What's going on here?

I've made a commitment: to do one good deed per day. Large or small, it doesn't matter. Self-sacrificing or not, extraordinary or mundane, it doesn't matter. Just one thing every day, that's all.

The more I do good, the better I feel about myself. Truly, to benefit others is to benefit yourself. I hope this journal may inspire others who also yearn to do good. So join me on this journey, if you will, and think about the difference you can make in your own life.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Toe socks for R

I don't know how long I had those tiny little toe socks stashed among my clothes. They'd just turned up in the wash one day, obviously forgotten by some previous person. They were far too small for my feet. I guess I just thought eventually I'd find somebody who fit them.

Not exactly like the story of Cinderella and the glass slipper, but R fit the toe socks just the same.

ONE GOOD DEED: Give R a pair of toe socks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An audio essay for the Tribeways podcast

A burst of creatively flowed out of my tonight. I recorded an audio essay about the relative un-importance of belief in ADF religion, and sent it off to Tribeways, the ADF podcast. This is something I do fairly frequently, on an entirely volunteer basis since there is no compensation (although I do enjoy hearing myself speak, which is reward enough!).

ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer an audio essay to the Tribeways podcast.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gonna use your transit pass?

Shucks! I saw that my metro transit pass would expire ten minutes before the next time I'd have to get on the light rail. Oh well... I'll just have to buy another one.

That's when a guy near me asked if I was going to use my pass.

ONE GOOD DEED: Give my transit pass to someone who could use it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kendama and a Hebrew alphabet for cousin R's boy

My cousin R has a boy who's half-Jewish and will soon start Torah-Talmud school. When I unearthed an old set of wooden tile Hebrew alphabet letters I'd engraved years ago, I wondered if he might like them.

I also found a Japanese toy called a kendama, which consists of a ball on a string tied to hand-held stick with several plates and pegs. The goal is to get the ball to land on the plates and pegs.

ONE GOOD DEED: Give cousin R's boy a set of Hebrew alphabet tiles and a Japanese kendama.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flowers for R

I wasn't back in the states more than a month when I met R. She's the best thing to happen to me in a long time. I wanted to say something special to her, but how? Walking through the Minneapolis Farmer's Market, I noticed an extraordinary bouquet with ornamental kale and vivid red flowers like sea anemone. Immediately I knew how to say it.

ONE GOOD DEED: Have a bouquet of flowers delivered to R at work.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Can I get a ride back to South Minneapolis?

"Sure, I can take you."

Her bike tire had blown on the way to the Reserve Teacher Orientation in Northeast Minneapolis today, and she had to hail a cab to get there. I was happy to reply to her anxiously implore.

ONE GOOD DEED: Give a fellow prospective teacher a ride home from the orientation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Okuribito tip for P

The double Oscar-winning Japanese movie Okuribito (Departures) will be showing for free at the Nolte Center in Minneapolis. Boy was my Japanophile friend psyched to hear it.

ONE GOOD DEED: Tell my friend P about the free showing of Okuribito.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Trash at the library

Locking up my bike, picking up trash, one fluid motion.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash while parking my bike at the library.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trash on the way home from shopping

Arggh! Never before have I ever had problems with colors bleeding in the laundry. I had to go get some Oxi-Clean to take care of it, and took care of some trash on the way back.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash on the way home from shopping.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Trash around Loring Park

R and I took a romantic stroll through Loring Park this evening. Ducks, geese, every kind of flower, and... trash.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash at Loring Park

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Helping kids learn to get along

I went to my hometown airport's fly-in breakfast today. Two of my second cousins, each about 5 or 6 years old were there too. They got into a little tiff over whose turn it was to fly the kite, and I overheard them arguing about it afterward. So I made up an excuse to separate them and then talked it over with them with their respective parents.

ONE GOOD DEED: Help my second cousins learn to get along.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trash at Lake Harriet

I went on a date with R tonight at Lake Harriet. There was a band and a movie at the bandshell, and we had a picnic on the grass.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash at Lake Harriet

Friday, September 18, 2009

Buy cousin R's gas

My cousin R is always giving me rides and buying me pizza, so when he forgot his wallet today I happily paid for his gas at the gas station.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pay for my cousin R's gas.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amnesty International - Fighting Human Trafficking

Today I was approached by an Amnesty International worker on the street. She told me that Minnesota is currently one of the biggest cities for human trafficking in the U.S. Duluth, a city up north on Lake Superior, is apparently an international port with relatively lax security, making it attractive to traffickers.

