Friday, February 15, 2008

Two Memes for the Price of One

I was recently tagged for two memes. The first came from Litlove, which she devised with her (not surprisingly) smart and sensitive son. The second came from Dorr. I thought the first one was going to be really difficult but turned out to be quite easy once I got going. I thought the second one was going to be very easy but turned out to be quite difficult. Just goes to show I shouldn't think, huh? Anyway, here you go:


What do I fear about a serious energy crisis?

More violence and more war, which seem always to be the means to which humans resort when we have shortages of creature comforts. I also fear that I will be completely hopeless and helpless at living without all the things to which I am accustomed to having. I’m not good in cold weather without heat, for instance. I’m not particularly fond of the raw foods movement. I’ve been listening to Robinson Crusoe lately and realizing I just plain would not survive in his situation.

What would I miss most in a world with rationed energy supplies? Not being able to get together with friends and family members who don’t live anywhere near me, which is what’s most important to me in life. Not being able to take showers when I want or to drink all the water and tea I drink all day. I’m also pretty sure I wouldn’t be too happy if I were stuck eating the same food all the time, and if we had scheduled blackouts, say, I don’t know what I’d do if I were suffering from insomnia and couldn’t turn on a light to read. Maybe I’d get used to reading by candle light, but I find that very difficult to do right now. And then there are just all the little conveniences, aren’t there? Suppose I were told I could only drive my car on Mondays and Fridays or some such thing. I am sure I’d suddenly become desperate (despite being someone who seems to be perfectly content to spend multiple days in a row never leaving the house to do anything other than take a walk) to drive somewhere on Tuesday.

What can I do to help? In writing this, I just came up with an idea: get myself used to the idea of rationing. For instance, pick a day of the week that is going to be off limits for driving (which I realize wouldn’t be an option for many but is certainly one for me). Schedule my own “blackouts” a couple of nights a month or something. I also think a lot about the fact that I ought to start an organization that lobbies for major corporations to make employees who don’t absolutely have to be on site telecommute. Think how many cars that would take off the roads every morning and evening. Think how office space needs would shrink, and thus, how we’d be able to use all that land for other things (like community parks and gardens). Think what it would do for families who would have more time to spend with each other. But that’s a major undertaking, so here’s something a little easier that I’ve also been thinking about doing for sometime: creating a non-book-reading blog challenge in which, at the beginning of each month, I provide bloggers with a list of things from which they can choose that would help the eco-justice cause, letting them choose one, trying it just for that month, and then blogging about that experience. Anyone think that might be a good idea?

Tagging: Ian, Becky, Zoe’s Mom, The Havens, and Cam


  1. There’s so much parenthetical material, you’re afraid you’re going to lose track of what’s really happening.
  2. You’re laughing (at least you’re supposed to be).
  3. The era details are completely accurate. If the book is set in 1982, you’d better believe no one’s going to be listening to CDs (unless she happens to be part of a team inventing CD players. I guess it’s the editor in me, but I lost all respect for Donna Tartt’s A Secret History when she had characters listening to CDs during the same era I was in college. I promise you; very few students had CD players during that time, even very wealthy students at wealthy liberal arts colleges. That’s not poetic license; it’s just laziness on the part of the author and the editor).
  4. You are absolutely certain you know how this books is going to end, but you don’t.
  5. There are ghosts of some sort, even if they are merely making a token appearance, because every book ought to have ghosts of some sort.
  6. The writing is not sparse. In fact, you’re thinking, “She needs a good editor.”
  7. It’s not a mystery, because I could never, ever write one of those, needing to do too much research about police procedure, law, etc.
  8. It’s not a romance, either, really.
  9. You don’t know what it is.
  10. It’s unfinished.
Tagging: Anyone who has yet to do this one.

And now, lucky me, I'm off to get ready for this, which has got to be the best gift any Valentine has ever given me. Am I not the luckiest girl in the world to have such a sweet Valentine?


ZoesMom said...

