Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Good News?

I wonder if this will impact hiring on the FS front as well?

Saturday, May 8, 2010


So after must discussion and some planning at the FSOWannabe household, we've decided to DNC it for a while in order to take care of some personal and professional goals. It's hard not to be a bit nervous about it. If I had not DNC'd, I would have been called for the June A-100, which would have meant attending with one of my fellow OA study group members. I am not too convinced about the economic recovery going on, best case I think we're seeing an L-shaped recovery similar to Japan's after their bubble burst in the late 80's. So while on the DNC I'm a bit scared of massive cuts to the State Department's hiring budget. This article has a discussion on the proposed cuts (and it seems international affairs budgets are some of the first cuts to be had). It would really suck to get all the way through this process only to never get an invite due to tightened hiring needs.

In other news, out of my study group 3 out of 5 of us have made it to the register already. One is in the May A-100, another is going to attend the June A-100, and another has just passed his Chinese language test so that he can come onto the PD register with a high score.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Geometries

So the move is over...thank god it's finally over. And last Monday we finally sold our house in Charlotte. We had a couple of hiccups, which hurt our bottom line, but in the end it's done and it's good to know that we have finally closed the Charlotte chapter of our lives.*

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.

I'm currently setting up our kitchen, which involves washing every dish, pot, pan, utensil, etc. that we own. It's a bit weird, but every time I move to a new place I am absolutely compelled to make sure any cooking/eating utensil is "freshly" cleaned before putting it away (even though I know this stuff is clean and came out of one cabinet just to be put into another). Call it my little display of OCD, but I always have this feeling that moving cooties have attached to my kitchen stuff, hence the need to re-wash. So I've set up my stereo and ipod in the kitchen so I can listen to music while washing. Here are some tunes I've been listening to.

Update on the Foreign Service and DNC to come!

*Don't worry, Charlotte friends, we still love you!