My Life

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Do you want to earn some extra money? Do you want to help people? Well… I'm not here to sell you anything. I just wanted to let you in on one of my habitual activities. I go and give plasma twice a week, every single week. I've been doing this for the last three or four months. I go to BioMat, the plasma collection agency in Kennewick WA. If you’re looking for them there located 101 N. Union St. I really enjoy donating there. I know all the employees, and have a lot of fun with them. Its fun, one of them, Rachael always "sticks" me. Rachael will race and even fight to be able to stick me.

I'll tell you the process, so that you know what donating plasma is all about. First of all, plasma is used to help people such as burn victims. Plasma is a part of your blood, and made mostly of water. Donating plasma is also not “type specific.” Meaning it is universal, and can be used for anyone. So you are doing a good deed by donating.

I show up every Wednesday and Friday. The first stop is the front desk to sign in and pick up an “Aids Bulletin.” The sign says to read every time you donate, and keep it in your hand until you’re screened. I don’t read it every time (out of boredom I’ve read it several times and can tell you what’s all on it though). I go and sit down, hopefully there is a chair, but sometimes they’re really busy and there are no open seats. There’s always a movie playing, but this is hit or miss. They have limited movies and some are played constantly. Also sometimes they play movies that are just… not so good. For example, “Young Frankenstein” a Mel Brooks movie from 1974 is one that I would not care to ever see again. I usually wait about 45 minutes to an hour to be screened.

My name gets called, and I go through a quick interview process. They ask me if I’ve participated in any of the activities talked about in the Aids Bullitin, and ask me a bunch of other questions. They poked with something that’s related to a push pin to get a small amount of blood to test. I get weigh me and told to sit back down. I wait, for only a short time, and get called to the back room. It’s here that Rachael comes with my folder and asks me what arm I want to be stuck in. I alternate arms, so hopefully the scaring won’t be bad. When I first started donating I would put Neosporin stuff on my wounds every day to help the tiny holes heal better, but I’ve grown out of that.

Rachael sits me down, and rubs Iodine over the intended puncture spot. There are previous posts, pictures I found on Google, of people being stuck with a needle. I tried to add pictures inside this post, but I couldn’t figure it out. Rachael then sticks the needle into my arm, almost at the elbow joint. This is not as bad as could be thought. I’ve had times when it’s hurt, but not usually, and not really painful. What’s really freaky is to specifically watch and anticipate the puncture. It’s weird… but not bad. This needle is then connected to tubes which connect it to the Plasma Machine. This machine sucks the blood out of my body, takes it to an internal compartment which spins at 7,000 (?) rpms extracting the plasma. The plasma is dripped into a bottle that is being weighed, waiting for it to be filled according to my donation amount. When a certain amount of blood has been taken into this machine, it then cycles the blood back into my body. This cycle of drawing and returning blood is just repeated, about 5-7 times.

One time Jody, a worker there, “Hemoed” me. She was fixing my line, and moved the needle, obstructing its flow back into my vein. The machine later started trying to return the blood, and a large bulge started forming. I cried out “JODY!!” It hurt, and didn’t look right. She came and turned off my machine. I had to be re-stuck in the other arm, and I got a bruise where the blood had tried to blow up my skin like a miniature balloon. I guess that Rachael, who wasn’t there at the time, had talked about fighting Jody for Hemoing me.

It takes me an hour to give all of my required plasma, but some people do it in less than half that time. That means the whole process is about two hours for me. I get compensated for my time, not the plasma. I was told once that they can’t pay me for my plasma, because in essence it would be considered prostitution. It’s illegal to sell any part of your body for money. The amount that I get paid goes back and forth between $15 and $20 plus there are bonuses for different things and special promotions always going on.

Giving plasma is really an enjoyable process, this is counterintuitive because the culmination of it is having a needle break through your skin and it stealing your blood only to return it without the important plasma. I think the reason I like it so much is because of the staff who works there, and the relationships I’ve built. It’s like a little community. The extra money also helps, although it’s not much. That extra money becomes my weekly “blow fund.” Maybe someday I’ll see you at the Plasma Center, but until then I’ll still be going.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or back away.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotion, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, live by prayers, and labor with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, spoken up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go ‘till He comes, give ‘till I drop, preach ‘till all know, and work ‘till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me my banner is clear: I am part of the fellowship of the Unashamed

~Dr. Bob Moorehead

Friday, November 05, 2004

Research Paper

I had to write an essay for my English 101 Class. This is one of the drafts. I wanted to publish it on the web because my teacher figured I should change some parts of it. It is supposed to be more of a research paper, and I put to many non scholarly parts to it (i.e. the Quote from Lauryn Hill, and the paragraph about The Matrix). I really liked the way it was, and I wanted to also have it out on the web so others could read it.

