Monday, April 30, 2007

No longer neutral about carbon neutrality...

Now that I am no longer required to sell 'carbon neutrality' to throngs of L.Aliens, I am inclined to discuss the ethical quagmire that is 'reducing one's carbon footprint.' In my time at WFM, I was expected to play up our 'carbon neutrality' and encourage our customers to buy wind power credits.
Today's NY Times article on the subject is pretty awesome, I think. There are a number of truly stupid things about buying your way to carbon neutrality--not the least of which, as the article notes, is that they are essentially plenary indulgences. The biggest environmental sinners can buy their way to eco-heaven. Not to mention the fact that where your money goes is somewhat mysterious. The money from a WFM wind power purchase goes to Renewable Choice, a privately-held energy brokerage. It's not a wind power farm-- indeed, you can't even find out which wind power farms benefit from your purchase. You are just giving money to a company that has little obligation to inform you, the consumer, of their business practices. Granted, they are certified by Green-e, an off-shoot of a non-profit.
Soo, the whole process is somewhat dubious. I mean, I'm sure it's somewhat beneficial to buy these energy credits or whatever. It's probably better than just blindly flying around the country. Any tool that suggests buying energy credits before, for instance, using less energy at home or recycling is not, in my opinion, a particularly useful one.

Friday, April 27, 2007

major new job perk: access to the OED online!

I will never be bored again.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I see France...

Wow, look at France's presidential candidates! A goofy-named son-of-an-immigrant and a controversial lady! We haven't had a president who grew up speaking anything other than English since 1841 (Van Buren, Dutch). And you know, considering the whole New York/Netherlands connection, nothing too special there.
Soo, France, after all your lame bitching and moaning about the US, it looks like you might finally actually show us up! Fascinating.
Let's hope US voters recognize the gauntlet has been thrown, and one-ups France in 2008.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

On Hillary...

I have to say that I have been less willing to jump on the anti-Hillary bandwagon than my personal politics might suggest.

As the daughter of a strident feminist who always out-earned my father, who was part of that first generation of women in corporate America, and whose glass-ceiling battles were often keenly felt over the dinner table, I find myself casting a forgiving and hopeful eye on Ms. Rodham Clinton.

Anyway, I found this article in the New York Times on Hillary's Wellesley class absolutely fascinating.

I agree with one of her classmates, who says that she has "always felt that the way [Hillary] is singled out and attacked is very indicative of how society reacts to smart women.”

While I do think the liberal left has valid criticisms of Hillary that fall outside that construct, I think her classmates' justification (the inevitabilities of her life in the public eye) of some of her behavior makes sense, and I hope their predictions about the future of her campaign are accurate (that she will become more relaxed and more bold, etc).

Because truth be told, I really want to like Hillary Clinton.

With Obama, as I did with Howard Dean, I find myself very suspicious of this "golden boy" status thing he has going on. I suspect that if we scrutinized Obama as Hillary has been, we would find the same shrewdness and yes, politic that Hillary is criticized for. Certainly, I think Dean's position at the helm of the DNC has demonstrated that not only does he lack the political fortitute required for the presidency, he's hardly liberal America's bellwether.

I guess I take some comfort in her classmates' assertions (even the one purporting to be a Republican) that she was brilliant, charismatic, and "way off the charts in being engaged in her community and in the world, taking personally what was happening and wanting to do something about it.”

Compared with the LA Times' somewhat troubling article about Obama's time at Occidental College, which he attended because he 'met a girl' and then transferred to Columbia. I found it so trouble that I remembered the article from almost 2 months ago and successfully located it for you just now. Why I found it so troubling I don't really know, except that I felt like like it perhaps indicated that Obama has somewhat of an obsession with bettering his status in a relatively unsavory way.

If how one's classmates remember you is any indication of your value, then certainly, Hillary's the one. I admit that the Obama article is far more cursory than the Hillary one. Still, I think I'd rather know college Hillary than college Obama.

Not that I'm opposed to Obama by any means, but I doubt he's our salvation, or that he's even more genuine or ethical than Hillary.

Point being, I remain open to the possibility of voting for Hillary, and that NYT article is interesting.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

walking breakthrough

OK, so, Bill's like, a really fast walker. I am constantly having to beg him to slow down. This is one of the on-going dramas of our relationship. Fortunately, this is less of a problem in pedestrian-unfriendly LA than it was in London, but still, I've always dreamed of a day in which I could keep up with my swift fella.
So, last week I was reading some health-oriented magazine and it said that the trick is shorter steps, not longer strides. Yesterday, on my walk to Blockbuster, I decided to try it out. Amazing!!! I felt like a speed demon.
Anyway, today I had the opportunity to walk a ways with Bill, and man, I was effortlessly keeping up!
I continued my speedy walking throughout work today, feeling like a real champ, until I inevitably ran into someone. Still, I am pretty thrilled with my newfound ability to truck it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


so, i feel the need to get a fairly long life-update out there for my sparse readership. it is primarily career related.

a couple of months ago, i began the long and tedious process of interviewing for a promotion (which would mean a transfer) at my current place of employment. after being given the run-around, i did some soul-searching and realized that i really needed to start being proactive about finding a new position. so i started applying for jobs at museums and universities.

as luck would have it, i finally did get promoted, and i started at the new store a week ago.

also last week, i had an interview at the getty center (senior staff assistant, publications). the job was offered, my background check cleared, and today, i accepted the position.

the new job will be basically corresponding with archives around the world to get pictures for various getty projects--books, catalogues, posters etc. I will also get every other Friday off, and fully paid benefits from day one!

now, i must give notice, which i am petrified about. i've never just plain quit a job before-- i've always been moving, going back to school, etc. and you know, i just started, and i am managing people now (highly incompetent ones, that my coordinator told me i could start the process of firing today...). so, not only must i put in notice, i also will be doing it at a time where everyone involved will no doubt think really poorly of me. ideally, they would refuse my notice and let me leave immediately, thus sparing me the ensuring frustration and shame i will feel in leaving a job unfinished.

but the fact of the matter is--i hate my job, and even if the new one fails to live up to my expectations, at least i will have every other friday off!