Things DST stands for…

giphytired baby

(source)

Do you hear that collective groan that’s been low grade non-stop since last Sunday? The one often audible early in the morning, again when it gets dark, and oh – ALL THE TIME when there are kids in the house?

Yes, it’s that time of year:

DST.

Dang Sick of This.

Delirious Stress Tantrums.

Daylight Saving Time.

I’ve talked about it before. It’s still an issue lo these 6 months later, so in case you weren’t drinking coffee at all hours like I am, just trying to stay awake because it’s noon, I thought I’d fill you in on life the past week. See, kids who can’t even tell time yet don’t know the difference when we scramble around the house updating our analog clocks like a bunch of pilgrims.

Thank you, iPhone, for telling me exactly what time it is so I don’t have to call Time and Temperature a la circa 1994 to know the time. And temperature.

Anyway. When we’ve finally adjusted to the time change shenanigans from six months ago, we have to start all over. My toddler who was waking up at 7:30am? Now that’s 6:30am and there goes my morning quiet time because honey badger…..

And that 5:30am feeding with my 5 month old is now at 4:30, which just. ain’t. right.

#firstworldproblems my life has turned upside down. I (whom I shall humbly admit has a decently accurate grasp on what time it is, give 10-15 minutes), I have no clue what time it is. It may be 3:00pm, which used to be 4:00pm, but danged if it doesn’t feel like 12:30am and I need to be in bed NOW. And I feel the same all day long.

DON’T MESS WITH MY CONCEPT OF TIME!! (Seriously, go read my old blog post linked above – it’s insane that we aren’t doing this to help farmers out, the thinking I’d employed to console myself during these trying times in years past.)

And I’m still serious about being one of those dear souls who camps out at the Texas Capitol next session in full-on patriot mode when the bill to do away with DST is heard in committee. Anyone else want to join?!?!?!?! I’m so serious.

Avoiding Halloween

Y’all. I don’t like Halloween. Come at me, bro. Call it brainwashing from an early age. And THESE ARE SCARY TIMES. And I can’t watch scary movies without being traumatized for the next 7+ years. And my grandmother passed away on 10/31 seven years ago. And it was a little weird that the Catholic school and a church I attended when I was a kid both had haunted houses (going into a dark room, feeling “eyeballs” (peeled grapes) and “guts” (spaghetti noodles) WHAT THE HELL). And maybe I was left out of some dumb high school Halloween party so I associate the day with being left out (I don’t know – I’m just grasping at straws at this point).

So, given all that, I’m not exactly thrilled about celebrating with my kids. POINT FOR EMILY: this year, neither kid dressed up for Halloween*. This is a true statement. But to elaborate (and give reason for showing off my two perfect children), Annelise dressed up for “costume day” at her preschool on 10/30, and Pace dressed up for “document that he had a Halloween costume” on 11/2. My mom bought the costumes (so I didn’t have to contribute $$ to this lame holiday) and BONUS: they are really just pajamas with hats.

We weren’t total Scrooges: we put out a bucket filled with candy with a note that the baby is sleeping and to please take some candy and leave some for the other kids. It was rainy and we didn’t hear much activity outside, but after a decently short amount of time, Tim checked and all the candy was gone. WE WILL SHOW YOU, GREEDY LITTLE CHILDREN. Light off, sign gone, bucket back in house, and oh yeah, we still have a ton of candy we were going to refill the bucket with, so please come over and you can take some. Please.

Without further ado (it’s ado, people. Not adieu. I digress), may I present my aforementioned perfect children!

Pace’s best impression of a roaring lion:

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Pace the more mild-mannered lion:

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Annelise as Little Miss Sunshine. The tutu is because it helps her twirl better, she says.

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The sun hat was not as fun to wear, so it lasted a total of 2 minutes the entire day.

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So for all my apathy/dislike for Halloween, I totally make up for it in the Christmas holiday, SO GET READY. Annelise is already learning Christmas carols. It’s gonna be LIT.

