Thursday, June 5, 2008

Etc, Etc & A Blog Give Away

Changing Focus: Part Three will be coming next week. Probably Monday. I know, I promised it to you today, but I'm pretty tired, and I'd rather finish it up next week when my head doesn't feel all full of cotton.

The Giving Challenge is ... harder than I thought, mostly because it's not always easy for me to come up with some simple way to squeeze giving into the average work day. Any suggestions? I have been making it a point to act more polite and positive in general. Even when I'm getting put on hold by my cable company's customer service. Especially then. And it turns out staying positive actually is better for my psyche too. 

On an unrelated subject, I somewhat arbitrarily made the choice to not put my picture or my name up on this blog. (Mostly for Google search reasons.) However, if you are interested to see what I look like, there is a picture of me up on the Breakthrough blog. You'll have to scroll down to the post about Gandhi to see it.

Finally, for today's giving, I'm giving away a book on my blog. It has nothing to do with the environment, but it's an enormously fun novel and a quick read. It's called The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield, and if you like literature, mysteries, ghost stories, and are looking for an easy summer read, this is your book. If you're interested, please leave a comment specifying that you would like to be included in my little book raffle. 

ETA: Oh I can't believe I forgot to mention this, but someone STOLE my bath mat the other day from the laundry room!! Can you believe that? Why would you STEAL a two year old bath mat? I am trying to be zen about the whole thing in the spirit of JuGiveMo, but it is a little annoying especially because I can't just go out and BUY another bath mat. Sigh. Stupid stealer of my bath mat. It was so cute and yellow and matched the devil duckies in my bathroom. I miss it. Sniff.

32 comments:

Chile said...

Wow, Arduous, I'm glad you specified to scroll down through the post. That first picture had me thinking you were pulling our legs!

And re the bathmat - ewwww. Stealing someone's used bathmat's just creepy.

arduous said...

Oh, I never mentioned that I look just like Gandhi? And that I don't wear much in the way of clothes?

CindyW said...

About 10 years ago, I flew home from another country and dozed off on the plane. In my backpack, I had presents I bought for family and friends, not expensive, but unique and thoughtful, a couple of books, my wallet and a half eaten sandwich.

A teenage boy sat next to me.

When the plane landed and people started shuffling out, I went under my seat to grab my backpack. It was open.

My presents were gone, my wallet was gone, and my half-eaten sandwich was gone!

Unfortunately by the time I figured it all out, the boy disappeared into the crowd. I was angry and tremendously sad.

A kid! A half-eaten sandwich?!

I can't help remembering this when you mentioned your stolen bathmat. I don't think I can ever develop a Zen attitude about that kind of stupidity.

Melissa said...

yeah it's amazing how irritating people can be sometimes. who steals a bathmat? That's why I have to believe in karma - so I can know that even though I won't be there to see it, people will get what's coming to them. That's how karma works, right? Please don't disabuse me of this notion if it's not...some days it's all that keeps me going :)

Joyce said...

I'm not sure you have to give some material object everyday (although, maybe you should count the bathmat!). Any time you step back and let someone on the bus first or something like that you're giving up something-time, the right to be angry, the better seat, whatever. I think you're on to something with just treating people better as part of the challenge. It's probably the harder thing to do anyway.

Joyce said...

Wow, the article on Breakthrough was very exciting! Congratulations!

Heather @ SGF said...

I try to stop at the front desk when I get to work and talk to the receptionist for a few minutes. Everyone just breezes by her with a quick hello and she is always excited to talk to someone. That can be a gift (of time/compassion/friendship).

Or offer to get someone coffee, or stop to talk in the hall, or email someone you haven't talked to in a long time, give a friend a hug.....

JAM said...

Arduous, it was great to put a face with the name! I am feeling like this challenge is tricky too - other than finding somewhere to write a check to every day. And if I'm doing something like volunteering at my child's school (which I would have done anyway) then it feels like it shouldn't count somehow. Mostly I think I'm just trying to be aware of it.

Katy said...

If you are looking for ways to "give" everyday I would do as others have suggested. Offer to get a co-worker a refill on their coffee, maybe pay the bus fair for the person getting on behind you or next time you are doing something in the office (like getting supplies or empting your recycling can), offer to do the same for a person you work by. Little "gifts" can really brighten up a person's day.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Here's a thought, do you have winos anywhere near where you walk or work? I grew up in a neighborhood that had winos living in abandoned semi-trailers by the railroad tracks and I always felt sorry for them. When I started working and had some pocket money, I had a personal policy of giving money to the first lost soul who hit me up. I never did the'I'll buy you a sandwich' bullshit because these folks NEED the hooch to survive and I am not that moralistic as to judge an addict. Anyway, it became a daily giving sort of thing. Being a woman, you may be leery about allowing/encouraging street alcoholics to approach you, but it is a thought.
I would love to win your book. Thanks.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Oh, pobrecita! Sorry about your bathmat-it REALLY sucks when someone stals from you, and it hardly matters if it has little real value.
And you are waaay cute!

arduous said...

