Flight or Flight

I have never donated blood.

There is nothing wrong with me, I have no congenital or communicable diseases, I have never been to a third-world country. I’m pretty sure I have a rare blood type. But no matter how guilty I’ve felt nor convenient the drives have been I can’t bring myself within ten feet of the temporary tents full of do-gooders and volunteer nurses.
Please somebody tell me this doesn’t make me a bad person.
The truth is that medical things frighten me in a way that negates “fight” from my consideration set. I have a visceral response to surgery shows, veterinary clinics, and overly cold small fluorescent rooms. 
Last week was the SECOND time in my nearly 24 years of existing that I’ve ever had blood drawn and I almost blacked out. I told the nurse it was because I hadn’t had lunch yet as she rushed to get me a juice box, but that was only partially true. The real issue was that I took a glimpse of the vile- and the blood spurting into it with each increasingly rapid heartbeat and the room began to spin.
Beyond this, the terror of sitting for a considerably longer time while I have nothing to do but watch an entire body bag fill up with my blood is unimaginable to me. I often wonder if I were to donate blood and inevitably pass out, would they just keep pumping or consider me done?
Maybe if you pass out they just take you straight into the back room and prep you for organ donation.
Yeah, definitely a bad person.

Things I Want But Can’t Have So Let’s Drool Over Them Together

1. These suede wedge boots from Banana Republic that cost $170.

2.  This oh-so cute doggie bowl by These Creatures for Ruby (and the oh-so cute doxie modeling it). Doggie bowl costs $175 for reasons I still can’t understand. 

3. Milo Ventimiglia. Because I’ve watched a lot of Heroes lately- preceded by many, many years of watching Gilmore Girls and I can’t help it if I still think he’s dreamy. Probably doesn’t cost $170.

Elephunk.

A long, long time ago when I was a freshman at the University of Texas in Austin, I was skinny.

WAY skinny. 110 pounds skinny. I was depressed, I hated the dorm food and I walked everywhere because I had no car. It was a dark time, but I lived off granola bars and I wore a size 2 and looking back I often wonder what exactly from that recipe for disaster could I extract so that I could be that skinny again without being that miserable again.
Today I rediscovered the missing ingredient- Elephunk.
For the first time in Aaron and I’s Couch-to-5k program I brought my iPod and listened to music, dusting off an long and forgotten playlist titled “workout.”
Black Eyed Peas “Fly Away” came up third in the shuffle.
You know how some songs have the ability to knock you over and whip you straight back to the time in your life when you heard it the most? 
I was instantly back on the 40 acres fighting demons and freaked out by the world. That year I went everywhere with a cheap MP3 player from prograd. It held 14 songs, and every one of them was Black Eyed Peas. I was Linus and it was my comfort blanket, walking from class to class listening to Hey Mama made me feel braver. For an entire semester I listened to the album over and over obsessively, everywhere I went knowing that no matter how stereotypically awkward and unforgivably green I appeared, inside I was Fergilicious. Yes, I can’t believe I just said that either.
Inevitably I let my roommate borrow the thing and she broke it, vowed to replace it but it wasn’t the same. My secret source of power was gone and it was time to move on anyway. But now I’m thinking it might be time for a reunion- tonight running I felt the way I did trekking up Dean Keeton blasting Labor Day- my legs were going limp but my heart felt phunky.

Save the Rainforest, Office Depot

Just returned from a sound kick in the pants and wake-up call from the not-so friendly folks at Office Depot.

Aaron and I went last night to print out a 447 page PDF of law case studies he needed for the semester. It cost us $87, which I thought was a little high but went along with it until we got back in the car, looked at the receipt and realized they had charged us 10 cents a page for 897 pages. I ranted, I raved, I wanted my $40 back.
So this afternoon I marched right in, convinced I had been wronged only to find out that the bill was correct, that this is how the system worked. Double-sided pages count twice. So although I only used 224 sheets of paper, I was being charged for 897. I also discovered that if I were to have printed 447 single-sided sheets of paper I would have paid for 447 prints, or half the price for twice the paper.
Good to know. They claimed the reasoning for this was that I was paying for ink. Since double-sided and single-sided sheets require the exact same amount of ink, I can only infer that the ink used on the double-sided printing machine costs twice as much. Or at least twice as much as the cost of paper.
Either way, it’s the principal of the matter- using half the amount of paper should count for something. As popular as it is to be green these days, this practice seems a bit antiquated, and I wanted them to know.
So in a move that might almost merit a post in The Customer Is Not Always Right I continued to argue at the price a bit longer, then finally muttered to the lady “thanks for your help, I guess next time I’ll kill more trees” in the passive-aggressive way most people do when they want to take a stand against a corporation via the poor undeserving feebly paid customer service reps, and I stormed home.

Today is Not September 12.

But it is my birthday anyways because Aaron is bad at keeping secrets and now I have a NEW CAMERA (I hope you all said that in your head like I did- the way they say “NEW CAR” on the Price is Right)

It’s a Nikon D40. Everyone in the family went in on it and I love you all oh-so much.
Baby’s First Photos:

A Potato’s Tale: Couch to 5K and Back Again

So.

Last week Aaron found a program that I am dead serious is called “Couch to 5k” in which we jog three times a week. Talk about some directed marketing. So We, The People of the Target Audience took the bait and started the program. All was going well.
Monday- we ran.
Wednesday- we ran.
Friday- doesn’t count and was followed by a Saturday that involved a Sourdough Jack and a chocolate milkshake made with chocolate fudge and I don’t wanna talk about it but hey we’re learning here.
Monday- we ran.
But then LATER that night, while I was watching Season 1, Episode 4 of Heroes and lamenting that we only had four days until my mother-in-law’s summer Netflix subscription ran out and I wouldn’t be able to find out what happened to Cybil/Ali Larter Aaron leans over and says “check your email” and THERE it was. My very own Netflix until December.
LOVE it. Have been blissfully browsing and filling up my queue and watching Heroes and basically will never leave this couch again. I’ve been trying to gear into self-improvement mode for months but now I’m right back to indulging in my pathetic hermit techie tendencies. Blogging and watching Designing Women (a suggestion that popped up after I set my preferences and proved to me that Netflix KNOWS their shows and that I am indeed very uncool) until 3 am is who I am.
Couch potato.

DOA: The Nerdy Weekend That Wasn’t

As of sometime around 3 am last Wednesday I became the yet-to-be-proud owner of LaurenMcKechnie.com. Only I was asleep when it happened.

Aaron bought it for me in much the same way Smith bought Samantha that fancy diamond flower ring in the SATC movie. I love it and I’ve wanted it for a while, but with the realization of that dream comes much ambivalence towards how it was attained.

It’s often a humbling part of love to realize that there are so many things you can accomplish faster and better when you stop flying solo. And because I am the worst possible combination of contradictory things- I am procrastinating, type-B perfectionist dreamer who wants to do it all by myself- Aaron’s go-getter attitude gives me something I have always lacked- the benefits of doing something NOW.

It’s like I am a constantly dying race car- of aspiration and overwhelm- and Aaron is following me around with jumper cables. I feel it begs the question- can we be pushed to greatness? Does it feel and look and taste the same once we get there if it wasn’t all “my idea”?

Months after my MobileMe account lapsed, in the midst of my blogger’s block I have been forced to start again. I planned to spend the entire weekend buried in computer geekery like I have been known to do, but already I can feel my enthusiasm wane as the enormity of the task hovers. My online namesake for now lies dormant. Maybe the fire inside- that resistant, independent, internal drive to do everything on my own terms still counts for something.