Oh, the irony…

January 2, 2015

I have, for more than 25 years, donated blood. My own blood, by the way, if that wasn’t clear. I’ve filled the plastic bag at Puget Sound Blood Centers, in school auditoriums and in my current favorite: The Bloodmobile that shows up at the Newcastle Y every eight weeks or so.

Yes, it can sometimes be a bit time-consuming, which is why I was elated when I opened the PSBC website and saw a large button that said, “Donate online!” For a nanosecond I pondered how it might be accomplished — Via USB port? Would one need broadband? — and then I realized that they had yet to find a way to siphon my blood over the ethernet, but instead were seeking monetary donations.

Detmer-Cartoon

The Sainted One gives plasma, and his blood type is such that it mixes with all other types, which means that his plasma is as coveted as Seahawks season tickets at the 50-yard line. When he’s due for a session we get a persistent but pleasant phone call a day from a volunteer until he books it. He gets his own TV and blanket while he donates.

Admittedly, I do get cookies and a choice of drinks when I’m done, so it’s not as if my needs are ignored. I always choose V8 because it makes me feel like I’m replenishing what I’ve lost. They have yet, however, to stock the little bottles of vodka that I keep requesting.

But something has begun to mess with my desire to donate. My iron levels are sometimes not high enough for giving. For a quarter of a century I’ve had the right stuff, and even though I’m not eating differently, and even though I love kale, spinach, seafood, a good steak and Almond Roca, my numbers have gone down. According to the folks at the PSBC, that’s not unusual, especially for women. And according to my doctor, my levels are not “low” by medical standards, so there’s nothing to treat.

So here’s where I take a moment to apologize to the white-coated PSBC technicians who prick my finger to get the blood drop for the iron test. I sit in the tiny room that feels eerily like a Catholic church confessional, and because I believe in mind over matter, I will chant in my head: “Be the iron. Be filled with lots of iron,” and then I’ll wait breathlessly for the result. And here’s why I apologize: Because when I don’t pass, I swear like an inebriated longshoreman in spite of all attempts to amicably shrug and say, “OK. Maybe next time.”

The Bloodmobile will probably be rolling around again in January. I am now taking a 65mg iron tablet a day. I’ll show them, those #!!?#?##!!!

 

You can reach Pat Detmer — who will give her signed book to anyone who donates at the Newcastle Y Bloodmobile for the first time in his or her life — at www.patdetmer.com.

Hazen High School wrestlers to tackle pancreatic cancer Jan. 16

January 2, 2015

For the fifth straight year, the Hazen High School wrestlers will tackle more than their opponents.

They’ll do all that they can to tackle pancreatic cancer at a Jan. 16 meet and fundraiser.

Hazen’s event annually raises about $2,000 for pancreatic cancer research through bake sales, T-shirt sales and admission costs.

The fundraiser is inspired by Hazen coach Rory Magana’s father, Rodney, who died just eight months after he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in 2011. Read more

Hazen grad helps keep the ‘Zappers’ in the air

December 4, 2014

Courtesy of Navy Public Affairs Petty Officer 3rd Class Natasha Thilmony is an aviation electronics technician with VAQ-130.

Courtesy of Navy Public Affairs
Petty Officer 3rd Class Natasha Thilmony is an aviation electronics technician with VAQ-130.

A 2011 Hazen High School graduate and Renton native is serving with Electronic Attack Squadron 130, also known as the “Zappers.” Read more

VFW, Liberty NJROTC get Gordon Shumacher his flag

December 4, 2014

By Kathleen R. Merrill World War II veteran Gordon Schumacher, 91, is helped by his sons Dale (left) and Dean as Liberty NJROTC members Emily Magley (with her back to the camera) and Tina Kaiser fold his flag while the VFW’s Dave Waggoner (in hat) looks on.

By Kathleen R. Merrill
World War II veteran Gordon Schumacher, 91, is helped by his sons Dale (left) and Dean as Liberty NJROTC members Emily Magley (with her back to the camera) and Tina Kaiser fold his flag while the VFW’s Dave Waggoner (in hat) looks on.

It was a sunny Saturday that a group of Liberty High School students gave up to honor a 91-year-old World War II veteran on his birthday. Read more

In the spotlight — Cornerstone presents ‘The Nutcracker’

December 4, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Cornerstone Studio students use the mirror to watch their movements as they rehearse the dance school's production of 'The Nutcracker' in 2013.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Cornerstone Studio students use the mirror to watch their movements as they rehearse the dance school’s production of ‘The Nutcracker’ in 2013.

Cornerstone Studio presents its annual production of “The Nutcracker” Dec. 20-21 at the Bellevue High School Performing Arts Center. Read more

An open apology to what’s your name

November 7, 2014

DetmerColumn-20141000

I know that you told me your name. I probably repeated it as we shook hands, and I likely nodded as if I was embedding it into my gray matter. But my gray matter is slippery. I forgot. It’s what I do. Read more

Newcastle teen shares first in international competition

October 3, 2014

PianoProdigyMaxMa 20140700Newcastle’s own Max Ma shared first prize in The Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz One-Piano, Four Hands Ensemble in the seventh annual New York International Piano Competition. Read more

Son of Cargo Pants

October 3, 2014

DetmerColumn 20141000This is a sad time of year for The Sainted One, and it’s not because he’s turning 75. He’s melancholy because he will no longer be wearing his beloved cargo shorts. Read more

Dazzlin’ Newcastle Days

October 3, 2014

NDays

Local students make dean’s lists

October 3, 2014

Washington State University

Chelsea Aleesha Moorhead and Alexandra Stuj, of Newcastle, made the president’s honor roll for the 2014 summer semester at Washington State University in Pullman.

Azusa Pacific University

Nathan Gibson, of Newcastle, made the academic dean’s list at Azusa Pacific University, in Azusa, Calif. for the 2014 spring term. Read more

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