lowdown on motown

The semester is winding down and I can't wait until Dec. 17 when I can officially shut off my brain for a good solid three weeks, gorge myself on my mom's cooking, and watch some good trashy TV.

Life is moving at a fever pitch in the last month or so. School is definitely on the upswing and so is work and to top it off there's been a new friend who I've been spending some time with. Normally, I wouldn't broadcast this to Internet-land, but it's the only way I can explain why someone would choose Detroit as a vacation destination.

Yes, the Motor City. I was there from Friday-Sunday, partying it up with my new Armenian friends and their families and generally blowing off the steam that's been building up since I moved here mid-August. It was also the first time I'd left the beltway in three months. I was desperate to get the hell out of Dodge. So when I was invited there for the weekend, it seemed like the ideal vacation spot.

Armenians + food + friends + dancing = a rockin' good time. Even if it's in the Midwest.

Don't believe me? Have a look:

With some fun Detroit kids at the AYF dance on Friday night.

With my two favorite Detroit Tigers.

They got art in Detroit, too. (Diego Rivera's murals in the Detroit Institute of the Arts.)


quick rant

How is it that someone can work as a professional writer for five years (nine, if you count the four years at The Aggie, which I do. Even if I was paid crap.) and still go crazy at the thought of writing anything longer than five pages?

How? HOW?


End rant.


elections ad nauseum

At the behest of Dr. Freddy's dad -- both of whom I joined at the National Gallery of Art this afternoon for a Sunday afternoon respite from the rain and studying -- I'm updating my blog. I got a stern talking-to while looking for what he called the cheap thrills section of the gallery (the familiar Monets, Manets and Renoirs.)

My life is so consumed by school and work and politics these days, I've barely had a chance to come up for air. In fact, I haven't even really had a chance to properly celebrate the Democrats' win. (Hooray! Huzzah!) There was a lot of NPR listening going on election night as I worked at breakneck speed to finish my 505 midterm. I was tempted to crash the Dems' victory party that night but was deterred by 1) icky soggy weather and 2) the nagging midterm. Luckily, the paper was quickly delivered to my TA by midnight, leaving Friday night open to eat dolma at a friend's house (it's nice having friends who can cook you the foods you miss eating at mom's house) and finally celebrate the Dems' win.

Only, in my case, it turned into a comiseration party for Young Republican Andrew, who sadly lost his job as a result of the election results. To that end, we're trying to convince him to switch teams, but apparently that's out of the question. Something about Pelosi being the devil or something. Hey Andrew! You said you have more Dem friends anyway -- wouldn't this make your life easier?

At least we go to have some beers at Brickseller. It's not much of a bar, but I love it because it has about 1,000 different bottled beers on their menu from just about every country in the world (except Armenia. *sigh* Where can a girl get a Kotayk in D.C.?)

All that said: I'm happy to report that for the first time in my life I voted for a real, honest-to-goodness winner. My vote helped propel Jim Webb's slim margin of victory in the Virginia senate race, consequently unseating that macaca-uttering bufffoon George Allen (and hopefully dashing any presidential hopes he may have once harbored.) Yes, I've voted for both Boxer and Feinstein the past, but those are givens. After years of wasted votes on Gore, Kerry and Edwards (voted for him in the CA primary), it felt good to back a winner.

And as if all that wasn't enough, watching President Shrub announce Rummy's resignation with my lefty colleagues made for a truly fantastic week.

Here's to the new Congress!


Yes, I know I suck...

But you try to juggle working 30 hours a week, 3 classes and a full social calendar! Go ahead! I dare you! Try it!

(Mom and Dad, before you call to scold me for working so much, bear in mind that I'm getting straight A's! Woohoo!)

Brief recap: 1. Prom was FABULOUS. Pictures to follow. Add one part academics, two parts graduate students and an open bar and you'll have one fabulous cocktail of a good time.

2. I may not have bought a new top for the occasion, but in the last couple weeks I've decided that my credit card needed a workout largely because the weather has a tendency to dip 20 degrees every few days and I have no appropriately cute east coast sweaters. As such, I'm hoping Fannie Mae offers loans for H&M and Ann Taylor. Said purchases perhaps may have included a totally hot black-and-red cocktail dress for which I have no use, particularly as winter nears, but whatever. It was too adorable AND on sale. I consider it an early Christmas present to me.

3. Work is going swimmingly. So swimmingly, in fact, that they've asked me to stay on in the spring. The position was only supposed to last through fall semester, but I'll be staying to work exclusively on some youth-in-conflict related projects, which I'm very excited about. AND I'll only be working 20 hours a week. Phew! More time for happy hour....I mean....writing papers...errrr. Yeah. That's it... Hi Mom!

4. My cooking skills are markedly improving, thanks largely to Trader Joe's and Cindy who are my enablers in this regard. In the last week, I made my *own* variation on a pork chop recipe in a red wine sauce that turned out delicious and tonight I tried my hand at acorn squash that would likely have turned into a yellow mushy mess had it not been for Cindy's patient telephonic advice. So despite *some* people's snickering over my two pans and a pot and Rebecca's insistence on buying me a blender for Christmas, I'm doing just fine.

5. I'm certainly not undernourished. It doesn't help that the last two nights of school I've resorted to college tactics and had cheeseburgers. But they were reallllllllly good cheeseburgers at Five Guys and The Tombs, which is my program's de facto study hall. I also discovered they have free wireless during happy hour. Guess where I'll be "studying" before Monday night classes. Heehee...

6. Didn't really do the Halloween thing this year. Too much homework, etc. going on. I did wander around Georgetown's M Street with fellow grad students after class last night. Halloween on a Tuesday night is a bad idea for people who work and I went home after one beer. See! I can be disciplined when I need to be.

That about covers it. I was all set to load pictures but my free (ahem) wifi is acting up, so you'll just have to settle for the power of the written word tonight.