Monday, October 24, 2011

Giving the gift of time

Yesterday I ranted about how apathetic we as a people seem to be about our military in general and, specifically, our soldiers returning from Iraq. Today I'm offering a solution to those who feel they are too broke or too busy to get involved.

Call to thank a veteran. You can do it from your office, from your car if you're stuck in traffic, or from your home. You can do it wearing your pjs, if you wish. Depending on your cell phone plan, it won't even cost you anything.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, there's value in the time it takes to "call a veteran, just to say hello." They also suggest veterans would welcome volunteers to come by and share a meal, bring the family pet over to visit or read the newspaper out loud.

When you consider that these veterans put their lives on the line for us, these requests are indeed humbling.

Click here to find out more about helping.

Overhead over pancakes

Today at lunch in our building's new pancake house, I eavesdropped on the couple in the next booth. He believes he's going to be a reality star. The first episode of the show -- which seems to be chronicling the adventures of personal trainers in major cities -- is already done. Two full weeks of his worklife, that's 80 hours of film, was edited down to one 50 minute episode.

He is sure that if the show runs three seasons, he'll be a millionaire several times over. I couldn't ascertain how the deal is constructed, or how he'll be compensated for the first two seasons. He seems to regard this as a fantastic marketing opportunity for ... himself.

And he does love himself a lot. He's good looking, very buff, shaved head with tattoos adorning a pair of very nice arms. But I don't see how he could possibly be an expert on everything, and that's just how he was presenting himself to his rather average, fawning and most definitely-not-his-girlfriend dining companion. For example, all the doctors he knows are "shifty." He named a well known Chicago university hospital as being "the worst." If he broke his arm, he'd rather have a friend of his, another personal trainer, set it than go to that hospital. His secretary (are they called "secretaries" anymore?) understands human nature better than any of the psychiatrists he's met. This reality show is hard for him, because, well, he doesn't like taking orders from anyone. That explains why he dropped out of high school and, with just a GED, was offered a scholarship from UCLA. He turned it down, of course. (No, it doesn't explain that at all. But when you're snooping, you can't very well chime in with questions.)