ONE GOOD DEED: Become a member of Amnesty International to work toward their membership goal of one million, which number will be used to lobby for human rights in Congress.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kurt Vonnegut for R

I met a wonderful girl named R. She likes Kurt Vonnegut, and I happened to have his collected works collecting dust on my shelf. Gee, what to do?

ONE GOOD DEED: Give R the collected works of Kurt Vonnegut.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trash around Uptown and Loring Park

I took a long walk around Uptown and Loring Park today. It's been a long time since I hit that part of town. Loring Park is especially beautiful, an oasis in an urban desert.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash around Uptown and Loring Park.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Volunteering at Wellstone International High School

Today I got set up to start volunteering at a high school called Wellstone International. It's 100% ESL students, which means they are mostly immigrants still learning English. I will be volunteering three days a week, helping out however I can in actual classes. I need the classroom experience to fill a prerequisite for the teacher licensure program I'll start next June. I'm also excited to be working at such an interesting school. It's 60% Latin American, 30% East African, and 10% Southeast Asian. ESL is what I want to teach as a career, so I'm pumped to witness ESL teaching in action.

ONE GOOD DEED: Become a volunteer at Wellstone International High School.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where's the library?

A couple of young guys on the street were lost. I was happy to help them find where they were going.

ONE GOOD DEED: Help two guys find the library.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Helping an old lady

Cruising through Savers, I overheard an old lady complain that she couldn't find the spoons. I tried to talk to her but she seemed hard of hearing and a little senile. Finally I went to the aisle and brought back spoons to show her, then pointed. Her face lit up with gratitude.

ONE GOOD DEED: Help an old lady find the spoons at Savers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trash around the University

And more trash, this time on the way to class (I'm taking Japanese classes).

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash at the university.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I guess now I can say my life is pretty "trashy."

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash around town.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chick Tracts for my cousin

Cousin R loves Chick Tracts too. You know Chick Tracts? They're those obnoxious religious comic book pamphlets that condemn everything from Islam to Dungeons & Dragons.

ONE GOOD DEED: Give R my Chick Tracts.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Akira Kurosawa magnets for my cousin

My cousin R loves Akira Kurosawa-- the director of Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Rashimon, etc. He came over to my apartment last night and helped me arrange the place. He loves interior design, but he says no one takes him seriously because he's not gay! So he gave my place "a straight man's touch."

ONE GOOD DEED: Give my cousin magnets with Akira Kurosawa movie paintings on them.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ren Fest turkey leg for... that guy-gal over there

I went to the Renaissance Festival with a friend today. You know those giant smoked turkey legs they have there?--I just had to have one. My friend was indecisive though. I thought she finally said "yeah", but when I got back with two turkey legs, she said it was actually a "naah." So I gave it to the trannie in a Maid Marion dress she happened to be talking to.

ONE GOOD DEED: Give away a turkey leg to a stranger.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Baby daiper in the road?!!

Who leaves a full baby daiper just lying on the side of the road? Ugh. The things you find when picking up trash.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash, including a baby daiper, from the streets.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wine for the party

A new friend invited me to a party tonight. I met her for the first time the other night, but she happens to be from the same hometown, and her mom was my high school art teacher! Anyway, it was a nice outdoor BBQ with her friends. I'm getting plugged in to the community!

ONE GOOD DEED: Give wine to the hosts of the party.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Trash at the university

I passed my Japanese placement test today! Now I can take the courses that will allow me to get rated as a public schools teacher of Japanese.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash around the university.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Supporting my musician friend

I went to a friend's CD release party tonight. It's just a self-published deal, nothing major. He's trying to drum up cash to go on a "tour" (road trip).

ONE GOOD DEED: Support my friend by buying his CD.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mountain Dew for my brother's birthday

When my brother's birthday came around, I could only think of one thing to get him--the sugary green ichor that flows in his veins and supports his very life.

ONE GOOD DEED: Buy Mountain Dew for my brother's birthday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trash in Minneapolis

More trash collecting today as I explored my new neighborhood.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash in Minneapolis.