April 06, 2008

A few quick things

1. My medical stuff appears to be over. Everything checked out well and the doctor believes she got all the bad bits. Yay for no cancer!

2. Teel's working really hard lately at getting marketing set up for his books and art. Anyone have any connections with people who crave contemporary art and/or interesting fiction? I'm trying to be as helpful and supportive as I can be, but my skills are sorely lacking in the marketing department. I'm just going to have to stick with my sugar-momma role for now........which I'm sure that is the first time a teacher has ever been called a sugar-momma (finacially)

3. However, my father is being scarily helpful. He bought four paintings from Teel this weekend. This is great.........and extremely odd. Not odd because because Teel's work is terrible (the opposite actually) but because my 55+ year old, cowboy father doesn't seem the contemporary art type.

4. Harley cat is slowly but surely getting used to having people around at all times of day. He's pretty social now, even coming out to the living room when everyone's here.

5. There are only seven weeks left of the school year. This is both great and frustrating. The great is that soon it'll be time for a two month break. Not that I don't love teaching, but a break would be really nice right now. Frustrating is that within seven weeks I'll have to pack up all my stuff and find storage at home for it. Wee!

6. I have a ball of yarn and a baby blanket crochet pattern which I just can't seem to make myself work on, which is really sad because I'd love to send it on to my brother and niece.

7. I really wish we had enough money to pay everything off and be able to live happily off the grid...preferably at Arcosanti or someplace similar. Teel and I went on Saturday. I love this place! I would be very happy living in a community like this ....in pretty much any/or all of the stages of development. Also, I am reminded of Jim and Tessa in both the Arcosanti and Cosanti spaces. Maybe it's the bells...or energy......I miss you!

8. Pictures I took at Arcosanti while ignoring our extremely nervous tour guide.


Big Gay Jim said...

And I miss you!

Ric said...

As a former Arcosanti resident and tour guide, I got a chuckle over your "nervous tour guide." Many people are attracted by the pay, but don't fully appreciate what it means to stand in front of a group of people in a very unstructured situation.

Also, in spite of what you may have been told, Arcosanti is not off grid. There is some very limited use of solar power (mostly the low-voltage lights along the site's sidewalks and staircases), but the vast majority of its electricity is grid power. No more than 10% is solar or wind. The small population at this point in the project also means that there is little to no meaningful on-site commerce for residents. The nearest place to buy food, clothes, etc. is 30 miles away. We greatly reduced our energy usage by leaving Arcosanti and moving into Prescott.

Still, if the place interests you, I would highly recommend the full workshop if you have the five weeks. If not that, even the one-week seminar week is very worthwhile. The full workshop is required to become a resident in any case, and you don't have to decide until the end of the workshop. It is an experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in making a meaningful reduction in their environmental footprint.

Mandy said...

Hi Ric,

Thanks for the info. I was aware that Arco isn't off the grid yet, at all....but isn't the ultimate goal to be?

I would love to do the workshops but unfortunately the money gods are not on my side currently. Perhaps in the future.

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Ric said...

The goal seems to vary depending on who you talk to and when you talk to them. Most residents would like to see a lot more being done with the 364 1/2 days of full sun. Paolo doesn't like the looks of solar panels, but has designed in minimal wind power in his linear city concept. The big sticking point for any of it is money. Renewable costs a lot up front and Arcosanti just doesn't have enough of it to put a serious dent in its grid usage.

My wife and I lived off grid for seven years prior to moving to Arcosanti. The equipment was expensive, required constant tinkering, and in the end we probably had a larger environmental footprint than if we had just used the grid. Of course, that was northern Michigan; Arizona would be easier, but still not easy.

Take care, and I hope you have the opportunity to spend some time there. It gets you thinking about how to do things differently in your own life.