Friday, July 27, 2007

A form of prostitution -just with more paperwork

No matter how you try and categorize it, selling yourself (for any reason) just seems down right unethical. Sure there are blatant violators of ethical code in prostitution, but what about the legal versions of selling yourself? What about selling an egg, sperm, or even plasma? It is amazing how much money the companies can pay... or is it? (Now, if I had done my research, this is where I would've thrown astronomical figures at you about how much profit these body buyers earn each quarter. But, I didn't.)

Regardless, they are paying you way less for your own body than they are making off of you. Yeah, yeah, "it is your choice" and "they have O&M fees they have to pay as well" and "insert your own defense here". My point in all of this little rant is ...? Well, I don't really know. I was bound and determine today to go and "donate" plasma (or so the people at Biolife like to say). But instantly I had second thoughts. Having donated blood before to seemingly noble causes, I know all of the steps. I was even wishing that my Hct level wouldn't be good enough to pass. (The reason why I usually get turned away.) Once I found out I passed (40%, a new record). I told myself to suck it up and I'll be fine, and I would never have to do it again if I didn't want. Just get my sixty bucks and be on my merry way.... HOWEVER... during my "physical" it was disclosed that I would only earn a measly $20 for my pint o' plasma.... TWENTY DOLLARS!!! But on my next visit within the week, I would earn the additional $40. Somewhere in there I mentioned having seen an add for an extra ten dollars, and the lady asked me if I brought the coupon with me, and I hadn't, and she said that their system was going to change over the next week where you would only get $25 and $25. Therefore we worked up this little "plan" where I would just finish out my physical, and I would come back on Monday with my coupon, and "donate" again on Friday before the pay change. So, I got some blood drawn to be tested. And I'm going to "go back" on Monday with my extra ten dollar coupon...

As I'm writing this, it doesn't seem that bad. I could sell my plasma to them twice and I would get paid $75.... next week. But, I really don't like to get poked and giving my blood to vampires. So, I resisted this urge to get paid for my body, and searched out real jobs more aggressively.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"B" is for Bored; "L" is for Lazy

What Ashlee Means

A is for Adventurous

S is for Silky

H is for Hot

L is for Luxurious

E is for Explosive

E is for Enlightened

You Are From Jupiter

You are exuberantly curious - and you love to explore newness.
Enthusiastic and optimistic, you get a kick out of stimulating intellectual discussions.
Foreign cultures and languages fascinate you. You love the outdoors, animals, and freedom.
Chances are you tend to exaggerate, so try to keep a lid on that.
If you do, you'll continue to be known for your confidence, generosity, and sense of justice.

You Are a Cherry Jelly Bean

Sweet yet strong, you have a distinct personality without being a weirdo. You're the most normal of all flavors - but you're never boring.

The Coolest Computer Application since Oregon Trail!!!

Okay, well, Dyno Park Tycoon and Number Munchers were always a blast. Here are some "stitched" photos courtesy of PhotoStitch from Canon. I used to do this with paper originals, but they were always too big to fit in my photo albums. I was very excited when I found out that I could do it with my digitals, too, but without all of the tedious Photoshop maneuvering. You might need to open them up to see what they really look like.

Coming into Estes Park the "back way."

Leaving Telluride as the storm breaks.

Interesting tidbit... yes, that is snow. Yes, we were there in late May. I have another picture of Telluride, but looking the other way. I'll post it with more road trip pictures.

You've seen the Grand Canyon once, you've pretty much seen it all... we did miss one part, though. I can't understand why this one curves. Natural curvature of the Earth?? Probably not.

Minnesota Pictures

Blue Heron Nests

Miss Kashmira

Only in Montana

I've found that there are some things that I'll probably only get to experience in Montana. One day last spring this was proved to me. I was driving down Reserve when charging at me was a giant furry thing in the back of a truck. The fur ball was huge! As it got closer I was able to see that it was not just a giant fur ball, but a gigantic replica of a stuffed grizzly or brown bear. Where esle in the states is it "cool" to have life size replicas of animals adorning your 10,000 square foot "mountain cottage"? On the same note, just the other day I saw another stuffed animal being transported, this one though was either a deer or elk. I couldn't really tell because I didnt' get that close of a look at the antlers. That wouldn't be that big of a deal, but like the bear, it was huge!! I didn't realize they made them that big... ;) Some other things that I've loved experiencing in Montana have the been the beautiful sunsets...even just the sky. I took these pictures from our balcony. I'm so lucky to live somewhere where it is this beautiful.

