Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I came home today and decided to unfurl the US flag on our porch, which had gotten all wrapped around its pole. As I leaned over to unfurl the flag, my shoes slipped on the edge of the porch and down I went. And not very well. I felt something go pop in my ankle. Thankfully, there's no break, but I'm now the proud owner of a sprained ankle. And sadly, I find myself once again back in a bed rest state of being. At least this time I don't need a spit cup.
I'm not sure which higher powers I've pissed, but clearly I've done something. I just can't believe my luck (or lack of it). At least we have Netflix. And clearly it's time to light some candles or sacrifice a goat or something.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Anyhow, I am currently 32 out of 86 on the Econ Register.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
My study buddy was posted to Port Louis, Mauritius! Mauritius is the small island to the east of Madagascar. How neat is that?! I know absolutely nothing about this country. But it looks like a very exciting post. Pain in the ass to get to, I imagine, but a wonderful place to work and explore. It was one of her high wish-list posts - French-speaking, in Africa, and it has a fusion of different cultures. Just wonderfully exciting! I imagine most of her fellow A-100'ers are very jealous. Here are some google pics of Port Louis and Mauritius:
Friday, July 16, 2010
Prior to the appointment, I knew I wasn't feeling that great, but even though I felt a bit hot (and the Mrs. remarked on it as well), the home thermometer said I was A-Okay. Things got a bit weird, though, when I started having chills. To deal with the freezing, I jumped into a steaming, melt your skin off hot shower, only to keep shaking and feeling like I was freezing. Quite a strange sensation of pain from the hot water, while your body feels like it's in ice. At the Dr's, I found out I was running a 102 fever, so now I know to throw the home thermometer away.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
In between agonizing for my blog-friend on her getting "the call" to A-100 this week (and I think I'm worrying about it much more than she is), I've caught something. Not quite a cold, maybe strep, maybe an ear infection. It started last Friday, when I had that slight something wonky feel, but nothing to complain about. And over the last several days it's increased, culminating into today's day of suck. All I know is the left side of my face from my clogged-feeling ear to my "am-I-swallowing-razor-blades?" throat, is hurting.
Our nanny has been out sick as well (and from the sounds of it from the same thing), so it's just been me and the kids doing the Mr. Mom thing, which is hard to do when you don't want to swallow, much less talk. And not talking is hard to do with my 3-1/2 year old, whose new nickname is Ms. Gabs-a-Lot, although I think she'd prefer Princess Mouth. On top of it, Segunda, who doesn't talk yet, has decided that since I'm around I might as well read every single book in the kiddie library to her. It's cute seeing her stomp down the hall with a new book in her chubby little baby hands, until I realize she expects me to actually read to her. Which means talking. Which means pain. I hope she appreciates this when she's older. Off to the Dr. tomorrow if they have any appointments.
Best of luck to all the wannabe's waiting for this round of A-100 calls!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
So, as somewhat expected, the Foreign Operations subcomittee in charge of determining State's budget has decided to cut it by $4 BILLION. Not sure what will actually go into effect since Congress isn't preparing a budget resolution this year - which is strange since it's kind of their job. Details are here. Diplopundit has a post about it here.
Time to start freaking out?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the
daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem
less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart,
even as you have always accepted the seasons that
pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the
winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within
you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy
in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by
the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has
been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has
moistened with His own sacred tears.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
1 a : a body of nonelective government officials b : an administrative policy-making group
2 : government characterized by specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority
3 : a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Many, many, many years ago in a galaxy far, far away, I used to write music reviews for an indie music magazine started up by a friend of a friend. I was hardly published but I did get to see and meet a lot of bands and go to a lot of great shows. My time with the magazine was short-lived since I never felt a particular need to differentiate the world into "cool" and "not cool" music, I just knew what I liked and was happy to try and share with as many people as possible. The editor was not like me, and he had a very definite vision regarding what music/bands he'd promote. He pretty much insisted that bands signed with major commercial labels couldn't make good music. After a particular vicious argument over the nature of indie cred vs. commercialism with the editor, I went on my way (I was not the beret wearer in that argument, but I admit I wore a lot of plaid in the early nineties). There were no hard feelings, and I'm still in touch with the editor (and he's mellowed like we all have - or should I say we've all become far less self-important).
It's been nice to see the magazine grow and develop to the point you can find it in any Borders or Barnes and Noble. And probably as a result of that early experience, I love glossies. I appreciate nice layouts, the photography, and well-structured articles. Which is why I've been a real fan of a new travel magazine called Afar. They have some really interesting layouts - including a special photo feature that compares something mundane in different countries. Last month it was residential housing, this month it was school lunches. It's really neat.
