Tuesday, April 29, 2008

if i was a flower growing wild and free all i'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee.

~barry louis polisar from juno's soundtrack.

hello readers.

please raise your hand if you like beer. no really, raise it up, just a little. i'll wait. okay, thanks. glad to know so many of you like it too!

I was wondering, if you were going to have a little taste-test for the beer-unaware, what would you serve? I'm thinking Newcastle, Blue Moon, this funky blueberry beer I have, Leinie's Summer Shandy and Shock Top. And then maybe something by Brooklyn, something more hoppy (Red Seal) and I'm not sure what else. I *might* bring out something with a little more oomph like Guiness, or go with something not quite as scary like Murphy's or Boddington's.

Also, if you have a beer you've been waiting to tell people about, NOW is your chance. Do it to it, people!

Matt and I finished watching a weird weird movie last night. Southland Tales. It isn't even worth the picture. It was bizarre. And we couldn't decide if they were trying too hard or not enough, but it just wasn't right. I suppose you could make it into a drinking game though--you have to drink every time you see a new actor you recognize? There's a bazillion of them, including Mr. Inconceivable from The Princess Bride. :)

I have been working like a mad woman. It has been MUCH easier knowing that every hour I work over means more money in my pocket. I've been calculating the extra time I've spent and determining how much that'll be after taxes, and thinking about how I'll spend it. House or medical bills. yeah.

Today I bought some things from buygreen.com--biodegradable kitty litter liners, trash bags and the doggie bags, which I plan on using when I empty out my cat's litter. If anyone nearby wants to try the bags for their cats, let me know and I'll give you a few to try out yourself. I'm hoping that this will be an excellent alternative to traditional trash bags!!

Next on my list is the composter. My plants will thank me. But before I start thinking about fertilizing them, I really need to get them into pots--all of my seedlings have died, pretty much, and I need to replant them. Guess I just got too busy. :(

ps-the layout is from pyzam.com if you'd like your very own. I just customized it and changed the width and got rid of the ugly banner bar at the top. Hopefully this layout will stick for a while. AND if you're changing it, don't forget to copy all of your extra stuff (like the links!) and bring that over, too!

Monday, April 28, 2008

one of my accomplishments...

or at least that's what my boss called it. but this one I don't get credit for all by myself. I am one of a couple dozen employees who emailed my work's food services and said "why do we have styrofoam and plastic? why don't we have reusable or biodegradable cups?"

and now? now we do. :) we're getting our cups from here, and this explains how plastic is made from corn. it's a small step, but deffo a good one. hooray!

"we've got to learn to reduce, reuse, recycle..."

~jack johnson

I have NO IDEA how it's already the afternoon. where DO the days go? oh yeah, they're crazy. I spent 4.5 hours working yesterday, and it looks like I may be here late tonight too. wtf?

at least I get paid for it. yeesh.

anyhoodle. the party was FUN! I think everyone who came had a good time. I know I really enjoyed it. we ended up with two pony kegs--one of sierra nevada pale ale and the other of carolina brewing company's pale ale. one was free. :)

the dude at CBC was like "what's the occasion?" He thought it was for 4/20. Apparently I looked like a smoker while I rocked my tulsa shirt and unwashed hair, ha! I told him what the party was actually for, and after he absorbed it he was like "that's cool. WAY cool." And then kept realizing things--like he pointed out that having a keg was better since it was less packaging, and stuff like that. He was super impressed by my idea!

At the party everyone remembered their cups and recycling. A few people weren't able to make it, and people came in shifts it seemed, so the whole thing was pretty chill. This bean dip got devoured. (I used whatever cheese I had and ground turkey instead, fyi) And I went to the farmers market to get the stuff to make the tomato mozzarella bites, (or mobastom sticks, as I like to call 'em) but I didn't get to--I ran out of time!

Here are the people at the party. Like Matt and my matching shirts? He totally got his first. We totally had that little sitcom-moment at a store in myrtle beach, and while looking for an eco-shirt to wear I found a blue one. I also bought a brown shirt that said "I like trees." but it was too big, and I had to send it off to be exchanged for a smaller one. (It is SO weird. This blue shirt? It's a large. The one I had to exchange--I got a medium but I need a small. sizing of women's clothing confuses me.)

but anyway, pictures. of people. and recycling. and the amazing AMAZING strawberries I got from the farmer's market, holy smokes. they are local and INCREDIBLE. $10 for that big old container, too. Wow.

