Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31/31: Improv!

This month, I shared the jokes I found on Facebook and tried to tell as many as possible to friends and family throughout the month. I'm terrible at telling jokes, so this was a fun challenge each day. And, although most the jokes are kind of terrible, I'm walking away with a few good jokes in my pocket.

To cap off the month, I joined a 6 week improv class. I've had more fun that I could have imagined. It's just ridiculous fun! Silly craziness! And something that is pure fun, for fun and nothing else. Added bonus, I found some wonderful, fun new friends too!

3/31: Hitchhiker

"I picked up a hitchhiker. You gotta when you hit them.”

31/31: Sausages

Two sausages are frying in a pan. One says to the other: "it's hot in here!" The other one screams: "AHHHH! A talking sausage!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

30/31: Speeding

"My wife sent me a text warning me about a speed trap and cop around the corner from our house. I laughed and showed it to the cop"

Monday, October 29, 2012

29/31: Hawaii

"A friend was looking for gift ideas for his anniversary so he asked his friend what he bought for his wife on their 50th anniversary. The friend said 'I gave my wife a plane ticket to Hawaii on our 25th anniversary'....'Yes, but what did you give her for your 50th?' which he responded: 'For our 50th, I sent her another ticket to bring her back from Hawaii'

Sunday, October 28, 2012

28/31: Mathematicians...

"An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first mathematician orders one beer. The second orders half a beer. The third orders one quarter of a beer. The bartender says "You're a bunch of idiots" and pours two beers."

Friday, October 26, 2012

26/31: Taxi

"Interesting Experience...

I would like to share an experience with you about drinking and driving. As you well know, most of us have been lucky over the years not to have had brushes with the law on our way home from various social engagements.

However, a couple of nights ago, I was out for a few drinks with some friends. I had several glasses of beer and finished things off with a tequila shot. Not a good idea.

Knowing full well that I was, at least slightly, over the limit, I did something I've never done before. I took a taxi home.

Sure enough I came up on a police road block. But because I was in a taxi, they waved it past.

I arrived home safely, without a single incident; a real surprise! I have
never driven a taxi before and am not sure where I got it."

(Don't drink and dive. It's dumb.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

25/31: Baby

"A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: ''Ugh, that's the ugliest baby I've ever seen!'' The former walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: ''The driver just insulted me!'' The man says: ''You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I'll hold your monkey for you.''

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

24/31: Cars

"There's a man trying to cross the street. But when he steps off the curb a car comes screaming around the corner and heads straight for him. The man walks faster, trying to hurry across the street, but the car changes lanes and is still coming at him. So the guy turns around to go back, but the car changes lanes again and is still coming at him. By now, the car is so close and the man so scared that he just stops in the middle of the road. The car gets real close, then swerves at the last possible moment and stops next to the man. The driver rolls down the window. It's a squirrel. He says, "See, it's not as easy as it looks."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

23/31: Vegetarian

"A vegetarian has a carrot sticking out of one ear,celery out of the other,and a mushroom up his nose. He goes to the doctor and asks him what's wrong. The doctor tells him, "Well, for one thing, you're not eating right."

Monday, October 22, 2012

22/31: Cab Driver

"A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her.

She asks him why he is staring.

He replies: "I have a question to ask you, but I don't want to
offend you."

She answers, "My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive."

"Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me."

She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do a about that: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and Catholic!"

"OK" the nun says. "Pull into the next alley."

The nun fulfills his fantasy, with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.

But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

"My dear child," says the nun, "why are you crying?"

"Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess, I'm married and I'm Jewish."

The nun says, "That's OK...... My name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

21/31: Robbery

"An elderly woman called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car had been broken in to.

She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher: 'They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!' she cried.

The dispatcher said, 'Stay calm. An officer is on the way.'

A few minutes later, the officer radios in. 'Disregard.' He says. 'She got in the back-seat by mistake.'"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

19/31: Budweiser

"Honestly, Budweiser, I only had two officers!"

(Don't drink and drive. That's just dumb!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

18/31: Chocoholics Anonymous

"Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous?"