Cindy, that's AWFUL. I don't think I could be zen about someone stealing my wallet and my gifts for friends and family. But ultimately, a bath mat is of fairly minor importance ... or at least that's what I'm trying to tell myself when I step out of the shower and wish I had a bathmat.

Melissa, I'm not going to disabuse you of your notion, though I think as a general rule, we strive to give & receive good karma. It's less about what will happen to the bath mat stealer, and more about how my being zen about the bath mat will have a positive impact on the universe. But what do I know anyway. I'm pretty much an agnostic cultural Hindu. ;)

Joyce, no, I'm not giving out something material every day. I try to find other things like giving my time, etc. But sometimes it's hard for me to figure out what I can count. Does it count if I help a co-worker out if I would have helped her out regardless? I don't know.

Heather, good point about the receptionists. I tend to breeze past them as well, but I should make more of an effort to engage and say hi.

Jam, volunteering at your child's school absolutely counts!! Writing a check is not the only way.

Katy, good idea. Even allowing someone ahead of me at the grocery store would be much appreciated I know. I'll do that next time....

EYB, yeah, I'd prefer to not wander the street in search of street alcoholics, personally. If I drive to work, I usually pass a couple homeless people (they tend to panhandle near freeway exits in LA) but I haven't seen any of them recently.

Hey, did anyone else who commented other than Equa Yona want to be in the book raffle? I know I should have ran a separate thread for that, but I didn't think about it too carefully. Anyway, let me know if you want to be included. It's a really fun book!

CAE said...

Great photo! You totally have the same hair as me.

kimberly said...

haha, i thought you were joking too when i saw the picture of gandhi.
that sucks about the bathmat. i mean, seriously, what's up with laundry room theft. someone stole my bottle of active oxygen bleach a couple of months ago, which i thought was absurd. it's a $2 bottle of bleach... anyways, it sucks 'cause you can't get a new one. maybe you can throw an old towel on the bathroom floor? not as nice as the mat though, i'm sure...

Beany said...

You look just like your stick figure! :)

The breakthrough post was excellent. I could never quite articulate what exactly I dislike about Gandhi. And while I do make grand generalizations about everything under the sun, I don't like to do so.

----
Something bad happened this week so I hate everyone on the planet right now. So no advice on giving anything to anyone. Just keep it all to yerself.

Natalie said...

That blows about your bath mat. Stupid bath mat stealer, indeed! But a wee bit ironic in the month of giving context. I can think of about five lessons that could be culled from this tale. Sometimes, however, what one really wants is a bath mat and not a lesson.

That was a great post on Breakthrough. And the picture. OMG, the PICTURE!! You are soooo APLS in the City! :-)

arduous said...

CAE, don't tell me you stole my hair too!! Joking, joking. Yes, it does appear that we are hair twins. :)I actually remember thinking that at one point earlier though I don't know if I mentioned it to you.

Kimberly, I know it's dumb, but from an aesthetic point of view, I prefer nothing to an old towel. I might change my mind though.....

Beany, yes, it's true. My stick figure and I look just like each other. Sorry you're having a rough week.

arduous said...

Natalie, yes, I thought about all the lessons that could come out of this. Lesson Number One, pick up your laundry the second it's finished. ;) Heh, okay, there are other more ephemeral lessons to be learned as well. Haha, APLS in the City. I love it!

hypoglycemiagirl said...

well, your hair is totally opposite mine :-D; lovely to see your face!

Donna said...

That's a great article on "Breakthrough!" Congrats! Sorry about the bathmat, though. That's too weird. Maybe someone took it by mistake?

Anonymous said...

Honda, buy the girl a bathmat for her birthday. Please? Ryl.

Melissa said...

btw, I'd enter for the book but I've already read this one...it's definitely entertaining and worth reading!

Green Bean said...

Ahhh, you do look just like your stick figure. Too cute! Congrats on getting your post on BreakThrough.

arduous said...

Thanks HGG!

Donna, I'd love to believe it was a mistake, but it was a bright yellow bath mat in the laundry room!

Ryl, Honda and Miss V are getting me a spa day for my birthday and frankly, I want that more than I want a bath mat!

Melissa, glad you enjoyed the book too!

GB, thanks!

Robj98168 said...

Nice diaper babe!

Mad Hatter said...

Hey, nice picture! And I think giving books away on your blog is a great idea.

arduous said...

Rob, diaper? What diaper?

Thanks, Mad Hatter. I'll try to give away some more books later on this month!

Fix said...

How about giving something to yourself? Like a sabbath day? No phone, no computer...or something you've been wanting to do for a long time but haven't carved out the time for. Something restorative so you can give even more to everyone else...?

I guess your point is that you're too busy...so maybe just a short leisurely walk or a browse in the poetry section of a bookstore or time out for a postcard or call you've been meaning to make?

Interesting challenge -
Megan

Going Crunchy said...

Great picture and article! Congrats! Shan

EcoGeoFemme said...

Oh! You're adorable. :)

arduous said...

Megan, that's an interesting idea. I might have to use that and occasionally give time to myself. :)

Shannon & EGF, thanks!!

djc said...

If you had plenty of old tshirts you could repurpose, maybe you can make a rag rug? Braided or crocheted, depending on how crafty you are.