Monday, July 28, 2008

hello mcfly?

In this miasmic mess of fossil fuels, rising gas prices and the like, I sit and wonder:

With all this concentration on alternative fuel sources, E85, hybrids, etc., why has no enterprising individual followed the lead of Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future and figured out a way to provide fuel for cars and homes on garbage. Surely the technology can be created? Somewhere? Composting is one thing, but how much easier it would be to just chuck all of the weekend's non-recycleable waste into the trunk incinerator/disposal and fuel your commute to work?

Or what about solar powered cars? We wouldn't need constant sunshine--just enough to get the battery to turn over. As mine bakes in the driveway under sunny skies and 90+ degree heat, I've given up worrying about paint and bird droppings. Shouldn't there be a way to harness the sun's rays that beat down on the car, and turn those rays into energy? We do it for homes, after all. Why not make the roofs of cars solar panels? It would eliminate the need for a sunroof, right?

I guess all those who love their convertibles would be SOL then.

Thanks, curb girl, for getting my brain jump-started this morning.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trash twice, recycling once and a lot less gasoline

Not a manifesto on what the government needs to do (or not do) to solve the "crisis at the pumps" as the media has titled it.

rather an oddity about life here in Northern Virginia, which, according to callers on the Kojo Nnamdi show last week, is a completely separate entity from the rest of Virginia, I am learning.

All trash collection here is privatized. Odd. There are companies competing for your trash business. The result is that they pick up trash two times a week and recycling once a week. Lawn and yard debris is on an entirely different day. At least the company we're with now picks up recycling the same day as trash (Trash is Monday and Thursday, recycling is just Thursday). The other company, who wanted $150/quarter for service, was "trash on Monday and Thursday, recycling on Wednesday." Marc's job just got infinitely harder, he says.

One of the perks of being here is that I am definitely driving less. Whereas in Dayton I used to fill up the minivan every six days or so, I can now go two weeks between heart attacks at the pump. No treks into Cincy to see my friends (sniff, sniff), and the kids go to school and camp right around the corner, instead of 15 minutes away. Of course I'm probably spending the difference on public transport but at least I'm saving the environment (or something).

Tuesday I met a friend in DC proper for lunch at Les Halles. Yum. Adult conversation and good food that I didn't have to prepare. It wasn't cheap but nothing is here. Then we headed over to the Newseum for a couple of hours to gaze on artifacts and headlines of bygone times, a twisted news antenna from the top of one of the WTC towers, a car that was blown up with a journalist inside and other random things that were decisively "historical." I wanted to spend a lot more time there, but unfortunately, had to get back. It was a $20 admission ticket--one of the only DC museums that isn't free--which I thought was expensive, even by DC's standards. I can become a member for $75 but as I would probably have to go alone, I'm not sure about that one. Entertainment dollars (?) can be finicky.

So while I didn't drive into the District, I shelled out $4 in quarters for on-street parking at the metro station and $6.50 for a round-trip metro ticket. That would buy me two to two-and-a-half gallons of gas, which was probably less that it would have taken to get into DC. But then there's the problem of parking. I will, at some point, figure all this out.

What preoccupation. I must go read, edit and proof--not my own stuff, unfortunately. That languishes in the drawer, waiting for me to rediscover it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

note to self

for characters, present and future (paraphrasing James Lipton in Inside Inside, who is paraphrasing Sandy Meisner, I believe):

What is the glue?

Example: Two brothers want different things in life. One wants to study art in Florence, Italy. The other wants to be an MLB player. Problem? They are Siamese twins.

What forces two characters who want different things to share the scene, to stick with it?

The answer lies not in plot, but in character--depth of character. Key to remember for writing or for acting, but not directing. Not the job of the director (or editor, or even reader, methinks). Job of writer.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Monday, July 14, 2008

new yoga studio

Found a new yoga studio that does work exchange! This is very happy news, as a class runs about $120 for an eight week session. There is one work exchange slot left for the summer session (Sunday nights from 5:15-7:15) which would probably work fine. Lots of classes to choose from, although I will still miss Jennifer horribly.

Also corresponded with a fellow raveler today about a knitting group in fairfax. this was happy. yeay community!

jobs, anyone?

patience, daniel-sun (or as amy f. used to call me "daniel-daughter"). it will come.

in the cave

i am in the cave (basement or lower level) of the house, where we have set up our offices (ha! if you can call them that) and i am trying hard not to freak out over:

1. the lack of light in the house. lots of mature trees means lots of shade, which is great on some fronts but not for natural light (the stuff, not the beer) lovers like me. it is actually affecting my mood.

2. the closed-in feeling of being in said cave and trying to be creative and/or work.

3. that i don't yet have a job or really, any reliable job leads. i need to network to someone and i'm not quite sure how to make that happen. i've been talking to just about everyone i meet and making sure i tell them what i do. i had my temp interview and that went find, but now the recruiter isn't returning my calls, which does not bode well with me.

4. that i have nothing on my to-do list today (well, other than laundry, which i don't want to do right now, and going to the dmv to register cars etc, which i have to wait for marc to do so we can go together, and pick up the kids from camp and feed them, etc. because marc has a late meeting). i am idle and it feels uncomfortable. wwfac-ers would tell me to write about that uncomfortable feeling. it feels like i have bees buzzing in my fingers. they are itching to get out and fly away, but my skin is holding them in. i don't want to sit still. i don't want to read or knit. i don't want to do anything. except find a job so that i know that we will be able to afford to live here.

calm down. breathe.

i need to find a consistent yoga class. i miss jen at the y! i have been following my run-walk program consistently, but now that yoga is missing, i find i really miss the balance. i was counting on yoga at the j, but it is only offered on monday nights and marc has monday night meetings every other week. that in and of itself feels like an intrusion of sorts, as monday nights have always been "my nights" away for writing class, etc.

i need to find friends. i have been looking into knitting groups. now i suppose i should check out writing classes. but gainful employment seems so much more pressing. i know there are jobs out there that i can do, be successful at, and enjoy. i'm just not sure how to find them.

big sigh.

took the kids to the national zoo yesterday. it was fun, but i won't be repeating that experience in a hurry. very hilly, sydney refusing to get out of the stroller and walk, even though sam really needed to be in it, heat was 90 degrees plus and sunny. i am not a zoo person, i have decided. i have never been an animal lover (or hater, for that matter). i am indifferent. and i don't feel the need to trudge around in the heat, pushing a five year old in a stroller (who is TOO LAZY to get off her ass an WALK!), gawking at elephants throwing straw over their backs, or meerkats or prairie dogs or hippos. i just don't care that much.

sometime i will write in a more positive way about my experiences of moving here, but the zoo is too fresh in my mind (and muscle memory--ouch) to do so. i will have to snap some pics of the wooded areas around the neighborhood that make me sigh with contentment when i pass them on my almost-daily walk/runs.

i am not miserable nor depressed. i am just a little bored. it will pass. so i keep telling myself, anyway.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vote for GEAR

Cool art campaign in Kansas City area. There are four days left to vote (you can vote once a day & have to register email addy to do so). Read GEAR's statement under his billboard submission; vote for that if for no other reason. How cool would it be if the 'Nati did something like this???

http://artthevote.com/view-and-rate-billboards/

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Best exchange of the week

This made Marc and I laugh out loud.

Syd: Daddy, what are those hooks for, on the ceiling?
Marc: For hanging plants. Like baskets of flowers and things.
Syd: Oh. (Long pause) I thought Captain Hook lived here.

Gotta love the 5 year old mind.

you know you've entered the digital age when...

You text GoogleText for the nearest Costco store, and then use your GPS system to find it.

God bless Garmin.