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Be GoodOctober 26, 2006

I like making people do things that are good for them. I like prodding Lala to go to the gym, my mother to go to the doctor, my sisters to take this vitamin or read that book. It must make me very annoying.

That said, I have a list of things You Should Do.

You should save a life, save your country, and save your knitting.

Ready?

    * Go give blood and join Martha's blood drive. Martha's mom has lymphoma and almost couldn't get the blood she needed. Go save a life -- that's really what you're doing. Isn't that cool? I know it's been too long since I did. I'm going on Monday.

    * VOTE. For the love of pete, vote. Don't let this year go by without voting. I know you're too smart to wake up that day and not be able to find time, or your voter packet, or your car keys. Pretty much, I feel this way: If you are a citizen of this country and don't vote, you're a bad citizen. Sometimes when I find out that friends haven't voted, I actually feel let down, disappointed in them, and I'm not used to ever feeling that, because I have fabulous friends. Like you. You won't let me down, right?

    * When knitting, SSK this way: slip one knitwise, then slip one purlwise, knit 2 tog off right hand needle. I bet everyone knows this, right? Everyone? Really? Why didn't I know this? Knitting through both back loops didn't look right, SSK with both slipped knitwise didn't look right, but you know me, I don't care if it won't be noticed from a trotting horse. But this way is so PURDY. Did you know about this? Knitting for 29 years and I just found this out. Dude.

Now, go be good! Mwah!

Oh WOW. Laura in Alameda just left this comment and I think it's wonderful.

You know, as a nurse, I have hung blood (meaning administered it) many, many times. It is never a mundane moment. On the outside of the bag, along with the id number, the type of blood, ( A, B, O, pos or neg), the familiar Red Cross symbol, there is a phrase that never fails to send a good chill down my spine: volunteer donor, and the region it came from. People who get blood are usually very, very sick. Sometimes, it is the only thing that will save them. I picture answering the personal questions asked of blood donors, standing in line, rolling up their sleeve, wincing for the needle stick- giving the life of their own body to someone who needs it keep going. It's like the image of lighting one candle off another- it doesn't diminish the first flame to have lit the next. So, go forth and get stuck, and if I am the nurse who hangs your blood, I will send a silent prayer/tribute winging up to you.

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Comments

Not only am I registered and rarin' to vote, I have my absentee ballot app in (as I will be out of state on election day). My first election as a Californian, yee!
Although I must cop to being DAMN PROUD of my home state of NJ these days...

I have been seeing this idea about the SSK so now I know it to be true...And I mailed my absentee ballot today - best way I know to be certain to vote. As a substitute teacher I never know when I will be working.

Dude. I so DID NOT know that about the ssk. I can't wait to try that! And I'm gonna vote! I promise!

I can't wait to see you next week! (I know this apropos or nothing, but it's true.)

And they don't want my blood. It's too much trouble to get it. (I faint, and it messes up their schedule and interferes with the people who just fill up their little baggies with no trouble... Whoops, yup, feeling woozy.)

You know, as a nurse, I have hung blood (meaning administered it) many, many times. It is never a mundane moment. On the outside of the bag, along with the id number, the type of blood, ( A, B, O, pos or neg), the familiar Red Cross symbol, there is a phrase that never fails to send a good chill down my spine: volunteer donor, and the region it came from. People who get blood are usually very, very sick. Sometimes, it is the only thing that will save them. I picture answering the personal questions asked of blood donors, standing in line, rolling up their sleeve, wincing for the needle stick- giving the life of their own body to someone who needs it keep going. It's like the image of lighting one candle off another- it doesn't diminish the first flame to have lit the next. So, go forth and get stuck, and if I am the nurse who hangs your blood, I will send a silent prayer/tribute winging up to you.

I've already sent in my overseas ballot thingamabob. So, that's done. I've always had a bit of a problem with anemia, so the first and only time I ever gave blood, I was later told I shouldn't have. I will try to think about forcing my husband (whose blood type is O and very sought after), who is at the doctor's as we speak, because I forced him to go (you're not the only one).

And, I'll have to try to do that knitting thing next time I'm doing an SSK. That should be a little later today, actually.

Unfortunately, I can't give blood. :(

I ALWAYS vote. I completely agree that it is our obligation as a citizen. But, get this, today we got notices that our polling place has been moved to Pleasant Hill! WTF?!? I tried to call but the were done answering the phone for the day. Mapquest says it is 23.3 miles from my house! Sheesh, that must violate election laws. How would I get there if I didn't have a car?

Oops, sorry for the rant. I'll kick some elected ass tomorrow.

