Friday, December 7, 2007

Maybe kindness is a meme?

I just picked this up from Anne's blog, and she got it from Rebecca; Sheri is also having a monthlong Random Acts of Kindness "contest" (it seems like the wrong word to use there, but it's the one I've got at this moment). There's a Ravelry group; I wonder if I should join? My students were talking in class yesterday about how important it is to see ourselves in other people; they were lamenting that it just doesn't seem to happen as often as it ought. Maybe the desire to be kind is becoming a meme? In any case, here are the rules for the Pay It Forward Exchange:

“It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I will now Pay It Forward to you THREE, I wonder who you will be?! Please, be a PIF! You will enjoy it just as much as we do!”

And, remember…you have 6 months to get your gifts done! Come on, you know you would love to be one of my angels. Then, one day, but you don’t know when….you will get a gift that I have made especially for YOU!

Please remember, you don’t have to knit or crochet to participate, anyone who can make a nice handmade gift is welcome to join.

So, please join in the fun! I'd love to knit something just for you -- and then you get the pleasure of knitting something for three other people who join the circle. Maybe if we do this right hundreds of people world-wide will be walking around in handknit socks six months from now -- and don't you think that would be a good step towards greater harmony?

Because this is Friday, I'm putting everything in this post that I meant to do earlier in the week and didn't. For example, Rabbitch posted a link to this lovely quiz on her blog yesterday. My results?

You are Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America!

Born in England sometime in the second decade of the nineteenth century, you carved a notable business career, in South Africa and later San Francisco, until an entry into the rice market wiped out your fortune in 1854. After this, you became quite different. The first sign of this came on September 17, 1859, when you expressed your dissatisfaction with the political situation in America by declaring yourself Norton I, Emperor of the USA. You remained as such, unchallenged, for twenty-one years.

Within a month you had decreed the dissolution of Congress. When this was largely ignored, you summoned all interested parties to discuss the matter in a music hall, and then summoned the army to quell the rebellious leaders in Washington. This did not work. Magnanimously, you decreed (eventually) that Congress could remain for the time being. However, you disbanded both major political parties in 1869, as well as instituting a fine of $25 for using the abominable nickname "Frisco" for your home city.

Your days consisted of parading around your domain - the San Francisco streets - in a uniform of royal blue with gold epaulettes. This was set off by a beaver hat and umbrella. You dispensed philosophy and inspected the state of sidewalks and the police with equal aplomb. You were a great ally of the maligned Chinese of the city, and once dispersed a riot by standing between the Chinese and their would-be assailants and reciting the Lord's Prayer quietly, head bowed.

Once arrested, you were swiftly pardoned by the Police Chief with all apologies, after which all policemen were ordered to salute you on the street. Your renown grew. Proprietors of respectable establishments fixed brass plaques to their walls proclaiming your patronage; musical and theatrical performances invariably reserved seats for you and your two dogs. (As an aside, you were a good friend of Mark Twain, who wrote an epitaph for one of your faithful hounds, Bummer.) The Census of 1870 listed your occupation as "Emperor".

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, upon noticing the slightly delapidated state of your attire, replaced it at their own expense. You responded graciously by granting a patent of nobility to each member. Your death, collapsing on the street on January 8, 1880, made front page news under the headline "Le Roi est Mort". Aside from what you had on your person, your possessions amounted to a single sovereign, a collection of walking sticks, an old sabre, your correspondence with Queen Victoria and 1,098,235 shares of stock in a worthless gold mine. Your funeral cortege was of 30,000 people and over two miles long.

The burial was marked by a total eclipse of the sun.

What I find most frightening about this is that a) I love San Francisco and think it should never be called Frisco, and b) I'm not entirely adverse to the idea of walking about in a uniform with epaulettes, being saluted by the police. I also think that I would possibly do a better job than the current administration. Long live the Empress!

Well, I think that's all for this Friday. I am almost done with the first Marie Antoinette sock; in fact, I would have been done, but last night it occurred to me that one of my dear friends is turning 40 next week, and that she would very much like a pair of handknitted socks, so I will knit them for her instead (love live Random Acts of Kindness!). Alas for me, this means that instead of knitting the foot for my dainty size 6, I must make it long enough for her size 9 feet instead. So, this is the project of choice for this afternoon's three-hour meeting. I'm off to northern climes tomorrow, so I won't be posting at least until Sunday, and maybe Monday. I can't wait to see for whom I'll be knitting this spring, so come and join the fun!

P.S. If you're already signed up for PIF, leave a comment telling me you're in on the fun. I won't count you as one of the first three, unless no one else signs up at all, in which case you get extra knitted goods!


Anne said...

'm already in, as you know -- and am delighted you've joined the fun. Now I think I'd better take the historical figure quiz when I get home tonight (hm... the site is blocked here at school... wonder what THAT means). I love the idea of kindness as a meme.

Bea said...

Well you know I am already in. In fact twice...geez...she took me up on the offer since its been on her blog for more then a week with only one taker, so I am doing 6 now. And since I am doing 6 I will *probably* be a sewing fun for me rather then a knitting fun. Can you imagine 6 pairs of socks in 6 months?? I'd never finish! I would love knitting goodness from you, but I don't think I can do 9! I may have to do 3 to pay forward and 3 just because as I don't know if I can get six volunteers to give stuff away. We'll see.

San Francisco can't be called Frisco because I used to live in Frisco, TX. So there already is a Frisco. Just so you know.

Marianne said...

This does indeed look like so much fun..... I've been declining due to having so much on my plate, but, you know... I have a whole year, right? right. ok. I'm in.
(of course, after reading all that if you'd rather not have me in, I'd understand, seriously, I would :^)

I took that quiz and my results were the same as yours, heh.

Fiberjoy said...

I've finally taken the time to begin catching up with you and find a great PIF game (meme?) With six months cushion it's do-able.

I'm impressed you're able to knit a pair of socks in one week! I wish.

P.S. I need to sign in with the old blogger account since Blogger is being a stick in the mud and not recognizing the validity of other blog hosts. :(

Kelley said...

I've seen these and have been posting my RAKs to Sheri. I would love to participate in the PIF even though I don't know who I'd send the 3 items too. I just started my own blog this week so no readers as of yet.

You can count me in, I'll get started on my 3 projects right after Christmas!

BTW, Bea is right, there is already a Frisco, TX. That's where I live, though we are moving very soon.

Rabbitch said...

Oh darn. I, Charles VI, King of France (and certified nutbar) would have loved to get in on this. Late to the party again!

Katie said...

I am participating too! This should be lots of fun (I can't WAIT to see who wants gifties). I'm so glad I saw your post. And kudos to you for playing!

Carrie K said...

And I miss the fact that San Francisco is in no way "Frisco" anymore. It's all politics, shined shoes and appearances now. Everything else is pushed underground.

Anonymous said...

I commented on her blog today and am hoping that I can join in the fun, just wished I had found both of your blogs sooner
sorry for the link I dont have a google account so will have to send this as an anonymous person