Tuesday, May 03, 2005

World's Greatest Friends

Total Money Raised: $913
Number of friends pressured into donating: 34

Several facts have been unearthed during my collection of funds for the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation. First, I have the greatest friends in the whole world. Second, collecting money, even for a great cause, is a ridiculously annoying hassle for which your friends will hate you. Third, the sense of accomplishment and pride makes being ostracized worth while.

I would like to thank each and every one of my friends, family, strangers and members of the T.R.A.V.I.S.F.A.N.C.L.U.B. who donated money. I sincerely believe that my unique group of friends is the greatest in the world and I’m a better person for knowing each of you. Initially my intent was to publish donor’s names but I was advised against it (apparently some of you are good people, even sans credit). So here is the list of donors by alias:

Reverend Doctor, Lamika & Mase Dog, Big Tom Stud & Boom-ba-lattie, Bonfire Parents, Bonfire Date, Bathon, Aunt Paula, Brown Eyed Girl, Tiny Dancer Viviane, Jenna, Lawyer who's name sounds a lot like Schwab, 1-Up, Noriega, 8th Grade Crush, The Boss, Rents, Corissa, Dr. J-Pussy, The Three Scary Noiseses, Southern Baptist Belle, Poker Pals, Hot Girl @ Bones, Dre & Culligan, Tres & Mr. Glass, Mrs. Hy-Vee is the greatest store in the world and don't you dare shop anywhere else even if it's closer to home & Mookie, Amari*, J-Bug, Ab-a-Strap, J-Strap, M & M, Mr. McQ, Big K.

Two special thanks are in order. First, to Dances with Cats who gave me inspiration when i doubted my ability to accomplish this daunting task. You are a great person with an even greater heart. Second, to my Mogul Mentor who not only taught me everything i know about skiing bumps, but also achieved Greatest Overall Donor, or, GOD designation for His donation. I knew i could count on you.

And, i thank the following business for contributing in some way. Please patron these establishments*: Tropical Liquors, Chris McD’s, Brady's Glass, Velocity Supply, Van Matre & Harrison, Domino's Pizza, Ellis & Associates.
*Establishments don't necessarily agree with a single thing i've ever printed. In fact, at least one disagrees with everything except fighting breast cancer.

Here is where I was going to dwell upon how harrowing it is soliciting money from friends, yet how great it feels. Instead let’s just dwell upon these pictures I presumably ripped off from HamNCheez:




Friday, April 15, 2005

Walkers for Knockers Party


This friend of mine, Julie, threw this awesome party last weekend and spared no expense doing such. I'd guess she invested about $2,000 upfront and tens of hours in sweat equity. I'm talking the works. The liquor was diverse as New York City and flowed like Niagara Falls. A crew of eight card dealers brought in as many black jack tables. The local church donated one hundred folding chairs. A couple of guys were paid to cook fresh fried catfish to compliment the honey baked ham and a multitude of other dishes. The logistics of this soiree continue to boggle my mind. And it doesn't stop there.

In order to throw a remarkable party you need sponsorship. Individuals and corporations donated bracelets, purses, a fishing trip, car stereo, portable satellite radio, booze, train set, golf bag, cooler and other stuff. Somebody donated the venue. Many others donated time, resources and effort. This was one party you didn't want miss. Oh, did I mention it was all in support of the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation?

Julie wished to help in the fight against breast cancer. Rather than merely pay a dollar for a pink wristband, like me, she choose to make a greater difference. In signing up for "The 3-Day", a 60-mile hike, she pledged to raise $2,500 dollars for the Foundation. I think she raised over $7,000. Wow. What pride she must take in accomplishing so much for such a worthy cause: “[The Foundation aims to] eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by funding research grants and supporting education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the world.”

I too want to participate in community involvement and social activism. Granted, I’ve increased River Otter awareness 2-fold, but to my knowledge no body has yet adopted little Ottiga. Regarding breast cancer, I momentarily considered making a huge cash donation until I remembered I’m a 28 year old pizza boy and I live with my parents. Monetary funds aren’t exactly my strong suit.