Oh, and I have never ssk'd that way in my 30+ years of knitting.

As a nurse who has also hung blood on many patients. Mostly premies. I also think about the people who answer the plea for blood. Three cheers for them.

An SSK rvelation!! Just in the crazy knick of time. I was making Dulaan mittens last night and must have looked at that left-leaning decrease with suspicion a dozen times. I love it when stuff like this happens!

I had no knowledge of that ssk technique. None. I shall have to try it, as ssk is my favorite decrease (no, really - I said this in front of Marietta once and she looked at me cockeyed. "Why?" she asked suspiciously."

"Because it leans left!" I crowed. She groaned. I thought I had reached the height of knit-joke dorkitude at that moment, but a week or so later she gave me one of those oval magnets like people put on their cars with various country designations on them, but this one says "ssk."

Later, we both got a good laugh over the fact that I used all ssk to decrease my very right-wing father-in-law's Christmas present hat. We're hoping that the leftward juju levels him out a bit.

Has anyone ever so thoroughly abused parentheses? Hmmm).

Can't give blood at the moment. Not for another three months. I gave blood at the end of September. I wasn't going to - just started a new job, didn't think I needed the extra tiredness... But they rang me up and asked me. You can't say no, can you?

Thanks for the reminder not to make them ring me next time...

i had never heard of that ssk trick... thanks!
i feel the same way about voting... it's very depressing to hear otherwise lovely people talking about not having time/not caring/ forgetting (??!!??) to vote. everything is so. damn. close. this year...

I give blood when I can, which isn't often as I'm perpetually iron deficient. I take my vitamin with iron and try to eat right (lots of irony foods) just so I'll qualify, but it's still hit or miss.
I give blood in silent thanks for all the blood donors in the past who indirectly saved my husband's life. Without them, he would not have gone on to be a 20yr leukemia survivor.
Also, I do it for the cookies.

I love that you added that SSK advice in there. You're too cute [and I totally will try that next time I SSK].

You just made me feel like a hero. I'm a universal donor and unsqueamish, so I try to give as often as the rules say I can, and I have an appointment next week. I don't have a lot of money or time that I can give right now, but blood's a pretty easy way to help someone in need.

The only thing I don't like is that I can't knit while I donate.

I didn't know that about SSK! Thank you!

I didn't know about the SSK. I also haven't donated blood for a while. Don't know if I can right now due to the surgery in April. Will have to ask. I'm a universal donor so I sorta gotta, si? Thanks for the reminder!

I was a long-time blood donor (gallon club) until the Red Cross re-examined the data and changed their rules regarding living abroad and CJD (aka mad cow). Now they don't want me anymore :(

And I'll definitely be voting.

And I'll chime in as another one who's never heard that SSK techinque, so thanks for that! :)

seriously.
SSK. how did i not know this?
i can't wait to try it.

Well, I can't give blood - I have "bad veins" and am a "slow bleeder" or at least that's what they told me last time I tried, but I will definitely do the other too.

Thanks for the tip on the SSK.

oh, and for any needle phobes or others who can't donate, they are always looking for volunteers - that's what I do know.

Thank you I could not agree more on the Vote or Blood thing! I teach High School in Pittsburg- We have a school blood drive next week- I love watching my kids give of themselves- it is a wonderful thing- one of the best we can teach!
Thank you!

I used to give blood, was a regular donator - took it as a responsibility to donate.
Calls to give blood put a little tear in my heart. The Canadian Blood Service (Canada Red Cross), through their irresposibility and lack of timely testing, contaminated both me and my partner with a blood-borne virus. So, I'd love to give blood - but I can't.

Voting? Check. Blood Donor? Check. 2 things that always bear repeating.

I knew about the ssk (usually called "improved ssk")...and I have a tip to make it even better: When you come to the ssk'ed stitch in the next round/row knit or purl that stitch through the back loop. It is nearly a mirror image of k2tog.

Sadly, my husband and I are both unable to give blood. He lived in the UK for a year (oh noes! he might have mad cow!) and I couldn't even manage the tiny amount that had to be drawn for a mono test a few years back without feeling woozy and a little sick to my stomach--I could never actually donate. My brother's the same way, and Mom says she used to be, before she had us. So maybe after I've had a kid or two :)

I, too, can't give blood. I have already voted. And, lordy, I just learned how to purl 2 together, through the back loop. And, whoever though that up really is a nutjob. Does your ssk trick apply to the purl thing?

Thanks for the TO DO list! I early voted on Tuesday and I'm so relieved. We (Colorado) have so many big issues on our ballot, not to mention the congressional races, I just wanted to hurry up and vote. Regarding the SSK, do you still k the 2 sts tog through the back loop?

