Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekly State Blog RoundUp

Welcome to the Weekly State Blog RoundUp, in its new incarnation as a shared feature!  THIS IS AN ACTION REQUEST - SEE SECTION 4.  END SUMMARY.  

(Or, if you just have time to read the summary, go here.  It's self-explanatory.)

Recommended posts, by popular vote

Nelson started off this week’s suggestions with a New Yorker article on Haitian adoptions after the earthquake.  I will admit that I haven’t had time to read it fully (my PCS looms next week), but here’s his commentary:  “I sent this link to A Daring Adventure because I thought it showed the dedication of State folks – CON officers working around the clock and helping people in need.”  Nelson’s an aspiring FSO, so hopefully he’ll be joining our dedicated ranks soon!

One meme that’s been circulating through the blogs in recent weeks is how we came to the Foreign Service.  I think No Double Standard has set the bar pretty high with the series of posts on this topic, including the gut-puncher in part three.  Hat tip to the Diplopundit for recc’ing this one. 

Bfiles submits to us this comparison of Sao Paolo and Brasilia, which end up with a tie score by the end of the match.  Do you want to defend your favorite Brazilian post?  Duke it out in the comments at Overseas Insights!

Bfiles wins the coveted Pointy Hat of Link Submission Success for most links submitted for this week’s RoundUp.  Her next contribution is this entire blog, where Chris is describing what it’s like to live and to work in the middle of the Red Shirt protests in Thailand.  Keep the updates coming, Chris, and most importantly, STAY SAFE!

James sends us the At Post photoblog, which I hadn’t heard of before now and which will now be my preferred way to get a covert giggle during some of my less-than-enthralling FSI classes.  You know all of those pictures you take of funny English errors or bizarre signage overseas to send to your family back home?  Now you can share it with your colleagues as well!  Remember y’all, protect ya tings!

We have a request via A Daring Adventure’s comment form – does anyone know of any FS types blogging in France?  Submit anything you can think of in the links, or email stateroundup2.0 {at} so we can pass the word back to Pam, who’d originally asked.

Editor’s selection

Don't miss Diplopundit's call to participate in a registry drive for a child in need of a marrow donation.

Jill has had a crappy day, and SassAndSweet has had an even worse day.  Show them some love - and S&S, I'm thinking of you.  I hope you find peace soon.  

Katie may have missed Poetic Sunday, but don't worry, Rock Star - we have another blogger (with possibly my favorite blog title ever) holding down the poetry fort!

In a topic near and dear to my own heart, C.C. at Six Months of Settled has opened her blog back up.  Welcome back! 

Lemur shares a day-in-the-life post - may be of interest to those of you still on the register or considering taking the test.  

Todays list of amusing things to tell children, courtesy of I'll Take Mine to Go (times two) and Worldwide Available.  

Mr. and Mrs. Crab experience that moment we all remember - the great power and responsibility of picking up your black passport for the first time.  Use it wisely, Crabby-wans.

It's an endless topic of conversation...  what do you miss from home when you're overseas?  There's a good list stacked up at Simmons Says, as well as at Neither Here Nor There, but we can always add more to it, I'm sure!  The flip side of this, of course, is the shock you get when you come back home, which rk sums up nicely.

For those of you who've been assigned to Jerusalem, I hope you're prepared.  I don't want to say that it will make you crazy...  No Double Standards and Digger certainly wouldn't say that, per se.  However, there is such a thing as Jerusalem Syndrome, which provides fodder for every news agency's odd news wire and which I must imagine leads to some Dada-esque ACS calls.  Don't say you weren't warned!  (But seriously, read NDS' account for a take on Jerusalem that's not flip and sarcastic.)

Speaking of Jerusalem, I'd like to transition into bits of local color spotted at post (or wherever you happen to be living now).  Brooke and Max went to a wedding in the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem, Leesonthego figure out how to find their car in a crowded lotJudie talks about the commemoration of the end of World War II in Prague, Sara experiences her first earthquake at post, Alex talks about the deadliest hotdog stand in the world, Z. Marie sees local color on the Metro, and Stephanie hears about low-tech election delays in a high-tech method.

