’t teach me anything much; the three basic steps and a twirl. I don’t get to twirl, only the girl gets to do that. I’ve had all this training before at various drop-in classes I’ve been to in the past. Unfortunately, I usually forget the lessons by the time I go to the next drop-in. This time I’ve actually paid for a six week course. The plan is that if I do this regularly, the lessons might stick.
It is embarrassing to not be able to remember the difference in steps between salsa and swing.
The course hasn’t started as well as I had hoped. Usually I am told that more woman sign up than men. That never seems to be the case for me. And now I’m stuck with this male:female ratio for another five classes. It isn’t too bad; with the instructor, there is only one more female than male. And she has said she will bring in some more women next time.
In addition, I’m trying to take the advice of some female friends. I am going there to learn salsa, not to meet women. I have no intention of doing anything more. Women can sense desperation, so I am doing my best not be interested in any of them.

Knee report

I’m concerned about my knee. It has been a month since the run that injured it, and it still isn’t perfect. Over the past week it has been getting better, but it still hasn’t healed completely. Last week, a friend who is a physical therapist, thought I should get an MRI. With that state of panic in my head, I made an appointment with my regular physical therapist.
This knee injury probably happened because I have a weak gluteus medius. I’ve been going to River Valley Health to try and get it better. I haven’t seen my physician for about a month, because Christmas interferes with everything and she was away on vacation. So I made a pledge for that period of time to try and do the prescribed exercises every day. And I was good at keeping that promise. So when I had my visit on Wednesday, I apparently had made a lot of progress.
So, doing the exercises, that the expert wants you to do, actually helps! Who could have guessed?
She had me do some other exercises to see how things are. The reason I have a weak gluteus medius is that all my other muscles have gotten really strong and feel the need to take over its normal duties. So these exercises require me to activate it. I figured out the best way to do that was to actually punch my offending muscle a few times. It seems to give it the idea that it is supposed to be doing something. My physician finds this amusing. I think she is judging me.
In any case, I went to my actual physical therapist today to get his opinion. I know I misheard his prognosis, but what I recall is “A resolving MCL sprain, with a pez dispenser strain.” He game me permission to sign up for the Blackfoot ultra in May. So I have my goal again.
I probably should have asked about the salsa lessons I start on Monday, but it slipped my mind.
I have new exercises to do, but already I feel myself getting into bad habits. With my family visiting and the rush to clean my place up, I have become negligent in my therapy.
I’m told I don’t need an MRI. I still tempted to try and get one. I’m sure by the time the appointment comes around, I will have injured myself again.

Obese Donkey

To run the Blackfoot ultra, one has to have volunteered for some organization that promotes running and/or healthy living. Since the organizer of that run also organizes the Fat Donkey run (Not actually called that. Look up a synonym for the second word in a thesaurus. Pick the one that is alphabetically first), I thought it would be a good event to volunteer for. Since my knee is still bothering me, I couldn’t run it. However, when I tried to volunteer, I was told last Tuesday that they already had enough people.
Then on Thursday, I got another message asking me to show up on Saturday at 6:30 AM. On the day, I found out the other early morning volunteer was unable to make it. So, from being not needed, to being the only one standing between the ultramarathon and failure.
It’s a fairly laid back race; show up when you want, pay $3, let us know when you leave, and when you are done. Heck, start out before the volunteers get there and when you are back, let us know when you left. We trust you. Prices are kept low by an utter lack of prizes. Although many paid extra. One person just handed me a bunch of loose change ($3.40). And we discovered, after the fact, that that loonie was actually a car-wash token. (Probably worth more.)
The first half hour was cold, because the Kinsmen doesn’t open until 7:00. And they are sticklers for not letting people in early.
But I did learn, that people are very trusting. If some homeless guy had been at the front entrance of the Kinsmen with a piece of paper and a pen, he could have collected $3 from a lot of people. It did probably help that I had on a Death Race toque and jacket. And more importantly, I had on my Mont Blanc ultra t-shirt. It was a good conversation starter. No one else around here has one.
At about eight o’clock, another volunteer showed up. I got her doing the text messaging to the aid station volunteers; to keep track of who they should expect. When the third volunteer appeared, she was mainly in charge of taking pictures. I was only supposed to be there for three hours, but it was enjoyable enough that I hung around for six. My only plan for the day was to avoid cleaning my home, and it was easier to do that when I wasn’t at home.
In the end, we only lost two people. Two set out on the half run (25km) and just disappeared. They never checked in afterwards. There wasn’t a lot we could do; we didn’t have contact information for them. When the race director finished his run, it became his problem.

Probably the wrong way to go about it

I don’t know how much of this is coming from my resolution, but I am just exhausted lately. I am not sleepy. I am wide awake. But I have no energy right now. Even though there are things I feel I need to do.
The best way to get around this is to make commitments that I have to meet. No excuses. So, on Saturday morning I will be volunteering to help organize an ultramarathon. I have to be at the Kinsmen, bright and early, at 6:30 AM.
That will teach my body to feel tired.

Cleaning up after myself

Continuing on with being a creator, one of my first acts involved destruction.
A year ago, I started a second blog. The new one was devoted to my programming projects. After two entries, I never updated it. This seems like a waste.
Part of the reason to start the second one was to experiment with running my own blog. Since I have moved my main one from LiveJournal to hosting my own WordPress, that reason has fallen away. I can also use categories to mark posts that are programming related. I could even mark all posts that are not-programming. This way, readers (that would be you guys) could choose whether they wanted to hear about programming or not.
I’m still experimenting with that, so give me time.
In any case, I will shortly pull down the other blog. I’ve already transferred the two posts to this one and marked them appropriately.

New Year’s Resolution

So, it is resolution time. And tradition demands I better myself. And I am a sucker for tradition. So what is my resolution?
I suppose I should look back to previous resolutions to see how I did on them. But it’s not like I write them down. Oh wait, I sort of do. I can look in old journal entries and see what I have said. For 2009, I wanted to reach out more to people. I wonder if I have done that? I also remember once asking people to tell me something good and something bad about me so I could learn what to improve and what I should keep doing. I don’t recall a lot of feedback from that. I assume my friends don’t feel comfortable criticizing.
In any case, this year’s resolution is mostly reflected by a Cracked column about how to be a better person. Sure, it is a comedy site, but it speaks wisely of things softened with comedy.
Essentially, I want to stop being a consumer. Not as in “stop shopping”; that would be crazy hippy-talk. I like buying things! How else do you keep score? 🙂 No, I want to stop consuming and start producing.
I want to be a creator. I want to stop being passive, and create things this year. At the very least, I will not passively read Facebook. I will actively let people know that I enjoy what they post, and not assume that they somehow know I’ve read what they have written.
I have projects that need to be done. I want to complete the manuscript index with my father and put it online. I should learn to play the guitar. I want to update my journal more often than the once a month it appears to have been lately. I suppose my first task should be to make a list of projects that I should attempt. No, scratch that! A list of projects I should finish.