New thing #26: Sketch & Updates

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Instead of the typical card and cake, my boss asked if I wanted to do a “new thing” for my work birthday celebration. I thought of going out for ice cream, and she suggested we go to Sketch down the street from our office (which happens to be across from the Sierra Nevada tasting room). They are known for their made in-house daily, organic ice cream, and offer more unusual, “boutique” kinds of flavors (I got the vanilla lavender swirl). It was nice to get a small break from the rain, take a walk, and move the work birthday ritual out of the office for a change.

 

Also, today my friend Jamie took me out to lunch for my birthday and gave me this awesome card. She said it made her think of my new things project.

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UPDATES:

Some people have been asking how certain things are going, so here are a few updates:

  • One of the brides from the Narnia wedding commented on the blog when she got back from her honeymoon, and I was stoked that she seemed happy with it.
  • I’m only on page 110 of War & Peace. I hope to catch up after this crazy busy month is over.
  • I was happy to see that the acts of kindness seemed to be spreading. A couple weeks ago someone left change in an envelope taped to our work vending machine. Written on the envelope: “The next one is on me.” Also, more co-workers ended up reading the blog than I anticipated, so at least one of the “anonymous” card recipients found out it was me who gave it to them. Oh well, you can’t expect anything to be kept secret once you put it on the internet.
  • I haven’t been back to BodyCombat class. I’ve barely been to the gym this month at all. Come April I plan to make a full comeback!
  • Mom and I watched our episode of Dance Party. We got on camera a decent amount, but I was surprised by how lame my dancing was, or should I say, my standing around. In my head I thought I was dancing, but on TV, I look like I’m barely moving! Maybe I was more nervous than I realized? I think the only way I would go back is to redeem myself. Go big or stay off the dance floor people!
  • I still want to stop on Frontage Road every day when I drive by it. I might have to start walking there once a week.
  • I got my official acceptance letter from Make-a-Wish! I go to the first volunteer training in May.
  • I found out today on our ice cream outing that apparently there is a lot of controversy surrounding Bay Street. The mall was built on an ancient Ohlone Indian burial ground. Since 2001 the Ohlone descendants host a “don’t buy anything day.” I hope that wasn’t the day I chose to shop there, yikes!
  • So far Match.com is and is not what I expected. I did expect it to feel artificial and forced. What I didn’t expect was how often I would have to ignore people. I thought I could just join, and kind of scope it out for a while, but the site has been livelier than that. I’m constantly getting emails, likes, “winks,” and match updates (I understand this is a typical woman’s experience with this site, so if you like this kind of attention, this is the place for you). Messages like “hey beautiful,” I’m okay ignoring. Some are unintentionally funny (“your eyes exude passion and wisdom…”), but some guys have written some really thoughtful and clever emails. None of them are people I would be interested in meeting/dating though (some due to distance, sorry but I’m not driving to Palo Alto to meet you for coffee), so it’s hard to decide if I should write them back. I would love to thank them for putting effort into their attempts, but it feels like leading them on.
  • I haven’t received my DNA testing kit, but I can’t wait!
  • I mentioned having a crush in my facial post, but people can stop asking about it. It’s clearly an unrequited crush, so there will likely be no interesting updates there.
  • My tattoo is healing nicely. It actually didn’t really need to heal at all, being that it was so small. I still love it, and it already feels like a part of me.

 

New thing #12: Interview with Make-a-Wish

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Back in January I signed up to be a volunteer Wish Granter at the Make-a-Wish Foundation. And no, not just because of Bat Kid (although that was awesome). I had been thinking about doing some volunteer work for a while, so I joined VolunteerMatch.org. Based on your location and interests, this site will suggest different volunteer opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Make-a-Wish was the first place they suggested for me, and as a longtime admirer of this unique organization, I was psyched at the thought of working with them.

“Wish Granters” are volunteers who go meet with children (ages 3-18) with life threatening medical conditions, whose parents have signed them up to have a wish granted. The WG’s job is to interview them to find out what their exact wish is, if they have one. And if they don’t have one, the WG attempts to find out more about them, and what kinds of things will make them the happiest.

I’ve discovered that you don’t just sign up to be a volunteer with Make-a-Wish. It’s a process, much like applying for a job. Given the WG’s contact with children, I understand why they need to be thorough.

When I first signed up, I got word back about a month later that they were holding an informational orientation for prospective volunteers, which I went to back in February. The guy leading the meeting has been a volunteer himself for years, and within the first few minutes, he was struggling through tears to tell us about some of the wishes he’s been involved with. He told us that before volunteering with MAW, that he was a very closed off person. He never cried or told his family he loved them very often. He said MAW changed him for the better, and that it would change us too.

The next step in the process was to fill out the official application forms. We had to give them three references and pay for a background check. Then after waiting about two weeks for all that to be processed, I finally heard back a couple days ago about the last step in the process, which was scheduling a phone interview, which I had today.

The phone call was pretty casual, in which the volunteer coordinator told me about her own 20 years of experience as a Wish Granter. She asked standard questions about my background, and asked why I wanted to volunteer with MAW.

The truth is, I don’t fully understand why myself. It sounds intense and difficult on many levels. It sounds potentially depressing. But the more I hear about the work of a WG, the more I feel pulled to do it. I mean, helping to fulfill wishes for kids? It just feels like nothing could be more magical than that.

I should hear back soon. Wish me luck!