Archive for the ‘Been There, Done That’ Category

then there was only one set

The first time I saw the ocean I was 28 years old.  Yikes.  That was just over a year and a 1/2 ago.  Nowadays however, I live about 2-3 miles from it.  Go figure (clearly, I did not grow up around here :P).

Surprisingly, while I thought it was very neat to see and I was quite glad to have that monkey off my back finally, I was underwhelmed.  See, where I am in southern California, is a spot where the coast faces south, rather than west like most of the rest of the Pacific-North American coast line.  There are also several large islands off the coast, which take the brunt of any large waves, and also get in the way of the horizon looking like it goes on and on (well, the oil rigs do that too, but ya can’t win them all).  This also means the waves here, by comparison, are quite minuscule.  Surprisingly, people still surf around here, and just a few miles down the coast is one of the most popular surfing beaches in the state.

Still, I think, in my ignorance, I suspected more like this:

But ended up with this:

Yeah. I jump waves.

Hmm…  I mean, the beaches ARE beautiful and it’s really neat to see the ocean, etc etc.  It’s just different (and COLD!).  I do love seeing the dolphins just hanging out though, and the sea lions and other creatures, and collecting shells, or sea glass and so on.  I hope none of that ever becomes old or common-place.  I think everyone should have an opportunity to see the ocean (AND to see snow!) long before they’re in their late-20’s.  🙂

he jumps waves too


Be a Bride

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Been There, Done That

I’m married; happily, stressfully, and wonderfully.  It’s been exactly 6 months + 1 day, in fact!  lol

I didn’t get to have the wedding I wanted.  Period.  I had to make many, many sacrifices due to circumstances beyond my control, and only our parents could attend.  It bothers me that I missed out on so many great things about weddings, and people will be upset with me for saying I missed out, but I did.  A lot of memories were never had.  I DID have blessings of my parents (who trekked 2500+ miles for us!), a wedding dress, wedding cake, lovely homemade bouquet, beautiful setting, amazing photographer, and a fun bachelorette thrown by some great friends back home.  I sadly did not get to have bridesmaids with me, or the dancing, the fun of creating a party and sharing the joy and love of that day with our extended family and friends… I will always be disappointed about missing out on those things.   However in the end I still ended up with the wonderful husband I would have either way, and for that I am ever grateful.  ♥

photo by

Give Blood

Posted: July 7, 2010 in Been There, Done That

In December of 2008, I did something I never really thought I’d actually do.  Inspired by a friend who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, and at the encouragement of another who’d organized a group donation on his behalf, I made an appointment to donate blood.  I even went by myself and did this somewhat ‘alone’, though I did run into a few people I recognized and was able to chat with them before hand.  It was an interesting experience, to say the least.  You DO get as many cookies and orange juice as you want.  I was able to find out, after years of uncertainty, that my blood type was O+.  I was hoping for something a little less common, but apparently it’s quite a useful blood type, so it can’t be all bad.  Allow me to elaborate on my blood giving experience, to the best of my year and a 1/2 old memory.

After a bit of form filling, testing, waiting, and more waiting, I finally progressed to the next step, which was talking with a Dr. or nurse to answer some personal questions to further determine my eligibility to give blood.  This was somewhat nerve-wracking, in that I was afraid of the ‘wrong’ answer, and it delayed the inevitable, which was the  needle and blood giving itself.  Thankfully I was deemed worthy, and approved to continue on to the other side of the half-wall, which was the waiting room that contained the cookies and juice.  From this room I was able to see the reclining chairs that were set up with a 1/2 dozen or so people on them hooked up to their drainers.  They were short staffed this night, so things were taking longer than usual.  It felt like a hospital type setting, so I should not have been surprised.  Finally, they called me up for my turn.