But what I do have is time, connections, and great friends. Friends who are sincerely good people who I know will contribute to such a worthy cause. Thus, I have pledged to raise $250 for the Foundation in Julie’s name. I hope to raise significantly more, but as the great Jerry Blank once said, “If you’ve gotta’ reach for a star; reach for the lowest one out there”.

I have come up with a list of enticements to encourage giving. I’ve even gone so far as to denigrate myself through whoring (now that’s giving ‘til it hurts!) The following are my donation levels and designations:

Cheapskate - $1: Kiss or handshake from yours truly (mutually agreed upon)
Band Wearer- $5: Kiss + Pink breast cancer wristband
Ribbon Bearer - $10: Kiss + Wristband + Sweet light-up, pink ribbon, magnetic pin.
Hero - $25: Kiss + Wristband + Ribbon + Free Domino’s Pizza (hopefully)
Champion - $50: Kiss + Wristband + Ribbon + Pizza + Liquor t-shirt
Immortal - $75: Kiss + Wristband + Ribbon + Pizza + T-shirt + Free Hostas planted in your yard (BoCoMo area only)
Deity - $100+: All the other stuff + Random bottle of liquor.
Greatest Overall Donor: I’ll try to get you a free drink at Tropical Liquors, some money off at Chris McDs, a piece of HVAC conduit, ammunition or gun parts, legal advise from a law student, psychiatric analysis, and answers to all your jewelry questions.
So, please, please, please help me exceed my goal of $250 and do your part to help save breasts!!! You can click here to donate to the foundation, in Julie's name, directly. Or, you can give me a check payable to Julie Townsend, The 3-Day, or The Komen Foundation, or whatever. Eitherway it will get to the right people. Or, i will accept your cash donation which i will turn into cashier's check form and post on my blog. Thanks.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Laura is a Hottie

In virtually all modern democracies the people are represented by two separate leaders: the Head of Government and the Head of State. Only in America are these two important roles combined into one person, the President of the United States of America. Normally, the Head of State is a national symbol and used mostly for ceremonial duties. My contention is that America’s First Lady has de facto become our Head of State. And in my lifetime there has never been a greater Head of State than the lovely, stately, Laura Bush.

Consider Britain where Tony Blair (Prime Minister) is the Head of Government while the Queen is the titular Head of State. Under this dichotomy, it is OK to hate Blair and his government, yet still love the Queen and her People. While Blair controls and influences Parliament and therefore the laws of the land, it is the Queen's job to love all the people and nations of the world, exert political force in small doses when appropriate, and throw decadent parties (God himself would attend a party at Windsor Castle if cordially invited). The system is virtually the same throughout the world’s democracies.

Country: Head of State, Head of Government.
Japan: Emperor of Japan, Prime Minister.
Germany: President, Federal Chancellor.
Italy: President of the Italian Republic, President of the Council of Ministers
Ukraine, Poland: President, Prime Minister
Vatican: Pope, Secretary of State
etc... Virtually all democracies, save the USA, have a split Head of State/Head of Government.

In America we lack a figurehead of the American people whose sole duty is relationship building. With a unified Head of State/Government, our President represents both the people AND the government leaving it impossible to dislike one without disliking the other. Fortunately, in recent decades our formerly irrelevant First Lady is transforming into our de facto Head of State. And a greater First Lady there has never been in my lifetime, and arguably, ever.

For example, from February 21st though the 24th, 2005, W. made a whirlwind tour of Europe to mend ties with the europussies. But he didn't go it alone; Laura Bush was also in Europe one step ahead of W. She traveled ahead speaking at military bases, schools, and libraries. She met with no leaders and her speeches lacked controversy (and arguably substance). The First Lady was merely there, warming up the populous, sending greetings of love and friendship and representing the PEOPLE of the United States of America. Later, when W. spoke before politicians and dignitaries he always mentioned how happy he and Laura were to make the trip. America's government (W.) and her people (Laura) both worked independently at mending relationships.

Laura Bush IS America’s Head of State and a damn fine one too. She has poise, grace, a beautiful southern-bell accent, a charming smile, great figure, intelligence and a love of her country and the world. She is stately. And, I am proud to have her represent me on the world scale.
Craziest arcade game ever!