Monday, January 25, 2010

Doc Review: Garbage Warrior (2007)

All I can say is-wow what a week. Working on the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon was truly both the most surreal and the most rewarding experience of my alter ego's career. (I mean it's not every day one gets to work side-by-side with George Clooney) And to top it all off, we were able to raise a lot of money for relief and recovery. Spent the weekend recovering from the emotional and exhausting roller coaster ride of live production and finally had the chance to finish watching Garbage Warrior, the 2007 documentary about Michael Reynolds, the New Mexican architect who has been creating “Earthship Biotechture” (Earthship n. 1. passive solar home made of natural and recycled materials 2. thermal mass construction for temperature stabilization. 3. renewable energy & integrated water systems make the Earthship an off-grid home with little to no utility bills. Biotecture n. 1. the profession of designing buildings and environments with consideration for their sustainability. 2. A combination of biology and architecture.)-otherwise known as houses made of cement, used tires, and empty beverage containers. Reynolds found much resistance to his creative solution for home building from the NM legislature, but in 2004 after the Southeastern Asian tsunami, he and his crew headed to the devastated Andaman Islands where he taught locals a quick, cheap and sturdy way to build new homes. One can only hope he's already bought his ticket to Haiti and is plotting how his skills can help create new homes there as well.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Take that Swiffer!™

I'll be the first to admit that my kitchen floor is pretty disgusting. The linoleum is probably at least 20 years old and no matter how clean the bottom of my shoes are, it always seems to attract dirt and grime. So early on, I gave up even trying to keep it clean, just seemed simpler to let nature take it's course. And don't think I wasn't slightly jealous when I watched my friends using their fancy new Swiffer-type mops with built in cleaner in the handle. I thought, 'At last, here could be the solution to the issue at hand.' These fancy cleaning tools only run about $20 for the hardware and then $6 or $7 for the refill wipes, but before I succumbed to the temptation of just letting corporate/chemical America fix it, I decided to see what a little ingenuity (with a big dose of inspiration from the hard working Props team of AGT) would get me. The simple solution? Take an old mop (one of those rectangular sponge types), 2 rubber bands and an old terry cloth towel. Rubber band the towel to the mop head, and use a spray bottle of vinegar to hit the spots you need to clean. No rinsing, no toxic fumes, no fuss, no muss. Voila, in your face, Procter & Gamble! With this simple (and practically free) solution, now I'm at least 14% more likely to clean my kitchen floor more than once a year.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Resolving to Resolve

Wow, a whole new year, a whole new decade. Wonder where that came from? I’m not really big on making resolutions on January 1… probably because I’m so busy making them the rest of the year. I mean I have list after list of things I want to accomplish (I even spent yesterday’s flu-ish day on the couch reading a book about To-Do lists. And proud of it. Sasha Cagen’s To-Do List, good read so far.) I have weekly to do lists, I have monthly to do lists, I have daily to do lists. I have list after list of things that need to get done, things I keep putting off and things I put on there just so I’ll cross them off quickly and think that I’m accomplishing something. But if I were asked to make a resolution for this year, I’m going to go with a bad habit or two—stopping my disposable plastic habit. No more take away silverware, or throwaway cups. If I’m eating out, I’m eating in and asking for it unwrapped, and bringing my own cup. I’ve failed miserably at this attempt in the past, but I think with the right amount of preparation, I can get it ingrained enough to be like bringing my own reusable bags. It’s just a matter of having the right tools on hand when you need them. So happy first day of 20-10, y’all.