Catching up

Picking up various bits of story here and there

Blogging is a funny thing.  Sometimes a topic just hits you and you can’t wait to write it down.  Sometimes, you have nothing, and then the fact that you have nothing becomes a Thing, because you know you should blog if only to keep people from forgetting you exist.  This week, I had a bad combination of Nothing to blog and Too Much to write elsewhere.  And this has kept me from telling you about the…

Immortal Launch Party

The Immortal party was a great success and a lot of fun.  Many thanks to everyone who made it.  And I would have written about it sooner but…

I didn’t take any pictures.

Which was immensely stupid, I know.  But by the time I got there, got the books set up, started greeting people, and got a beer in my hand, I was mostly busy just talking to those who came and wondering where those who said they would come might be.

I am not constitutionally equipped to be a host.

I did sell a number of books from my personal supply– I’m nearly out– and may have gotten whiplash.  The latter was due to the fact that this party was held in a Boston club whose cocktail waitresses may do some hooking on the side.

Splash Ultra Lounge waitress dress code: black mini dress– no larger than size 2– that does not cross mid-thigh; no sleeves; mandatory cleavage; optional tears, holes, shreds to reveal undergarments (undergarments also optional); heels no lower than 3.5 inches.

Again: REALLY sorry I didn’t take any pictures.


And on Sunday, wife Deb and I donated platelets at the Red Cross.  This is something Deb has been doing for years, because she’s nicer than I am.  I only began this myself recently, because I am out of excuses not to.

The process is slightly more… what’s the word… horrific?… than regular blood donation.  You donate blood, you’re in and out in under an hour, a tiny bit lighter and off the hook with God for at least 22 days, because that’s how long it will be before you can donate again.  Platelet donation can be done after six days.

But that’s not the horrible part.  The horrible part is you’re sitting in a chair for between two and three hours with blood coming out of one arm and back into the other arm (minus the platelets) and you can’t move during this entire time. What you CAN do is watch a movie.  And really, that’s not the worst deal in the world.

As long as you don’t get an itch.

Anyway, I’ve done it a few times, and I’m getting used to it.  And it’s not like it hurts or anything.



On Sunday, I learned what the term “IV infiltration” means.  This happened on the arm that was going to be taking back the blood after it had been run through the platelet-extracting doo-hickey.  Something happened that caused the saline– which is what they start pumping before the blood has made it all the way through the machine– to NOT go into the vein.  Specifically, it traveled to a space under my skin where there was no room for it because other things were already there.  Like, my arm.

This was tremendously painful, and I would use more emphatic language if any existed.

“I’ll tell you where Osama is,” I said, “if you just make that stop.”

It did stop.  And I was given the option of not donating on the grounds that I was now terrified of needles, nurses, chairs, movies and my wife, who made me do this.  But I was already in the chair, the other arm was hooked up, and I was Deb’s ride so I couldn’t actually leave.  So I let them find another vein.

On a serious note

My wife will throw something at my head if I don’t point out that this is an unusual event, and does not outweigh the good of donating platelets.  It may be an odd experience, but it’s a fantastic way to get caught up on your movie watching.  And what you’re donating is needed desperately.

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No Comments

  1. Kate on October 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I have double platelets, so I only get to watch half a movie. And the Red Cross told me they’re not currently taking platelets from “new” women (I haven’t donated in a few years). But I will! I WILL!

    • genedoucette on October 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      I didn’t know there was such a thing as having double platelets. I have had a double (and a triple) run, but it didn’t make the actual run faster.

  2. Scott on October 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Good god, I so would’ve just thrown in the towel at that point! Pumping something “back into me” is bad enough, but then “missing”?!

    No thanks!

    • genedoucette on October 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm

      You know, once you’ve gotten to that point, you already have a needle in one arm, you’ve committed the time out of the day…

      • Scott on October 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm

        Never underestimate the strategy of RUNNING AWAY!!!

        I was traumatized growing up when I had to get vaccinated before going to school. We lived nearby, so when I figured out what the lady was planning to do, I took off running and didn’t stop until I got home.

        Mom wasn’t too thrilled when she finally caught up with me, but I learned a valuable lesson that day. Needles = BAD!

  3. Jesilea on October 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I’m having my launch party for my book, Four Thousand Miles, next week. Any suggestions? This is my first book.


    • genedoucette on October 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm

      Um… depends on where you’re throwing it. Make sure there are plenty of books, bring a pen, don’t count heads because you’ll make yourself crazy… have a giveaway or door prize if you can…

  4. […] a nice launch party (for which I neglected to take any pictures, because I’m smart like that) and a press release it was time to sit back and watch the […]

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