A Thank You for An Unnecessary Kindness

Though this blog often contains a great deal of personal information about me, my life and its goings-on, I don’t think I ever get too sappy or self-indulgent with personal anecdotes that aren’t relevant to an overall point (please feel free to disagree and cite your evidence – three examples makes a case, I’d say). However, I must share a quick story.

Tonight Eszter and I went to Sausalito to have dinner with some of my family that lives out here (my family has been very sweet in their reaching out to us since we’ve moved here). We had sensational Chinese food and a lovely time at a restaurant called Feng Nian. After dinner we had to drive (in our Zip Car) back across the Golden Gate Bridge, and upon recalling that the toll was 5 dollars and that we had no cash, pulled off the last exit to see if we could find an ATM or gas station. This sucked all the more (or mainly because) I had to pee really really bad (small bladder) and because we had to have our car back within 22 minutes.

In any case, a few minutes off the exit we saw a restaurant, and I’m not sure why I went in since nice restaurants in Sausalito don’t do cash back, but I decided to ask if they knew of an ATM or whether the toll could be paid with a card. The two bar tenders and the only couple at the bar began talking with me about my options and the bar tender remembered that the toll could be mailed to my home address if I had no cash.

Much to my surprise, however, the couple produced a five dollar bill that they insisted I take. I told them I had only come for information (though I wondered if I seemed like one of those scam artists who complains of a broken down car around the corner containing his pregnant girlfriend and a flower in rare bloom that needs to be photographed immediately in order to get the payout such a special find earns) and that I could just have the toll people mail me a bill. They insisted, though, that I take the five dollars, and as I did – so dumbstruck by their unnecessary kindness that I didn’t know what else to do – I assured them that at some point I would pass the five dollars onto someone who needed it far more than I.

I know it wasn’t such a big deal monetarily nor the best use of their five dollars (multiple children in Africa could be vaccinated against deadly diseases rampaging their villages with that money), but I was still struck by how forthcoming they were to just help a stranger out and make his life easier.

Have you had a similar experience with unnecessary kindness that you’d like to share? Please do so below.

A Joke: Gynecological Mechanic

Just in case you’re looking for a joke to pass a little time:

A gynecologist had become fed up with malpractice insurance and was on the verge of being burned out. Hoping to try another career where skillful hands would be beneficial, he decided to become a Mechanic. He found out from the local technical college what was involved, signed up for evening classes, attended diligently, and learned all he could.

When the time for the practical exam approached, the gynecologist prepared carefully for weeks and completed the exam with tremendous skill. When the results came back, he was surprised to find that he had made a score of 150%.

Fearing an error, he called the instructor, saying, “I don’t want to appear ungrateful for such an outstanding result, but I wondered if there had been an error which needed adjusting.”

The instructor said, “During the exam, you took the engine apart perfectly, which was worth 50% of the total mark. You put the engine back together again perfectly, which is also worth 50% of the mark.”  “I gave you an extra 50% because you did all of it through the muffler.”

Did you like it? Got any good jokes for me? Post them in the comments.

Exercising Mind and Body: Avoiding the Potentially Stagnant Life of the Household Writer

Like many authors, I write from home. I feel comfortable at home. It’s my comfort zone. Home has my stuff and my books, my computer and my desk: my collective work station where my mind is most free to do its thing and my fingers are most free to follow it through the keyboard. But this love affair with life at home – that is, working life at home – can be detrimental in other ways.

I fear – and I think it’s a grounded fear – that I don’t get enough exercise. Of course, in the last few weeks, I’ve managed to walk up and down the hills of San Francisco in search of apartments, accoutrements and everything else we need to set up, but now that this process has wound down and I am about to re-begin my sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to consider physical exercise.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to exercise. It sucks and I don’t feel like using my time that way. However, I know it will make me feel better and I know that it’s good for me. Plus, I always get tired unnecessarily at about 1 o’clock and if I went to exercise instead of my usual two hour nap, it would be a better use of my time.

Those things considered, I decided that I need to join a gym. I like to swim and so it needs to be a place that has a lap pool (also, my knees suck and I can’t run long distances – especially not in this hilly town). This gym also needs to be close to my house because despite going to exercise, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to gym distance and won’t travel far (more than a ten minute walk) to exercise.

So, do you think I should join a gym? Do you work at home and need regular exercise? What do you do to stay fit and healthy? Any good suggestions for delicious snackfood?