Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is there a doctor onboard?

I need rehab. I need therapy. I need something to stop the endless churning of images of Hugh Laurie in "House" from their 24-hour loop in my brain.

This is why they invented drugs. To stop people from obsessing about the show "House" before it takes over their lives.

It is a recent and overwhelming affliction, my "House"-obsessing. But it has taken total control of my brain, and much like Alcoholics Anonymous makes you first admit you have a problem (I think that's true for any 12-step program...) I'm making a helpless plea to the Gods (that's you, readers) that I find a cure before it overtakes my life and I wind up homeless in a box under the Manhattan Bridge.

I tend towards fatalism at times.

See, here's the thing. Until this season of the show, I never even actually watched it. I had caught a few snippets here and there, but then I decided to record new episodes on my DVR. Which turned into recording new and old episodes on my DVR. It now records any showing on any channel. I have seven saved. See? "House" hoarding? Unhealthy behavior.

("Lost" hording and "Battlestar Galactica" hording, however, are signs of mental health and good taste. Matthew Fox is hot. As is like, every human being that survives the Cylon attack. Why do only really attractive people survive disasters?)

Hugh Laurie is way, way too old for me. I'm closer in age to his children. But I have a very active, highly embarrassing imagination.

I've even (Jen feels the shame washing over her, hoping it gets it out of her system...) I've even come across smutty "House" fan fiction on the Internet, thanks to the awesome yet sometimes misguided power of the Google Search, AND I READ IT.

There now, I feel better.

But really. Can you blame me?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Signed, Sealed... Not yet delivered.

I just licked and sealed the envelope with my signed contract for the Park Slope CSA, along with a check to pay for what promises to be a bounty of organic, fresh, locally-grown goodness. I got an ever-other-week share, as I live alone in a small apartment and don't tend to make my own lunch. And often not my own dinner... But I'm going to try this year!

A CSA - Community Supported Agriculture program - is
"a partnership between a community and a farm. The farmer gets a guaranteed income and market for his produce. The community gets great local, organic food in return", according to the Park Slope group's web site. "Basically, you buy a "share" in a farm. The farmer uses your money to... farm! Then each Thursday he delivers a truckload of produce to the Garden at Union. Members stop by in the afternoon and evening to pickup their share of food."

The shares I chose include in-season vegetables from the Windflower Farm.

From the web site:

Windflower Farm is a small, organic farm in upstate New York, nestled on 38 acres in the Taconic Hill country between Saratoga Springs and the Vermont border. It's an area made beautiful by the mix of small farms, open fields and wooded landscapes.

Doesn't that sound lovely?

I'm also signing on for the fruit share, which will bring me sun-ripened, gorgeous peaches, plums, pears, apples and berries. The flower share is something I've never tried before and am looking forward to receiving fresh flowers every other week for the bulk of the summer. I also made a donation towards subsidizing a share through the program's Share-a-Share fund. (They also accept food stamps, which is awesome.)

The woman organizing the contract mailing said that new members could begin sending in their contracts starting April 16. Which is Wednesday. And mine is already waiting to hit the mailbox! I guess I'll be un-greedy and wait til then to put it in the mail, but I'm a) terribly excited about the whole idea and b) overly paranoid that they're not going to have a share for me!

But I realize this is irrational, and its a volunteer organization and returning members have priority til April 15. But that envelope is going in the box on April 16!

In the meantime, today I had a low-carb wrap and got a bottle of water for lunch from the deli across the street. I usually just refill my Nalgene bottle, but I had to put it through the dishwasher as it got a little smelly (thanks Julie!). The sandwich came in a plastic box that isn't recyclable, but the water bottle is.

After watching last night's Human Footprint on National Geographic, which I highly recommend even if the script is at times corny and the sheer volume of everything starts to be wearying, I was physically unable to let go of the bottle above the trash can, as was my normal slightly-guilty habit. It's now empty and in my handbag so that I can take it home for recycling.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Democracy in Action

A few weeks ago my company decided to make its four divisions more independent of one another and spun us off into subsidiaries (or something like that).

In the aftermath of the conversion, our parent company - United Business Media, a London-based company that trades on the London Stock Exchange - sent the CEO, David Levin, to talk about how these decisions were made and what they mean for the company.

The most uplifting and interesting thing that Levin said, however, was not about our company, but rather, our country. As a European, he said, America was upping it's democracy street cred (my words) by showing that it's efforts around the world to promote free and fair elections and government of and by the people wasn't actually a convoluted power grab or a scam. The Democratic primary, in which our field of many has been narrowed to a neck-and-neck battle between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, is being viewed by the globe as America practicing what it preaches.

They're interested in watching what happens. As much as we are. And the beauty of the system is that we watch and wait, and we take whatever result we get. (The 2000 election being a particularly sticky situation...) And they watch as we move from state to state to state.

I don't remember ever hearing about the Pennsylvania or Texas or Michigan or Florida primaries growing up. By Iowa it was locked up, wasn't it? But now, even citizens in far-flung Asian countries are talking Superdelegates, according to Richard Cohen in today's NY Times.

Click through on the title link to read the full article. He talks about other stuff, but in the beginning, he echos Levin's sentiment. Which almost gives me hope.

Asia’s Republican Leanings

Published: April 10, 2008


Europe votes Democrat, but Asia tends Republican.

That’s the headline from the fastest-growing part of the world where, as throughout a shrinking globe, the U.S. election is arousing passionate interest. Many a Shanghai dumpling gets slurped to the accompaniment of chat about superdelegates.

Eric John, the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, told me the campaign was “the best public diplomacy tool I’ve had in a long time.”

Democracy at work is riveting. In Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, America has produced three remarkable candidates. It’s not surprising that a recent BBC World Service global survey showed positive views of the United States increasing for the first time in years. The rise was to 35 percent from 31 percent a year earlier. Negative views fell to 47 percent from 52 percent.