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No Gasoline in Atlanta and How My Brain is Stupid

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So this week I've seen a dramatic increase in the number of folks taking MARTA. On Monday, I wondered if there was some convention or event happening in town. But now I'm pretty sure it's because of the statewide gasoline shortage. Interesting that folks only consider public transportation as an option when their ready fuel supply is threatened. I wonder how many of them will consider continuing to take the train once this "gas crisis" resolves.

On a personal note, things are a wee bit anxious with our gas gauges. I had been planning on fueling up my car the day before the prices jacked up a week+ ago. Bad timing that, but no biggie. I figured I could wait until they came back down to reasonable levels and switched to driving fosteronfilm's car, which had about a half tank.

This week, not only haven't the prices gone down, but it's getting hard to find a station which hasn't been drained dry. And the ones which do have gas are also sporting some pretty long queues. I think letting my car idle in line waiting to fill up is a poor use of a scarce resource, so I haven't braved the stations.

I believe there's enough in the hubby's car to make it through this week (and only because I'm working 4x10 hours), but it's going to be close. Been really easing up on the gas pedal, decreasing my speed overall, and trying to coast to a gentle stop rather than have to brake hard. Making a minor change to my driving habits seems to have had a pretty dramatic effect on how much fuel I'm using—assuming each marker on the quasi-digital fuel level display indicates an equivalent amount, which may not be the case.

Just need to make it home today and to the MARTA station and back tomorrow. I'm expecting things to be back to normal come next week. I hope.

   

Writing Stuff

Was muchly miffed with myself for not getting any new words on the page over the weekend+Monday even though I had plenty of time and opportunity to write. (I did, however, bake a blackberry pie; whenever I engage in activity of a domestic nature, it's typically indication that I'm deep into writing-procrastination mode.)

Frustrated with muse and brain, I decided to do a lil (nonscientific) experiment. I intentionally let my other hamsters—editing The Fix, various professional correspondences, etc.—run amok until I am once again verily behind on everything, thereby ramping up my stress level and decreasing the amount of time I've got free to commit to writing.

My theory is that in addition to my creativity being hardwired to my stress center, my desire to write will rise in disproportionate measure to the amount of time I've got free and clear to do so.

And lo the results:


New Words:
• 2.5K+ words on The Stupid Novel yesterday with ideas pelting me every time I stopped to do something like eat or sleep.
• 1K words on The Stupid Novel this morning (so far) upon awakening at 4AM with a scene that I had to get down.

Yup. It seems that the more my to do list snowballs out of control, the more my desire to write kicks in.

My brain is stupid and I hates it.

I'm feeling:
aggravated aggravated
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On September 24th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC), wbledbetter commented:
My muse seems to react the same way. When life is dumping on me and I'm lucky to get time to sleep I need to write more than ever and write better. When I have a whole lazy Sunday afternoon ahead of me, I can't write worth a crap. :P
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On September 24th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC), noelleleithe commented:
It seems that the more my to do list snowballs out of control, the more my desire to write kicks in.

Some years back, I noted this phenomenon on my userinfo page as "Shannon's Law: The number of story ideas your brain produces will be in inverse proportion to the amount of time you have to write." *g*
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On September 24th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC), scyllacat commented:
Yeah. Um.

Well, MARTA still takes three to four times as long for me to get anywhere from the outburbs as it does for me to take my car. That means I lose at least an hour each way. I have seen a lot more people making fewer trips and carpooling--traffic on the major arteries has DEFINITELY reduced--but I still can't recommend ATLANTA's public transportation as a GOOD option, when I need to be spending all my time hustling for the money.

It's hard to break a comfortable habit and step into a very uncomfortable one, so yeah, I'm sure a lot of people are doing it this way because right now they have no choice. Myself, I'm Pro alternates, but I still hates MARTA.
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On September 24th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC), bheansidhe commented:
God help me, I would love to take Marta more often. I live less than a mile from Lindbergh station! But that means I live less than a mile from the 400 on-ramp, and I work right off of exit 6 on 400.

It takes me exactly nineteen minutes to drive to work. BAD days, it takes exactly 30 to get home, because I'm against traffic both ways.

It takes me two minutes to drive to the Marta station (twenty to walk, if the weather's nice) and twenty minutes for the train to get from Lindbergh to North Springs. The trains run every five minutes in the mornings, so that's 30 minutes max.

The bus.. the bus is where the whole system breaks down. Marta stops one interstate exit short of my work. I get off the train, I get on the bus, and we sit for anywhere from ten to twenty minutes before it sets off. Trains run every five minutes at rush hour; buses run twice an hour. The actual bus ride from the station to the bus stop outside my building is seven minutes.

Nineteen minutes to drive.
40 to 65 minutes to take Marta (1 1/2 hours if I get frisky and walk to the station).
It's the extra hour of sleep in the morning I can't seem to give up, along with the fact that any after-work errands had bettter be at Perimeter Mall and not involve cold groceries.

I try, and maybe I should try harder, but it's the bus routes that kill Marta for me and a lot of other people.

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On September 25th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC), reddherring1955 commented:
I loved your account of your approach to dealing with time for writing. But how many ways can you up the pressure without imploding? Let's hope, more than you can come up with even when the ideas are pelting you willy-nilly.
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On September 25th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC), alijt commented:
YIKES! Right now, I am even more happy to have my diesel auto! Sorry to hear fuel is in short supply down there. I have noticed less cars on the roads when I travel as well. And highway fatalities are the lowest they have been since 1961 so I guess some good comes with the high price, but it sure is a pain.

I hope Hobkin is doing great! Cuddle weather is just around the corner! Hooray!!!
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