While I do tend to enjoy my time in DC with its laundry list of attractions, I thought I would post a bit about my day jobs for those interested. On Monday and Friday I work at the US Senate catalogging Senator Harkin's archives. Hmm, that sounds a little bit prestigious when really I'm listening to an ipod trying to decide which of the crap is more important and worth saving. Probably the most interesting thing I've found so far was a briefing for a congressional delegation to Vietnam in 1995. While flipping through the pages, I found a piece on the demographics of Vietnam. My favorite line: "Women who are close friends often hold hands. They are not lesbians." I mean who prepared this report that just in case our congressional leaders were worried - they can rest assured that lesbianism is not rampant in the land of Ho Chi Minh.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays I hang out at the New America Foundation. This is a centrist think tank that was founded on the principle of not promoting a democratic or republican ideology but instead focused on ideas. I'd say the think tank has a lot of dems working there but could care less about what the political parties advocate when publishing their research. Still there are a number of very right wing fellows at the think tank which makes for some good diversity.
What I actually work on is usually economics or foreign policy based. I've been doing research lately on the rise of the Chinese middle class and the affect of public investment on private investment. Other projects have included researching the missile defense system in Europe and Cuban terrorists - i know, REALLY exciting - but for someone like me its not bad actually. The head of my program runs a blog here, and the guy I overhear talking in the office next door runs a blog here.
Also, this is a picture of the office where I've been hanging out lately. The way the think tank works is that half the people are never in their offices because they are travelling the world or working from home. Usually Flyntt Leverett hangs out here, but instead I get to enjoy his view. I hadn't heard of any of these people until about three months ago, but I'm learning that they actualy make a difference in the world out here - so I guess they are important. Now that you all know my day jobs, I'll hopefully have good "water cooler" talk to post on here.