Earth Daze

See what I did there? With the Daze? And the Days? Ehh? Ehhhhhh??? Yeah, okay, it was silly, but hang in there.

So, Earth Day was yesterday. I think we all know enough about it by now that I don't need to give you a linky to go read up on it. Google it if you have been under a rock and still aren't sure about what it is. I sat for a good while yesterday, trying to think of a good post to put up here. The thoughts ranged from great projects that took place (Greeblemonkey spear-headed a great one that I mentioned before and it did pretty well, from early returns) to just saying - "Hey, Earth. Happy you day."

But, today, I thought of how I wanted to pay some homage. Hopefully it doesn't come across too preachy or "holier-than-thou", because I'm neither of those things, but maybe we need to do a little preaching, or no one will take action.

Having an Earth Day is a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, it raises awareness of problematic environmental issues, and gives people an opportunity to take some action. But, on the other hand, it allows people to feel they are doing enough if they take action that one day a year. Being "green" minded is a much more healthy approach, and allows you to do smaller things all year that end up having a much bigger impact. So, I think having smaller "Earth Days" (eh? See, Daze/Days...THERE it is. Damn, I'm funny) is more useful.

On that note, here are a few things that we do at Casa de Monkey that are in this "green" minded theme, and hopefully will inspire you as well:

1. Use cloth bags when you go shopping. Americans use millions upon millions of plastic bags every year, and although they are better than they use to be, they still take time to break down. Bring along a good cloth tote bag, and you'll be creating less waste.

2. Walk/ride a bike more often. Instead of hopping in the car to go the corner store for that bottle of water and bag of chips, toss on a backpack and take your bike or hoof it. You'll end up feeling better about your health, save money on gas - which can't hurt with the prices today, and create less pollution.

3. Use recycled paper and plastic products. If you recycle your plastics and paper, you're only doing half the job. While that does help, to truly get away from wasting those products you're sending in to recycle, you should look to buy products that are made from those recycled items. There's lots out there, and you may already be doing it without even knowing.

4. Start a vegetable garden. When you buy vegetables in the grocery store, don't forget that you are paying for not only the veggies, but for the oil used to transport them to your location. The further away they are (I'm talking to you Brazillian bananas), the more that money goes towards oil prices. If you grow your own veggies, you avoid a lot of the preservatives and pesticides used by larger companies, avoid unneeded hormones added to some veggies and can take some pleasure in producing your own food. If you can't grow your own veggies, see if your area has a farmer's market or food co-op that you might be able to use. They're great alternatives and tend to use local produce.

5. Replace your regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. The new compact fluorescent bulbs cost much less in the long run, because they last much longer than standard light bulbs. This creates less waste in the landfills. As a bonus, they save you a bit on your energy bill because they use less energy. Which, depending on what energy company you use, may mean less oil/petroleum use as well.

Okay - thanks for the opportunity to stand on my soap box and say a bit. I hope more people will take an interest in the kind of impact we have on the planet, and try to minimize it as much as possible. Every little bit helps, after all. If you have some ideas - small things we can all do throughout the year - please share them by posting them in the comments.


March They Might Be Giants Show - Dallas, TX

I meant to post the set list for the They Might Be Giants show I went to at the House of Blues in Dallas on March 5th. I used twitter to do a sort of "live play-by-play" while I was at the concert, so that left me with a log of the show. It was a fun experiment to do.

So, if you weren't able to make it to the show, and you happen to have these They Might Be Giants songs, you could always put together a playlist of the set...or not. I dunno. Maybe this is of interest, and maybe it isn't. Let me know thoughts.

They Might Be Giants
Dallas, TX - The House of Blues
March 5, 2008

1. The Cap'm
2. The Shadow Government
3. Dr. Worm
4. Particle Man
5. Cyclops Rock
6. Whithered Hope
7. (You're Not the) Boss of Me
8. Birdhouse in My Soul
9. Take Out the Trash
10. Ana Ng
11. Memo to Human Resources
12. The Mesopotamians
13. New York City
14. I'm Impressed
15. One Dozen Monkeys
16. Apartment #4
17. Alphabet of Nations
18. It's Not My Birthday
19. Hey Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal
20. Damn Good Times
21. Older
22. How Can I Sing Like a Girl?
23. Experimental Film
- encore 1 -
24. Clap Your Hands
25. Istanbul
- encore 2 -
26. Maybe I Know
27. Why Does the Sun Shine?


Wildflower 2008

Tickets went on sale yesterday for this year's Wildflower Festival in Richardson, TX. This festival is almost always a great time. They have a great gathering of restaurant booths and artist displays, and always seem to attract some relatively big-name bands. In the past, they have had Bowling for Soup, Better than Ezra and Cowboy Mouth, just to name a few. They are usually bands that can't quite fill large venues in the Dallas area, but are still of interest to see. And there's nothing quite like an evening concert in the Texas Spring...

This year's lineup includes Everclear and Eve 6, and I've been on the internets already, talking to friends about making an evening of it. I know, I know...Art Alexakis can be a bit...well...Art Alexakis. But, the music is still damned enjoyable. And, you can't be the ticket price - only $7.50 for residents, and it covers the whole evening, so that's for both bands. Woo hoo!


Post 100!

One Hundred posts...seems like a benchmark of sorts, but as I have only been posting a few times a year, as of late, I guess it's kind of an anti-climactic benchmark. But, I'm happy to be here nonetheless. W00t!

If you are reading this within a few days or weeks of this posting, you are probably noticing several changes to the site. I made some changes to kind of focus this area to be writing-centric. I really want to take away some of the more distracting widgets that were on the site, and put the emphasis on my writing. I hope this is met with approval (hell, I'll take general acceptance) and not virtual tomatoes lobbed in my direction. I'm open to any ideas you might have, as well.

There are still some widgets, though, as you can see. A link to photos and a glimpse into what I'm reading at the moment are still up there. As far as the weather is concerned and updates about movies and food, that sort of thing - well, I'll put that in the posting.

I've also gotten rid of links to some other websites, and consolidated that with blogs I read. To friends who find that their website is no longer listed on the page - well, your blogs aren't being updated. So, I'm trying to clear things up. Let me know that you're planning a post, and I'll list you there. I would love for visitors to my blog to be able to read blogs that *I* read regularly and find interesting. It was nothing personal. That said, go check out the sites I listed. I can almost guarantee you'll find some fun things worth reading.

Okay, well - let the comments flow.