"¡ʇınb oʇ sʇuɐʍ ǝuo ou ǝsnɐɔǝq

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

17/31: Yogi

"What did the yogi say to the hot dog vendor?

"buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ ɥʇıʍ ǝuo ǝɯ ǝʞɐɯ˙˙˙

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16/31: Tree

"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?"

Monday, October 15, 2012

15/31: Blonde

"A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and one night he's doing a show in a small club in a small town in Arkansas. With his dummy on his knee, he's going through his usual dumb blonde jokes when a blonde woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and starts shouting: ''I've heard enough of your stupid blonde jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does the color of a person's hair have to do with her worth as a human being? It's guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community and from reaching our full potential as a person, because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against, not only blondes, but women in general...and all in the name of humor!''

The ventriloquist is embarrassed and begins to apologize, when the blonde yells, ''You stay out of this, mister! I'm talking to that little jerk on your knee!''

Sunday, October 14, 2012

14/31: Camo

"I went to buy some camouflage pants the other day but I couldn't find any."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

13/31: What is...

"What is brown and sticky?
ʞɔıʇs ɐ"

Friday, October 12, 2012

12/31: Students

"Four students from Los Angeles drove up to Santa Barbara for the weekend. UCSB lived up to reputation with the best bars and campus parties. The students had such a wild time, they didn’t leave any time to study for their Monday exam in organic chemistry. They devised a story to tell their professor about how they travelled to UCSB to conduct research and study, but ended up with a flat tire on their way back to LA. They promised to take the test on Tuesday morning, first thing. The professor agreed. After studying all day Monday, the students arrived to class Tuesday fully prepared for their exam.

She placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them an exam (which was out of 100 points) and told them to begin. The first problem was worth five points. It was something simple about free radical formation. Cool, they all thought in their separate rooms, "this is going to be easy."

Each finished the problem and then turned the page. Question 2 (for 95 points): Which tire?"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

11/31: Conan

"President Obama is slated to appear on one of Oprah's last shows. He's hoping it's the one on which she gives away 14 trillion dollars.'' —Conan O'Brien

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

9/31: Octopus

"What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus? I wanna hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand!"

Monday, October 8, 2012

8/31: Descartes

"René Descartes is sitting in a bar, having a drink. The bartender asks him if he would like another. 'I think not,' he says and vanishes into thin air."

Friday, October 5, 2012

5/31: Squirrel

"How does a naturalist catch a squirrel?

.....He climbs up a tree and acts like a nut."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

3/31: Two types of people...

There are two types of people in the world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data…

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2/31: Milk

- Doctor, I drank milk that was past its expiration date. What'll happen to me? Am I gonna die?
- Well everyone is going to die some day,you know....
- Oh my God! What have I done? Now we're all gonna die!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Joketober 1/31

A couple of hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?”

The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard.

The guy's voice comes back on the line. He says: “OK, now what?"

*Most Joketobers were found on the web. Sorry I don't have the sources! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Letters

I was a bit pressed on time this month (working 70 hours a week, plus a consulting job too), so I shifted gears a bit from full letters to postcards. Each day I wrote a postcard to someone special. The month includes family and friends that I'm close to, family and friends from afar, and a few thank you post cards... I even sent my first fan mail in my life to Arcade Fire.  A bit silly, but I love this band and wanted to express my thanks!

A great month that I enjoyed thoroughly!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ronald McDonald!

I volunteered with some of my amazing, fun, creative colleagues to prepare dinner for 50 guests of the Ronald McDonald House. Loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hopeful for the homeless

I left another care package for the homeless tonight. Again, it feels too small to make a difference. But still better than nothing...

Helping the Homeless

I've heard that the homeless often need basic toiletries, in addition to food and shelter. Today I dropped off two care packages (one for yesterday and one for today) of toothpaste and other daily products to the homeless. I'm sure they need much more than what I can give, but it's a start....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bedside flowers

So many nursing homes, so little time! Dropped off another potted plant to a nursing home today. These little acts of kindness put everything into perspective....I should really take more time to build on that thought and to examine what matters most. I think I know, but it's so easy to forget....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Blooms for seniors

I left two pots of flowers at a nursing home in Los Alamitos today. I asked the receptionist to give them to residents who never have visitors. I think this may be something I continue to do often the elderly are simply forgotten....

