world leaders blahblahblah

Girl on cell phone overheard while studying on the lawn outside Healy Hall and watching the Secret Service invade campus in advance of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's lecture today. (Note: This was said in the dullest, most disinterested voice possible):

"The Afghan president is here. I guess I should stop waving my pistol around and get some work done."


too cool for school

Not really, but I'm definitely too cool for this blog. I've hardly had any down time since I lost wrote in here. Apologies to my loyal readers (all 6 of you. I know you're out there! Sitetracker is rad!)

All that said, it really has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. Classes are in full swing -- researching my first paper this weekend at the library, exact topic remains to be determined, but suffice to say it will incorporate international security and information technology, as that is the title of the course. Last weekend was spent at an ANCA conference on grassroots leadership, which drained me of all energy for this week. Armenians are great and exhausting and talkative and funny and fun. I went out two nights in a row (I'm OLD -- this is a major accomplishment), hoofed it all over Capitol Hill, and listened as my fellow Armos chewed out the Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs for firing the previous ambassador to Armenia. If you want to know why, just click here.

Oh, and I met some cool D.C. Armos. It was a fun weekend.

Now I'm learning the delicate balance between work and school and generally loving, being fascinated and blown away by nearly everything I hear and see every day.

Today, it would be this invite I just got in my Georgetown email:

"John J. DeGioiaPresident of Georgetown University invites you to attend theconferral of the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa upon His ExcellencyHamid KarzaiPresident of Afghanistan"

What made that announcement even better was it was immediately preceded by an invitation to a Fountains of Wayne concert on campus this Saturday.

What can I say except: Hoya Saxa!


high-brow vs. low-brow

There's so much to update y'all on. (I live below the Mason-Dixon line now, I'm allowed to say things like "y'all" and not sound like an ass.)

Let's see, started classes with an introdutory session for my required intro to communication, culture and technology course. Seems like it'll be an interesting one. The readings are incredibly varied and all the first-years are enrolled in it, so it'll be nice to comiserate with my classmates.

Work is getting more interesting. I'm getting some more substantive tasks (read: reasearch, etc.) and I'm really loving everything I'm learning about this field so far.

Roommie and I continue to get along famously. We occasionally hit the gym together after work. Tonight, we've decided to do some furhter exploring of our little downtown. Namely, we're going to get some beers at the local microbrewery and perhaps shoot some pool.

The weather is fabulous. The rains have disappeared and instead it feels more like an Indian summer. It was in the low 80s today. Perfect weather for me to trample all over Georgetown, picking up last-minute books, stopping by the department's computer lab, and do some reading in the library's graduate student reading room. It feels pretty cool reading in a room on whose door it explicitly states that the space is reserved ONLY for grad students. Oh yes, I'm a fancy pants.

But not so fancy that I can't be lured into some low-brow entertainment. I know you've all been dying to know which celebrity I most resemble (uh-huh). You'll be happy to know (well I'm VERY happy to know) that I most resemble Maria Menounos, who's *totally* hot. Now if only some handsome, smart and preferably tall men would notice that.

MyHeritage - share black and white photos with facial recognition technology


going native

Though I don't know if D.C. will ever feel like home -- especially if I keep having my ritual morning adventures on the Metro (a.k.a. getting on the yellow instead of the blue, going out the 17th St. exit instead of 18th St. to get to work, etc.) -- but I do know I'll never cease to be amazed at this place.

Example: Yesterday Roommate and I headed to the Kennedy Center to see one of her colleagues perform on the Millennium Stage. It was a cool way to get introduced to the Kennedy Center. Mom and Dad will be pleased to know I'm planning return trips for the National Symphony Orchestra. If, for nothing else, than to see this guy:

There are so many amazing things to do here which are, most importantly, *free* that I'm not really sure why anyone would pay for entertainment. However, a few things seem to be worth dropping some dough. Some classmates headed to HR-57, a very cool nonprofit jazz center/club Saturday night. We didn't make it there as dinner at Jaleo, a fabulous tapas joint in Chinatown (go figure), ran long. But we did make it over to Cafe Saint-Ex on 14th St. for a gin and tonic before calling it a night. Dinner involved a group of 12 almost exclusively Californians (minus one person's date. Ahem.) Ali organized it as a very sweet welcome to town for me. It's a tossup which was better: The deep fried date-bacon-dumpling thingies or the white wine sangria. Oh, and we also celebrated Dr. Freddy's birthday, as he kept politely reminding everybody (including the waitress) of the day's significance. We sang to him when a petit-sized dessert arrived before him with a single candle. Good times.

In an effort to keep you on your toes, let's jump back to yesterday. After the Kennedy Center outing, Roommate and I decided to do a little exploring. First we landed here:

But the current occupants didn't invite us in for a beer or a snack, so we ditched that plan and headed up to Adams-Morgan, a very hip neighborhood just north of Dupont Circle. We stopped in a Middle Eastern cafe for some hookah, hummus, moutabel and falafel. It was delicious.

This week's mission: Find a Middle Eastern grocer.

Oh, and I start classes tomorrow. Yikes. Stay tuned.