The girl beside me was also giving blood for the first time.  They ask you if you’re a first timer, so they know what to do for you, and what to watch out for, and what to warn you about.  You also get a sticker and a pin.  How quaint.  Anyways, the aforementioned girl beside me was not reacting well to the needle, and nearly fainted.  They propped her feet up, and gave her a cool damp cloth to rest on her forehead and checked on her frequently.  Thankfully, I found this more amusing than frightening.

As for me things were, I thought, going ok.  I’m not terrified of needles (though I wouldn’t say I LOVE them either) and find it interesting to watch them sometimes.  I remember the nurse tricking me and sticking me with it when I wasn’t expecting it.  She was excited about my visible veins and was apparently too eager since she poked right through one, which is apparently bad.  The blood wasn’t flowing properly and they had to keep checking on me often as well.  You’re supposed to fill up the bag full, or 3 bags full? I feel like a sheep… but I don’t recall that detail.  All I know is that mine was starting to heal or clot or something since she had struck me incorrectly, and the blood stopped flowing after about 2/3 of the way.  OH, I remember now… I think one bag was enough to help 3 people?  I don’t know now.  Either way… I was a bit disappointed and frustrated.  I know that could only help 2 people, not 3.  I remember it taking longer for me because of the stoppage of blood flow.  I also had some weird numbness and a dull pain in my arm happening.  At some point in the whole scenario, I asked the nurse if what was happening was ‘normal’.  On one occasion she replied yes, on the other she replied no.  One of the last things you want to hear is a nurse telling you that what is happening to you is not normal.

If you don’t believe me, I was left with this humongous bruise as proof of the fiasco.  The bruise lasted for quite some time.  That is not normal.

check it, before you stab it

I have considered putting ‘give blood’ back on my bucket list, and right now ‘Donate Blood Again’ IS on the list, but not sure if I’ll keep it there.   I now have a fear of it somewhat, since I don’t feel like this is something I am comfortable with, and had such a bad experience my first time.  I mean really, if something gave you THAT bruise and experience, would you want to do it again?  😐  I’m also not sure when I will be eligible to give blood again since I now live in a different country (depending on the country and your length of stay, it’s a factor on the questionnaire).  I do think that it’s something I should attempt again, to prove to myself that it’s not all THAT bad.  Besides, it’s such a useful and dutiful thing to do, is it not?  I feel like it’s something I proudly attempted, but failed at, even though it wasn’t my fault.  I mean, really… I failed at giving blood?  Is that even possible?  At least I can say I was brave, and I didn’t faint.

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Yes, I have done this.  Unfortunately, I have no photographic proof, it did not require any particular skill or talent, and my name is not personally in the book.  However, I still took part in an event that was recorded in ‘THE Book’.  Back in the year 2000 (wow, was it really so long??) I went to “The Big Kiss’, which was an orchestrated arrangement of ‘Most People Kissing Simultaneously’.  No, really.  You can find references to it online by clicking here, here and here.   It was the one in Sarnia, Ontario.  From what I recall, I was there with a now-ex-boyfriend.  lol  Too funny.  I believe I have (or ‘had’ at least) a copy of that particular Guinness book as well.

I am happy that I can cross that off a list of ‘to do’s and don’t have to attempt any ridiculous feat in order to get my name in there.

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Did it.

When I was a kid, maybe 6 or so, I was in the local newspaper for a story featuring a Teddy Bear Picnic at the library.  The original photo has an old friend of mine in it too, but I cropped her out for privacy.  I don’t even remember her name now.  Maybe Jennifer something?   Not sure.  I still have this teddy bear though, and remember it always as ‘hey, isn’t that the bear that was in the newspaper with me?’.  Sure was.  I seem to recall also being in the newspaper as part of the high school volleyball team that won some regional championship, but I could be wrong.

There’s something neat about being in the newspaper.  It’s like you get your 15 minutes of fame, but you really don’t.  No one will remember except you, and your family, who keep the photos around for nearly 25 years to remember it by, or just because your mom thinks you’re cute in the pic.  That’s good enough for front page news for me.

if you go out in the woods today...

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