#94- Spreading the wealth

I work in fundraising as my day job, so it’s interesting to me to learn about all of the different forms it can take. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about microfinance. It’s certainly not a new concept, but I do feel as though it’s becoming increasingly popular as of late. As Wikipedia defines it, “Microfinance refers to the provision of financial services to low-income clients, including the self-employed. Often, the term also refers to the practice of sustainably delivering those services.” Basically it’s a bank of sorts, where individuals contribute money as a loan to another individual, who use the windfall in order to improve upon or start a sustainable business. Just like a regular loan, they sign a contract with terms that involve the repayment schedule. Am I blabbering? In any event:

I loaned money to a business owner through Kiva.

After doing some research, I found Kiva, an organization that streamlines the process. You can search from thousands of people and families to find the perfect fit for what type of person/business you prefer to support. I chose to loan to a woman in Nigeria who plans to use the loan to buy a freezer for her local shop so that she can stock more products and improve upon food safety.

Fun factor: 10

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#93- Risk Taker

I worked at the restaurant tonight. At one point there was a lull in traffic, so in order to entertain my mature self:

I drank a suicide from the drink gun.

For those of you unfamiliar with this notion- a suicide is a concoction of several different flavors, usually in beverage form, most often performed on the playground as a result of a dare. I have had a suicide before- at Dairy Queen with the Mister Misty flavors- but never with pop.

The gun at the restaurant contains: RC, Diet Rite, 7-Up, Grape Soda, Green River, club soda, lemonade, iced tea, water, and Dr. Pepper. It was pretty nasty. The overpowering flavor for me was Grape, which made it slightly more bearable.

Fun factor: 7

#92- Resident Loser

There’s a newspaper in Chicago, The RedEye, that contains a daily Sodoku puzzle. Apparently the publication has been lucrative for the outfit, because they seem to have some extra cash laying around to pay a staff member whose title is “Resident Sodoku Ninja.” I imagine his cubicle is probably right next to the Resident Butthole Sniffer. This man does the Soduku puzzle every day and times himself. The challenge each day to the readers is to beat his time. I’ve never actually timed myself, so today:

I challenged the Sodoku Ninja’s time.

I’ve seen his times range from 3 to 18 minutes whenever I happen to check out this paper, but today it was an astonishing 59 minutes. The puzzle was rated with difficulty of 6 stars- another staggering number I’d never seen. I thought I would kick the SN’s ass, but instead I finished in 69 minutes. And then I spent the next 69 minutes being depressed that I had spent 69 minutes of my Sunday doing a Sodoku puzzle.

Fun factor: 6

#91- Worst Idea EVER

I’ll get right to the point:

I attempted to do the Master Cleanse.

A terrible, terrible idea.  I thought it would make me feel great to have a good cleanse.  The idea is you drink a concoction comprised of fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, distilled water, and cayenne pepper for 7-10 days.  Yes, it’s very extreme, but I had done some research and spoken to many people who had done it and the common theme was that you feel incredible after doing it.  

Day one was a success, but I was so crabby and tired it was ridiculous.  The work day was okay, but once I was home, it was all downhill.  I had BAD, BAD thoughts toward Dr. Stanley Burroughs, the creator of the cleanse.  I wish I could’ve reached the stage of enlightenment that I had hoped for, instead I celebrated the next day with a bag of M&M’s and a peanut butter brownie. 

Fun Factor: 0

#90- Man vs. Machine- an audience poll. Please vote so the winner may accordingly abuse bragging rights…

Tonight, Nick and I had a cook-off. He cooked salmon, and I cooked salmon. He grilled his and:

I cooked salmon in a dishwasher.

First, I buttered the foil and placed the salmon fillet on it. I squeezed a little lemon juice on it at this point too.

Then I made a cute little envelope with the foil, making sure that no air gaps existed.

Then I placed it in the dishwasher (no soap), closed the door, and put it on the hot, normal cycle.

Nick’s creation (BELOW): Grilled salmon and asparagus, roasted scallions, all served on a bed of crushed coriander and red chili pepper rice pilaf, and plated with a foam infusion of orange and ginger.

Mine (BELOW): Buttered dishwasher-steamed salmon fillet served with a lime-infused Palmolive elixir.

So, who wins? Without injecting any bias, might I gingerly mention that one of us does NOT attend culinary school.

Fun factor: 8

#89- Apartment Crawl

Yesterday Katie, Emily and I had irrational fears of being alone. We went to afternoon tea, as we do most days, and we surely couldn’t go to the bar in our tea garb, so we were forced to go our separate ways to change clothes and meet back up again at a bar to send two of our friends off to Colorado. To remedy this dilemma, we concocted a plan and:

I went on an apartment crawl.

We went to Emily’s place first and drank a beer while she changed. Then we headed to my place, and then to Katie’s, enjoying a beverage at each joint. It was impromptu and fun, while still serving its purpose.

Fun factor: 8

#88- High Society

We wanted to do something different for Emily’s birthday this year, so:

I had formal afternoon tea.

We went to the Drake Hotel, where we proceeded to order our tea flavors and enjoy tiny sandwiches, scones, and desserts. Katie chose pear caramel tea, the birthday girl chose Earl Grey; I chose a variety of green tea called gunpowder. It was yummy and the food was really good. There was a woman playing the harp to serve as the background music. I would definitely recommend doing this if you live in Chicago- if you live somewhere else, find a place near you that offers tea service. To have a similar experience, avoid places ending in “mart” or those that have a drive through.

Ladies who lunch:

Fun factor: 10