I was also really glad that I put up those christmas lights oh-so-long-ago. whenever I move next I will definitely have to do those again. matt was really good about helping out, and he's the one who remembered to plug those guys in! and poor gobi. he always gets harassed at parties. hazel isn't allowed outside, but sometimes I let mellow gobi wander around a little. luke wanted to pick him up, and then the gobes crawled over his shoulder. poor cat! it was pretty funny though!

so see the girl in the picture with me, the one with the dark hair and the turquoise/green shirt? that's jamie. And see the dude in the yellow shirt on the couch? That's bob. And guess what happened on Friday night? They got ENGAGED! Yay for Bob and Jamie!!! Her ring is amazing, and I am really happy for them. :)

Also, I want to share with you the repurposed items from the shindig. my friends kristin and larry brought the wine bottles, and then I made the recycling pin (beer bottle cap, recycle sticker, glue, nail polish [clear and with glitter] and I hot-glued on a pin back), matt and I did the checkerboard together and I made the earrings, which you've seen. My friend Nicole also brought a dog toy made out of an old tshirt, but I didn't get a picture of it.

if you want your very own pair of beer cap earrings, you just let me know, k? I need to see where I can get more hooks like those--I actually stole them from another pair of earrings I have and never wear--I last wore them when I took this picture.

and here are some ranunculus pictures. man, I love this flower. I think it's replaced sunflowers and daisies as my very favorite. 'course I pick the one that blooms for like 3 weeks a year! ha!

and because he was such a good sport, is this a great picture or what??? hazel never stays still for pictures, so there aren't any of her today. this is michelle's (my roommate) bedspread.

I also learned some little suggestions/factoids/ideas from my friends and did some other fun things...
-put your cream and sugar in your coffee cup BEFORE you pour in the coffee and then you won't need a stirrer. alternatives--use reusable stirrers (this is what I do) or buy a cup that doesn't leak (like the ones by oxo) and shake it up! each year americans throw away 138 billion straws and stirrers!!! #44 on this list of 50--check it out. that picture is part of their tshirt that represents the fifty things you can do!
-use old dishtowels as napkins. I actually cut some of mine into sixths and folded them, and those were our napkins for the par-tay!
-use plastic water bottles as drip irrigation for your plants. hammer a small hole into the lid, fill with water and suspend upside down with a tomato stake. no more droppy plants in the afternoon!
-and a garden-ee one--grow your tomatoes so that they hang down! I don't know if this is eco-friendly, but it surely is a neat idea! I'll be doing this when I plant my plants--I already have those containers up on my fence! I'm looking forward to it!

okay, back to the grindstone, dears.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

patience, my young padawan.

I so so so so SO want to tell you all about my eco party, but I don't have the time. I have to finish this memo thingie and go to youth and keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't rain so that we can go to goodberry's and let me tell you, typing with your fingers crossed is HARD.

so I shall share a picture.

I made these yesterday all by myself. I'm quite proud.

and I bought these guys at the durham farmers market yesterday. along with strawberries and basil and cheese. mmmm. anyway, aren't these ranunculuses pretty??

Friday, April 25, 2008

as it turns out...

I REALLY like this one. It's a foreclosure, actually, and pending some investigation by my realtor I may put in a ridiculously low bid on it. The floor plan is quite open on the bottom, and I totally like it.

there were a few I saw that were AWFUL and one that REEKED of smoke. like it seriously smelled like a bar. some were only three years old and already needed a new carpet and new paint. icks.

The older one I sent you to still has a lot of potential, but I need to see a different unit. It was at night, clear that everything was original, and the master bathroom was a shower stall. But it had some awesome natural light--some big almost-floor-to-ceiling windows, a sky light and lots of other natural light. We're going to go back a week from tomorrow and check out some of the other places.

It's hard though--if we were able to get the low price on the foreclosure, I'd potentially be paying, oh $10000 more for a 3-bedroom 2005 townhouse in a new area over the 2-bedroom 1984 townhouse that's not a part of a hot area. but man, that deck was AWESOME and the living room was BIG.

I need to go see more units in that complex, for sure.

It is great that so many of you like the old one though--it's nice that I'm not the only one who sees its charm. :) I'll keep you posted. pun intended. ha!

let's be quick about this, shall we?

I rode the bus again today. There was another person on it! And it is SO easy. It kind of sucks knowing that it's impossible for me to stay late, though another co-worker (whose work might make me need to stay) said he could take me home if needed.

I am going to look at townhomes tonight. These two are some of the ones I'll be seeing.

I'm also wondering if I should consider something like this. Yes it is older and not as "cute," but it's also cheaper, in a good location (well both are, but good in different ways) and it is thisclose to a bus stop that would get me to work in 15 minutes. I would not be so nervous if I were buying a place like that, I think.

Speaking of homes, I really appreciate all of the feedback, insight, advice and all that everyone is giving me! And encouragement! And perspective. It is so great!!! My friend Patty sent me a link to two calculators (1, 2) and I ran the numbers real quick like. It looks like I make enough money and it would be smart to buy now. Well, as long as I keep my house cost under my pre-determined limit. :)

There is one thing I'm not enjoying though. Lectures. I got another one yesterday. Basically, my Granny thinks we got our wires crossed. When she told me to buy a house, she meant a teen-itesy one-bedroom cramped affair. Something older and crummy and veryvery small. with a yard.