And they have some really great articles ranging from local cuisine culture to a "spin the globe" feature that randomly sends a writer to some area of the world. As an armchair world traveller, it's nice to read a travel magazine that goes into more than just recommending hotels and restaurants. I think all my fellow FSOwannabe's would enjoy it. The only down side is it makes me want to join the FS all the more.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
This is Caetlin, the eldest. She's a fan of running from waves, but not too fast.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
As for the move to our new place in Atlanta... well, it could have gone better. The move was painful - specifically because I handled about 90% of it. I took about a hundred small trips with my little SUV, slowly clearing out room by room. Once every little thing was gone, I rented a U-Haul and hired a couple of guys to help move the really big stuff. Not the most efficient way to do it, but it certainly helped with making sure that our rooms were set up in an organized manner - and it was definitely cheaper than using a moving company. My wife and I have done several rushed moves, which often resulted in boxes left unopened for years at a time. Sadly, we still have a bunch of boxes in our carport. This move I am determined to go through everything and determine what to do with all the junk we've accumulated over the last decade. I swear we're not hoarders, but we really need to do some sorting, donating, and tossing. I really want to pare down and get out of the habit of moving boxes from place to place - so nothing is coming into the house from the carport without a place for it to go. On a positive note, I think we will be really settled into the new place within the next week.
So we've been in the new house for a week and a half now, and I'm going through that pleasant period of cognitive dissonance with the new rooms and layout of the house not fitting the rooms and layout of the old house. One particularly disconcerting fact is that the new master bedroom has the same paint and general layout as our previous master bedroom - the one difference being that the closet and adjoining bathroom are switched. I won't tell you how many times during the first week that I got up to go to the bathroom and ended up in a closet. That embarrassing fact having been said, I do love having moved. I guess it's the military brat in me, but after a move I feel like everything is new and there's new stuff to explore and do - even though in our case we've just moved a mile from where we used to live. This reminds me of an old friend in Japan who liked to move the furniture around in his apartment every 4 months or so. He said that changing the layout of his apartment and making new geometries out of the space every so often helped to break up the mental inertia, and having tried it from time to time, I have come to agree.
*Don't worry, Charlotte friends, we still love you!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Some good news - the buyers from hell backed down from their crazy, crazy, crazy position, so hopefully we will be mortgage free by the end of the month.
The Mrs. is a fan of Frightened Rabbit, and this tune reminds me of our state of the process towards FS-ness.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
* The first is 秋茄子は嫁に食わすな (Akinasu wa yome ni kuwasuna), which translates as "Don't let your daughter-in-law eat your autumn eggplants. " You don't really need to know what it refers to to realize that's just hilarious all on its own.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
So Atlanta just got destroyed by a tsunami of pollen this week. A "high" pollen count, so the radio tells me, is 120. Yesterday, the pollen count hit 5533. I think something must be wrong with that information, but my best friend Google isn't giving me any answers (and everything Google tells me must be true). Regardless of the pollen count as a number, the last couple of days has been a yellow haze. You can actually taste the pollen as you breathe it. My beautiful green car (that I paid too much to have washed and detailed last week) is now yellow with a hint of green. It's just disgusting. I don't have any active allergies and even I'm feeling stuffy. My wife and daughters, however, are suffering big time. Who knew a 1-year old could have allergies? Thankfully, it rained today and washed a lot of the pollen out of the air.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
"...your name has been added to the register of those awaiting appointment to the Foreign Service as an Entry Level Officer in the Economic Affairs career track."
That happened a lot faster than anticipated. I thought for sure the TS clearance and final adjudication would have taken a lot longer. Guess I'm a tons more boring than I thought (and I think I'm pretty boring)! Now to DNC for a short period or not to DNC! That is a question for me and Mrs. FSOWannabe!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Tiny Tin Hearts is a fantastic band out of Austin. Every time I listen to their album, I think of the countless bars all over the city that you can walk into and find great live music.
And I need to catch up with an old friend, the lead singer of a local band in Austin, who after years and years of chasing the dream gave it up to be a husband and father. I respect his decision, but miss his music.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
"[We have] issued you an unlimited, worldwide available, medical clearance effective 03/19/10."
Now it's just the security clearance, final adjudication, the register...and, oh yeah, convincing Mrs. FSO Wannabe!