 

Inconveniencing Jeff Bezos

Y’all. I’ve spent a good portion of life thinking I could make a decent dent in not being an inconvenience to other people. Lessening my footprint, if you will. Being I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that mean, man. Yeah, yeah, if you’re a human you’re automatically an inconvenience to at least one other person, and yeah, yeah I’ve been to counseling more than once to deal with this and other things over the years, but this has been a theme that repeatedly rears its ugly head in the strangest of ways. I’m weaving this in with some thoughts on Amazon, so I ask for your patience.

Before I get into the trying-not-to-be-a-burden bit, let’s ask ourselves a question: are you truly living your best life if you do not have an Amazon Prime membership? It started innocent: free shipping all year if you pay the membership fee. I was a grad student so I got 50% off the fee the first year. And I ordered my required reading/books/textbooks.

Then they automatically renewed my membership. No longer able to prove I was a student, I was charged the full amount. But it was so worth it, because #freeshipping. Now I’m buying other things. Because there’s free shipping on gifts for out of town relatives and such.

Next thing you know I’m walking the aisles of Target with my Amazon app opened up, comparing prices on fun things like diapers and eye contact solution. Amazon is consistently just a liiiiiiitle cheaper, so I opt for the latter – look at me SAVING MONEY.

Then there are the movies and shows to watch for free. And my umpteen stations I’ve carefully curated (gosh I feel so artsy when I use that phrase) on Amazon Music.

Now I’m purchasing things through Amazon on ibotta (you can too! Click here!) to get some extra cash back (once I hit $20 then they’ll release the money to me, so please sign up so you and I both get referral rewards! Yay! What does this even mean!? What are you doing with my information??)

Most recently, I caved and bought the cheaper option of trash bags. Amazon brand trash bags. Two cents less per bag than Hefty (Hefty Hefty Cinch Sack! Does anyone else have this old commercial playing in their head when you opt for a Hefty brand pantry item?). Haven’t tried them yet…. will review the purchase later this year.

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And this is what Scott Galloway who wrote The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (thanks, Amazon, for selling this) mentioned when he was interviewed on NPR earlier this year. Amazon, by offering their products at a just sliiiiightly lower cost than competitors, will eliminate the competition and be all that’s left. How droll. How Atlas Shrugged of you.

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(thanks for sharing this epic tweet with me, Tabatha. Had me rolling.)

And I thought about that NPR interview as I clicked “buy” on the slightly less expensive trash bags. And I think about that when given the choice between #supportingsmallbusinesses for a lot of money or #spendingless through Amazon. It’s like Amazon is the beans and rice that Dave Ramsey talks about! Following my logic? Alas, I should have divided this post into a few different ones, but we’re running with it.

Aaaannnnd scene.

Now here’s the part about the inconveniencing of Amazon.

There’s the decision to choose shipping speeds. Pay $5.99 or so for same day? Bought so much stuff you can get free next day shipping? Free two day shipping? Choose no rush and get a $5 credit toward your next Whole Foods purchase?

I chose the no rush option – not because I wanted the Whole Foods credit (because I’m more of an HEB/Central Market shopper), but because I didn’t want to be a bother.

To Amazon.

To the delivery folks who, though gainfully employed, seem to be frantically in a hurry every time they drop something off on our doorstep.

To Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world.

With my $40ish purchase of Amazon trash bags and diaper pail refills and dishwasher detergent.

Let that sink in, would you?

[Cue awkward, self-conscious laughter.]

Let’s spin it this way: I am disciplining myself to not go for the instant gratification of next day deliveries. That’s it! I am exercising delayed gratification and becoming a model citizen in the process. So non-millennial. YES. Reframing is a specialty of mine.

Now back to my Primehouse cleaning and Primemeal cooking…..

 

 

Fat flapjacks.

