...it must mean that it's time for the Roundup! And if it's Saturday before anything's posted, it must mean I'm running late on my publishing obligations again!
First, the news from here. When you last heard from me, I was nursing a fabulous new bruise. It's STILL HERE. What can I say, I have skills! Also, I'd like to thank the three State blog community people who've emailed back and forth with me this week. This is a true community, never mind just how many time zones we live in - which you can help out by signing up to host a Roundup later in the summer. Also, Digger has put out a call for updated links - if you know of a new blog or an updated address, let her know! And now, on to the Roundup! I tallied about 250 posts over the past 8 days - well done, y'all!
All State people do the same thing when they get together outside of working hours... they talk about work. Constantly. To the persistent annoyance of everyone around them. So hey, why shouldn't we talk about work on our blogs too? DS talks about the interagency process, MLC also talks about the joys of ACS as well as Ali, who works outside every Embassy and Consulate, Bridget describes the best Consular Leadership Day (as long as you don't fall in), Quirksalight gives a lesson learned for airport runs (which is totally true - I still have scars on my feet from a POTUS visit in 2009), I'll Take Mine to Go! has found the perfect chair for work, and Keith talks about some small decision that may or may not affect other people. More seriously, MLC and DS talk about the serious threats facing not only diplomatic staff but those who come to our posts as visitors.
Another favorite topic of Statesians is language training, assignments, and the groundhog day quality of FSI life. Kitty Non Grata had a click moment in Khmer (and thank all that is holy my language instructors didn't inflict a drill like that on us), Gia was assigned to Abuja, Heather got a new assignment to Damascus, Devon FINALLY got assigned to Brussels, Adam is going to the exotic hardship post of London, BFiles is content with her non-assignment, Denise visited the pincushion clinic at FSI, and Ren offers a list of other job options if State's just not cool enough for you. It's not an FS blog, but I'd like to offer this poem as an ode to our collective language struggles.
We also kvetch about moving. Man, do we hate it. In fact, I'm fairly certain that if some alien society based its impressions of Earth on our blogs, they'd be convinced we spend our entire lives in boxes, hotels, and planes. (Which might not be that far from the truth, come to think of it.) Laila's super-stressed about leaving for her first assignment, Short Term Memory has been driven to poetic insanity after packout, Brooke is enviably free of crap to tote across oceans, Ben has adjustment issues, Dave has single-handedly propped up the economy this month, David has made it to his new digs in Hermosillo, the Richardsons survived packout in Serbia (as did their horde of movers!), Z. Marie shows what post housing looks like in Milan, Digger notes that Beirut is a hardship assignment only if you're not from Jersey, and Elise realizes the hardest part about moving season.
I think we all blog with the secret desire to make everyone at home jealous. (Or maybe that's just me.) Nonetheless, what's the fun of blogging if you can't brag about the cool things you experience? Gerald talks about an old-fashioned but functional naval vessal, Emily sees grape-flavored sheep, Al analyzes customer service overseas, Kitty Non Grata highlights Marines who save kittens (I want the Marine in the first picture to come work as a guard at MY consulate!), Helen doesn't so much make us jealous as makes us remember our first faux pas overseas, Kim continues documenting the sights of Istanbul, Jonathan describes the joys of summer in Saudi Arabia, Sarah talks about the perfect FS gift, Larry has basically the best evening EVER, Judie experiences the joy of never-ending strawberry season, Al goes cavetubing, Sass and Sweet teaches us how to speak Canadian in three volumes, and Matt continues his series of Afghan Dudes on Bikes and also shows what one hopes post housing DOESN'T look like.
Of course, family's the most important thing overseas, which is why Jill's post and the Dinoia family post are so heartbreaking. Just because it's something many people go through in this career doesn't make it any easier - my thoughts are with you both, and everyone else in your situation. Linsey just lost her grandmother, who sounds like she lived a full, happy life where she was surrounded by her loved ones. Sarah gives marriage advice (and note that her blog has moved), Modest Muse has a dancing baby, Stephanie's husband better get home soon, and A Daring Adventure's older son is now an older EAGLE SCOUT son. However, for one unnamed ambassador, family evidently wasn't that important, may he be forever tormented by screeching trolls who attack his feet with pointy sticks.
And that's it for this week! Thanks to Melissa for hosting next week, but after that there's NO ONE ON THE CALENDAR! Not that I'm trying to guilt trip you into hosting... but you really should consider hosting. Have a good week, everyone, and write prolifically!