Which, if you were in the 1920s and married and all, would totally make sense. And I see what she means, and quite frankly I'd LOVE a yard.

except that I wouldn't like the grass-cutting part at all.

She explained that everything I was looking at was "too big" and that I was making a gigantic mistake even considering it--how could I be so risky? And ill-informed?

Mind you, she does not know my salary. She does not know my tax rate. Or anything about the houses I've been checking out online other than that I have seen enough to make me ever-so-slightly nervous, though admittedly that's more about being this "independent woman" than it is about the money, though it is about the money too.

Also, I double-dog dare you to find a house that fits that description, in durham, near a grocery store if possible, a bus line, close enough to work and church that it's not unreasonable. oh, and in a neighborhood that's safe for a single twenty-something to live in all by herself. I wish you luck. If you find one for under 120k that fits all these requirements, I will bake you a pie.

This was also incredibly frustrating. I will admit that it did lead me to look more at the older townhomes in Durham, though. I went to the tax records and couldn't see how any of them were appreciating because most people have owned theirs since before January 2006. But I'm looking.
anyway, that's the update. tonight I go to look at the nice new-ish ones near where I already live. and....


we're going with carolina brewing company's pale ale, and we're just getting a pony and some six packs. the full keg was pushing it for 20-26 people! But YAY! I'm excited!!! And I have just the thing to wear. :)

More about Lost, yesterday, etc later. must. get. done. with. memo.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

how to put a picture on your blog title...

a couple of people have mentioned this or asked me...here's what I did.

logged in, from the dashboard I went to "layout." And at the top of the layout was my title box. I hit "edit."

you'll see that you can browse for a picture and say how it should be oriented. mine is "behind title and description."

there's a tricky part though, and that's the cropping. because even if blogger shrinks to fit or whatever, you still need a picture that's the right dimensions or it'll stretch past the page. I used infranview, which is free, to make mine 920 wide and 260ish high. you'll have to play around with what dimensions look best for you. and though my title looks right on my work computer, the picture doesn't stretch far enough on my home computer. it's kinda fickle.

but anyway, that's how I did it. please let me know if you find a better way!

i am *utterly* alone

~beetle juice (beetle juice, beetle ju---just kidding!)

for earth day Matt and I had dinner--chicken and beef kabobs with onions and bell peppers, red potatoes and apple pie. it was all organic. I tried for local, but the only thing we got local was our beer. We actually did a taste test for the keg. We decided on Carolina Brewing Company's Pale Ale, though Carolina Blonde was a close second. :)

Speaking of eating local...it seems like it may be more important to do something else--eat your veggies! Apparently one of the best things you can do for the environment is eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Which makes sense. I already eat beef sparingly, so I guess I'll just keep that up!

so, last night I got in a HUGE argument with my granny. there were A LOT of things we were talking about, but basically she totally did a 180 on me. she's been pushing and pushing for me to get a house (which I want mind you) and she said some ridiculous things like "well, you must not be serious about it because you haven't actually looked at it yet" or "you are irresponsible for not knowing the answers to these questions." TOTALLY not like her. And completely out of the blue since what I was *trying* to ask was if she had any ideas for me to save money.

I mean, I can absolutely afford the house payment. It'll be a stretch, but it's completely possible. However, it will deplete a lot of my savings, and I feel it will be difficult to beef that back up, at least at first. AND if there's a tragic event, I'm pretty much screwed. But then again, when else will I be in this position? Is it worth the risk? probably.

Anyway, she said one other thing that really, really upset me. I said how I've been thinking of where most of my money goes, and how my car payment and my cable are two significant ones that I can change. Another is travel--I easily spend a couple of grand a year on travel, and a lot of it is to Tulsa. I also spend a good chunk of change on medical stuff, but I can't really change that.

so yeah.

well, my Granny went into this whole "you CHOSE to stay in North Carolina. It's YOUR FAULT that you have to travel to see your family. It's your choice. You have to deal with it." Mind you, since I've moved here I've been to Tulsa...let's count...ten times. Some of the times for a week or more. Which is fine. But NO ONE comes here to see me and now twice someone has helped me pay. And I get sh*t for not coming home more often ALL the TIME.

I explained to her that a)I don't want to live in Oklahoma and b)there's not the type of job I want/would be good at and interested in, anyway. And that it is unfair to give me crap about not coming back to Tulsa when it's on my own dime, and that really we were talking about something that wasn't even relevant to the topic.

I tried again. I explained that I can make the payments, but my emergency fund would go bye-bye. (well, not really, but if I needed it, it wouldn't last for THAT long). I explained that I am also freaked because it is just me. So if something awful happened, I don't have someone else's income to rely on for the short term. So I am not sure what to do, and since she's lived frugally...

So she told me I hadn't found the right house. That I hadn't asked enough questions. That I chose to be alone in NC. Basically that I made my bed.