A_fat_flapjack_flapper_capWould you prefer a cop’s cap or a cupcake cook’s cap or a fat flapjack flapper cap?
(Dr. Seuss)

I’ve been feeling a tad like that sad bloke on the far right. I see a bit of my reflection in his sad, tired eyes (yes we read O Say Can You Say all the time and I’m getting REALLY good at the bit about Pinner Blinn’s shinbone pins, but I digress). Thus, healthy eating has been my focus for the month of October. It’s all kinds of Whole30-ish over here. Now before you say there’s no such thing as Whole30-ISH and start lecturing me on the required purity of the Whole30 regimen, just kindly sit down: you’re not the boss of me.

Due in part to the slums of postpartumness and gobs and gobs of cookie dough, after never ever having a single SCINTILLA of a cavity my entire life, I had a whopping FIVE cavities by the time I had Pace. Got three fillings yesterday. I don’t want to talk about it.

Ok maybe I do.

But just for a minute.

So there’s the whole my-mouth-is-rotting-wow-that’s-really-gross aspect that does wonders for motivating me to kick it in gear. Sugar and alcohol and over-processed foods make up wayyyy too much of the Standard American Diet (it’s legit referred to as SAD) as well as My nEglected Healthiness (MEH – start using this acronym in daily conversation and attribute it to me please) so I’m making changes. Not being crazy dogmatic about it, but am trying to make healthy eating the norm.

And I’m not going to get all crazy with this. It’s fall, y’all. It probably won’t be this chilly at Christmas. This is my one wild and precious life. It’s not going to destroy me if I enjoy some homemade pumpkin bread. Just not the whole loaf. EMILY, STEP AWAY FROM THE LOAF PAN.

So this month I’ve added some new dishes to the repertoire and have made orange chicken with cauliflower rice; meatballs and chimichurri sauce with sweet potato spirals; tom kha gai; buffalo chicken wings; buffalo potato salad; and even a Whole30 compliant latte. I would share photos of these epic dishes, but I lack the forethought and am often quite hungry.

Here’s the kicker, folks. Following a recipe is EASY. There are a bajillion blogs and websites that are dedicated to this sort of thing. They lay it all out there and you just do what it says. Who knew? Cooking is actually fun! A creative outlet. Therapeutic, even. And it’s cool to know what’s going on/in the food I’m consuming. Funny how there’s a marked difference in how I feel after eating it, too.

SPEAKING OF EINKORN, anybody heard of this grain before?! I “discovered” it at the farmers market a few weeks ago – it’s an ancient wheat grain that doesn’t have the pathetic composition of the all-purpose flour or the enriched wheat flour that seems to be in everything.  And it’s low gluten. And it’s TASTY. And it’s the “only wheat never hybridized.” More to come on this. I want to take a trip out to the Barton Springs Mill in Dripping Springs and have a looksee.

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AND as if things couldn’t get any better, there’s hebtoyou.com – we’ve finally jumped onto this bandwagon and it’s amazing. No need to drag two small children through a massive store with a long list – then forgetting that one ingredient crucial to your meal that night on the other side of the store while holding the baby and pushing the cart with one hand and accidentally almost running over the toddler’s toes and wiping away tears and by the time you get home all you want to do is order a pizza and… just me?

You consult your list. You order ahead. You wait in the parking spot for 15 minutes or so, max. You may happen to judge the other people who are also waiting for their groceries, noticing that they look able-bodied and don’t have screaming children in the backseat.  Whatever. I have a two month free trial of sirius XM in my car and am rocking out to the 90’s station like it’s my job. PARTY IN OUR CAR!!

SO yeah, these days I’m grateful for good food, motivation to get healthy, HEB curbside pickup, and my uncanny ability to remember lyrics of songs I haven’t heard in ages.

And I still do love cookie dough.

Let’s recap.

