Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daily Deeds

Imagine my surprise to open the letter saying "you've won" today. I've always thought about what I'd write and now that I have the opportunity to actually write it I've changed my mind.

Today at work (in a restaurant) I had a guest with a coupon for two free meals. She was by herself and asked if the other free meal could "go to the next person who looks like they could use it".

It's little things. Little things like a free meal, holding the door, smiling at a stranger that make the biggest difference. There's so much wrong in this world. So much scary out there that sometimes we've become so guarded that we forget that were not the only thing that matters.

It doesn't matter that you're a successful business man, or a single mother, or homeless. We all need to be there for each other or else what is our life worth?

So I challenge you. All of you. Do something nice. Pay for the next cars order, smile, have fun, be nice, and for God's sake tip your bartender.

Hoping for many replies with wonderful deeds.
Allisonlane35[AT]gmail.com

"1000 years from now, nobody will know who I was, where I was from, or how much money I had, but the world might be a little better, and a little different, because I had kindness in my heart".

Allison Peters
Iowa, USA
allisonlane35[AT]gmail.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hello you wonderful Listservians you! :D

***Note from The Listserve: We made an error in today's email. Here is the correct message from Jowel Balcita. Our apologies!***

Hello all,

I don't want to rub it in too much but I WON! I'm thrilled to be writing to you all today and considering the amount of people on Listserve, I never dreamed to win. Consequently, I don't have anything prepared so off the top of my head here we go!

I consider myself lucky, I was born in the US whereas my parents emigrated here from the Philippines and have all the luxuries they dreamed of having as children. I appreciate their hard work and their tenacity to provide a better future for their children. On a visit I recently had, I saw where they grew up, a family of ten in each side of my family growing up in houses smaller than the one I live in now, poorly paved roads where they walked miles to school to educate themselves and the general poverty of the area; it was humbling. One thing however they weren't lacking in was their spirit. Everywhere I went, I saw happy faces and laughter teems of children running around having a blast. I happily joined in and it was one of the best times of my life, I can see why, despite growing up in that state, they remain so happy and communal. On random trips, to various places, my mom will somehow find the one Filipino person besides us and they get along like they've known each other all their lives. It encouraged me to reach out and make friends of my own in a similar manner in the college club I'm in, Circle K.

Circle K, (also a gas station/convenience store here in the US. No affiliation) is a volunteer/social club that's very active here in the US and other countries worldwide. Its a great place to meet people and as a college student, a way to help out your community in your free time. I helped out on various projects county wide from Habitat for Humanity, CicLaVia (A great bike day if you're ever in LA, they take major streets and close them down except for bike traffic, it's awesome but I digress) Make a Wish foundation, and other charities. I met wonderful people, lifelong friends and I got to participate in once in a lifetime events. I held the rope for the hand for a giant inflatable Elmo during the Hollywood Christmas parade, I got to meet future Mayor of LA Eric Garcetti at a Hollywood fundraiser event we volunteered at, and we seem to turn up in places that other people normally can't get into. It is a blast and I do encourage the college bound of you and the college...umm...already in college people to join Circle K or some form of community service. It's all sorts of awesome.

Living in LA is also awesome, in the aforementioned paragraphs, (wow this is actually getting quite long) I get to go to places and experience great things. LA has a somewhat bad reputation of smog, crime and traffic, but you get past that, then you have a plethora of things to do, Chantry Falls is a great hiking trip with a natural rock slide, Downtown Pasadena a foodies delight. Hollywood and Highland for the shopping, Hollywood Walk of Fame and Graumans Chinese Theater. You also have miles upon miles of beaches to visit, each one with it's own culture and ambiance. If any of you ever visit LA, contact me and I'll set you up with a personalized list of places to visit. (I'm a massive foodie, I've gone to tons of food places here)

As is with Listserve tradition, I'll leave with a quote,

"Beauty that dies the soonest has the longest life. Because it cannot keep itself for a day we keep it in our hearts. Because it can have existence only in memory, we give it immortality there"


I hope this all finds you well and if you Google my name, you kinda just find me. So feel free to drop me a line.

Jowel G. Balcita
Los Angeles CA
internetquickie[AT]gmail.com

Hello you wonderful Listservians you! :D

No big life lessons here, just a few things that lift my spirits and revive my sense of wonder. It's never a bad time to be reminded that people (and the things we make) are awesome, and that we live on/with an ornately fabulous planet, right?