The pending storm

All bark and no bite... it quickly broke up. The little dot is a life flight heli.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Greener pastures and modified chip boards?

I retired my hit counter and FeedBlitz options. The number was interesting to see, but out of the 835 hits, I'm sure I accounted for at least 400. And, I was the only one to use the FeedBlitz. I found this ClustMap from Mandi's blog and hired it on the spot. After pretending like I know what I'm doing in the "Edit Template" zone, I HTMLed that littled guy right in there and viola!! it worked! It will be reset monthly, and I think you'll be able to click on it for a bigger picture. We girls always like to think of the bigger picture. (Not quite sure if that makes sense, but I thought it could sound good, but maybe for someone else. I'll think about it and hopefully something more snappy comes to my mind.) Over the summer I've been divulging in *Guilty Pleasures.* Reading, silly! I read the book Evening and I'll get around to seeing the movie. I just read a Nicholas Sparks pleasure, and found that everyone else in Missoula must have the same idea because now they are all checked out!!! I grabbed the Fountainhead, but its daunting size discourages me. I guess I just want something where my mind doesn't really have to think or wonder or learn. I'll equate it to playing a video game. Very engaging but not very enlightening.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The case of the magically floating rock

(This is a work of semi-fiction. Names, charaters, places, and incidents are partly the product of the author's imagination or are used semi-fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is partly coincidental.)

I was at Joe's house engaged in light conversation with his sister. (We had always gotten along really well; even better than my own sister at times.) She had answered her cell, so I was noticing how the surroundings had changed since my last visit. New trinkets adorned old shelves. New shelves were constructed to house old trinkets. Pictures I had seen a million times as well as many more I had never seen. People growing older, people becoming a little bit slower, people who still had a brilliant smile because they were so absolved in their surrounding.... wait a second, I do remember that picture, but not with that same content. I stepped in for a closer look. What I saw made me giggle under my breath at first. It was a picture of Joe and me with the rocks we had found. Joe was gleaming with pride over his rocks and my rock was mysteriously floating. It must have been magic or something. I distinctly remember when that picture was taken, and it wasn't magic! I WAS HOLDING THE DANG ROCK!! But, what happened to my body? Carefully and undiscreetly removed from the picture; it was gone. (However, my fingertips were still around the rock.)

Needless to say I left Joe's sister shortly thereafter. A little hurt and perplexed by what I had seen. I guess that's what happens when people step out of other's are literally 'out of the picture.'


I wrote this one night in Minnesota.

I’ve definitely begun to have really low expectations of people. I do this because if they don’t meet the higher ones I’ve set for them, I can’t be as disappointed. For instance if someone says that they would like to spend time with you, but consistently makes up pathetic excuses as to why they can’t, if you expect them to ditch you, you won’t be as upset when they go back on their word. However, maybe this behavior is only worsening the situation because they learn that there will be no “penalties” if they don’t follow through on what they say. On the other hand, punishment shouldn’t be a factor in why they follow through. They should do it because they want to.

I have found myself on the other side of this argument many times (especially while being in Minnesota). Promising to call when I know I won’t get around to it; screening a phone call because I don’t want to talk to the person (honestly doesn’t happen that much); and wishing sometimes I could really get into a conversation with a person but I know that in the two minutes that I have before we run out of small talk I’m still considered an outsider (even if I knew the person since 6th grade or even Kindergarten). Maybe I come off as not being genuinely interested, maybe they feel they don’t have enough time, maybe they are only on their way to getting more drunk and I’m really not worth their time.

Even though, I have learned from being on the other side of the fence that most of the time I have flaked out on people I usually end up wishing I would have spent more time with them than wasting it on trying to think of pathetic excuses. The good thing is people are around. With current technology people can be contacted at any time through any medium. I could send an email to their phone or a text message to their email. I still prefer the old fashioned snail mail, though.

I’m not sure how this has evolved from me being upset with people and their actions to me being upset with myself over the same actions. But maybe since I can see it from both sides, I won’t be such a flake and people won’t set low expectations for me, when in actuality I’m really just setting low expectations of myself.