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cookie Friday

Left a dozen cookies at the bus stop...."a few cookies to sweeten your bus ride today. Happy Friday!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I was short on time today so I left a quick Starbucks card on a stranger's windshield tonight. I wish I could see and hear the reactions people have....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Watering the waterers

More record breaking heat today. I dropped off another case of water, but this time at the entrance to a community garden. I wanted to recognize local gardens and self-grown produce. 100 degrees and climbing!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunny sunflowers

I delivered sunflowers this morning to a hospice center and asked the receptionist to give them to a patient who never has visitors.

Imagine how the world would change if everyone delivered flowers to a nursing home or hospice once a year? Not only would the recipient benefit, but an even greater change would occur in the giver.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Free Water!

We're having record heat this weekend. I picked up a case of water and left it at the entrance of a super busy bike path. It's a common stopping point for cyclists, runners, and walkers. I posted a sign that said "Free water. Random act of kindness. Enjoy!"

I still marvel at the fact that these random acts of kindness take so little time and that they make me so incredibly happy. Increasing the goodness in the world, one little act of kindness at a time. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Starbucks on a Starry Night

Today we headed out of LA up to Red Rock Campground for the Perseid meteor shower. In Palmdale, we stopped for Starbucks and I added a gift card to my order. This time, my friends helped me pick which car would be the recipient of the random act of kindness. We ended up choosing a minivan parked in front of a dollar store.  I hope it brightened their day!

Here is the view from our campground...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ice cream!

I left extra money at the ice cream shop to treat the next two strangers to free ice cream. Sharing my favorite food in the world...what could be more fun?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bus stop surprise

Left another National Geographic magazine with bus fare at a bus stop on 7th street tonight. I was on the phone with my mom at the was nice to share the adventure with my mom. I'm excited about having more time on the weekend to plan new ideas!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Get on the Jamba bus!

Tonight I left a Jamba Juice card at a bus stop in a not so great part of town. In fact, I counted 7 liquor stores within just 4 blocks of this bus stop. Maybe they'll wish it was a liquor card instead... here's hoping this brightened someone's day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bus Fare Freebie

I left a National Geographic magazine with bus fare and a kindness card at the bus stop.

I dropped it off while on my 3 mile run... it seemed comical to run past the bus stop and drop the magazine without stopping. Gift and go? Give and run? Either was fun!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jamba Sneak Attack

I'm happy to admit that sneaking around in the dark to leave surprise gift cards for strangers is super fun... perhaps I should have been a spy.

Tonight I left a Jamba Juice card and a Kindness card under the windshield wiper of a not-so-new-and-not-so-gorgeous-car. Hope they enjoyed finding the surprise in the morning!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Coffee, tea, on me!

I gave the barista at Portfolio's extra cash and asked her to pick someone special in line to treat to coffee this morning.

A nice perk about this project is that I find myself noticing people more and smiling at strangers more often. I'm a nice person in general, but this project is giving me a new awareness of the wonderful people around me. I want to reach out more often, not only to strangers, but to friends too!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Blossoms for a senior

I brought a bouquet of yellow flowers to a nursing home this afternoon and asked the receptionist to give them to a resident who never gets visitors or gifts. She was happy to do so, and I also left a kindness card too.

I selected the nursing home by researching the worst care facilities in the area. It's so sad to see the ratings! This place had only 1 star out of 5 from the Department of Health. Terrible! I figured a resident at a facility like this might need flowers more than anyone.

I was reminded today of my weekly visits to see my great-grandmother when I was young. I remember seeing other residents who never received a visitor...while some may not have welcomed visitors, I'm sure most would have treasured a visit or an unexpected gift.

This entire process took less than 15 minutes (to buy the flowers and deliver them). I'm left with one question...
... why don't I do this more often????

