October 1, 2010


While watching the live quorum Monday Night, I made a joke to the Kansan sitting next to me that it was kind of like birdwatching. Trying to pick out the senators and match them to a visual. Being all old men with gray hair it is always more difficult. This was nothing like Monday night football, where numbers would have helped.

What is hard and very disappointing is that most interns on the hill do not recognize the Congressperson that they share an elevator with, pass by in the hallway, or run an errand for. Some interns however did memorize the "Bird-Almanac".

How does Capitol Hill work so differently than other...'institutions'? Connections are key, Information is fluid, especially the myths about the physical Capitol itself. Even experts say that rumors spread through these walls like butter. This reaches Congress at many different levels of Congress.

Tours are my personal favorite. 1. you get to watch a movie 2. you look like you know everything 3. you are not condemned to a stinky old office. When not in session, life can get a bit dull. So fixing constituent lists by adding the Mr. and Ms. is usually all there is to do in a days work. And you ask how is this going to help me on my way to being Secretary of State?......

Well the answer to that one is not completely obvious to me yet either. So for the time being I can say I am happy to be here to meet new people. One thing is for sure I need to maintain those contacts. And coming from Kansas we tend to know how to do this in the friendliest ways. Gift baskets, fruit cakes, Christmas cards, frequent facebooking. Skype is new (my mom's fav).

The connections I make however, might be Congresspeoples and they might not be, those connections are important to maintain as well. But the most important people are those who you believe could support you in the future career-wise, and maybe you could do the same for them.

Some birds just go unnoticed sometimes.

What will this get me? Great pen pals. ;-)

September 26, 2010

Acronyming the Latino Routes

Although I live in the NE, lots of interesting things have happened in the NW, SW, SE of the DC.

Acronyms haven't been common for me in the past. Now I live in a place where everyone comes from everywhere and MIK (more in the kitchen), and ITB (in the barn) no longer are used but rather PTFO, LMFAO, FML, JB....etc. IGO, UN, UNDP and the list goes on. I feel left out because I was not given a dictionary for these 'short-speak' terms.

Above is a picture of (L-R) JB friend, me, Ambassador to Costa Rica(former president's daughter), and my Ukrainian/Chicagoan roommate. This adventure to the Costa Rican Embassy was for their Independence Day Parade Celebration. (Technically I was in Costa Rica for a couple of hours.)

My connection was through soccer of course. Having been recruited to the Kick Tease team by a guy in a law program at Georgetown University with a majority of international lawyers in it. One of the lawyers was Costa Rican and invited us to this event.

Food, dancing, meeting people, learning about a culture, I have never been to, completely excited my roommate and me to the point where we needed to check out other embassy events. However it seemed that the non-'third-world', non-'south', tended to be more expensive than we were willing to pay. And our research still needs to extend to the Senegalese, Sierra Leonean, Argentine, and other embassies.

Weekend adventures have proved promising. Karaoke in Alexandria, Festival on H Street in the NE, exploring, and meeting new people all falls into what I wanted to discover about a big city.