We’re going to call the past 6 months of silence on this blog a “sabbatical” because it sounds intentional, spiritual even. Like it was totally planned and ordained. Not that it coincided with the last 2 months of my second pregnancy and 4 months of having an infant AND a toddler at home or anything…. purely coincidental.

I can now think and even write in full sentences sometimes, if I have also had caffeine and assuming someone isn’t crying in my ear or someone isn’t pleading that they “need TWAH-cwitt (chocolate) to feel me all better” (make me feel better).

The last 6 months I was pretty much in survival mode and I don’t remember much of it, but I did take a lot of photos, so I know that these things happened:

  • Went to the New Braunfels Children’s Museum, San Antonio Zoo, Almost Grown Play Cafe, Thinkery, and met sweet friends for random lunches.
  • Mourned Barbara Bush’s passing.
  • Rounded out a successful semester at Mother’s Day Out aka FREEEEEEDOM.
  • Took a lot of awkward selfies to ensure there will be photos of me for my kids to remember me in the event of my permanent demise (well, it’s true).
  • Showered by sweet friends and family for Pace’s arrival.
  • I HAD A KID. His name is Pace. More to come on this development.
  • Spent countless hours at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, including for Annelise’s 2nd birthday. I had a birthday, Tim had a birthday.
  • Took a few trips to Fredericksburg, hosted the in-laws, ate a lot of cookie dough (repercussions of this will be a post for another day but it starts with I NOW HAVE FIVE CAVITIES IN MY MOUTH), went on a ton of neighborhood walks, and transformed the garage into a playroom for the kids and a studio for me.
  • Met Melissa Radke (author of Eat Cake, Be Brave), snuck in TWO small town parades (Independence Day and Gillespie County Fair), took Edie Wadsworth‘s Reclaim Your Best Beautiful Life challenge and focused on getting rid of an ugly scarcity mindset that had somehow been burrowing into my outlook on life.
  • Experienced the joy of Tex-Mex cheese in a bag from HEB (heaven).
  • Was thisclose to my old pal Robert Earl Keen ’79 at Tim’s work party. Pretty sure he recognized me from that time in circa 2010 when I pretended to be a hostess at the Texas State Society concert he performed at in DC and asked what he wanted to drink and he made ME a Jack and Coke and then I didn’t go meet him at Will Hurd’s house because our previous encounter couldn’t be topped WHAT was I thinking.
  • Enjoyed a family trip to Lake LBJ.
  • Got slightly more comfortable in my own skin.

My hope is to crank out a post a week, so I’d better stop here or else I’ll take all the rest of my AMAZING thoughts and ideas and cram them into one post.

If you’re still reading, thanks. I’ve missed you. Hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

-eek

Three things I now know…

This is uber-surface level banter today, so don’t get your hopes up thinking I’m sharing my soul. I’ve recently been made aware of three rather decently major things that I have plum gotten wrong in life, and feel it’s only fitting that I share these with you, my loyal readers, in hopes that you will not be deceived as I have been.

Here we go, in order of importance.

The lie: these flowers are called buttercups. 

primrose

NOT TRUE!!! I have for my entire life referred to these little pink wildflowers as buttercups. They’re not yellow, but whatever. Butter can be housed in a pink cup. Due to my impassioned research (I read the sign at the Wildflower Center, y’all – see photo below for it’s dang obviousness), I learned that these are Pink Evening Primroses.

This enlightenment isn’t blog post worthy, you say? I beg to differ. A) I’m very pregnant, so EVERYTHING is a big deal these days, including this. Also, B) Wildflowers are of epic importance these days because Central Texas is in bloom and I don’t want to be cooing over the wildflowers on the trails and roads, imparting my ill-gotten nomenclature to anyone within earshot. But insightful reader, you are correct: mostly A).

primroses.jpg

 

The lie: mosquito hawks eat mosquitoes. 

