I had an absolutely wonderful time yesterday with my cousin Rachael and her friends. For her birthday, Rachael wanted to perform "random acts of kindness," so a bunch of us met up in a park near the ocean in Long Beach and formed a "kindness mob." We then approached, well, random people and Rachael would hand them a small wrapped gift. She gave a tub of Play-Doh to a mom and little girl and California Pizza Kitchen gift certificate to the man who took our photo, among others. I didn't hand out any gifts, but I liked being outside in the sunshine with new friends.
One thing that pleasantly surprised me was that every person accepted the little gifts without much question. The Play-Doh even got the little girl to stop crying! I wasn't expecting people to be so willing to take things from strangers because we're a pretty suspicious bunch in New York City. We're all, "If you see something, say something," so we'd probably call the cops on someone who as handing out presents. Sad, but true.
However, Rachael is pretty tiny and youthful looking so she hardly looks dangerous. The most suspicious anyone got was the man who took our picture and kind of looked at us like "WTF?" when she handed him the gift certificate. Rachael now wants to hand out gifts in Central Park so she can see what happens. I told her that if she wants to take on an even bigger challenge, she should hand them out while wearing a tinfoil hat.
That evening, we celebrated Rachael's birthday at a garlic-themed restaurant in Beverly Hills called The Stinking Rose. There, I got to meet her uncle from her dad's side of the family (in other words, not related to me), as well as some other friends. What's interesting is that the uncle is also a writer, mainly of short stories. It makes me wonder if certain talents and types of creativity are genetic? It's funny how Rachael and I spent years not knowing of the other, but she, too, is a writer and plays the flute.
Only two more days of vacation and then it's back to the grind -- but it will be an exciting grind since it's the start of my book tour. Woo hoo!
Meanwhile, please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.