Count me in for the eco-justice challenge. I would definitely do that.

And yes you got a great Valentine's gift! That sounds really great. I hope it was.

Cam said...

I'll do this meme in a few days, Em. It's been interesting to read those that have done this already.

Your book sounds like one that I would want to read -- the kind of book where you are surprised by the ending.

Your seance dinner looks cool. Hope you blog about it.

Charlotte said...

Aw, your Valentine is sweet. I think it's great that your vicar is taking you to a seance. Wonderful!

As for the energy crisis meme, I think I haven't done because I can't face thinking about it. And I actually haven't been tagged for the 10 signs a book might be written by me meme, but since I am actually writing a book I may have to do it.

Anonymous said...

Emily - check out
The site challenges users to do one easy, environmentally friendly thing every month.

Now, hurry up and write the novel so I can read it.

mandarine said...

The eco-justice challenge would be great, especially if you could come out with new ideas. I mean, not the 'change-one-light-bulb-a-year' or the 'drive-1-mph-slower-when-traffic-is-fluid' ideas, but the real amish thing. I love your monthly blackout. How about giving up meat for lent? Now not only do we have the religious reason, but the ecological footprint and justice reasons too.

Dorothy W. said...

Thanks for doing the meme -- I love the idea of having so much parenthetical material you might lose track of what's happening. That sounds like my kind of book. And your environmental meme idea sounds great.

Make Tea Not War said...

I am so jealous of you going to the Victorian Seance thing. I hope you went in period costume!

litlove said...

I am just so impressed by the way bloggers keep coming up with clever ideas for helping the environment and cutting back on energy usage! Yes, I'd be up for that. Rationing is an excellent idea. We have two computers here and we ought only to switch one of them on a day, I think.

Thanks for doing the meme, Emily, and coming up with such brilliant ideas.

Stefanie said...

I love your blackout idea and choosing a day on which not to drive. And I'm always up for an eco-challenge.

I hope you have lots of south facing windows at your house so you can have warmth and light enough during the blackouts to write your book. I'm sure you have the perfect fountain pen with which to do it :)

Cam said...

Hi Emily! I finally did the energy meme you tagged me with. You can find it here.

I like your idea of a eco-justice challenge and would be interested in participating.

Emily Barton said...

ZM, okay, you're counted in.

Cam, your answers will great, and I'll comment more fully on your blog in a minute.

Charlotte, but you already do so many great little things for the eco-justice cause, you shouldn't have any problems. And I'm still waiting (not very patiently) for that book you described.

MFS, thanks for the helpful link. And the novel is a work in (long) process, but don't worry, you'll be one of the first to read it when it's done.

Mandarine, yes I'm already coming up with some quite challenging stuff. Suggestions from you are welcome. Maybe that will be part of the blog, once I set it all up.

Dorr, it sounds like my blog, doesn't it? I'll count you in, too, for the environmental challenge.

Ms. Make Tea, hope you enjoyed the post on the wonderful night. It WAS fun (although we didn't go in costume. I found out about it too late to do that. Maybe next time...).

Litlove, well thank YOU for the inspiration. It was a great meme.

Stef, oh yes, of course I have the perfect fountain pen!

healingmagichands said...

Hi! Due to a fairly serious crisis over at the Havens, I haven't been visiting other people's blogs as much as I ought to, or checking my stats. Otherwise I would have known you tagged me for this meme, which is a great thought provoker.

I really enjoyed your energy crisis meme and your ideas for it. Consider when you are having your "no car" day how you might be able to get around without a car. I don't know what your situation is, but it is entirely possible that you could do much of what you needed to do on a bike, or on foot.

Emily Barton said...

Ms. HMH, no need to apologize! If you feel like doing it, I'll be happy to read it whenever you manage to get around to it.

On a "no car" day, I could most definitely get around by bike. Anything I might really need (and what do I so desperately need on that particular day anyway? I'm not sure, but maybe I'll discover something as I experiment) is within five miles of my house.