What-is-a-Mosquito-Hawk-ABC-1-min

NOT TRUE!!! These flighty bugs are kind of birdlike, so you know that means I’m creeped out by them at a basic level without knowing anything about their gastronomic preferences. They are really crane flies, but their nickname has always implied to me that they are hawks that eat mosquitoes (duh!), so I have tolerated and even supported their existence for many, many years, even when they sneak into my home and stick to the wall in the EXACT SAME PLACE (weirdos) for the entire day. My hope has been that they will later feast on mosquitoes, so I haven’t minded their weirdness. For the common good of a lessened mosquito population on this earth. Amen and Amen.

And it’s all a dad-gum hoax. They are not on my side, so I will no longer take pity upon them. Mosquito hawks, be forewarned: you’re dead to me.

Author’s note: It was a challenge to determine the ordering of the wildflower name or the alleged mosquito nemesis, since if there’s one thing I love in Texas, it’s wildflowers, and if there’s one thing I despise in Texas (or anywhere), it’s mosquitoes. Please know that a thoughtful amount of time went into the organization of this post, with you, dear reader, in mind.

The lie: Daylight Saving Time benefits the farmers.

NOT TRUE!!!!!

daylight saving time

(Side note: I had to include the meme above, the truth therein displayed I also recently learned, and now judge people who say “Daylight Savings Time” like they are people who say “volleyvall,” “valevictorian,” and “expecially.” And for that matter, people who don’t know how to properly use the Oxford Comma. Wake up, America.)

I read this article (posted by my old boss, Rep. Lyle Larson) that points out that the whole “we need Daylight Saving Time because it helps the farmers” is a lie from the PIT OF HELL that was perpetrated by none other than East Coast Commercialism, the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Something about more daylight for more shopping time.

All these years, I thought I was doing my duty for God and country and countryfolk by suffering through the twice-yearly phenomenon of “where am I and what day is it and what time is it and why am I so tired and for the last time, Carl, it’s spring forward and fall back!” And it’s been 100 years of this insanity. Having a toddler on a schedule, though, has brought me to my knees, and after this last round of DST adjustment, THAT’S ENOUGH. So let it be written, so let it be done, I’ll be joining the folks with torches and pitchforks and tin foil hats and whatnot at the Capitol next session, passionately advocating that we END THIS monstrosity. And you should totally join me.

So now you know, too. Do with this imparted, hard-won knowledge what you will.

focus, or lack thereof

What? You miss me? Aw shucks. So here’s the deal. Part of my hesitancy in writing more and more often is that I’m still trying to figure out what exactly this blog is for.

  • A vehicle for me to rant about whatever situations of varying levels of injustice happen to be on my mind: entitled Millennials (I’m still incensed that I have to be part of this generation), people who love their pets too much and think I should too, the price of a dang chai tea latte, affordable parking scarcity downtown…. to actual legit/infuriating injustices like corruption and incompetency in elected and appointed office, those with entirely too much campaign money trying to wield power over people who threaten/question what their donors/puppet masters demand (oh yeah, clearly still have some burnout/bitterness issues lingering from my former roles in the Texas Legislature), dangerous hypocrites in all levels of humanity, monsters who prey on little children and deserve to be tortured before burning in hell…. and now I’m all fired up. Ahem. Next bullet.
  • Exploring Austin and documenting my attempts to be effortlessly hip/hipster/Austintatious/soooo easygoing….
  • Wowing you with my Pinterest creations for A’s Valentine’s Day party today….oh gosh, fine – since you asked, here’s a photo:

Valentine's Day

(I bought a glue gun. Which – as it turns out – is only $4.27 at Walmart so that barrier to entry into the craft world has been shattered. They really weren’t that difficult and I only had to make 7 and this Pinterest lady took a ton more photos so I don’t feel so bad.)

