Alright, so I looked at last night’s post. Wow, THAT was rushed. Let’s make up for that hot mess today. What I hope to do today is:
First though, let’s preface all of this with what happened last night, shall we?
Yeah, so this is where I wound up
last night in between House Group and Real Sports. If you need proof, I get a shoutout about 5 minutes in – and then if you continue to watch, you get to hear the commentary on my crazy laughs and horrified looks as the ladies go through their content. Fun times, though – I’m sure I’ll end up dropping by sometime in the future 🙂 One of the things that linked me to this show in the first place was that I’d helped one of the hosts, Marie, around Christmastime by putting together an image of her saying “I love you” to her man. So I needed to:
- Get the WAV file from her
- Put it through audio editing software (I used Audacity)
- Take a screen cap of the sound wave
- Paste the screen cap in Adobe Illustrator
- Trace over the sound wave with the Pen tool to create the vectorized image so that she could have it blown up to poster-size
Yeah… easy-sounding enough, but I really underestimated how much time this would take. 6 hours of effort and a 5 AM realization that I needed to work in the morning later, I got it done. Apparently it made for a pretty awesome present, although Staples accidentally laminated it, so it looks more like a place mat than it does a poster, but alas. It was still appreciated. And thus, I started watching The NatandMarie Show
and eventually wound up there last night 🙂 The show’s bound to grow more in 2011, and they’re pretty cool peops. If there’s chances to be in the audience, I’ll likely put it up for when you guys have boring Wednesday evenings ahead of you 🙂 Here’s what the end result basically looked like:
Also, note: after getting Mathematica
in mid-January, I discovered that the beast of a software tool pulled off basically the same result as above in two minutes. I was pissed
, yet very happy at the same time. Thanks, Wolfram|Alpha, for devaluing my efforts 😀
Alright – back to your regularly scheduled entry.
So, giving back. Let’s dive a bit deeper here. I’m of the mind that in order to have a properly functioning society, we all need to take care of one another. I don’t know what the situation’s like where you live, but here in Toronto, we could do far better at this. (I think I sense a future entry outlining basic rules for living life as a decent human being.) We walk by the homeless on the street, don’t hold doors for each other, don’t help the disenfranchised when we have extra dollars to our name – I just think that with a more even distribution of wealth and resources, things could be a lot different. Here’s a few examples of what I do personally to try and help – it’s not a perfect system, but it’s better than nothing.
What the Blood?
So yeah – giving blood, while I suggest doing it, you might want to block out a free evening to take care of it. The last two times I did it, I had social activities planned out the same night. So you have me at the blood donor clinic after donating, stuffing my face with as many cookies and as much juice as I can bring into my orbit, because I knew that if I didn’t increase my sugar level immediately, some passing out may have gone on. And some nurses (of a specific ethnic origin that I’ll conveniently forget to mention here) tend to be a bit rougher with the needles, so that’s never fun.
With all that said, it is good to do and everyone will have a slightly different experience when donating. I’m on my 5th or 6th time now, and I’ll only stop when they stop accepting my blood. As I alluded to before, the second half of the year might not see any donation for that very reason 🙂
Another thing that Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has is the OneMatch service, oriented toward bone marrow donation. Yup. Signed up for that too – you need to have very specific matches for bone marrow (unlike blood where it’s a little more general and I’m a universal donor), and Black people aren’t exactly on the top of the list for the ethnicities signed up to be donors. CBS also has platelet donation – I’m just not at that level yet, though.
Organs for Everyone
Some people see this as controversial, since they believe that the body should be whole upon death, but I’m all for organ donation. I’ll totally need to talk this through with Sarah – but cremation might be the way to go – take up less space, don’t need a grave plot (which are harder and harder to come by), etc. etc. etc. And ashes are ashes, right? (Ha, I once made a book on Blurb following this theme…) So when you cremate a body, you likely don’t need to have all the parts to make it work – so yeah, if my organs can help someone else live their life a little better – why not? Not like I’ll be needing them anymore if some has to – ahem – pull the organ donor card.
Yup. 10% goes here, too. After taxes. That’s a bit of a point of debate, too – before or after taxes? The rationale I use here – and I know that Moshe Milevsky would agree – is that one is better off thinking of their salary in terms of after tax dollars. These are the dollars you have to spend. The dollars you use to determine how you will lead your life. Your gross salary is an overestimation of how much spending power you actually have. With that said, I try to keep the tithing up-to-date as much as possible. I think it might be time for a top-up.
Over the course of the year, many of my friends will do a “run for x disease” or “hot yoga to help y individuals”; I don’t shy away when friends ask to be sponsored. What excuse do I have? What will I use the money for otherwise? Remember – I’m trying to own less stuff. The big-ticket items I would yearn after in the past, either I have them now or I don’t covet them much anymore. And the causes that my friends are championing are often noble ones, so I’m happy to help them out. But yes – we do have a finite amount of resources available to us, so you need to replenish. (Hopefully, I’ll get around to working on a post for some really cool ways to make money in a post in the next few days!) And yes, with an upcoming marriage, there’s going to be some sizable cheques that need to be written. But I think that small one-offs like these ($20-25 apiece) are affordable, especially if I replace eating out with lunches from home more consistently.
These are just examples of things I do in order to try and be more generous with what I’m fortunate enough to have – I hope you might take something from it.
Do you have any ways of giving back to the community that you’d like to highlight?
This, right now, is the first moment I’ve had in a bit to just sit, plan and figure out where things are going in the near future. I see a good weekend coming ahead 🙂 Enjoy your evening, all – I’m off to have some Ethiopian with Simone, the brainchild behind Skinny Dip, and our amiga Melissa.