To keep me in this box, Psychological locks
Repressin' true expression, Cementin' this repression,
Promotin' mass deception So that no one can be healed
I don't respect your system, I won't protect your system,
When you talk I don't listen
Oh, let my Father's will be done

~ Lauryn Hill

"You've been living in a dream world, Neo." This is a famous line off of the Movie, The Matrix. The scene is Morpheus, the captain of the spaceship Nebuchadnezzar and a type of prophet whose job was to find the Chosen One, was showing the matrix to Neo, a man who had recently been unplugged from the Matrix. The Matrix is the vehicle used to enslave the human race, to basically be batteries for artificially intelligent computers. Morpheus is aptly describing how Neo had been living a lie, unable to see the world as it really was. There is a similar matrix that people have been living in, even here in America. The rise in this countries divorce rates, bringing about broken homes, is a destructive force that if left unresolved, will bring about destruction. The average Joe does not really have an understanding of what is going on in our society; they are living in this false world with the matrix pulled over their eyes.

Marriage is not a license or official document issued by a church or government. Marriage is the union of two people; sexually, emotionally, and spiritually. The marriage license is only an outward and public declaration of what is going on in the lives of the couple. This means that to have intercourse with someone, is to become married to them with or without the formal declaration. Too many of this nations formal declarations are being torn apart because this understanding of marriage is not even on the radar screen. The youth of America, for the most part, do not enter into relationships with eyes for the long term. The single youth of this day need to approach sexual relationships with care, and have a view of marriage that is conducive to a long term relationship. This means that the criteria for relationships must be more then physical attraction and hormones; it must consist of the couple having similar characteristics, goals, values, dreams, and directions they see their lives heading, attached to an absolute resolve to work the issues that are going to come up, out. When this is done the divorce rates in America will decrease dramatically.

Divorce Statistics is the first issue in the problem of broken homes that we must discuss. Divorce rates are on the decline from 1990 to 2001 (Americans for Divorce Reform), but they are still at startlingly high numbers. The United States Censuses bureau is a highly accepted statistic gatherer, who looks at a broad selection of issues. One of the issues that they report on is marriage and its counterpart divorce. This is what was said in the 1992 Current Population Report, "...if one assumes a continuation of recent divorce trends, about 4 out of 10 first marriages to the youngest cohort may eventually end in divorce. Alternatively, if one assumes a return to the pattern of divorce during the 1975 to 1980 period, 5 out of 10 first marriages may eventually end in divorce." (Census Bureau) To put this in more understandable terms, this means that forty to fifty percent of first time young married couples will end in divorce. I would call odds like that flip of a coin statistics. To bring these impersonal statistics into the light of a subject we can all understand, I will equate it to Abbots 12:40 English 101 class. If all of the 23 students in Abbots class were to get married, about 10 - 12 of those marriages will statistically end in divorce.

Divorce is a prevalent issue, but there is a secondary issue related to it that must be addressed. Broken homes lead to a greater likely hood of children being involved in delinquent behaviors. I will describe families that are made up of both biological parents as a nuclear-family. Those families that are non-nuclear will use the terminology broken home. One of the prevailing reasons that the break up of the nuclear family is so detrimental to our society is because of its effect on the children involved. In the Feb 2002 issue of Criminology, Cesar J. Rebellon submitted a very in-depth study relating to broken homes and delinquency. Within this study he cites some 60 previous studies and sources. He brings a well rounded view of this relationship. He sites a 1991 publication of Wells and Rankin with some very interesting figures. They state that about 10 - 15% of individuals from these broken homes are more likely to be involved in delinquent behaviors, then those who come from homes that I have described as nuclear (par. 23). This statistical evidence takes another blow at divorce and society as we know it. To again put this in perspective, using Abbott's Class, two of the twelve broken homes, would have kids that are involved in delinquent behaviors merely because of broken homes. It must also be noted that there would statistically be other children involved in delinquent behavior for various other issues.

