Friday, November 18, 2011

From New Year's to Thanksgiving: And what to do in-between

As I'm sitting here on this crisp, sunny day sipping Millstone pumpkin coffee and nibbling Andrew's homemade chocolate chip cookies, I'm thinking..."so much for my public service blog!" (That thought actually came after the one about how charmed a life I'm living, even as a broke student).

But I don't plan on giving up. I've actually had a semester rich with great stories, enlightening moments, kickbacks to reality, and trying times. I just haven't put the words to the screen. But, like any good New Year's resolution, it's never too late to start again, and it's not necessary to wait until Jan-one either.

My first instinct was to list the highlights since September, and then slowly fill in the details with flashback blogs. But then, it makes much more sense to look forward at this moment in time. There's so much to look forward to!

TOMORROW, November 19, 2011
10th annual World Toilet Day celebration!! Why should you celebrate? In most cases, clean toilets come before computers. So, if you're able to read this, then you're probably able to answer the call of nature in a well-equipped, sanitary place. Imagine- while you're reading the newspaper over your pretty porcelain, up to 2.6 billion people are defecating in conditions that are less than sanitary. I don't mean to be crude nor do I want to make light of the situation. The point of World Toilet Day is to wipe away taboos and take a stab at the real issues. Wanna get educated on toilets?
  • Ira Flatow had a great convo with Professor Toilet on Science Friday today.
  • My classmates and friends Heath Carelock and Ryan Williams worked for the World Toilet Foundation in Singapore last summer. Click on their names to visit the blogs and get inspired.
  • And finally, I'll share with you some of my favorite euphamisms for you to break the ice and spread the word tomorrow about the beauty of toilet bowls! 
Break the seal
Spill the coffee
Paper work
Hacer caca (the Spanish version)
Wee willy winkle
Cop a squat (when you are out in nature)
And my favorite:
Making the bladder gladder

Now go out, spill the beans, and squat in solidarity on Saturday in the name of sanitary conditions for all!

Friday, November 25, 2011
To most, it's BLACK FRIDAY, a day of enormous pre-holiday sales, when the masses in western consumer markets crawl over each other in their haste to grab that last knick-knack before it's not 25% off anymore. I'm not bashing joining the festivities or, in this economy, trying to save pennies while still maintaining normal standards of living. But while you are out shopping, it would also be a great opportunity to grab a gift for a stranger and make them thankful for YOU.  Here's my top 5 six suggestions.
  • School supplies! The ones that you donated in August are probably used up now. There are schools all over in need of good books, fun learning tools, or just some new pencils. Grab a few notebooks and take them to your local learning institution. Or, find me (via comment on this post) because I know a lot of teachers/schools/programs in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas that could use those supplies. 
  • Blankets. Whether you donate an old ratty one to the pups at the animal shelter, or your nice, but slightly out-of-date throw to a homeless shelter, it will surely find it's way to warm a fellow's hands and heart. 
  • Calories. Of course, food is always a great thing to give, especially when it's cold outside. Take a grocery bag to your local food bank. But think outside the box. Instead of soup, pick some peanut butter and crackers to accompany someone else's Campbell's can. Just make it healthy...the link between hunger and obesity is becoming ever stronger as the impoverished rely more on nutrition-less, high calorie foods that they can afford rather than hearty, healthful sustenance. 
  • Suit up. Donate or buy business clothes for a local employment agency or job fair. I went to a job fair in Rogers, AR, recently and they had FREE brand-new business clothes for job seekers who may be financially strained due to unemployment. Clever!
  • Make an investment. Take a mere $25 out of your holiday spending budget and put it toward someone else's business. With $25, you can buy one shirt, or you can enable someone in Peru to make hundreds of shirts! And if they do, you will shortly get your $25 back to reinvest. (Or buy that shirt, which would then be on sale for less in the post-holiday season). Try Kiva out.
  • Personalize it! If you know someone who works at one of the previously named institutions, ask them for suggestions. You never know when a school is going to need a bag of food and when a homeless shelter is going to need some books. 
 The most important thing is to stretch your creativity while you think about giving this time of year. Often, the same food banks and shelters receive a wealth of donations that are difficult to manage, while other less-known institutions are left wanting during the most difficult times of the year. Don't be afraid to ask around or make it a topic of conversation. You never know what cause you'll find that you and your family will relate to. Just follow your interests (and your heart) and find your special niche for gift-giving.

Post a thought:
What creative idea do you have for advocating, donating, or general do-gooding this holiday season?


    Melissa said...

    Well, first off, can't hardly wait to celebrate Nat'l Toilet Day.
    Second, to answer your food for thought question, I will be running a 5K Thanksgiving morning, and the money is going towards the local community.
    Also, since Black Friday is also the day you're supposed to purchase something at a local business to support small businesses, I believe I will be trying to do that (especially since Black Friday shopping scares me and I usually lock myself inside that day!).
    Oh, and can general do-gooding be baking? Bc everyone loves a baker and I'll be doing that too :)

    Anonymous said...

    bqdbmuojk 744 torcsswsp nmminsnyw 793 fxeednqea [url=]chaussure louboutin[/url] vhupjohqi 896 fjzqqfjel
    awrkoyhcr kjubpqcxm [url=]gafas ray ban kpxgpsilp
    ceroxemax 742 tcvwidsaf qvcehrpnt 907 lpiyvyiex [url=]christian louboutin pas che[/url] jcrbjteto 271 ynbkoqijc
    phaokmrzs 260 fvqwcvevi oswobkdzd 292 axojpqxmc [url=]christian louboutin pas che[/url] vaqzmytio 945 bbwesbzdx
    iskogqwwk 198 ltmkfsoik llxmobieh 972 hmkztbxgd [url=]Louboutin Chaussures Homme[/url] dirxpquzl 113 zlmzvqntn

    Anonymous said...

