She’s got spirit

Erin complains about having to cover high school home coming event, “I’ve had too much school spirit today.”


Complaints – as of noon on the second day

Erin complained three times over the course of the evening. Once regarding to car troubles, once in response to herĀ  boyfriend trying to get her to complain, and the third was a complaint about her accidentally complaining.

Melody complained once over the course of the evening, about something too personal to put online.

This morning Melody complained about the District Attorney’s office not getting back to her about a story – shortly after she got a call from the DA.

Current tally – Melody 5, Erin 3

End time – Noon 10.07.2009

Potential fasts

A fast is “intentionally abstaining from food or drink,” we broadened the definition to “abstaining intentionally from almost anything.”

Some fasts will exercise our minds, like our current “complaint fast,” while others will be more physical, like fasting gluten. For each fast we will investigate the subject of the fast, and at the end craft a story about our experiences and findings.

Here are some ideas for future fasts:

  • Breaking the Law – no jay-walking, music pirating, speeding, or robbery
  • Consuming/wearing products farmed/made by slaves
  • Caffeine
  • Driving
  • Cussing
  • Eating animal products

Please add your ideas or provide commentary on our ideas. We welcome feed back and comradery, so if you want to fast along with us, we won’t complain (at least not this week).

You can track our progressĀ  here, and on our twitter @Quick_fast.

Fast #1: Complaining

Start time: noon, 09.30.2009
End time: noon, 10.07.2009
Rules – Erin and Melody will abstain from all forms of complaining for an entire week.

We’ve all enjoyed a good gripe fest, but what would happen if we completely cut complaints from our speech for a week? Two reporters decided to give it a try.
There’s a difference between responding to a negative experience or stating a fact and dwelling on or griping about something. Complaining happens when someone gives up responsibility for the situation and looks for a place to put blame, or continues to voice distaste for something they can’t change.
“It’s hot.” – on first reference is simply a statement. Inflection and repetition can turn a simple statement into a complaint.
In 2006 Rev. Will Bowen led his church on a crusade to end complaining. Members of his Kansas City, Missouri church, committed to 21 continuous complaint free days, starting over each time they slipped. They even wore purple wrist bands to remind them of their pledge.
Rev. Bowen now has a book A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted, and was recently featured on Oprah.

Here are some tips from Rev. Bowen about complaining, borrowed from

* State facts instead of complaining. “It is all the difference between stating a fact and having this emotional energy tied up in it,” said Bowen. “This is all about moving beyond being a victim and being in control of your own life.”
* Change the words you use. Instead of using the word “problem,” call something an “opportunity” or “challenge,” said he. When you find yourself saying, “I have to,” say “I get to” instead.
* Find the positive in all situations. “Yesterday, when [the airline] discovered a maintenance issue on the plane [I was on], people were complaining, and I said, ‘I’m glad they found it on the ground as a opposed [to] in the air!'” the Rev. Bowen said.

Updates/slip up’s:

1:13 p.m. – Melody complained about the word bachelor sounding so much cooler than spinster. Erin agreed and therefore was a complaint accomplice – which she complained about by saying “Damn it.”

3:15 p.m. – Melody lamented the idea of wearing make-up everyday as a fast, Erin pointed out the fact that lamenting is a form of complaining.

3:38 p.m. – Melody used the word “forced” regarding an experience in college when the editor of the local paper spoke to her class. Does the word “forced” imply a complaint?