  • Sharing hard stuff I’m going through but in such a way that a) I am real and not fake and b) I am the heroine of the story, not the crumpled mess I may or may not more closely resemble, and c) you don’t know too much about my life #downwithoversharing, and d) how do people write memoirs when their friends and family and anyone who knew them haven’t been abducted by aliens?! Are they all in the witness protection program?! Moving on.
  • Being a mom, staying at home for right now, not wanting to take up knitting or purchasing a mom car… but trying to find a sweet spot of still using the powers of my brain and being engaged in other parts of who I am while also being an attentive, engaged mother…..all the while acknowledging that it’s freaking hard to be good at this. Oh, and a good wife. That’s important, too.
  • Being pregnant and starving for pizza and burgers and FRENCH FRIES and Thai fried rice and cookie dough and chili mangoes and I WANT ALCOHOL….
  • Adventures in trying to live a more simplified, less technology-driven existence… balancing fear-mongering/guilting anyone who uses a smartphone in close proximity to my child with my pathetic Instagram habit…and hoping my kids won’t be too behind if they are forbidden from owning a phone till they are much older… like 15…

Unplug

  • Documenting my continued failures to grow plants/keep them alive (my latest attempt is an indoor pot with rosemary and mint. They’re alive after 10 days so that’s promising.)
  • Delving into the Enneagram to help me understand myself and other people….current dream job.. I think… is to be an Enneagram coach.
  • Hypocritically ranting about how so many female podcasters do not have an adequate grasp on the basics of elocution…much less the English language…and say “like” and “yay!” and “I’m SO EXCITED to have ___ on the show today….” to every dang guest they ever interview. For the love, y’all. I’m not saying they can’t be cheerful, but we do have other words that can be substituted for “GET EXCITED” like thrilled. Ecstatic. Intrigued. Grateful. Get a thesaurus. It makes me want to listen to some nuclear physicists debate. It will undoubtedly go over my head but would at least keep my brain from turning to mush. Yay.

Can I sum this up by simply saying this is a lifestyle blog and that will somehow cover all topics and BONUS I don’t feel pressure to make a commitment to a more focused subject matter?! Especially since I don’t have any sponsors?!?!

I don’t know. Sorry. Till I figure it out, you’ll have to deal with these scattered musings. Thanks for reading, as always. 

gosh pam, control your child.

So after 6ish months of being a bonafide SAHM, I’m finally venturing out beyond my standard cattle trails to Starbucks, Target, and the library and am exploring some of the fun kid-things that this wonderful city offers. I’ll be chronicling the more noteworthy experiences here as time and mental capacity allows.

Today: Book People children’s storytime.

Y’all.

I love me some Book People. Back when there was freedom, I’d spend hours there, reading interesting books and accidentally running into Brene Brown at her event (met her, she signed the Daring Greatly book I decided to buy after listening to her, we ended the night practically BFFs #lifegoal) or getting a chair massage from a hippie masseuse or picking a new country/destination for the next big trip, so I was predisposed to have an awesome time at this children’s shindig.

But no.

We (convinced two sweet mama friends who each have two kids to join A and me) got there a few minutes early to ensure decent seats, and the people already there were hovering over their kids and marking their spaces. Clearly everyone was wary of everyone else’s kids and whatever germs they were carrying. This was the responsible crowd.

By the time the storyteller began, the delinquents had showed up, crowding all over the place and letting their sniveling children roam wild and free. There was now no semblance of personal space or volume control or acknowledgement of the storyteller for that matter. It was CHAOS.

The storyteller tried to make small talk with the adults, but all I could think of was GET ON WITH YOUR BOOK, LADY. She asked everyone who was a nanny to raise their hands, and over half the adults in room shot their hands in the air. Okay, then. Now that that’s settled we can begin.

Feeling neither young nor sprightly, my legs were falling asleep as I strained to hear her tell these stories with pictures I couldn’t see. Relatedly, I could barely see the words to the songs, and the songs went too fast for us to use the sign language she was trying to teach us. She meant well – maybe she was trying to get this thing over with. This whole ordeal lasted 30 minutes but felt more like an hour – we would have left sooner, but there were SO MANY children we couldn’t escape. Like fire hazard level of people, or maybe I’m just more protective of my personal space than the average human.