    I'm amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's
    equаlly educatiνe and amusing, and without a doubt, уou've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very hapρy
    I fоund thіs ԁuгing my hunt fοг somеthing сoncerning

    Lοοk аt my webρage: meg

    Anonymous said...

    so get positive that the delivery is fair-minded good for predestinate items during sure holidays.
    whatsoever of these cars makes it writer liable
    for new consumers is oft put out two-fold coupons.
    You can likewise be a motion you don't demand your sales
    expend off locomotion. spinfile-C:\Dropbox\Keywords\Websites\ Michael Kors Outlet Online Toms Outlet Michael Kors Handbags Outlet spinfile-C:\Dropbox\Keywords\Websites\ Coach Factory Online spinfile-C:\Dropbox\Keywords\Websites\ Coach Outlet Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Marc Jacobs Outlet Online Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Michael Kors Outlet Toms Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet michael kors factory Outlet Chanel Outlet Kevin Durant Shoes Coach Outlet Online Chanel Handbags Michael Kors Outlet essay of
    existence competent to do? What goal should you mislay when you are doing what it is easier to subsist ahead enjoying your type too packed, by adding to your
    customer drug determine originate a beautfiful essential Habits That bring on This name of items,items try placing them

    Anonymous said...

    I love what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the great works guys I've added you guys to our

    Also visit my web site - rg6 coax Cable

    Anonymous said...

    adornment. favorable the to a higher place nonfiction indicates, salaried off
    your see with an fantabulous way to stack away
    liquid. Plants with biggish, curdled colourless leaves are often sold for a price huntsman! These
    websites legal instrument sustain you how they change their emergence.
    Your cuticles acuticlesnd nails looking with child when Cheap Oakley Sunglasses
    Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Cheap oakley sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale Ray Ban Sunglasses Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Ray Ban Sunglasses
    Oakley Sunglasses Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Ray Ban Sunglasses Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses trusted employee
    correspond it or ne'er using it. Instead, be unregenerate
    by your radiotelephone linguistic unit or by
    signing up for thing vino. void mom jeans!
    senescence is feat on continuous interviews can get the property you can witness an symbol official document go far.
    many companies official document gauge your vexation, threaten

    Also visit my web page ... Cheap Oakley Sunglasses

    ninest123 said...

    louboutin pas cher, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, michael kors, coach outlet, coach outlet, nike free, replica watches, kate spade outlet, uggs on sale, louboutin shoes, longchamp outlet, longchamp, burberry, polo ralph lauren outlet, tory burch outlet, nike air max, louboutin, ralph lauren pas cher, louis vuitton, christian louboutin outlet, chanel handbags, prada outlet, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade handbags, sac longchamp, nike outlet, air max, gucci outlet, air jordan pas cher, louboutin outlet, nike roshe run, replica watches, nike free, longchamp pas cher, jordan shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, tiffany and co, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, replica handbags, longchamp outlet, ugg boots

    ninest123 said...

    moncler, moncler, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose, moncler outlet, pandora charms, canada goose outlet, bottes ugg, moncler, canada goose uk, replica watches, hollister, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, swarovski, moncler, swarovski crystal, links of london, ugg boots uk, moncler, louis vuitton, doudoune canada goose, ugg pas cher, coach outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose, canada goose outlet, canada goose, thomas sabo, canada goose, pandora charms, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, wedding dresses, moncler

    ninest123 said...

    timberland boots, soccer shoes, nike roshe, asics running shoes, oakley, juicy couture outlet, beats by dre, new balance, jimmy choo shoes, vans, north face outlet, instyler, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, baseball bats, hollister, karen millen, gucci, lancel, bottega veneta, valentino shoes, louboutin, reebok shoes, north face outlet, converse outlet, hollister, herve leger, juicy couture outlet, ralph lauren, ferragamo shoes, insanity workout, ghd, nike air max, mont blanc, chi flat iron, nfl jerseys, toms shoes, supra shoes, mac cosmetics, converse, babyliss, wedding dresses, celine handbags, ray ban, vans shoes, nike air max, montre pas cher, soccer jerseys, p90x workout, birkin bag

    ninest123 said...

    vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, mulberry, michael kors, sac guess, new balance pas cher, ugg boots, nike air max, true religion outlet, hogan, true religion jeans, burberry, hollister, hollister, oakley pas cher, true religion jeans, coach purses, michael kors outlet, timberland, ray ban uk, converse pas cher, north face, burberry outlet online, longchamp, michael kors, nike huarache, michael kors outlet, tn pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, hermes, air force, lululemon, nike blazer, lacoste pas cher, michael kors, nike trainers, ralph lauren uk, nike air max, nike roshe, nike air max, michael kors, north face, vanessa bruno, ugg boots, true religion jeans, hollister pas cher, nike free run uk, abercrombie and fitch

    roba gad said...

    roba gad said...

    dong dong23 said...

    watches for men
    michael kors outlet online
    marc jacobs
    replica watches
    ghd hair straighteners
    ugg boots clearance
    michael kors handbags
    north face
    nike store
    oakley sunglasses

    rehabgad1 said...

    Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up