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I got platelets for days...

After posting the circumstances under which I last gave blood, I felt like a heel, so I decided for the sake of my karma to give blood again. Turns out I have very healthy blood, so healthy and platelet-rich that they think I'll be a great candidate for apheresis donation:

The donation itself takes approximately 90 to 120 minutes. During this time, you can sit back in a specially contoured chair, relax, watch a movie or listen to music. While you relax, a small portion of your blood (less than one pint at a time), is drawn from your arm and passed through a highly sophisticated cell-separating machine which collects the platelets and returns the rest of your blood components to you. Your blood passes through a sterile, disposable kit that is used once -- for you -- and discarded. Your blood never touches the machine.

Regular blood donation is part of my initiative to be a better person. The other part is community service knitting, Sundays 12-2. Hopefully doing these things will make me happier as well as help others.

Strange Dream About Blog

I told Charlie about this dream I had the other night, and he thought it was odd--and VERY geeky. He encouraged me to post about it, so here goes: I dreamed that I went to my admin menu in my blog, then to accounts, then to permissions. I gave the following permissions to all registered users:

create pages

create php content

create stories

create url aliases

edit own blog

edit own pages

edit own stories

But I didn't announce it here; I wanted to see if people noticed that they had the new options the next time they logged in. After I changed the permissions, I went to sleep (in the dream). Then (in the dream) I woke up and shuffled over to the computer as I always do right after I make my bed. I called up my blog and was horrified at what I saw: Tons of people had posted all kinds of random stuff--extreme neoconservative pontification, hate speech, pr0n, you name it. And there were 27 comments under every post. I immediately changed the permissions back and set about deleting all the evidence of my failed experiment.

Charlie thinks it's strange that I dream about the web. I dream about it all the time. Back when the Ms. message boards were still around, I dreamed about some of the posters on there, even though I'd never met them. They'd just find their way into my dreams somehow, most of the time taking non-human forms. One in particular was a big glob of primordial ooze. Anyone else dream about the web, or about your blog?

Dreaming About Crocodiles

Last night, I dreamed that I lived in a lakehouse. It floated in the water and undulated constantly, but wasn't a boat. If you sat on the living room couch and looked out the window, the water came up around the windowsill, causing me to wonder about the integrity of the seals around the window. I couldn't find any caulk to reseal them. I was afraid the water would seep into the house, and I was terrified that I'd see a crocodile. Of course, as soon as I thought that, a crocodile swam right up to my window, opened its mouth, and glared at me. Then I saw more and more until there were eight of them. They were banging up against my window and causing the house to undulate harder. That's all I remember.

The reason I bring it up is that crocodiles have been a recurring symbol in my dreams for about ten years now. I've had dreams that I was frantically clawing my way up a muddy riverbank, trying to get out of the water, while crocodiles chased me. I've also had dreams that I was a scientist breeding crocodile-human hybrids. A woman was giving birth to them, and I was in the delivery room. I have no idea how a dream symbol comes to have a standard, textbook interpretation, but this one is very much in keeping with all the entries for "crocodiles" in the dream books I've seen:

Crocodiles in dreams in a positive way represent your potential and powers capable to seize luck when it comes. In a negative sense, crocodiles represent hazards lying beneath the surface of a seemingly harmless situation. Seeing a crocodile in the dream is a warning: you are surrounded by evil-minded people. If you got bitten by a crocodile, be careful: a dangerous situation has developed. Killing a crocodile in the dream is a sign that you will be able to defeat a powerful enemy. Also, see Alligator.

Perhaps it's an anxiety dream? Every now and then, I dream that my teeth fall out, which is supposed to represent anxiety. Sometimes they fall out intact, like a set of dentures, and sometimes they break into smithereens in my mouth, and I have to spit them out.

What do you think? Do dreams mean anything at all? Are they worth trying to interpret?

Self-Portraits, Age 19

Eleven years ago, when I was first getting into photography, I used to dress up in bizarre costumes, gather up props, take my camera and tripod out to random locations like this old abandoned warehouse, and take self-portraits. Doesn't the melancholy shine through? :)

Reality Check

As you know, I've been brooding recently. I still don't feel great, but your comments have gone a long way toward cheering me up. My good friend Andrea gave me some more advice that I'd like to pass on. She said it when we were at the Pilot House, my favorite restaurant in my hometown. They have delicious New Orleans-style food, and I was having blackened swordfish with Pontchartrain sauce. It was good enough to affect me on a deep emotional level, and--of course--I was waxing wistful. Back in December, I ate some of the gumbo at the Pilot House, and it hit me: I want to be closer to home. I was telling Andrea this, and she told me I was idealizing home. She then uttered the following, and wrote it down a couple of days later so I'd have it:

Thanks, Andrea. :) You always know what to say.

Random Musings

I had a strange dream the other night, which I describe at Jenny's since she posted about a dream too.

Started knitting a hat last night for a friend. It's dark blue merino chunky wool yarn, in seed stitch. I can't send it to him until September, but I think he'll like it when he gets it. I put a little piece of the yarn in my most recent letter to him.

I wonder how much money it's costing the University of Minnesota to run UThink on Movable Type. With UThink, every student at the university is able to have as many blogs as he or she likes--one for each class he or she is taking, and a few personal ones too. There are nearly 50,000 students on the Twin Cities campus, and I wasn't able to find an exact number for the faculty. That's a lot of blogs...

Update: I meant to say in this post that I can't wait for Ginmar to get back home. I want to have a big party for her. Well, at least a "let's see how big a party I can have in a 464-square-foot studio" party. :)

I'm home. I should be happy.

I've been home since late Friday night, and usually I have a wonderful time here. This time, though, I can't seem to enjoy myself, mostly because of all the work I have to do, but that's not the only dark cloud over my head. Lately I've been brooding about all kinds of personal matters. In early October, I'll be turning thirty, and I'm decidedly not the person I thought I'd be at almost-thirty. I thought I'd be much more together, confident, and mature, further along in my career, less lonely. I never imagined I'd still look at something like this and think it was cool. When I'm here, I see all my friends, some of whom married relatively young, had children, and settled down here, and I envy them. Sure, a lot of what goes into those decisions is social pressure to do those things, but most of the time, when I look at my friends in that situation, I think, wow, they're wise. And happy. They knew what they wanted eleven years before I did (well, I still don't know what I want; so much for that) and went after it. I was talking to one such friend the night before last who is married with three children, and she said I shouldn't envy her, because while she's happy, she has a lot of responsibility, and sometimes she envies me too. I think she was only trying to make me feel better, but I appreciate the gesture.

The other dark cloud is the possibility that, according to my doctor, I might have endometriosis. It's not that serious, but my grandmother had to have a hysterectomy because of it. In all likelihood, it wouldn't come to that in my case, but I have this nagging, paranoid scenario going through my mind: What if my doctor told me I'd have to have a hysterectomy sometime in the next, say, two years, and if I wanted to have a child, I'd better hurry up and do it? I don't have Lil's certainty that I want a child, but given a deadline, would I? If so, whom would I hit up for, uh, donation?

I have to dismiss this nonsense. :(

Finally Moved

Aaah. I'm finally in the new place now...not finished unpacking, but everything is there. My muscles are ripped--especially my biceps and quads, but the arms don't look like Linda Hamilton's just yet. Good thing this new apartment complex has an exercise room. 8)

Must get to work on blog collection stuff now, but first I want to thank all the people who helped: Amy, Brooke, Chris, Ryan, Brent, and Jessica. What did I ever do to deserve such great friends? Not too long ago I traded a pint of my blood for help moving. You think I'm kidding? When I was living in Knoxville, I was going to a UU church for a while, and one Sunday they were having a blood drive. At the little coffee-and-cookies fellowship afterward, one of the members of the congregation came up to me and tried to get me to give blood. Okay, it's not that I'm not altruistic, but I'm a bit needle-squeamish, especially when the needle is in my arm for more than two seconds and I have to make a fist over and over again, so I needed some motivation. I told her I'd give blood if she'd help me move later that month. We signed a little cocktail-napkin contract, I delivered the blood, and later that month, she came to help me move and even brought a friend.

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