Saturday, October 25, 2014

As I write these words, I am 18 years old, 8 months, and 3 w...

As I write these words, I am 18 years old, 8 months, and 3 weeks old. I can’t speak for every 18-year-old on the planet, but I think this is a funny age. You are just old enough to know how young you really are, you are full of idealistic thoughts that you sheepishly acknowledge as maybe just a bit too idealistic. You still feel like a child parading in adult’s clothing. You recognize that you probably don’t know all that much.

So here’s my question for the community - what did you wish you could tell yourself when you were 18? It can be life advice. It can be a story. It can be a baking recipe.

I don’t know all that much, but I’d like to learn.

Kathleen
Princeton, NJ
kathleendoesthelistserve[AT]gmail.com

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hello GORGEOUS!

What is UP Listserver's?!

I live in NYC, so I will keep this brief and to the point. I understand that time is money, and Your time is valuable. What do You do with this precious commodity? I was once on an interview and that was the only real "interview" question I was asked, he said "What can you say is your biggest accomplishment in your 25 years of life?" I sat there, and millions of answers rushed to my head and raced to the tip of my tongue, and before I could reason with myself and give a million dollar answer, I replied "helping people".

I didn't always believe this, and it wasn't until I was 18 and had tried to fill a void in my soul with too many pointless things, and failed. My life drastically changed for the better when I realised that it was not a "what" that could fill my void, but a "who".

Instead of going to college when I graduated highschool, I took an opportunity to travel the world. I joined an organization that sent me to Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, and live in Perth, Australia for 2 years. I did all of this traveling, while [most] everyone else my age was in college partying, for 4 years. I'm not saying I am better than them, if I had been at college I would have definitely been a beer pong queen [I now blame my lacking skills in this game on this fact]. Out of all the beautiful places I lived in and visited, the highlight is the people I met and hopefully helped. I could have been living a comfortable life in the Tri-State Area, but instead I was able to see how majority of the world lives ; with not enough food or clean water, sleeping on garbage heaps in slums, etc. etc. Seeing and experiencing different cultures popped my New Jersey bubble, and opened my eyes to how vast this world is, how invaluable people are.

The greatest accomplishment I have in my 25 years of life, started the moment I became a real Christian and actually started living for others and not just myself . The "who" was Jesus Christ, and my void began to not seem so hopeless anymore, the million dollar question finally seeming to have an answer, I had found hope. That same opportunity is available for You as well.

See, I truly believe that You, AMAZING You, were made for a specific purpose and unique design; and until You figure out what that is, or at least skim the surface, You will feel that void. You know what I'm talking about, that inexplicable void; that part of You that no amount of money or drugs or relationships, even.. coffee [gasp], will ever fill. So what are You waiting for, answer the question for yourself. If You don't like what You come up with, change it. And if you change it several times, and still don't like it, email me and I'll help. ;D

4 practical applications after reading this:

1] Find Your purpose in this life, help people, put others before Your own desires, look up Youth With A Mission [YWAM] it's the incredible organization I called home for 4 years.

2] Look up Hillsong Church, their music is incredible! I am going to the conference tonight in Madison Square Garden #NoOtherName, #hoLLA.

3] Take the "Now, Discover Your Strengths" assessment. Buy the book, take the quiz online, just take it!! Focus on Your strengths, and not Your weaknesses, and email me Your results! My first strength is "Positivity", I will definitely be able to help You get enthusiastic about Your results.

4] Find an Esthetician and get a facial!

Shout out to Melanie, You Win [insert trophy emojii here].


Alyxandra
NYC
alyxandra.adevai[AT]me.com
@alyxandraa

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three-some

Last night I almost had a three-some. I only needed two more people.

It’s a true story. Maybe. But more importantly, I hope it grabbed your attention or made you laugh. This timeless joke reminds me of an old school Mark Twain quote:

“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.”

I think there’s more to the quote, but you get the gist of it. Life is too short. If you can’t find something to laugh about every day, try harder. It’s out there. Don't take things so seriously. There's more to life than work. Find a healthy balance, and spend more time with your friends and family, and laugh with them. Uncontrollably. That's what ultimately matters in the long haul.

Shoot me an email back describing something that makes you laugh everyday and how you find a healthy work/life balance. Mine is slipping and could use some fresh new perspective and ideas. Or just say hello and where you're from. Would love to hear from you.

Brian
Richard.Wyborova[AT]gmail.com
Minnesota

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