It's transfer season, and insanity is running high among the blogs.  ShannonDonnaDevonYellow FlowerAlC, and I are all in the process of packing out (and David's in the assistance phase).  I'm sure there are more of you, and my eyes have just glazed over at the pile-up of posts in my RSS feed (and from lack of sleep).  If I've missed your tales of packout woes, please email me, and I'll be sure that you're added to the list!  Misery loves company, right?  Luckily, there are mothers out there to provide advice and finger-wagging when needed.  Shannon's mom is there for her, and while I have no snappy links for this, my mother is sitting about four feet away from me right now, taking a break from helping me with my packout.  I suspect that I'm going to owe her for years for this one.  Chris and family take the prize for worst move story of the week, though.  

Think Pieces

The Skeptical Bureaucrat brings up for discussion H1-B visas and Fortress America.  What do you think?

SassAndSweet raises a question - what would you do?  (Other than be very, very careful not to cross the line and reveal too much personal information!)

Job advice from HeatherJeff's tips from Yellow Flower, and a jobs soundtrack from NDS. 

How the Department uses social media, courtesy of Digger.  Passed along without comment.  

Drama Llamas
Well, I think I covered everything that happened this week.  (As far as my blogroll goes - again, if I missed you or you want to be included, just comment away and I'll make sure I get you next time!)  What's that you say?  
Something else of note happened this week?  Hmmm...  Here's the ensuing discussion in the blogs about FS blogging as we know it - Donna's takeDiplopundit's takeDiplopundit's take again for extra erudition, and NDS' take on it for good measure.  Well, luckily for us, Kolbi's back at A Daring Adventure, with an incredible tale that TypePad has ever-so-kindly deleted.  (Hope you got to read it before TypePad did its thing - it's a doozy!)  

Whatever the case may be, we have Kolbi back, which I think we can all agree is a good thing for the community.  One thing that did come out of this debacle is the divvying up of blog RoundUp duties.  I had no idea until I sat down last night/today to work on this just how time- and labor-intensive a process it is.  Kolbi's done a hero's work in getting this started - now I think we should give the poor woman a break and rotate the fun so that no one takes too much time out of his or her life for this!  You can see the sign-up page for hosting duty here.  If you have ANY questions, please send an email to her, me, or to stateroundup2.0 {at}  

Here's to the future, folks!  See you next week for the RoundUp at Diplolife!


  1. That's a fun roundup, hannah, efindim. Many thanks for doing the hard work amidst your PCS. I was about to complain that your cable is missing its MRN and Zulu daytimegroup thingies but new word/candidate for urban dictionary entry "Drama Llamas" certainly makes up for it :-). Good luck on your move!

  2. Yay, hannah, AWESOME job!

    Girl, I am so thrilled. You have posted links to so many blogs I didn't even know existed! And you're such a wonderful writer - and I had no idea you're also going through pack-out...

    You did a phenomenal job! Thank you so very, very, very much for the wonderful RoundUp this week!

  3. thanks for doing this and thanks for the link!

  4. Nicely done - and you were brave to be the first one to jump in these waters.

  5. Great Job!! Thanks for putting this together - you are appreciated!


  6. Great job, and thanks for the mention! The elections have been postponed yet again, currently scheduled for Monday.

  7. amazing work, hannah! You introduced me to some new blogs, too so thanks!

  8. I am about half way through reading but I had to stop and comment. qAre you saying that you put this together DURING packout? You are my hero! Packout is still a couple of weeks away for us and I swear I am totally loosing my mind.

  9. Thanks, all!

    @Shannon - Yes, the movers come on Monday. I'm running around Capitol Hill with my hair on fire at this point.

  10. Just got around to reading the link to Shannon's Mom. At least she told Shannon she would be using garbage bags. I have a confession to make...I used garbage bags, too, but sort of forgot to tell you! Trust me, you'll never miss that stuff.
    Love always, Your Mother