I told her she wasn't getting it. That it wasn't about a specific house, it was a general quandry. She went on some long diatribe about how she rode the bus a lot when she lived in Chicago. She told me I was being irresponsible and that I shouldn't buy a house. This from the woman who insisted that I do it.

etc. it was frustrating and upsetting and WEIRD. totally not like her. I sat in the target parking lot and cried for a while and reminded myself that I am the financially responsible grandchild and I shouldn't take this to heart. but MAN. what was THAT?

she was right about one thing though--I am all by myself. I have some AMAZING friends around here, many of whom are like family, but none who actually are. thank you, kindly, for reminding me that I am, technically, isolated from my kin. high five.

moving on.

so, this is kind of cool. you answer questions and it tells you what you're craving. I've done it three times and I got "happiness" when I was thinking of a hug (the next answer was an emotion), then "a sunrise" when I was thinking of the sun and they were SPOT ON when I said that I wanted a laugh (it said laughter). It even got MATH right. Go check it out. too cool!

oh, and for earth day Gobi did his part. he conserved energy too! see? he's such a cutie. and he is so good about sleeping on the pillow next to my head. it's really cute in the AM when he wakes up when I do and meows good morning. tooo adorable! this is him sitting on the back of the couch. he likes to sneak up and perch himself right by me. totally makes me smile. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

i have so many things I could say.

but the most important is "happy earth day!"

and what a day it was.

I rode the bus to work for the first time ever. I mean, I rode the bus with Jackie in Georgetown, and I rode it in Vegas with Renee and Jessica, and I rode it in Tulsa with my Granny and sister "just for fun." I even rode the bus to/from OKC to see my high school boyfriend. But I've never really used it as an alternative form of transportation, really...and I gotta say--you really should check it out, wherever you are. Yes, it will take longer to get from point A to point B, but it is completely worth it. Completely.

After today (despite being the only person actually *on* the bus both times!) I totally intend to take it whenever I can. I even considered leaving my house at 745 tomorrow just to catch it so I could return in time for scouts! (this is unheard of in carrie world) My boss made fun of me a little about the rain, but I figure all in all I'm doing my part, and that's all you can ask. I mean, except asking me to take shorter showers. I am, admittedly, very bad at that, but I'm trying!

I have been thinking "I'm all into being green. My friends know it. Everyone who reads my blog knows it. What WILL I tell them for earth day?" and the answer is this--do everything you possibly can. CFLs and reusable bags and recycling are a given. They're easy. And then comes repurposing and turning off the lights (a hard habit to start!) and conserving water. Eventually you'll starting thinking about composting and local buying and considering the cradle to grave cycle. Or even buying biodegradable bags for your pet poo. But EVERY piece along the way counts. all of 'em.

Also, fun Carrie-thing o' the day...so the aveda thing I told you about? Well, I asked Matt to keep an eye out for caps. He already does because we do the whole coke rewards thing, since my grandparents taught me to take advantage of everything I can since it will help me afford the things I want. But anyway. Tonight Matt brought over two of the 12-pack ends from his fellow teacher Sara, and then another quart bag FULL of coca cola bottle caps. He's the teacher sponsor of the recycling committee, and they brought a bunch of sorted recyclables to his room, so he sorted through the bag and took off all the caps, which are non-recyclable, and kept to coke ones. wow. I think we need to find something to save up for! Anyway!

earth day.
I'll end with a few comics I liked, as showcase on the daily green, whose website is totally worth the emails--sign up! some are sad, but more importantly, some are SO TRUE. yikes. click to make 'em bigger. and enjoy!

great. just great...

for earth day I rode the bus. I hauled my cookies out of bed early and brought my things to the stop. I was the ONLY person on the bus, but the driver, Ron, was nice and talkative. He was also late, so I missed my connection. Which was fine. It was only a 3/4 of a mile walk and it let me time it for the way home.

I even got my ride-for-free pass in the mail today.

But, um, slight problem. I need to leave in roughly ten minutes, just to be safe on time. And it. is. pouring. I mean, I'll dry or whatever. It'll be fine. but this part of riding the bus kind of sucks.

attack of the killer ex-husband

okay, hold on. justin isn't a killer. even a little. he's about as much as a killer as those "good" killer tomatoes from the cartoon that made me think of the title in the first place. so moving on...

three things in one week? what?!?

1. talking to the fbi. you already knew that.

2. saw him on saturday night. totally forgot to mention that in my blog (which is why I try to blog on mondays or sundays about friday and saturday!) jamie and bob invited matt and me to join them for a drink at raleigh times, where neither of us had even gone. looked for j&b outdoors, came into the bar and whose face was looking toward the door (because that was the direction of his friends)?!? I said hi, there were introductions, matt and I found jamie and bob, the end.

3. TODAY. mother-effer. so, I mailed in a prescription for birth control on the 4th. It was processed on the 9th shipped the 11th. I do the mail order thing, it's a much better deal. Anyway, so I check out online, and sure enough, it shipped over a week ago. I should SO have it by now. I'm already frustrated because;

1) I had to buy a pack from the pharmacy on Saturday. I *almost* had to pay without insurance helping because it had "been filled too recently." I told the pharmacist my mail order wasn't here, though it should be, and he straightened it out with my insurance.
2) a lot of my log-in stuff still says my married last name because I used to have this same insurance in 2004 with my old company. I have had TWO conversations with the people about fixing it, and it's basically impossible.

so anyway, I call the nice people from my in-the-mail pharmacy and say "um, so, uh, where's my package? didn't it mail a week ago? more than that??"

they're like "yes. let me verify your address... 3 K*nglet Ct, in Durham?" Grrrrr.

That is my OLD house. I last lived there in 2004! What?

The address is fixed now, a supervisor from my insurance company is supposed to contact me and my work's benefits specialist is too. But something is SERIOUSLY amiss. I mean...

-my work clearly gave them my correct address and name. It says CRR everywhere except the login and the welcome screen. And I got my card and all of my sinus-bills correctly.
-however, since I was in the system before, that means they used to have my address as in durham, so either work didn't tell the in-the-mail pharmacy, or the insurance didn't.
-and WHY for the LOVE would an insurance company "keep" a three-or-more-year-old address in their system and associate it with my ssn? wouldn't you think they'd purge those when your company no longer used their stuff?!?

I am MUCH calmer now. I totally chewed out the dude on the phone, but I did keep saying "I know this isn't your fault." it seems the mini-twix, the edamame and the amy's teriyaki bowl I am eating have helped a lot. but SERIOUSLY???

before I talk about earth day I want to tell you about my weekend!

friday night was SO fun. I have such awesome friends in Raleigh. lucky me. :) We went out to celebrate Marla's last few unhitched nights--she's getting married on friday the 2nd of may--and had a really good time...dinner at porter's followed by drinks at blue martini. lara's husband kevin (who went by mr. giggles and then joaquin) drove lara, marla and me there and matt picked our drunk asses up. and then jennifer, kara and kim shuttled us to and fro. WAY fun. made friends with our bartender so as to get quicker service (it worked!) and drank a-plenty. marla had an excellent time I think! I know I did.

oh! and we color coordinated totally by accident. pretty funny. I only had a few of my pictures that turned out well--my camera battery was dying.

saturday morning I got up and went to the durham farmer's market. I bought: basil, spinach, honey, fresh mozzarella, this natural scouring stuff by shaklee cleaners that works really well, a little present for renee for her wedding, and, drumroll please, some ranunculuses. My FAVORITE flower. I'm waiting for them to open but here's the one I put on my desk. I am SO excited. I was downright giddy at their booth. It totally made my weekend!

And I opted not to buy the whole chicken from Durham. I mean, it was worth the money but I have only a few recipes that call for a whole chicken, and one is a soup that I associate with eating when I'm sick to make me feel better, and I decided that Earth Fare's all natural chicken better suited my needs. It's not local, and I sure wish it were, but I just don't need a whole chicken. My friend Elizabeth has recommended that I do one of those beer-can chicken recipes. I might just have to try it later in the season.

there were lots of people out, including a dude who was telling us we were all going to hell. nice. liars, fornicators, jews, racists, mormans, sinners and the like. I passed by this little old lady on my way out who said to me "sometimes, just the right to free speech just give you a headache?" know what? love it and all, but sometimes, it does.

immediately after this I felt better though. as I was going to my car with my baggus in tow,
I saw a most-excellent bumper sticker. :)

Saturday night was the KD auction for our Shamrock project. The money went to Prevent Child Abuse. I got a little burned when I bought a gift card worth $5 for $7.55 (they were all wrapped up). I know the point was to raise money for PCA, but at the same time? Um, no one else bought a thing that was blatantly worth less than they paid. It's totally fine, really, but for a few minutes I kept thinking "uh, this should've been wrapped in white, not green. it was not a 'valuable' gift." whatever, no worries now. :) we took some cute pictures and had some laughs, and dear matt got me a cup holder. It was a VERY fun idea for an event!

and then Sunday--830 church to sing (totally rolled in at 905, which was the latest we could get there and still make it to sing), then I went to Sunday school, which I rarely do, but they were having a class concerning Earth Day that caught my attention. I learned a few new things (like how the city of raleigh will only accept opened junk mail for recycling) and why, precisely, the don't recycle bottle caps (there's that seal, and it's hard to remove, and there's multiple types of plastic).

after that I napped, cleaned, grocery shopped and led youth. poor kids. I tried to talk to them about earth day and recycling and eliminating trash in the world, and then tried to bring it a little closer to home by talking about eliminating trash in their lives. I had a lesson book about it and everything. I had one girl get REALLY upset at me about #7 plastic bottles v. bottled water. She was convinced that #7=cancer, and I explained that no, it increases your risk, it isn't a guarantee. It's still bad, but it's kind of a wash--increase your cancer risk or use a new bottle every time and indirectly introduce all the pollution from manufacturing, production, distribution, and post-consumer waste into the world, and that increases your cancer risk too. I told her that there are plenty of other bottle options (#2 plastics, siggs, klean kanteens, nalgene's new line) and that using all of the disposable bottles instead was BAD.

Just because it's recyclable doesn't mean you can/should use as much as you want of it. It means you are helping by recycling, but recycling alone doesn't fix the problem. The three R's are in an order for a reason. First try to reduce. If you can't, try to reuse. And if you can't do that, then recycle it.

She was ANGRY. I think she was convinced that she would, 100% without a doubt, get cancer from those bottles (because oprah said so) and I think maybe a bit defensive--maybe she drinks bottled water all the time. Anyway, awk-ward. I felt bad. I kept telling her she was right, that you just should use a bottle that wasn't #7. And she would say "yeah, the ones bottled water comes in." yeesh.

That night there was a pretty storm, the aftermath of which reminded me of Tulsa/Oklahoma, when everything turns orange-ish, pink-ish brown and the sky is a myriad of un-sky-like colors. Matt and I watched Juno, which was good, and I liked the soundtrack. I also liked the way they talked. Very clever gilmore-girls-ee, but harsher and with a bigger vocabulary. :) And then on-the-verge-of-a-sinus-infection Carrie took some ibuprofen for her sinus headache (if I'm taking meds it must be bad) and went to sleep. the end.

Monday, April 21, 2008

hooray, hooray for TTA!

hi there.

I've been trying to figure out a way to ride the bus for YEARS. Okay, like two years. But every route I could find took me an hour and a half, and I just don't have THREE hours to commute a day when I live ten minutes from my work. I mean, I'm already helping by living close to where I work, right?

Anyway, for earth day tomorrow I'm riding the bus. It's my "I took the pledge" proof. I found two times that leave at 828 or 858 (I want to get there for the 828 though) and two departures at 512 and 542. They will both take me 18 minutes and cost me four whole dollars. Now, based on my math, if I got to actually move the whole time (as opposed to wasting gas at lights) I'd be spending roughly $1.57 on gas round-trip, as opposed to my $4. But that's just on gas--not insurance, not maintenance, not cleaning, not anything. So not only will it ultimately save me money, but I haven't even mentioned the most important part--less pollution!

It isn't practical for me to do this every day--like when I have scouts after work or will be heading to somewhere west of my work--but even if I do it once a week, I think it'll be worth it. PLUS I can get passes for the bus from my work, FOR FREE. So I could spend $1.57 to ride to work OR ride the bus. Um, bus please. As long as I don't have to go elsewhere after. This is AWESOME!

Also, as you may know, bottle caps cannot be recycled. Y'know, like on that 20-ouncer or your laundry detergent bottle or whatever. Apparently this is because the seal that keeps the liquid from leaking is difficult to remove and makes it unable to be recycled. Well, there's a solution now, albeit a temporary one. And you can thank Aveda for it. Collect your plastic lids and bring 'em in by May 10th. They're repurposing them for a new line of shampoos! So save your lids--and if you bring in 25 you'll get a free sample to boot!

Friday, April 18, 2008

green is the new pink is the new black

wow. it's becoming trendy to be green. even walmart's doing it. and interestingly enough, with his $50 purchase yesterday, Matt got a reusable bag for free.

this is a good trend. some of them, like leggings and smoking and muscle cars might not've been, but this one is. :)

I am having a ridiculous time finding beer for my party. I would like a beer in a keg, please. It needs to be local, organic or made at a brewery that is eco-responsible (like sierra nevada, new belgium or brooklyn). And it needs to be a crowd-pleaser (i.e., not too hoppy, not too sweet). I'm a pretty easy-going beer drinker, but if I don't like it a lot of people won't, I think. Anyway, I am totally annoyed. I was also hoping that I wouldn't have to drive five hours to get it. Um, er, twenty minutes each way...but still.

And the dude at total wine is an idiot. I HATE it people are like "uh, ma'am, we don't know that kind of stuff." You work at a store that only sells beer and liquor. Get your sh*t together and become informed about your product. You don't need to know every single thing, but the very least you could do is not talk to me like I'm a moron or an alien.

Speaking of beer--for the first time Matt and I actually discussed what we'd want if we were living together. That isn't on the short-term agenda, but it's quite possible it'll happen in the future. Last night, while I made corsages for Marla's bachelorette tonight, Matt was getting me a beer and said "Carrie, if/when we live together, there's one thing I think we really should do..." "Keep the refrigerator organized?" I asked. "No," he replied. "Get a beer fridge."


We both like having a variety of beer to drink, and we don't like to run out. So that's completely on our list. :)

Oh, and yesterday we watched this Ryan Gosling movie. I totally recommend it. It's a little weird and uncomfy at first, but it's an incredible story. At the end you will be glad you watched it. It's touching and there are parts that are ridiculous and I think it's worth the rental. Matt is pro Ryan's mustache though. I must admit I am not.

