Archives for October 2008

Becoming an Advocate for Children through CASA

There are, of course, all kinds of ways to become an advocate for children; one of the greatest ways (and the way that will be the focus of this article) is by becoming a CASA volunteer. CASA stands for court-appointed special advocate, and it’s a program designed to empower children who have been victims of abuse or neglect by providing one-on-one assistance through court-appointed volunteers (also called special advocates).

So what exactly does all of this mean? Read on for more information about CASA and what you can do to become an advocate for children.

About CASA

CASA was established in 1977 when Seattle judge David Soukup expressed concern about making decisions on abused and neglected children’s court cases when he didn’t have enough information. David thought it would be beneficial to appoint community volunteers to speak on behalf of those children; and it was. He requested volunteers and 50 citizens responded. Since then, CASA has nearly 60,000 advocates and has helped more than 2 million children.

How You Can Help

By becoming an advocate! As an advocate, you work directly one 1 child’s case at a time. This is the wonderful thing about a program like CASA. You’re not swamped with several cases like lawyers are; you get to focus on 1 case–one child’s life. Now for the nitty gritty details:  

1. Search for your local CASA program and contact them directly

2. Complete a 30-hour training course & background check

3. Take on your first case as an advocate. You will be asked to dedicate approximately 10 hours per month. Most cases last about 1 1/2 years.

For more details on the duties of a child advocate, see CASA’s Top 10 Commitment List.



The Top 10 LOL Websites

Yes, “the internet” is one of our 300 + hobbies. And why the heck not? It’s a popular hobby–arguably the most popular modern day hobby. But after Myspace, Blogging, and watching that same YouTube video for the 100th time, you might have–gasp–run out of sites to visit. Actually, if you’re a regular surfer, chances are you’ve experienced that sad moment in time, sitting in front of the computer screen, mouse-finger posed to click…and with nowhere to go. Well, internet users,  don’t despare. For your viewing pleasure, we bring you the first in a series of web recommendations, NotSoBoringLife’s Top 10 LOL Websites.

10. Homestar Runner

A classic, but a favorite. Homestar Runner features a cast of unique, funny characters. StrongBad email is a Homestar Runner fan favorite.

9. The Darwin Awards

OK, so it’s not usually polite to mock the dead…but the Darwin Awards are too good to pass up. The Darwin Awards: “salut[ing] the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who
accidentally remove themselves from it…”

8. EBaumsWorld

From the mild-mannered office joke to the offensive video, EBaum’s world is always a good way to waste an afternoon.

7. ComedyCentral

Yeah, we know ComedyCentral is a television station, but we couldn’t pass ’em up. Their website features full-length episodes of some of their top shows, including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

6. The Onion

The Onion is, quite frankly, “America’s Finest News Source.” And, with their spot-on satire, wit,  and headlines like ‘I Am Under 18’ Button Clicked For First Time In History Of Internet,” they’re one of the funniest as well.

5. FunnyorDie

FunnyorDie is YouTube for funny people. Will Ferrell, in particular, is a well known and accomplished Funny-or-Dier.

4. Best of Craigslist

Some sample ‘best of’ headlines include: “I Will Give You a Kidney for 2 Obama Tickets for Tonight’s Speech,” “I Will Trade My Sombrero for Your Kayak,” and the always popular “My Pubic Hair Epiphany.” Oh Craigslist, how we love you.

3. ICanHasCheezBurger

ICanHasCheezburger features lolcats at their finest. It wins the “award” (there isn’t really an award) for best funny + cute combination.

2. Stuff White People Like

Features stuff white people like. It’s pretty self-explanatory…and hilarious.

1. FailBlog

FailBlog may feature pwnd and fail moments, but it’s made of nothing but win.

Is there an LOL site we’re forgetting?

Leave a comment and let us know about your favorite funny website.

Top 5 Reasons to Dive into a Dumpster Today

While eating out currently sits comfortably in slot number 31 on our list of most popular hobbies, we have a feeling the financial crisis will cause a drop in eating out and a high spike in the sport of dumpster diving. Now don’t go running the other direction–dumpster diving (a growing hobby among the financially savvy in which you, well, dive into a dumpster in quest of food, furniture, etc.) is actually a pretty cool hobby. And we’ll tell you why:

1. Because You’re Poor (Or Just Cheap)

Dumpster diving = perfection for people who want to save money. It’s free & fun. It saves you money on groceries and who-knows-what-else-you-find. And it’s a great way to begin a new frugal lifestyle. So shred up the credit cards, get rid of the luxuries, and dive on in…

2. Because You’re Quirky Like That

Don’t get us wrong: we don’t don’t promote hobbies solely for their trendy/quirky/cool status. But, well, you are quirky and adventurous, aren’t you? Isn’t that why you’re reading NotSoBoringLife in the first place? You love experiencing new things–and trust us, dumpster diving is a new experience at its very finest.

3. Because It’s Practical

Not only is it an unusual way to spend a Saturday night (and a great first date experience) but it’s also a way to accomplish the oft despised chore of grocery shopping. Practicality at its best!

4. Because The Environment Will Love You

Reduce, reuse, recycle–right? By diving headfirst into the dumpster rather than splurging at the grocery store, you’re singlehandedly saving the environment. OK, so that may be an exxageration. But dumpster diving does mean you’re consuming items that would otherwise be wasted, so the environment will certainly love you for it.

5. Because It’s Actually Not (That) Disgusting

The one problem most people have with dumpster diving is the whole “IckEwwIt’sSoGrossHowCouldYouDoThat? Factor.” Well, we’re here to tell you that–OK, we have to be honest. It can be a bit gross–but it totally depends. Like restaurants, some dumpsters are nicer than others. Plus, food will often be wrapped up–completely sealed & ready to eat–and may actually be better for you than the food you’d order at some dicey restaurant (who knows what they’re doing back there to your brocolli soup). With dumpster diving, you know where it’s been.

Are you ready to dive head-first? Stay tuned for our next article on strategies for dumpster diving.

Proper Breathing in Yoga

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

OK–now how are you feeling? If your answer is still “pretty awful thanks” then you really might want to start paying attention to your pranayama. And if you’re wondering what the heck am I talking about, then you probably want to keep reading to find out.

What is Pranayama?

Pranayama means “the lengthening of the breath.” To be more specific, it is a Sanskrit word composed of Prana, which means either “life force” or “the breath,” and ayama, which means “to lengthen.”

Pranayama is common in yoga and is used as a way to control breathing.

OK–But Why Does Breath Control Matter?

Yoga isn’t just a form of exercise–it’s a combination of mediation and slow exercise that can be used for everything from relaxation and stress reduction to posture and concentration. And proper breathing is an essential component of practicing yoga.

By controlling your breath, you are able to encourage the meditative aspect of yoga. Some people believe that proper breathing can encourage physical health by reducing toxins and aiding in digestion. While we aren’t sure whether or not this is true, we do know that it sure feels good to try!

How to Practice Proper Breathing

There are a few different techniques for practicing breathing in yoga. One of the things I keep in mind is the saying “abdomen, chest, chest, abdomen.”

What this means is that you inhale first in the abdomen, then the chest.

Next, exhale–first the chest, then the abdomen.

This isn’t something most people can perfect right away, so be careful not to strain yourself. Begin slowly by practicing taking deep breaths in and out. For more detailed information on proper yoga breathing, try here or here.

When I first started practicing yoga, I found this video helpful. It emphasizes the importance of proper posture before you begin practicing proper breathing techniques.