Sunday, September 20, 2009

Walking the Walk

My heart isn't in it peeps. I have had an exhausting and truly trying week. Life is busy, tummy's have been nauseous and exercise goals have been abandoned. But I realized that this is week 26 of my attempt at blogging once a week for 6 months. And if I failed tonight I would have to start all over again. So I'm blogging it out, half assed Sunday night style.

Today was the AIDS Walk so I was up disgustingly early for a Sunday. When I'm really nervous about waking up on time my body does this amazing thing where it wakes me up 20 minutes before the alarm goes off and I'm incapable of falling back asleep. Helpful for early morning uni exams, also helpful but not so necessary for 5:40 wake up times when really 6:15 would have done me. I really felt the loss of those extra minutes this morning.

I actually did the walk last week with our organizing committee since we're working on the day of the event. I wrangle media which involves twiddling my thumbs for hours and then running at full tilt for the longest 45 minutes ever. Dealing with media is actually the least favorite part of my job. I don't know why because when you break it down it's a fairly simple task but it's one of the only things in my work that causes me stress.

Anyways, I beat my fundraising goal! Hurrah! My target was $1,000. I actually raised $1,100 last year but economic climate blah blah blah, I thought I should be a bit more conservative this year. I finished off at $1,255 which I'm quite proud of.

I am glad that it's done and that life at the office will settle back down. Oh wait, there's that conference we're putting on next month, and then our holiday events. dangit.

Is it Christmas break yet??

Monday, September 07, 2009

Scooter mechanic extraordinaire!

Well, it's official. I am now a certified scooter mechanic. I can call myself that after I learn how to perform basic maintenance right? right?

Alright, maybe not. But I am still pretty darned proud of myself for having serviced my own scooter. I used to take Gracie into the hoity toity mechanic attached to the Vespa dealership. It was close to my house and despite their hoit and toit the staff were actually pretty friendly. When ye olde Vespa dealership closed down I had to resort to taking the scoot-sccot into the mechanics attached to the place where I bought Gracie.

A motorcycle shop.

I hate the motorcycle shop. The motorcycle people poo-poo me. And the mechanics are not nearly so friendly. They're all "what do you just need an oil change?" and I'm all "no, dude I need you to look at whatever needs to get looked at. and, yes, also change the oil."

They totally judge me for my lack of bike fixing skills. So I cracked open my manual, watched a couple You Tube videos and learned how to do it myself. I checked my brake pads (still good), tires (also, good), decreased the front and back brake freeplay, noted that the crankcase breather tube needed to be drained (though forgot to actually drain it. oops!), and my piece de resistance: changed the oil.

I bought and wielded a torque wrench. I am woman, see my torque! (let's ignore the fact that Mr. Rose had to help because I didn't have enough strength to turn the damn bolt)

Now to balance out the extremely manly display of mechanical skill I put on this afternoon I think I shall spend the evening reading O Magazine, watching a rom-com and painting my fingernails bright pink.

Happy Labour Day!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

My attempt to fundraise (pretty successful actually!)

Last year was the first time I ever participated in a fundraising event. My original goal for my AIDS Walk participation last year was $50. I figured if all else failed that my mom would probably cough that up. I ended up raising over $1,100.

I'm not actually too comfortable asking people for money so I was totally amazed at myself. I didn't do a lot of in person asks but went the email/facebook route.

I really wasn't sure this year if I would be able to match what I did last year. Economic blah blah blah and all that. My approach this year was to try and get more small donors. People who would give $10 or $20. I'm still trying to play that card but I must admit that it feels to me like it is actually more difficult to get $10 from someone than $100.

I've had a number of large donations but only two small ones. Why is that, I wonder? I actually tend to give smaller donations for my friends causes because my larger sums are already allocated to my charities of choice.

I wonder if my ask email is too heavy-handed? Does it seem like you would be cheating me if you gave a small amount?

So, for your feedback, here is the email that I sent out to entice my friends and loved ones to sponsor me. I still have time to make my goal so please let me know if you think it's a good approach. Or share any fabulous tips you have for raising money for your cause of choice.

Hello Everyone,

It's that time of year again. The time when I ask you to dig into those pockets and donate generously to the AIDS Walk. I'm not ashamed to admit that before I started my job at AIDS Calgary, HIV wasn't something I ever gave too much thought to. I had never known anyone who was personally affected and in the scope of negative things in this world HIV had never worked it's way onto my radar.

My research when applying for the job, and of course the continual learning I do there now, really brought home to me what a serious issue HIV is today. Rates of transmission in Canada are not nearly as severe as those in sub-sarahan Africa but ask yourself, what is an acceptable rate of infection? Why are aboriginal women so over-represented in rates of new infections? Why has the rate of new infections rose nearly 30% in Alberta over the past 3 years? Why is it okay for someone who is HIV positive to experience stigma and discrimination in their everyday lives?

I won't preach too much at you, just enough for you to understand why I raise money for this cause. I believe in the work that I do every day, I believe that AIDS Calgary makes a difference in the lives of our clients, and I believe that every dollar I raise has an impact.

It doesn't have to be much. I am grateful for every single dollar that I raise. If you can only give $10, I appreciate those $10 from the bottom of my heart. Though I will point out that $25 gets you a tax receipt. :)

I hope that you find yourself in a position to make a donation towards my goal of $1,000 this year. If you find yourself unable to give financially I hope that you will send your positive vibes my way on September 20th.

Click here to make your donation: