Ethan, Into the Wild, Juno, Armenia, and PMF

This past week has found my MP3 player continuously playing the soundtracks to the movies Juno and Into The Wild. I have seen the movie Juno, but only read the book Into the Wild when it first hit the bookshelves in the 90’s. I highly recommend owning both soundtracks. The Juno soundtrack is very catchy and upbeat with some unknown artists such as Kimya Dawson and Antsy Pants. “All I Want Is You” and “Loose Lips” are a couple of my favorites. I also recommend checking out more songs by Kimya Dawson. Into The Wild features music by Eddie Vedder, though the official music score for the movie has many more artists such as Kaki King. The music is relaxing and a bit eerie, though inspiring. If you know the book, then you’ll feel that the music represents it well. “Hard Sun” is a stand out on this album.

In other news, Ethan is now 6 months and weighing in at a rolling left to right, back to front 19 pounds. He is a little smile bug and learning to grab everything within reach. We can no longer hold him in one arm and carry food in the other without him reaching for a taste. He is eating one meal a day of solid foods. He has eaten rice cereal, oatmeal, and, as of tonight, sweet potatoes. He loves the sweet potatoes, but mommy’s milk is still his favorite. He is sleeping 9-11 hours continuously as of this week. Laura finally decided no more nighttime feedings and it’s worked well. He has two bottom teeth showing now. Of course, this causes some discomfort so we let him suck on a cold, wet towel to take some of the pain away. Tomorrow, he visits his doctor for 6 month shots. It could be a long day and night tomorrow after those shots.

We spoke to our friend Gohar last night. She lives in Armenia, but we have not phoned her in a loooong time. Since our last phone call with her in December 2005, we have only communicated through letters. Letters allow us time to express ourselves a lot better in the Armenian language. It was her birthday yesterday and Nellie, an Armenian friend living in the US, helped us call her via Skype. It was great to speak to her and Zhana, her daughter. Through the conversation, we realize that we really can’t speak Armenian, though we did try. As usual, Laura could understand better than I, though I was able to speak better. Typical marriage. Wife listens, husband talks.

The three of us, along with two graduate students in my planning program, head north to Seattle on Sunday to take an early Monday test for the Presidential Management Fellowship. Each of us, as well as three other graduate students in my department, were nominated for the Fellowship. We now take the test and, if we pass, make it to the applicant pool to compete for coveted jobs working with the Federal Government in mid-manager positions (GS-9 and above) for two years, with hopes of landing permanent positions. The test by no means is easy so we’ll see how this goes. The test will assess our critical thinking skills, life experience, and writing fundamentals.