A Wuss By Any Other Name...

I remember during high school, Canadian Blood Services would set up a clinic periodically.  It was a good deal to donate -- every donor got a free pass from attending a morning or afternoon of classes and yummy snacks.

Now, it's true that I wanted to skip class and eat donuts as much as the next student.  And, of course, the fact that your participation was helping someone in need by your donation was only icing on the cake. However, the truth is that I never, ever did line up to donate blood.  At the time, I truly hated needles.  And so, the idea of voluntarily lining up to have a large bore needle hang out in my arm for ten minutes or so never really appealed.  And when I say it never really appealed, I pretty much mean that I'd rather be eaten by wild animals.

Life went on, and somewhere between many exposures to needles of differing kinds, messy/bloody childbirth experience and various surgeries and procedures  (you apply drops to the STITCHES in your daughter's EYEBALL and see what that does for your quease-factor!) I somehow became much better about needles. 

Truthfully, though... while I thought of donating blood from time to time, life just provided many more oppotunities to put it off or forget about making an appointment than to remember and act on it.  Because, really... it's still hanging out with a large-bore needle and, well, easy to want to forget about.

This month my derby league accepted a Blood Donor challenge for the month of September; and two days ago I finally was able to donate blood for the first time in my life.

My day was a disaster in the making.  Filled with appointments and errands, I barely managed to eat lunch.  I didn't get to eat supper.  Which, apparently isn't a really awesome thing to forget to do on the day you plan to donate blood. I pulled up a bit late for my evening appt. and the nurses on shift were just able to fit me in to the last donor spot for the night.  I filled out forms.  I answered questions.  Really, really personal questions.  (which thankfully I had really good answers for, because, really... a person would have good reason to evaluate their life choices to date if they didn't have good answers for some of them.)  I was given what looked to be a GIANT plastic bag in which my blood was to be collected.  I do realize that only a pint is collected, but seriously... that was one huge-looking container.  Way to freak out the donors, CBS.

I was escorted to this comfy recliner.  My nurse was excellent and the needle didn't bother me a bit -- I even wasn't bothered by seeing the blood-filled line.  Kinda pretty.  I just hung out there for a bit, visiting with a couple league-mates who stayed to see the last of us through, and thinking that this was super easy-peasy and why did I never do this before. 

My blood was quite happy to leave my body, too.  While most of my friends had 8, 9 and 10 minute times; my blood ran screaming from my body and I came close to a record-donor-time.  Just under 5 minutes.

I was actually kinda proud.  Which I totally realize is a ridiculous thing to be proud of... but I seriously was thinking as the nurse unhooked me that I should try some relaxation/visualization techniques next time and try to beat the record.  Oh gosh.  I am a dork.

And then, in the middle of my prideful inner monologue, the recliner was raised... and the fact that I didn't eat supper, that my blood was just hoovered out of me without allowing my body a slower time to adjust, well... it became very apparent. 

I don't know how this works for everyone else, this almost-losing-consciousness thing.  But I get super hot and my vision narrows and my ears start humming/whooshing.  It's incredibly lame and unpleasant... and super embarrassing.  Seriously.  What the heck.  I just powered through my first donation and should be off eating Fudge-o's and slurping slurpees like a champ and instead I have a nurse telling me to lay back down and placing cold compresses on my neck and face (I can't lie, the cold compress thing was like heaven, itself.)  All I could think was, "Killswitch, don't be the only derby girl who faints".

I at least accomplished that much.  Consciousness preserved.  Way to go, me!

But now I have severe reservations about my piercing appointment next week. lol  It will be interesting to see how it all goes down.  Or how I do.  Whatevs.


Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

Speaking of the 80s... If I had old pictures and/or a scanner, I would totally post a picture or two of myself as Young Flutterby. The 80s were known for a lot of things, but nothing more than HAIR. Big, curly, poufy hair. And I freely admit that I tried my darndest to accommodate the trend. Spiral perms, bottles of gel, cans of hairspray, ratted bangs... oh, the trend was rocked as much as I was able. In fact, all my teen years I had longish/long hair. At it's longest, my hair hit around my mid-back. I can't recall just how healthy my hair was -- it was probably in awful condition from all the alcohol-based products we used back then -- but I did love it.

 I think I was about 17 or so when the trends changed. Cute little Josie B from Melrose Place with her adorable short locks... skate boarders and grungers with their bowl cuts... it was now fashionable for girls to have short hair. And with a little bit of trepidation, I sat in the chair as my stylist chunked off great swathes of my hair. I emerged with a short, sassy little highlighted cut that I really loved (I think that Josie's cut was actually my template example). I couldn't believe that it could only take 5 minutes to wash, dry and style your hair! It was a revelation... new life... freedom!

Since then, I have worn the shortest of pixie cuts, assymetricals, bobs, bangs/no-bangs... whatever. But I have never been able to get back to that long length again. The growing out process just takes forever!! My hair grows at a fairly normal rate, I think. However, I hate dry ends and probably instruct my stylist to trim off more than should be if my goal is to grow length. Anyhow, the story usually goes that I struggle with growing things out and somewhere around that annoying almost-shoulder-length stage where it's not laying right and not behaving right, I cut. It. Off. Every single time. And so, for the past ?? years (hahaha... just read "A Very Long Time") I have never once had honest-to-goodness LONG hair.

