There is a lot going on (hence the new blackberry on belt), but I’ll hold off writing until the smoke clears. In the meantime, I actually managed to read a whole novel. I have no explanation for why my adult-onset ADD allows me to read non-fiction but won’t let me get all the way through a novel. I plowed through Updike’s Rabbit series last year and have since started several other recent and not-so-recent works. They are all sitting in strategic places around my apartment with prominent bookmarks calling out for resumption. I still have great aspirations to finish Infinite Jest, but at almost 1100 pages it doubles as a work-out just lugging it around. Some day.
In the meantime, I found Bapsi Sidhwa’s The Pakistani Bride a quick read. I know so little about Pakistani history and the various cultures at play there, that I don’t feel the least bit qualified to opine on the substance of the book. That said, it gives one (not so flattering) view of the tribal Pakistanis in the 1950s from the vantage of Lahore Punjabis and an American woman. I’m back to non-fiction for awhile, but I’m hoping my soon-to-arrive iPad will make it easier to carry a few books around so I can make more progress on Infinite Jest.
I used to claim that I spent so much time reading at work (which I did), that reading for pleasure at the end of the day was difficult. I do a lot less reading at work now so I guess it was all just an excuse to justify my TV addiction. Oh well.
I do spend a chunk of time every day reviewing cables, some of which are relevant to what I’m doing now. Others are relevant to what I’ll be doing in a year. Still others are just interesting. As I was doing my regular reading the other day, up popped this one (don’t worry, it’s unclassified and public knowledge):
SUBJECT: SENATE CONFIRMATION AND PRESIDENTIAL
ATTESTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE GENERALIST LIST 2009 #11
1. Following are the names of 99 individuals included on
Foreign Service Generalist List 2009 #11. This list was
nominated by the President on December 11, 2009,
confirmed by the Senate on March 10, 2010 and attested
by the President on March 15, 2010. Posts are requested
to share this information with their officers.
4. For appointment as Consular Officers and Secretaries
in the Diplomatic Service of the United States of
Daniel Ross Harris, of California
I guess in between passing landmark health care reform, completing a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and overhauling the federal student loan program, the powers that be found time to confirm my class of foreign service officers. Kind of a kick to see it in print.