Never underestimate the power of going for a walk. Don't forget to look around, the details in the everyday can be the most surprising. As Ed Hutchins once said, "nothing never happens".

Travel. I especially recommend Oaxaca, Mexico for it's astounding botanical, cultural, ethnic, and culinary diversity. When you can't travel you can explore the world vicariously with Fun for Louis (on youtube).

For a master course in the wonder of the everyday (with a focus on the built environment), listen to 99% Invisible. For a similarly masterful treatment of everyday humanity, try 'Death, Sex, and Money'. These podcasts have managed to make my commute something I look forward to.

If you are the kind of person who can read while traveling (unlike me) and you love great science writing (like me), here are some books I love and revisit: Bonk -- Mary Roach, The Ghost Map -- Steven Johnson, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks -- Rebecca Skloot, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat -- Oliver Sacks. I also LOVE The History of the World in 100 Objects by director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor -- it has short chapters, great pictures, and I learned so much. Who knew that the Vikings had trading posts in Iran!?!

Making things yourself is another great invigorator. I like to paint, but cooking/eating is what I do (and think about) every day. Here are some delicious, simple, seasonal favorites: delicata squash (it tastes like candy! you can eat the skin!), Marcella Hazan's Chickpea soup (4 cheap ingredients, vegan, deeply warming and hearty), and pickled beets (a great entry-level pickling project, try roasting first for extra sweetness).

Last, a potpourri of click-ables that reliably lift me out of low points: The Secret of Kells, Brene Brown's first TED talk, Paul Simon's Concert in the Park (1991), Talking Heads (Sand in the Vaseline), Allen Toussaint (Songbook), The National (Boxer, Trouble Will Find Me), Cat Power (Jukebox), Solange (True), Flight of the Conchords ('I'm not crying', 'Feel Inside'), bzzzpeekDOTcom (kids from around the world answer questions like 'what does a frog say?'), thingsfittingperfectlyintothings.tumblr.

Jordan
Los Angeles CA
internetquickie[AT]gmail.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

Failsafes

No big life lessons here, just a few things that lift my spirits and revive my sense of wonder. It's never a bad time to be reminded that people (and the things we make) are awesome, and that we live on/with an ornately fabulous planet, right?

Never underestimate the power of going for a walk. Don't forget to look around, the details in the everyday can be the most surprising. As Ed Hutchins once said, "nothing never happens".

Travel. I especially recommend Oaxaca, Mexico for it's astounding botanical, cultural, ethnic, and culinary diversity. When you can't travel you can explore the world vicariously with Fun for Louis (on youtube).

For a master course in the wonder of the everyday (with a focus on the built environment), listen to 99% Invisible. For a similarly masterful treatment of everyday humanity, try 'Death, Sex, and Money'. These podcasts have managed to make my commute something I look forward to.

If you are the kind of person who can read while traveling (unlike me) and you love great science writing (like me), here are some books I love and revisit: Bonk -- Mary Roach, The Ghost Map -- Steven Johnson, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks -- Rebecca Skloot, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat -- Oliver Sacks. I also LOVE The History of the World in 100 Objects by director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor -- it has short chapters, great pictures, and I learned so much. Who knew that the Vikings had trading posts in Iran!?!

Making things yourself is another great invigorator. I like to paint, but cooking/eating is what I do (and think about) every day. Here are some delicious, simple, seasonal favorites: delicata squash (it tastes like candy! you can eat the skin!), Marcella Hazan's Chickpea soup (4 cheap ingredients, vegan, deeply warming and hearty), and pickled beets (a great entry-level pickling project, try roasting first for extra sweetness).

Last, a potpourri of click-ables that reliably lift me out of low points: The Secret of Kells, Brene Brown's first TED talk, Paul Simon's Concert in the Park (1991), Talking Heads (Sand in the Vaseline), Allen Toussaint (Songbook), The National (Boxer, Trouble Will Find Me), Cat Power (Jukebox), Solange (True), Flight of the Conchords ('I'm not crying', 'Feel Inside'), bzzzpeekDOTcom (kids from around the world answer questions like 'what does a frog say?'), thingsfittingperfectlyintothings.tumblr.

