11 Things I’ve Learned in the Last 11 Months


You can stop holding your breath now. I’m back.

It’s been a long 11 months. Working full time and trying to finish up my Master’s degree has taught me a lot–about the world, about myself, about life. In honor of my return to the blogging world (well, as myself), here is a list of 11 things I’ve learned while I’ve been away:

  1. Time is precious. I will never have enough of it, and I should value my time and the time of others. 
  2. People suck. Okay, most people suck, but when you find people who don’t…keep them close.
  3. Fruit’s not the worst thing ever. If you know me, you know I don’t eat fruit. Even as a child, I found it to be absolutely revolting. Over the last few months, though, I’ve given it a chance. As it turns out, it’s not all bad.
  4. Congress is absolutely incompetent. Enough said.
  5. Kim Kardashian’s life is a mess.
  6. Mo money really is mo problems!
  7. Living alone can be absolutely boring, but entirely peaceful.
  8. There is such a thing as too many baked goods.
  9. Endorphins can be addicting, but not as addicting as coffee.
  10. I’m now at an age where you congratulate your friends when they get pregnant, and it’s weird.
  11. Always take care of numero uno.

Oh…and all the words to this song:


Good Tweet, Bad Tweet

A couple weeks ago, my parents and grandparents stumbled their way from Los Angeles to the District. Somewhere in between getting lost on the wrong side of the Key Bridge and chowing down at some of DC’s finest, I got stuck on a topic that I never talk about–social media.

Techies aren’t just born, they are bred.

I filled the 8 days I shared with my family with talk of tweets and pins, teaching them how to check-in on Facebook and explaining Twitter and Pinterest. The result? I was tagged into every restaurant we went to 3 times, and my grandpa (@MillenniumMayor) has been spam tweeting Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Martha Maccallum, and Sarah Palin.

It’s not surprising when social media noobs like my family ask how to do Twitter the right way. I hesitate to say that there is a right or wrong way to tweet, but there are definitely better, more effective ways. Have I lost you?

Don’t fret–I have a perfect DC meets LA way to explain!

Bad Tweet

Earlier today, the US Embassy in Brussels tweeted:

The tweet references the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) which had an event on the topic of women and counterterrorism (#WomenAndCT) yesterday afternoon. It’s a well-done tweet, with the exception of using the wrong handle for CSIS. On the other hand, CSIS does a terrible job with their response:

I have a ton of respect for (and would love to work for) the Center for Strategic and International Studies, but this tweet is simply bad form. CSIS has forwarded a modified tweet from the US Embassy in Brussels that looks like it was written by Justin Bieber after he raided his parent’s liquor cabinet. Why did they shorten keywords like instrument and expert and remove the space between 4 and peace, but leave important and according complete? This tweet could have read:

MT‏ @usembbrussels #Women are important weapon against terror & instrument 4 peace say experts @CSIS http://bit.ly/HXg9jG #terrorism #Verveer

Is this better? What do you think?

Good Tweet

If you are scoffing at seeing my own face listed under the title of good tweet, fear not. My vanity has not yet taken over.
Earlier this week, I had an exchange on Twitter which I think demonstrates best practices for political and advocacy Twitter usage. As an extra bonus, it also includes one of my favorite topics, Kim Kardashian!

Kim Kardashian took headlines by storm this week when she said on her reality show that she might consider running for Mayor of Glendale someday. The city of Glendale, sometimes referred to as “Little Armenia” by locals, is very close to where I grew up–in the same congressional district, in fact. Congressman Adam Schiff represents the district, and so I thought I’d poke a little fun at him and the situation.

I never expected a response, and yet within 24 hours:

What can politicians take away from this tweet? The response (1) demonstrated that he was actually listening and engaging rather than just broadcasting, (2) took the opportunity to share one of his positions that his constituents feel strongly about (Armenian Genocide), and (3) it felt personal and real, not stiff or like a form letter. These are the kind of interactions that politicians should be aiming for to maximize the impact of their online discussions.

But the conversation didn’t end there. No, Kim Kardashian didn’t chime in. @CharaGG, however, did:

The link posted goes to an indiegogo website that asks people to donate to her documentary project that deals with Armenian genocide. My guess is that she either follows Rep. Schiff due to his strong support of Armenian Genocide recognition, or she searched for Armenian genocide on Twitter and inserted herself into relevant conversations. In doing so, she tapped into a conversation that was already occurring online with people who care about a topic. This is good social networking. This is digital engagement.

Until next time.

A toast, “To Mayor Kardashian, may the stress of politics not make her want to pull her own extensions out.”