So that’s what you can expect if you are planning to attend such an event. You’re welcome. (a simple fix would be to simply limit the number of people after who can enter!!)

The morning was redeemed tenfold by a trip to Steel City Pops afterwards, the best popsicle (or “poppy-sicle” or “popsicabable,” depending on which toddler you ask) joint in Austin. Life goes on. So glad we had some friends with us on this morning’s adventure!! Next time we might stick to somewhere outdoors with a tad more personal space.

Till next time..

neighborhood truck routes

Happy New Year! We’re going to jump right in and talk about Compost*/Recycling/Garbage truck routes.

*Oh yeah, we are full-blown Austin hippies who religiously participate in the weekly curbside composting program. Don’t act like you aren’t a smidge impressed. Next up, I’ll be a true blue Zero Waste Home disciple (but seriously…. it’s pretty cool stuff. More on this later).

Routes. Have you ever thought about this?

I’m highly interested (and when I say highly interested, I have done zero googling on this, but was shocked to know this isn’t included as a FAQ on the Austin Resource Recovery site) on how these routes are determined, and if assistance is needed (by yours truly, naturally) to suggest more efficient maps. In my extensive research, consisting of my several* walks around the neighborhood on Mondays (trash day for our ‘hood), there is an enormous amount of circling back, looping, multiple trucks in close proximity, and OH THE SMELLS.

*I’ve altered my approach to not be walking on Mondays in our neighborhood because lawdy lawdy ain’t we all grateful our taxes pay for our refuse to be picked up and taken away?! Seriously!!! This is a great thing!!!

BUT THEN. The questions.

How do you account for the capacity of the truck and allow for all the different sizes of bins that may or may not be overflowing or well under capacity? Hypothetically, some neighbors have the biggest bins and have overflowing garbage weekly. And….

  • What’s the average bin size for an Austinite?
  • What is the gallon capacity of a standard trash truck?
  • Please do the math for me – how many residential bins, on average, fit into each truck?
  • How many residential receptacles are there in the city limits?
  • And tell me more about the giant bins at apartment buildings!
  • Are there trackers in the trucks to monitor mileage and potential inefficiencies?
  • Does having to alter pickup based on holidays create a massive logistical headache and potentially force employees to work overtime to double up on shifts?
  • How many trucks does Austin Resource Recovery have for trash, recycling, and compost?
  • Do employees have odor neutralizers in the cabs of their trucks?
  • If people aren’t putting the right things in the compost, is there any way they can get caught/be held accountable?
  • Why are the trash cans that ugly fleshy brown color?
  • What’s the participation rate with the compost program?
  • How successful was the pilot program for composting and what criteria did you use to select the pilot neighborhoods?
  • What’s the gas budget for Austin Resource Recovery?
  • Where are the authorized gas pumps located throughout the city?

And aren’t those people who ask entirely too many questions so annoying? Makes me stop reading. Dorks.

Last year, I got to geek out and visit the Balcones Recycling Center in East Austin (because my boss was on the House Environmental Regulation Committee) and it was pretty much the coolest thing I got to do all session. That’s what having a kid will do to you, sheesh.

The field trip was like I was on a real Mister Rogers Neighborhood show….err… now it’s Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I wasn’t a fan at first, but now I love the little guy. Balcones was really well run and we got to see all the conveyor belts, bulldozers, suction tubes, paper smashers (that last one is clearly a technical term). Fifteen percent of what they receive is not able to be recycled – it’s trash – and must be transported to the landfill SO THINK ABOUT THAT next time you try to make yourself feel better by putting non-recyclable items into your cleverly colored blue recycling bin.

Clearly I have some other things I need to be doing right now. Procrastination is a STRENGTH, people!!

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