Today is the work plant sale, so I'm going to go pick up some herbs and tomatoes and stuff. Figure it's better to support our on-site childcare than to go to wally-world or the like, even if they're giving out reusable bags.

And here are some scary factoids for y'all.

-It takes as much petroleum to make 14 plastic bags as it does to drive a car one mile.

-It takes a tree-packed forest with an area equivalent to 500 soccer fields to absorb all the carbon dioxide produced by mobile phone chargers that are left plugged into outlets.

-It takes 28% less energy to recycle than to produce paper from scratch. If every household replaced one roll of regular toilet paper with one recycled post-consumer waste roll, 424, 000 trees would be saved.

-It has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school.

-The annual amount of oil expended to produce plastic bottles sold in the United States is enough to fuel 100,000 cars for an entire year.

-During the time it takes you to read this sentence, more than 50,000 12-ounce aluminum cans were made. It's estimated that 97% of all soft drink cans are made of aluminum. Consumers and industry in the United States throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial air fleet every 3 months. It requires only 5% as much energy to manufacture a can from recycled aluminum as compared to virgin ore.

-The Sierra Club did a study showing that if every New York resident reduced their bag use by just one bag per year, this would reduce waste by 5 million pounds!

-Paper bags have the highest global warming impact compared to other types of bags. According to the US EPA, paper bags emit 70% more global warming gases than plastic bags in manufacturing, and 50 times more water pollution.

So go reduce, reuse and recycle. And RETHINK. Maria is doing a fact o' the day and giving you links to do something (like opt out of mass mailings). Go check that out too. Four days until Earth day!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

at the zombie jamboree.

~from where in the world is carmen san diego

if you don't remember it, this might remind you. or this. I totally used to have a crush on the blonde guy. I have NO IDEA why it popped into my head, but it did on my way to work.

speaking of work, today I'm wearing khakis and this cute lavender shirt and my jean jacket and brown flats. except I went to get water and go to the bathroom a few minutes ago, and I'd taken my jacket off, and as I went to wash my hands I thought "weird. that part looks lighter than the rest." because it was. turns out I have little bleach spots all over this shirt. apparently I wore it when I was using duac and didn't wait for the stuff to dry. needless to say, if I leave my office the jacket will be ON.

boo hiss for ruined work clothes.

also, I am REALLY enjoying the things that are for sale here. I've found some totally cute stuff that I have talked myself out of buying, and a few things I've decided are splurge-worthy. and some I'll just make for myself! kat sent me some eco-friendly links from here too (or at least I think this was it) and anyway, I like!

I got to play football last night, and that was fun but slightly off-putting, as people were all "what?!? let's just not ref. I mean, we aren't going to get into the tournament anyway, so those points don't matter." someone actually said that. very unsportsmanlike. I mean, yeah, reffing sucks, but somebody's gotta do it. And our team was signed up--it's how that league works. Players from another team stayed for our game. And of the six people there five (including me, I might add) hadn't done it. I said I would, but Matt offered to do it for me, since it was pretty clear that I'd have big honkin' dudes yelling at me after every call. Good thing too, because it was a tie game that went into overtime, and they yelled at him! So while he reffed I went home, made dinner and brought it to him so he could eat it before his indoor soccer game.

tonight I was supposed to play bunco, but it has been canceled. I was looking forward to it, but I gotta say, getting to chill out is kind of appealing, too. when I woke up this morning my nose was FREAKING OUT. I've calmed it with claritin and the use of a neti pot, but I'm still feeling kinda ick.

hope y'all like the picture and the new eco-links at the top. that way every cool link I find doesn't require a post. :)

this does not bode well.

um, what??? there's a global seed vault in svalbard? why, exactly, do we NEED a global seed vault? what, exactly, aren't they telling us? It's very Noah-and-the-ark, I think. And it freaks me out a little. I mean, it isn't all bad, having the ability to reintroduce extinct plants into their native lands. On one hand you could argue evolution, but in my opinion it's much more likely the result of pollution. but anyway. a global seed vault. what's next? an animal dna bank? people's dna bank? microorganisms frozen in petri dishes? and what do they think might happen. hmm.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the beast awakens.

um, er...I totally just spoke to the GS ladies in Tulsa and told them I don't want to fill out their stinkin' form for that thousand buck scholarship I got in college. This is the FIFTH one. For the love. Thank you kindly for the money, get out of my face. I suggested that they consider a)requesting this info via email, b)giving people more notice (they wrote the letter on the 4th and wanted it monday), c)not hating on the environment. I kindly recommended that they STOP the mailing and go with something electronic and give me the option of updating it online or at the very least emailing it to them. For Pete's sake. I mean, I know little old ladies may not email, but COME ON.

