detroit rock city

It seems the Motor City is going to be a required vacation destination for the foreseeable future, so I've been making the most of it.

This long weekend was devoted to the ACYOA Sports Weekend. For my gringo friends, this means a weekend o' partying Armo-style. Vahan and I flew in late Thursday, where we were met at the airport by his sister and best gal pal Greg.

VERY IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: Lest I be exiled from Vahan's family forevermore (and not invited to his wedding) the wonderful DIKRAN picked us all up from the airport at 10 p.m. just because he's a nice guy. He also let me sleep on the couch in his basement. He did not, however, come with us to Ram's Horn. I guess that means he is a gay.
After a late-night snack at Ram's Horn -- my new favorite all-American greasy spoon, where the menu includes wonderful combinations like the third and fourth items:

(Aren't they clever?) we crashed. On Friday, we checked into the Troy Marriott and got pumped for a weekend full of parties. Friday night at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Saturday night at Ford Field (preceded by a delicious Italian dinner with Vahan's grandfather and his wife), and Sunday night at St. John's, which included an open bar...made of ice!

Cool! (Pun intended.)

We wrapped it all up with a church picnic on Monday. Craaaaazy weekend. One too many dirty martinis, lots of dancing for my now-sore feet, but it was all worth it. It was nice way to leave the U.S. behind for two months and prepare for an onslaught of two months of Armenianness when I take off from Dulles on Saturday....stay tuned!

For good measure, here's my favorite pic of me and Vahan from the weekend. OK, really I just wanted to show off my new cute short haircut. Enjoy!

And no, we're not doing the robot. It's Armenian dancing at Ford Field, naturally.


vacation, all I ever wanted

Finally done with work. For the first time in years I get a real honest-to-goodness summer vacation. Soooooo very happy about that. All that's left now before I leave for Armenia next Saturday (!!!), is to hopefully find an apartment for August, and an apartment in Yerevan for the summer, which is proving to be more expensive than I thought. Ugh. Oh well. Good thing my new pals are footing the bill for that.

In the meantime, I'm headed to Detroit tonight for the long weekend to boogie with some Armos. I'll post a full report with pictures when I return.


it doesn't get more washington than this

More to come on this, but just to give you a mental image of my week:

I've been playing tour guide for a Bosnian parliamentarian, a Kenyan political party chief, and a Liberian civil society leader all week. It's involved me shopping at H&M and Forever 21 with the Bosnian, going grocery shopping with the Liberian, and debating perfume choices with the Kenyan.

I think I need a break from Washington. Good thing I have one coming in two weeks.


DONE! Part 2

Presented the documentary. Professor called it beautiful. Much rejoicing ensued, including a lovely after-screening snack provided by my generous professor. It included beer, succotash (more delicious than it sounds), homemade mac 'n cheese, and my new favorite food: frickles. That would be fried pickles. Egad was it good. The salty tartness of the pickles, mixed with the salty flavor of the cornmeal batter was heaven.

I celebrated some more with shoe shopping...which quickly devolved into shoe-dress-blouse-pants shopping. But that's ok. I deserved it. Plus, I haven't spent all of my tax refund yet.

So, to reiterate: I'M DONE I'M DONE I'M DONE I'M DONE I'M DONE!





I finished editing my 10-minute documentary for my war/media/tech class today. The screening/Q&A hour is Tuesday. The only thing I have left to do is write a 1-2 page reflection on the process and then I will be really, *really*, honest-to-goodness DONE with my first year of graduate school.

It feels...immensely gratifying right now. And like a relief. And then I think about potentially writing a thesis next year and the anxiety builds up again, but that's just me. Thinking ahead. Wayyyyy too far ahead.

For now, I'm looking forward to my last couple weeks at work (for which I'm helping organize a really awesome seminar on youth and politics in post-conflict states), spending quality time with The Boy (including some even more quality time in the great state of Michigan), and then...come June 2...8 weeks in Armenia! Yahoo!

My letter of invitation has been shipped to the embassy. Now all I need is the visa, an apartment, and hopefully a desk here and my summer will be off to a fabulous start.