Friday, August 3, 2012

Present in the Park

Tonight I left a Jamba Juice gift card and a kindness cars on a bench in my favorite park. I wonder what the person will think when they find it, or who will they tell, and will they be more kind in the days ahead?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Honoring hybrids

Tonight I left a Jamba Juice gift card with a Kindness Card under the windshield wiper of a parked hybrid Prius. I thanked them for driving a green vehicle. Fun! Fun!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Altruism in August

My goal this month: do something nice for a stranger every day for the month of August. I'm really excited about this project. I have a few ideas in mind and I'm hoping some spontaneous opportunities will come up too.

Today, as I left the USC hospital parking lot, I paid the parking fee for the car in back of me. I asked the cashier to tell the next car that I just wanted to do something nice for someone today.

I felt good as I drove away - and I hope I did brighten that person's day.

I printed up some small cards today:

Back side:

Enjoy this gift given to you by someone who is just looking
to brighten
a stranger's day!
“Life is short.
Live your dream and
share your passion.”
Give freely and give often.
(poster from the
Holstee Manifesto)
Front Side features the poster from Holstee:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

New in June

This month was wildly undocumented and exhilarating. It started off modest with a few stops into new stores, driving new routes, and taking a closer look at places I'd never noticed before. The month included a trip home to Chicago so there was something new every day there.

The month's highlight was a trip to Telluride. My first time and full of "new things" every single day, every moment really. It was too much to document, but it led to an inspiring epiphany - one that will play out over the next few years and one that has given my life a renewed purpose and inspiring significance. More to come on that...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May there be Music

My plan was to play piano every day. I miss playing and thought this would open up piano for me again. For some reason, I lost interest after just a few days. I decided to let this month go...

In hindsight, I wish I would have redefined the month, or at least played 5 minutes a day. Then again, maybe there is courage in owning up to what isn't working and letting go...

Maybe next year...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Artful April Recap

While I'm sad to see Artful April come to a close, I'm coming to realize that most of my monthly ambitions continue well beyond the 30 or 31 days. In some ways, the month serves as an intense study that creates a foundation that will hopefully serve me for the foreseeable future, and perhaps even a lifetime. And, in some cases, the month-long focus establishes a habit  I've also really enjoyed asking friends and new acquaintances about their favorite artists - I've learned from my friends and also learned more about them too.

April Recap:

Museums Visited (all new to me except for LACMA)
Art Created
  • Took photographs of Penny every day for a month
  • Made the project social by posting on Facebook
  • Project will live on! I have guest photographers lined up for the next several months
  • Finally, after years of wanting to, took a pottery wheel class
Online Explorations
Takeaway thoughts
  • I loved, loved, loved taking photos of Penny. I may take her with me in the future. 
  • I am even more intrigued with photography. I would love to continue: to explore, to learn, to create.
  • Considering a series of photographs like those of the 60's - something you could see taken backstage with the Beatles, black and white portraits, rock and roll style.... I have images in mind. 
  • I have an instant reaction to most art. I either love it immediately or I don't. 

Penny explores LACMA

April Showers

This month I had planned to focus on water conservation by taking shorter showers. But it turns out I already take short showers and I wasn't really willing to give up any more time. So, I had to research new ways to conserve water.

Best new strategy: I started flushing the toilet using a bucket of water from the shower. This is so simple! During my shower, I simply place a bucket in the shower to catch the run-off. Then, the next time I'm flushing the toilet, I pour the bucket of water into the toilet bowl. Done!

I started the month following the instructions of some websites which tell you to flush the toilet, then pour the bucket of water into the back storage basin. Totally unnessary and too many extra steps! Instead, you can pour the bucket (a standard bucket is exactly the right size) directly into the bowl, you don't have to flush the toilet since the gravity of the water initiates the flushing action on its own. Simple!

It's not exactly glamorous, but really easy and quickly became a habit.

Don't forget that being a vegetarian is one the best ways to save water - consumption of meat is an extraordinary waste of water!

Additional resources:
2013 Update: I kept up with this for almost a year, then I put the bucket away when guests came over. After the guests left, I forgot to put the bucket back out. What a ridiculously innane way to stop doing something that is easy and so good for the environemnet. And who cares if there is a bucket in the shower - maybe it can start a conversation to help spread the word. So, before writing this update, I placed the bucket back in the shower and I'm ready to start 2013 right!