“The people drawn to Twitter are people on the cutting edge, the real nerds who are resentful of the fact that the general population have found and taken over Facebook”

~Steve Dotto, host of Dotto Tech

Goodnight Irene

I just got back from the store after purchasing some Hurricane-proof supplies. I was attempting to avoid blogs about really mundane things, but I think I am going to consider it a challenge to myself to keep it interesting. I have three primary situational influences, let me know if you pick up on any of them–Comment!

By the time I got to the Safeway it looked the place had been looted. Nonperishable foods had been wiped clean, only a few stray, smooshed, disheveled loaves of bread remained. I took what I could scavenge–the cheapest, least smooshed bread with a semi-low calorie count. Hey, a hurricane is no excuse to let yourself go! Satisfied, I moved through the store avoiding eye contact with the other customers. It was every man for himself, you see. Except the girls who only bought tequila and margarita mix–clearly they know the true meaning of hurricane.

With only bread in hand, I searched for the next item on my life-or-death scavenger hunt. The peanut butter aisles were bare. I panicked. I couldn’t live off  bread alone–and that’s the Gospel truth (no literally, it says that in the Bible)!

Is there anything else that doesn’t require refrigeration, that goes on bread, and actually tastes good? I paused, thinking. Nope.

A man approached. I eagerly scanned him up and down–searching, searching… Yes, there it was, a name tag. “Excuse me, do you have any peanut butter in the back?” He looked back at me, his eyes filled with sadness and pity. “No miss, all we had is out on the shelves.” It couldn’t be. I sulked my way to the jelly side. In case you don’t know this about me, I don’t eat fruit and I definitely don’t eat jellies. The only thing that could have me considering such an impossible notion is a true state of emergency.

Back to my sulking… Head hung low with the feeling of defeat, I searched for a jelly that didn’t make me feel like I wanted to hurl. I failed. Miserable and defeated, I began to turn away when alas, something struck my eye. Could it be? Hidden in the darkness, far behind a gag-inducing jar of apricot preserves was a lone container of Safeway brand, reduced-fat creamy peanut butter. Huzzah! I was saved. No slow, agonizing death by starvation would befall me this weekend.

But no, this wasn’t enough. I lurked down the aisle, eyes flashing from one side to the other scouring its contents for something, anything. And then, like a silver tower, it appeared before me–canned tuna. I rushed to it, trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible should some other self-serving homosapien attempt to cut in on my prey. These were my spoils and I would not be sharing them. I grabbed a stack, hastily throwing them into my hand cart. From behind me, the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps. I spin to meet the face of the one who approaches.

I look into the deep green eyes of this freckle-faced girl who dared approach me, and I nod. The rest is for her. I’ve had my fill.

The water aisle was a barren wasteland. Not a single bottle lingered on the shelves or in the refrigerated cabinets. I could hear the whisper of sweet death breathing down my neck. The search for food would all be in vain if I couldn’t find water. But my mind, driven to mad genius by necessity took to the next aisle–vitamin water. I threw a couple in my hand cart.

The check out lines were a madhouse. Patrons, appearing more like zombies than customers, practically snarled at one another. I smiled to myself as I blew past them and into the Express Line. I counted my items–only 14–I grabbed the newest People, with utter ridiculous interest in Kim Kardashian’s wedding. Now I was ready.

To Irene, the most terrifying thing with a ridiculous name.

“Every disaster screams for humor.”
~Irene Millecam


Thank You, Julie Andrews

I mentioned before that there was a thunderstorm the night I arrived in DC.

Although today’s weather was gorgeous, we had a downpour and thunderstorm during the evening. I don’t know what possessed me to pack an umbrella, but I did and it was a Godsend when I was hustling my way over to Safeway to buy food for the next couple of days.

While shaking in my boots, listening to the rain, and feeling desperately alone and somewhat afraid–I knew what I had to do.

Some of my favorite things to keep me going on a thunderous, stormy night in an empty building that reminds me of The Shining:

  • Sushi. It was the first thing that popped in my head when I thought of the word favorite.
  • Musical Theater. This is obviously why I started playing the song.
  • Shoes. For obvious reasons, primarily that I am female.
  • Kim Kardashian’s Hair. It’s just so shiny and soft-looking. I want a pillow stuffed with her hair. (Or the name of the person who does her extensions)
  • The Ocean. I’m a true Southern California girl!
  • belleA Good Book. Which I really wish I had right now to keep me from incessantly blogging…

A toast to you, Julie Andrews–for teaching me as a child how to be brave.

“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.”
~Mark Twain