and. I just emailed my church and said "um.....can you please give people the option to receive the newsletter electronically? it's like six pages of overbleached paper with enviro-unfriendly ink and it creates CO2 just getting to my mailbox. PLUS it would save you money. Except they're a non-profit, and bulk mail is extra cheap for them. But seriously. They said they've considered it for a while and that they did it briefly but people complained and they want to use bulk mail. they also said that since people wanted the paper version it wasn't wasting paper. I resisted the urge to say "um, no, it is TOTALLY wasting paper. what it isn't doing is costing you more to send it to the 500 people than it would to send it to, like 300 or whatever because of bulk mail. it's saving money and wasting paper, people. roll with it." I asked them to take me off whenever the newsletters are available as a pdf again, pretty please, unless it would create a mail merge nightmare.


where did this come from? I am the evil monster of the environment. The evil environment protector? Mean chick with a leetle too much knowledge and a significant lack of sleep? Hmm. Whatever. I wasn't mean, so I think I'm good. :)

hfcs, fbi, bhm, twc, mls.

ah, acronyms/abbreviations. mmm mmm good.

I went to my communications meeting last night. They suggested that I chair it next year. I'm pretty sure that ain't happening, thanks. I feel like I just get asked and asked and asked. If I stopped doing youth then maybe, but we'll see.

Last night I decided to drive around and look for townhouses in my area, and I found two complexes I didn't even know were there! Okay well really one I kind of knew about--the neighborhood, anyway--and the other was news to me. They are in Durham but sosososo close to Wake county and Raleigh, so you get the tax benefit of durham with the benefit of a spit-and-you'll-hit-it distance to Raleigh.

One of the complexes is literally across the street from where I live. It's a mix of houses and townhomes. I could potentially afford an actual home in that neighborhood, but I don't want to deal with a real yard yet, and I like the energy-saving way townhomes work (if you have two or three cold/hot walls instead of four, you know?) . For instance, here's an example of one I'd want to see. There are also some 2.5 miles down the road (and closer to matt, who travels to my house, oh, 4-5 times a week, so he'd be saving 20-25 miles a week, basically a gallon of gas) like this one. Which is more than I want to spend, but it gives me an idea of what's available (and there are others that are cheaper like this one.)

so anyway, this is TOTALLY promising news, as some of these are 10-20% cheaper than the ones I was checking out in Raleigh, and that would make me WAY more comfy with my payments.

and for money saving--I've also decided I'm going to buy a dv-r and stop renting from time warner. I only use the basic channels anyway, so this digital cable they require is totally unnecessary for me. I don't care if I can see the newscaster's pores! Besides, between that and the availability of online episodes, I am pretty sure I'm golden.

I was FINALLY able to book Matt and my flights to Mary Alise's wedding. I've been monitoring flights for like two months and change and was hoping for a little dip in price. I usually LOVE sidestep, but I actually had to write them a mean letter because for TWO days their price listed was less than nwa actually wanted.

today over my lunch I also had to talk to the fbi about justin. no one told me not to talk about it, so I assume I can. It was refreshing to realize that this little phrase sums him up "he's a really good guy, he just was lacking as a husband, to me." which honestly is better than most people can say about exes. they asked me questions, made sure there was nothing criminal that caused our divorce, etc. kind of weird though...

oh, and I bought some seventh generation toilet paper. if you're used to stuff that caresses your ass, you probably won't like it. but really? unless you have an episode of 'rhoids or something, I'm pretty sure it's gonna suffice. go pick up a pack (I found mine at lowe's on glenwood) and check out the back--just look at what would happen if everybody used a four-pack in place of normal TP, just once...

and yesterday I decided--for earth day I'm trying to give up high fructose corn syrup. And I don't need to wait until next Tuesday to do it--there's no time like the present! I mean, clearly, that's gonna be pretty damn hard to do cold turkey. So I'm not even gonna try that...but for instance, for lunch today I had grape juice and club soda instead of a coke. I also made some iced tea. Seltzer and club sodea don't have any hfcs. (allegedly some tonic water doesn't either, but that wasn't the case at my grocery store) And man, it's in everything. there's a list of what it isn't in, too, but wow. So it's better for my health to drink the alternatives and by not consuming as much of it, I am doing my part for my health and to stop our using so much corn (the growing process depletes nutrients and it isn't usually rotated like a lot of crops). Which is all that matters. see that comic? natalie dee is right!

I read a little article here, and although it's not as a big of an impact as, say, eating all local or using only reusable bags, it's something. and it's good for me.

speaking of impact...
because kara mentioned it. do you know what I love? I've actually been meaning to tell you--I love it that so many of you who read this blog have, at one time or another, started doing something more environmentally conscious.
or learned more about an enviro concern.
or have sent me a recycled-paper card with a martini on it because it made you think of me.
or have called me to tell me that your significant other was wasting energy by standing with the fridge door open and saying "somewhere, carrie is crying because you're wasting energy!"
or have switched a light bulb or used a reusable bag or walked to the store or combined your trips or carpooled or anything else.

love it.

so from my heart, I say thank you, mother earth says thank you, and we both say keep up the good work! every single little bit counts.
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