We are starting to see that broken homes are a common issue in our society, but there is a third issue that we can look at the same issue for a slightly different light. Involvement in delinquent behavior is not the only avenue that socially unacceptable behaviors come out due to broken homes. I recently attended a talk given by Vincent J. Felitti, MD. Vincent is a Medical Doctor at Kaiser Medical Center, and a part of a group involved in their ACE study. The purpose of this study was to look at the links between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) to different medical conditions. They looked at multiple different categories like having a family member in prison, domestic violence, drug users, non-nuclear families, and others. For each of the categories that were involved in the individual’s upbringing, gave another point on the ACE score (Pg 3). They then took that data and related those ACE scores to percentages of those people that had different medical conditions. The findings of this study produced charts that by a consistent measure went up the higher the ACE score. Some of the topics that they looked at were: Ace Score vs. Intravenous Drug use (pg 5), ACE Score vs. Attempted Suicide (pg. 6), ACE Score vs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (pg 4), and many other topics. Each of these graphs and figures show that the higher the ACE score, consistently the percentage is extremely higher sometimes several hundred percent higher then those with an ACE score of 0. Broken homes along with other Adverse Childhood Experiences are bringing about detrimental results in our society.

The tendency towards divorce must be broken, if we hope to keep our society from falling apart. Single young people, before they enter into a relationship, need to count the cost. If these singles were to enter their sexual relationships with an understanding that sex is marriage, and a paradigm that looks to the future with that individual not only the hormones involved, then there would be fewer divorces. When the youth of America can come back and have an understanding of marriage by covenant, and not by paper they will also bring back with the old norm of marital longevity.

Word count - 1,247
Last Revision - 11-04-04

Works Sited

Americans for Divorce Reform, Divorce Rates. 2 Nov. 2004

Census Bureau. “Current Population Reports, P23-180, 1992.” pg. 5, 2 Nov. 2004.

Felitti, Vincent J. "Belastungen in der Kindheit und Gesundheit im Erwachsenenalter: Die Verwandlung Von Gold in Blei." Trans. "The Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Health: Turning gold into Lead." Z psychsom Med Psychother 2002; 48 (4):359-369.

Hill, Lauryn. "I Get Out." MTV Unplugged 2.0. Sony, 2002.

Matrix, The. Directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. Warner Studies, 1999.

Rebellon, Cesar J. "Reconsidering The Broken Homes/Delinquency Relationship and Exploring Its Mechanism(s)." Article. Criminology Vol. 40 Issue 1, Feb 2002. 103 pages. 25 Oct. 2004

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Beginning

Today is a Beginning point. This is the first time I have taken any of my writing and published it. I'll be it is only on a blog, and not taken through any sort of process or examination, but the fact that it is out there spoken for an indefinite amount of time to an unnumbered amount of people. There is a Freedom in this, but yet there is something held back. I write, but I find that this new found freedom is so very limited.

It is limited to my imagination!

This limitation can really be almost unlimited, as free or confined as I make it. The possibilities are endless, and yet I strike out with untested wings. Is it true? If I write it, will they read it, or is it to be forever locked away in some cold room, maintained by some IT guy. This Freedom must be somewhat like a young birds. Before this bird ever feels a warm air draft draw them up to the heights, or the exhilaration of letting go of everything and plummeting to the earth, they are born to a very limited world. They are born to the world of their nest. Within their nest they are mouth fed the truths of their existence. They know only their nest, only those few things within their small world. They have no idea what it is to glide through a cloud, or to see countless sunsets from untold heights. Each of these young birds has their day though. They have a time in their life, where they must let go of everything that they know and trust in the wind. They must fling themselves over the walls of the nest and spread out their wings and trust that in what they can't see will hold them up. They have countless time tried to stretch their wings out in the nest, but there was never enough room. They had been confined and smothered by the inability to spread their wings, and operate as they were created to. That day must have been a culmination of both great fear, and of the thrill of anticipation. Ohh, to through every thing aside and trust. What a thrill. There is a kind of freedom that is to be had.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. 2004-2005