Two years ago, my hair was short and bleached blond. Very damaged from over a year of constant bleaching. And I decided it was time to grow again. I missed the feminine appeal of long, bouncy waves and this time I would not be denied. I conditioned, and trimmed. Good lord... it took almost a full year to just grow out and trim off the damaged inches of bleached hair. I went with a darker hair color because, well, clearly the blond thing was not working for me. I conditioned some more. I cursed my way through so many awkward and strange hair lengths as I had done so many times before, feeling like I was getting nowhere. And then, two years after I first decided to grow this stuff out and it was once again at that awful almost-shoulder-length stage, I found that the predictable little thought was dancing through my brain, again. I started looking at short, easy hairstyles, fun colors and thinking about... ACK!!! NO!!!!

And so, I went and did this, instead.
They are tape-in extensions and they are rather fun and awesome. They will be with me for the next 6 - 8 months and when I finally say good bye to them, my hair will be this exact length. I am in love with my feminine, bouncy curls and my fun highlights. I may even be tossing my head around like a pro shampoo commercial chick. Just for today. And not in public (that much).

Welcome back, 80s. I missed you. ;)


Indulge Me.

Oh man, I love the 80s. When the girls looked hot and, well, the hot guys looked like girls. Just sayin. Tonight's a ballads-only, slow-dancing, lip-locking trip down memory lane. We'll rock out with our... well, we'll check out the heavy rockin stuff another night. ;) Arguably the most technically perfect metal voice of the time, and definitely the sexiest mouth in rock. Ever. A sweet, tender song from a classic band. Quite simply the sweetest, most melodic way for a guy to tell a girl he just wants to get in her pants. Pure panty-remover for your stereo. Or guitar. Especially your guitar. Clapping. So cool in the 80s. No one wears a bandana like Axl. And I am a total sucker for the whistle. No joke. Love the crap outta that part. I'm pretty sure I made out a ton to this song. Good times. OK, so technically not the 80s... but Bon Jovi will always be an 80s icon and this is such a (corny) theatrical gem. Love his voice. Love his muscle shirt. Second best mouth in rock. Easily. Poetic, passionate and full of longing. "Baby, it's all I know that you're half of the flesh And blood that makes me whole" *swoon*


180 seconds.

From the day my Princess was born, everyone who met her and saw her little face said "she looks just like her daddy". Which is lovely and scary all at once. Lovely, because, "AWWWWW... what a sweet thing to say" and Scary because Mr. F. would not make an attractive female. Just sayin.

It is with relief I can say that she has not grown to be a hairy, large, Viking-esque young woman. *whew* (Not that I wish to insult hairy, large, Viking-esque women. Not at all. You go girl. *eeep*) What people were referring to was many of the Nordic traits she inherited from that side of the family. Broad cheeks, sloped nose, small mouth... things which look lovely and feminine on her, thankfully. **Picture removed because I was alerted that some creepy person found this post by searching "women with small mouths". Fricken creep.** Things which also make her look "not like me".

And so, I guess as she has grown -- while I've always seen her as MINE -- I rarely see parts of "me" in her. To be certain, from time to time, someone will comment that she looks like me or reminds them of me. But if I'm honest, it's not something I've ever seen for myself and I find myself saying in disbelief, "really!?".

Which is why I was surprised -- shocked, even -- a few weeks ago.

The Princess and her girlfriends will often make entertaining little video shorts. I'm sure they have dreams of youtube stardom except that some grouchy Mum won't let them post videos online. Stupid grouchy mum.

This particular video was actually pretty hilarious and starred the Princess as a stereotype. She was wearing a short wig and acting her part rather flawlessly, complete with accent -- this kid has pretty terrific comedic timing (sigh, likely something else from her father). But while my outer self was busy laughing and enjoying the show, my inner self was staring slack-jawed at the little playback screen.

It was like watching myself.

So many little mannerisms and facial expressions. Her eyes. Even her voice and speech.

Holy sh!#.

I found myself actually holding back tears while looking back and forth from this screen to her face... crazy stuff, this. I had never, ever seen this before. Had never realized how deeply this would touch me.

A very profound 3 minutes, my friends. 3 minutes that I am super thankful for.


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

No Winter Wonderland just yet.

However, it is the season for WFTDA Regional and Championship competition. It's Women's Flat Track Roller Derby playoffs and that means Four Regional tourneys, followed by Nationals. And THAT means that I am a very happy girl. I am definitely planning to spend more than just a few hours over the next few weeks to put on my "raving spectator" cap and watch some of North America's most awesome teams do their thing on the track.

And, more immediately; tomorrow is our own league's championship game. I was hit earlier this week with a bit of a flu and my fingers are crossed that I will be feeling 100% come tomorrow night.

My juniors are also playing their first home scrimmage tomorrow and I am super excited to see them shine on the track. Coaching has been one of my sweet derby surprises, it's something that gives me a lot of joy and these kids are pretty terrific.

So, here's to a great weekend with just a few more to follow!


Fun with the Folks.

Today my Dad got an iPhone.

I know this because for the first time, I received a text that was longer than one T9 word. And two picture texts. And a full text conversation that included smilies.

Say what you will about iPhones -- they are super intuitive and fun. I know of more people who never saw a use for smartphone technology become overnight tech sensations with this phone than any other.

He is totally impressed with all the cool stuff he can do with his new smartphone. I am pretty impressed, too -- he really is taking to it. But I just can't let him think he knows EVERYTHING about his iPhone just yet. Exhibit A:

I love my pops. <3


Country boys.

Simply love this cowboy. Can't quite get enough of his Georgia drawl.