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Posts Tagged ‘if it’s for a good cause…’

Buzzfeed has now managed to create a quiz for everything.

Not only can you find out what city you’re supposed to live in or what career path you should follow (that quiz was actually more helpful than my high school guidance counselor), but you can also find out what characters you are – everything from Scandal to Biblical heroines.

abigail

I got Abigail. Who I’ve hardly heard of.

And, on an even more timely note, there’s also a quiz to tell you what you should give up for Lent. Because these kinds of decisions are just so hard to make on your own.

I’m a sucker for quizzes and gross generalizations, but even I think that maybe Buzzfeed is going a little bit too far.

That said, I took the Lent quiz (because once again I’ve left my Lenten decision until the last minute) and discovered that Buzzfeed thinks I should give up television.

According to the quiz:

No one pops more culture than you. You’re a trendsetter when it comes to taste, but this Lent is an awesome opportunity to open up to some new challenges. Turn off the telly and put yourself out there!

Let me stop you right there. This result is about as wrong as when you told me I was Olivia Pope. (I wish.)

Olivia-Pope

As if I could wear that much white and not spill on it

I don’t think trendsetters go to bed at 9pm or spend their weekends at home, in the suburbs, reading Jack Reacher novels. (For that matter, neither does Olivia Pope.)

And all this culture that I’m popping – does that include watching Jeopardy and NCIS? Because, if that’s the case, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m a pop culture maven.

It’s far more likely, though, that these quiz results are skewed – or just not very scientific in the first place. Shocking, I know, but I’m not sure how my favorite fruit is going to predict what I should give up for 40 days.

Which means that, once again, I have to make this decision on my own. And, once again, I will likely vote to give up nothing.

My Lent give-ups have run the gamut in the past, from TV to gossiping to cursing to chocolate to diet coke to alcohol. The diet coke ban has become permanent, the alcohol has been on hold for the past 8 months, and, at the risk of perpetuating a stereotype, don’t even think about taking away my chocolate when I’m four weeks out from having a baby.

So this year, like last year, I will focus on giving. Obviously, I won’t be going to Nepal again, but I will focus on the activities that I’m already involved in – giving my time and my attention and support to causes that I love.

That’s not to say I’ll never give up something tangible again. And there might come a time that I need a hiatus from TV. But for right now, this focus on giving is the best way for me to celebrate the season.

Take that, Buzzfeed.

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This may be the first Lenten season I can remember that I’m not actively giving something up.

I thought about it. I reflected on past years, giving up swearing, M&Ms, diet coke, and alcohol – all of which were both challenging and rewarding.

I thought about giving up something food-related again…and then realized that we’ll be in Nepal in two weeks, where I won’t be eating any of my regular foods anyway.

I considered giving up TV or social media…but again, it would really just be for the two weeks before we leave. We won’t be watching TV or obsessively scanning Facebook in Nepal.

I toyed with giving up other things, but kept coming back to the same conclusion: it would really only be my choice for two weeks, and then it would become a necessity for my current living situation.

So this year, I’m giving up giving up.

This year, I’ll spend two weeks reflecting on the Lenten season while in my comfort zone, and the final four weeks will be spent halfway around the world.

I can only imagine that the time in Nepal will teach me more about the true meaning of the season than a lack of diet coke or alcohol ever did. And maybe it will be the start of a new tradition.

Maybe instead of giving up, I’ll just start giving.

And this year will be the first step.

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But that’s probably because I have a blog.

And let me tell you, now that we’re in broadcasting mode, I did something drastic.

For a lot of people, haircuts are pretty standard, run-of-the-mill procedures. A few inches off here and there; add some layers; keep it fresh.

I, however, decided that I wanted a new look overall, and that, while I was at it, I might as well donate to a good cause.

So, last night, I went from this:

To this:

And apparently now I have to worry about my tag sticking out…

Now, I’ve had short hair before. But I’d either forgotten or didn’t realize how nervous I would be to chop it all – again.

Yes, I know it grows back, but what if I hated it immediately? What if my face looked too round? Or it made me look too young? Or any number of inane scenarios? The what ifs are endless.

MJ encouraged me. “Even if you don’t like the cut,” she said, “you’ll still love it because you were able to donate your hair.

And she’s right.

do like the style (though it will absolutely take some getting used to), but more than that, I’m glad that someone else will be able to use my former ponytail.

Plus, as an added bonus, with hair this short there’s a significantly lower chance that I’ll be compared to a horse.

Though, I’m not ruling anything out.

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There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities in the DC area. In fact, ever since I’d set volunteering as one of my 25 goals, I seemed to hear more and more about awesome ways to get involved.

Except – I always seemed to hear about them after the fact. And that wasn’t too helpful in checking this off my list.