Jordan
Chicago

Sunday, October 19, 2014

People Are Strange

I procrastinated too long to write anything worthwhile. I guess I don't really want to write anything "worthwhile" anyway because then it would just turn out inspirational/corny/would have some universally accepted moral that people have been force fed since childhood. SO: if anyone would like to email me, that would be cool.

music suggestions:

- everything ever written by the Beatles
- Squirrel Nut Zippers
- "My American Cousin" by Molly Lewis
- Mac Demarco
- The Drums
- Band of Horses
- "Day in Day Out" by Billie Holiday/anything by Billie Holiday
-Joni Mitchell
******** "Early Takes Volume 1" by George Harrison ********** (extremely spiritual album. im not spiritual to any extent, but definitely struck a chord with me. my favorite album of all time).

Anyone who is an avid Beatles fan, plays the double/upright bass, likes my musical suggestions, is in high school, or is just a person who gets the listserve should email me because you can, and why not?

I'm a failure because I wasted my opportunity to say anything meaningful. Oh well? May the force be with you, I guess.

- Love Lilly <3

Lilly Wolfinger
lillywolfinger64[AT]gmail.com
California

(SHOUT OUT TO HAVA WALD. THE BEST GURL EVA).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Money can buy happiness...

Money can buy happiness...
...for someone else.

Spend $5 on someone else and let me know how it went.

To find out more about this project and myself, google me.

Have a happy day!

Cheers,

Bryan Ku
smallchangeproject[AT]gmail.com
San Francisco, California, USA

Friday, October 17, 2014

Do we really need gender?

A school-teacher friend recently asked me what issue I thought would be most transformative for future generations, and I didn’t hesitate before answering. As much as I want young people to get a grasp on climate change or income inequality, I think the biggest generational shift already underway has to do with our concept of gender. And that’s a wonderful thing.

As awareness of transgendered individuals grows, the rigid idea of gender as unchangeable and defined by one’s genitals is quickly collapsing. The speed that public opinion on LGBTQ issues is changing also shows that young people are much more accepting towards diverse gender identities and expressions.

But in the adult world, we’re far from gender equality. In the U.S., only in the past hundred years have women begun to achieve the same legal rights as men (though due to gender discrimination, they’re still highly underrepresented at the highest levels of politics and business, and even in the same careers, they only earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men).

So I ask you to think critically when you make gendered assumptions, and question why we cling to this male/female division. At a deeper level, do we really need words like “man” and “woman”? If men and women can truly achieve whatever they want—follow any passion in their personal life or career—then what is the purpose of identifying someone's gender by calling them “he” or “she”? What vital information do these words tell us, beyond describing certain sex organs?

Up through the present, gendered language has enforced restrictive guidelines for how people should live their lives. Visit the aisles of any major toy store, and you’ll notice boys’ and girls’ toys are sharply divided: Girls can have pink, housework, and the arts; boys get cars, sports, and science. Social norms may be changing, but profit motives are not.

Some argue that language doesn’t affect reality, but studies have repeatedly shown that female-gendered words create a negative bias—from the usernames on comment threads to those at the tops of resumes. Calling a someone a "girl" isn't just about pointing out her vagina, but about grouping her into a class of people assumed to share personality traits and life paths. And in America, by and large, those traits are deemed lesser.

What is gender if not the most acceptable form of stereotyping? Perhaps in our lifetimes we will adopt a new neutral term to refer to individuals (as Swedish preschools have begun to do), or simply start using the more equitable “they.”

Until then, some thoughts for you to ponder: Why must we know a baby’s gender even before it is born? Why do we let advertisers tell our children what toys each gender can play with? Why is the U.S. one of the few developed countries without paid parental leave? Why aren’t all bathrooms gender-neutral? Why does the idea of taking a woman’s last name make most men angry? Why are laws restricting the reproductive rights of women mostly enacted by men?

Be kind to one another, and please VOTE on November 4th.

Hunter Oatman-Stanford
hunters.listserve[AT]gmail.com
San Francisco, California

P.S. I write about fascinating, forgotten tidbits of history at collectorsweekly [dot] com. Follow me @hunterrible or drop me a line at hunters.listserve[AT]gmail.com.