I didn't know about this fancy SSK of which you speak. Do you think I would have kept that all to myself?

I haven't been doing my SSKs that way either, I do them the way the pattern key defines them. I'll definitely try it.


Can I just say though, for the love of all that is beautiful and right with this world, please only vote on the proposition or issues you have taken the time to educate yourself about. It doesn't invalidate your ballot to leave a blank spot. Voting is important and shouldn't be whimsical or soley based on campaign ads from television. While low voter turnout can be depressing because it indicates apathy, I'd rather people not vote if they don't care enough to read up and know what they're actually voting on beyond the titles and brief abstracts. That sounds preachier than I meant it to, and I'm about to lead into my rant about people voting against their best interests because they've been blinded by an emotional (e.g. our last presidential election and the gay marriage debate) issue...but I'll stop.

I've tried to give blood before and been turned away, I'll try again.

I was turned away from donating for low iron three times in a row, even after having taken iron supplements, so I gave it up. But maybe it's time to try again.

And voting? I am so there. Me, I aways vote "yes" for all of the judges because I don't think they should have to stand for election, and I do skip a few that I am not sufficiently educated about, as Alison suggested also.

Mailed my ballot! :) Yay me. And, here, here to spaazlicious! Don't vote blindly, that's worse than not voting at all!

And NO FREAKIN WAY!!! I did NOT know that about SSK...you are a true font of wisdom.

Can't give blood (not allowed to on account of my size) but I bug my gf to do so. :) Does that count?

Thanks for the giving blood plug. I made that my New Year's resolution a few years ago and have been faithful to the resolution since then. Icrossed the one gallon mark sometime last year. I'm an o+, so I'm almost a universal donor.

The last time I gave blood wasn't so pleasant, as I've lost about 9 lbs. Not a great amount, but when you're only 4'9", it makes a HUGE difference. So, I'll try one more time, but I'm prepared to have to break my resolution. My health comes first, which is why I started losing weight in the first place.

And thanks to the nurses who send up thanks to the donors. It is always a privilege to help my fellow citizens when they need it the most.

I lived in the UK for 9 months in 1989-1990...which means the American Red Cross won't have me. It continues to make me sad. I've got a rare blood type and I used to donate frequently...but everyone who can should.
And voting, for sure.

*sigh*
One of the three I can do. I'm on the US Red Cross "permanent ban" list thanks to Mad Cow disease (do I *LOOK* mad to you?) and I'm not eligible for voting in the US till after 2008 and the great Citizenship application ordeal.

I'm a bit miffed about the blood thing because I have great veins, and a moderately rare blood type, and no-one will take it...

I try to give blood; I'm usually low in iron though, but I keep attempting. As the mother of a preemie who benefited from donated blood twice, I thank each and every blood donor. He wouldn't have survived without the blood transfusions.

I am registered to vote and will.

And I plan on using that new fancy schmancy ssk technique on the pair of socks I'm knitting. Thanks for the info!

I tried the new SSK when I first heard about it (not sure where) but I still like the traditional SSK best (slip both as if to knit).

I used to give blood regularly, but I can't anymore. You cannot give blood if you've travelled to a malaria zone for the past 6 months, and given that I travel every 3-4 months for work, I haven't met that criteria in several years. But I promise when I stop travelling, I'll start giving blood again. I promise!

But I ALWAYS vote! As a Canadian, I won't be voting in the upcoming American elections, but we do have a municipal election coming up, and I will be voting in that :-)

And I usually SSK the way you mentioned. Except sometimes I prefer the look of the traditional way. So sometimes I do that. But I don't know what makes me choose one over the other for a particular pattern.

Great Public Service Announcements!

voter packet?? say wha? this is the first time I'm voting in California instead of Wisconsin... was there some voter packet I was supposed to get in the mail??? CRAAAAAPP! I always vote!
Oh yeah: and I love giving blood but only if one particular nurse at one particular red cross location takes it. What if I move, or she moves? I hate change.

Hi! I'm noting a certain franticness in your last two blog entries and I wonder if you have pre-novel writing jitteriness. I am telling myself that I should do some serious October thinking about what I write but am afraid that the NaNoWrMo police will detect that and disqualify me. What are you and others doing in these last pre-novel days?

Hooray for blood donors - I was in a car accident a while back and required blood in the surgeries afterwards, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you for getting a reminder out.

What bothers me most about people who won't vote is the most common reason I hear them give: they don't want to be called for jury duty. They never think about what if *they* ever need an intelligent, caring jury to decide an issue affecting their life.
Thanks for the SSk tip, sweetie.

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