Then the BNF* found a website that consolidated all of these opportunities into one place:

Greater DC Cares

All of a sudden I had all of these events at my fingertips. I could plan months in advance and pick whatever I wanted!

But I didn’t.

I would look at my favorites, realize that they were all on days that I was out of town (because, let’s face it, my weekends in DC have been few and far between), and I’d get discouraged. I don’t want to volunteer just to volunteer, I thought, I want to volunteer doing something that I want to do.

(I almost didn’t type that out because I know how bratty it sounds.)

I came to the realization in the past few weeks that sure, volunteering can be something I enjoy, but I’m also doing it for a reason. It is necessary and helpful and appreciated. And that was all reaffirmed last night.

The fact that my birthday is less than two weeks away has lit a fire under my ass, so to speak, and I signed up to help tutor Spanish speakers in English, unsure if there was a set curriculum or structure, and hoping that my tutoring skills were up to snuff.

As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. The structure was loose, but it worked. I partnered with a guy, probably around my age, from El Salvador, and we reviewed vocabulary as well as just practicing speaking. It was just like high school Spanish class, but in reverse because I wasn’t the one struggling to express myself in a foreign language.

Overall, the experience was great, and the hour of volunteering just flew by.

Being able to check something off my list is great, of course, but this is something that I can see myself doing list or no list. And I can’t wait to see what else Greater DC Cares has to offer.

Honestly, if you’re looking to get involved, I highly recommend it.

*BNF=boyfriend-now-fiance, but when I wrote it it reminded me of BFG, and I got sidetracked thinking about how much I loved that book – and the movie. Trains of thought are fun.

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I am now almost four months from my 26th birthday, and thus should be far more than halfway done my 25 list. I may not be quite there (I’m currently at 7/25, so, not even close), but in a couple weeks I’ll be able to check something else off.

25) …participate in an underwear run. I mean, I do run to look better naked, after all.

Cupid’s Undie Run will take place on February 12th, and will benefit the research of The Children’s Tumor Foundation. While this race admittedly caught my eye because of the lack of clothing, the cause is a good one and I encourage you to click on the links above. From the run’s official site:

The Children’s Tumor Foundation is the world’s largest non-government organization dedicated to ending Neurofibromatosis (NF) through research. NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, causing blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain. Currently, there is no cure for NF and there are frighteningly few treatment options. The Children’s Tumor Foundation is a Charity Navigator 4-Star charity that prides itself on efficiency, spending 82.4% of its revenue on program expenses and less than 8% on administrative costs.

NF affects roughly 1:3,000 births in the U.S. and is in desperate need of new discovery, which is why 100% of funds raised through Cupid’s Undie Run go directly to the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

And if good causes and naked runners aren’t enough, there’s also the party at the Pour House that day from 2:30pm on! (The run starts at 2pm, if you do want to be on hand for the nakedness.)

Now, while the race is technically sold out, with the exception of 2 charity slots last time I checked, I still (unofficially) encourage you to come out, have a beer, and take your clothes off in solidarity.

After all, in the words of the Undie Run, it’s for the kids…let’s just hope they aren’t watching.

P.S. Even for good causes I strongly dislike asking for money, but, should you feel so inclined, the donation link is both on my gchat and my Facebook. Or feel free to email me – liebchen11@gmail.com. Every little bit helps!

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I’ve never been a big fan of the solo mustache – sometimes intrigued, never a fan. As you can see from this photo, even from a young age I had my concerns.

efpanddaddy

Why, Daddy? Why?

But since I’ve heard about Movember more this year than I ever have before, and it even came up in my daily news round up, I thought I would post a few fun facts and Friday photos that could make me change my mind about that upper lip…”decoration.”

1. The Obvious

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2. The World Beard and Moustache Championship

I didn’t realize until now that an official competition existed – and that an American won most recently. Makes me feel all patriotic and whatnot.

3. Halloween

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4. Mustache-dense nations

The article mentioned above lists India as the most mustache-dense nation. (How exactly do you measure that?)

Some estimates suggest as many as 80 percent of men in southern India wear moustaches, which immediately places that one region above most countries in terms of moustache-wearing men. Moustaches have long held an important place in Indian culture, seen as a symbol of virility. An Indian also holds the title of the world’s longest moustache, measured in 2004 at 12.5 feet. (Note: 12.5 feet?! What do you do with all that?)

5. Pure dedication

indian_mustaches_03

I mean, it still doesn’t do anything for me, but I can appreciate the commitment to your craft.

So here’s to Movember.

If you’re not participating, find someone who is so you can support them (and possibly mock their ‘stache at the same time).

If you are, try to be creative. And please, please post photos.

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