Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Like it Never Even Happened.

So, tomorrow is a freebie.

Every four years humanity is given a 24 hour window that does not exist in the other (more envious) years. February 29 is nearly upon us and with it comes the great existential dilemma of how we should live on a day that doesn't exist. Basically, you have 1440 minutes to do whatever you want and it doesn't count because it never really happened!

Okay, I will admit this argument is weak and it does not hold up under scientific scrutiny. Of course our actions have consequences and, in turn, produce reactions and ripples and messes and joy and all sorts of other feelings. But, can you just go along with my Leap Day proposal for one day? Just humor me because I am growing weary of typing cookbook recipes and I need to do something unrelated to oven temperatures and oregano.

So, here is my grandiose idea for tomorrow- the day that doesn't count. I would love it if everyone who read this participated in one act of kindness. There are no rules... it can be spontaneous or premeditated and directed at a family member, friend, absolute stranger, republican, democrat, third party supporter, or Canadian. Really, it doesn't matter as long as you select someone.

My rationale for picking tomorrow is simple. If it really is a day that doesn't count, then it wont matter if you are recognized for your deed or not. In the annuls of  human history, you will receive no commendation for your noble gesture. It might be the closest thing to a selfless act that can be done. You have an entire day to fill and how you decide to carry on is up to you.

I will actually sweeten the pot a bit. You can email me and let me know what you chose to do and I will post your deed here for all of the Valley to marvel at. Of course, I will not use your real name so you can submit a pseudonym or I'll just go with your initials. You can reach me at curt_samaritanhouse@yahoo.com .

Have a great day-that-doesn't-really-exist-but-really-does-so-use-it-wisely.

I am so glad I only have to be kind once a year.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Final Countdown.

Greetings Flathead County, As you are reading this, I am nestled away in a remote and secret location rifling through many of the recipes that found their way into my clutches. Thanks so much to all of you who contributed some incredible dishes. Also, for anyone who had decided to come on board but has not sent in their entries... DON'T PANIC. We will be in touch with you shortly to get your submissions. We are humbled by the communal support from so many different people and organizations. Please remain close to your phones (or computers, iPads and any other form of communication you enjoy) and expect to hear from us soon regarding the next phase of the project: the bake off!

Monday, February 20, 2012

T-Minus 4 days...

I do not look like someone who would be helping to create a cookbook. In all reality, those who know me usually do a double take and laugh a bit when they find out I am working on this project for Samaritan House. My interests usually include history and philosophy and attempting to sort out the occasional social issue while maintaining an unbelievable level of coolness. okay, I made that last part up. But,  it truly is not my nature to sit down to a blank computer screen and try to describe tasty, yet subtle Southwestern cuisine.

I do it because I believe in the project and what Samaritan House is trying to accomplish, and honestly, I find it difficult to believe in much these days. I am not the sunny optimist these blogs often portray but I make a choice to look forward and navigate the chaos with a disposition that says good can happen. People do care. Things can change. So... one of my grand schemes to implement these positive changes is to help bring this cookbook to life because it will do a couple things:

The goal is to simultaneously raise awareness of homeless in the Flathead Valley and generate funds for our organization. The byproduct will be a beautifully crafted book with incredible recipes from all types of people and restaurants and organizations from all walks of life. There is still plenty of time for you to get involved and help. Here is some info that might be useful:

You have until Thursday, Feb 23, to submit recipes.

Please bring them by the Samaritan House so we can look at them and incorporate them into the process. Ask for Curt or leave them with the staff who is on duty, and they will get them to me. Thanks so much and I look forward to the mass outpouring of community involvement that is about to overwhelm me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Little Perspective Goes A Long Way

Whitney Houston died this weekend.

 For nearly two days her demise has dominated the news and I watched countless members of her family, peers, and fans openly state how their own lives would be impacted. She was an amazing talent and a true inspiration to thousands of people and, undoubtedly, her death is noteworthy. But... doesn't every life count, or do we care more and mourn louder when some 'important' dies?

Coalition for the Homeless estimates that close to 37,000 homeless people died last year. Each person had their own story and family. Passing away in obscurity must surely be one of the most tragic ways a person can die. No fanfare or public outcry; no memorial or dearth of people to reflect back upon the living years. They say that death is the great equalizer but how it finds us is often unfair. My intent is not to diminish the death of Whitney Houston although I was not a fan (even thought it seems trendy to claim fan hood whenever a star dies). I am sad for those who truly loved her.

Just as I am sad for the family and friends of many of our homeless who have vanished from mainstream society. Just as I am sad for the mentally ill or chemically dependent individual who is genuinely seeking help but has limited resources and cannot catch a break. Just as I am troubled by the number of people forced out of their homes by foreclosure. Just as I am heartbroken for the uninsured with mounting medical bills and a minimum wage job. Just as I am appalled by recent reports in California of teenagers targeting and beating the homeless. How insulting that these items rarely make the news unless they are so sensational they guarantee ratings.

A few months ago Samaritan House hosted a ceremony to remember those homeless who died in Montana in 2011. It was quiet and sparsely attended and I failed to see Anderson Cooper there. I am just asking for a little perspective because many of us, if we are honest, have much more in common with the homeless than we do with Whitney Houston.