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March 1st, 2016

A couple of things went right yesterday that I really, really wanted to go right.

Midday, I did my first successful blood platelet donation since October. I'd stopped an attempted donation in November because I wasn't hydrated enough, making it hard to get in the first of two needed needles; I figured we'd have similar trouble with the second needle, and nixed it. I tried again in December, but get this: the machine stopped extracting blood because I'd eaten too much fatty food leading up to the donation. MY BLOOD WAS TOO FAT. Apparently. Also frustratingly.

So until yesterday, I was 2-for-4 at successful blood platelet donations. I could have donated last Friday, but decided to wait until Monday and do my best to be ready. I managed a lower-fat diet Sunday; my only relatively higher-fat indulgences were M&Ms, then later cheese and salad dressing on my salad. No trip to Lard Lad that day for me. Of course, I hydrated well — I'm usually good about that — and got to the Red Cross for a midday appointment. Now I'm 3-for-5.

It takes some getting used to, lying down and staying still for two-plus hours instead of the 10 minutes or less it usually takes to donate whole blood, and you're kept under blankets and heating pads to be warm enough. I passed the time with O Brother Where Art Thou?, for the first time in full since it came out in 2000. You should have seen my grin as I watched it again, though the film was a little hard to watch during the Klan rally. I wasn't grinning then. Because I started the film while technicians set up the machine for me, I finished it and had a tech restart it for me. (You can't move your arms during the donation.) Meant I saw the sirens, excuse me, sy-reens, twice. *grins again*

After the donation, I took my time leaving — it was nice not being in a hurry — then headed to N. Mississippi's Southern restaurant Miss Delta. Had a satisfying meal of chicken, sausage and shrimp gumbo, plus collard greens. (Asked if I wanted the pork or pork-less collards, I replied "I'm probably getting enough meat. No.")

The other thing that went nicely right was a birthday party I attended, also on Mississippi, later. (I killed time at a nearby library, since I finished late lunch around 4:00 and the party was at 6:00.) Local gallery co-runner/ comic book shop manager/ multi-talented badass Merrick Monroe, who I've known for several years, is a Leap Day baby; this Feb. 29th was only the eighth time she's been able to celebrate her birthday on the actual 29th, and she did so with style, the way she does lots of stuff. Her friends and acquaintances met on the top floor of Uchu, a good sushi/ fried chicken (really, and really good) place near Bridge City Comics, which she manages. We had edamame, sushi, cake, and cupcakes, plus whatever food and drink we decided to buy. (I had a Roy Rogers — cola and a cherry. Alcohol and blood donation, as you probably know, don't mix.) Monroe knows a neeeeeeeeeeat mix of people, and we happily visited. Good people to be social with.

Monday was a day of positives, which is good because I'd begun the day feeling sad. I'd realized this more fully when I was bussing to the Red Cross to donate, and teared up while reading a section of Stephen King's Duma Key. Having things go right is a good way to fight sadness. At least it can be.

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