Stefan - I, too, have been remiss in updating my information, but I guess late is better than never. I left the Bologna Center in June. (Tamara Golden [tgolden@jhubc.it] has taken my place in case anyone wants to look for job leads via her or give her tips on internships or full-time positions.) After some travelling in Europe, a brief stint in London in the fall, and an internship at the Council of Europe prior to Christmas, I am now in London working for Citibank in their Emerging Markets section. I am living proof that the SAIS mafia does work as both the CofE position and my current job are courtesy alumni that I met when I was working at the Center. My e-mail address is still the same as I am not getting rid of my Hotmail account.
Ciao.
Kathy

ACT II, Scene iii

[SAIS graduate comes home to his East Village apartment at 8:30pm, opens fridge, finds nothing edible save for McDonalds ketchup satchels, a clove of garlic and torilla salsa; goes to cupboard and rummages until he finds a tin of Campbell's chicken soup. Opens bottle of Pinot Grigio ($7.99) he just bought at the corner liquor shop, pours some into only remaining Pottery Barn wine glass (other having been broken by another SAIS grad who stayed in said apartment for Christmas); wants to pour soup into a pot, but is prevented by pot being at bottom of pile of dirty glasses in sink; washes all, pours soup into pot, adds water; reads instructions on soup can; realizes "creamy" chicken soup needs milk not water; throws concoction away for lack of milk and drinks wine; in moment of triumph remembers and recovers half-finished bag of tortilla chips from unused oven storage area and proceeds to eat with salsa while glossing over best-before dates; washes down with more Pinot Grigio; finalizes plans by phone to explore new bar on Avenue C; puts coat back on, finds extra pack of cigarettes, walks to door; with hand on knob, looks up to stare at audience, with studious complexion slowly transforming into mischievous smile; feels tempted to quote Hamlet's soliloquoy about how the world is an unweeded garden that grows to seed but can't remember the words, so leaves decisively.]

Exeunt.

Hi Stefan,

Laura and I have moved to Rome and are now getting settled into our new life here in the eternal city. I've taken a job as a public affairs officer with the UN's World Food Programme, producing official statements for the press about all the starving people we are feeding in North Korea and Africa's Great Lakes region (it's all about El Nino, ya' know).

I wish I could say that my office is situated in a lovely decrepit building overlooking a dark Roman ally full of cats but I actually have a view of Mussolini's EUR neighbourhood and a McDonald's. (I've already made the ironic comparisons between hamburger capitalism and 3rd world rice bowls...)

Unlike some of our fat cat EU commission colleagues in Brussels who get to travel throughout Europe's rich capitals to wax on about curdled lakes of subsidised milk and whether Greece really should have been allowed into the Union after all, I get to head off to garden spots like Liberia and the Ivory Coast. I leave on Thurs. If I survive the malaria, yellow fever, typhoid and the kindergarteners with AK-47s (Liberia), it should be fun.

Sarcasm aside, it is a good feeling to be a flack for a cause one can believe it -- especially if one can believe in it and live in Rome at the same time.

Thanks for updating my email address. Cheers, Jeff

Good heavens! This page took a turn for the nasty. Belmeloro v. Belmeloro, a nasty fight if I ever saw one. Carrie's angry venting, something we can all relate to in one form or another. Can we blame it all on El Nino and leave it at that? Well, if perhaps your angst is based on something more substantial than irregular weather patterns, may I suggest a bit of diving in the Philippines. Ridiculously cheap, beautiful scenery, warm water and the sweetest people in Asia. A week there and you won't remember what stress is.

Of course, finding the time to go is tricky and the distance from the West is considerable, in which case, there's always bourbon.

[Somebody else purporting to be Belmeloro wrote the following in response to a posting by "Belmeloro". If you haven't read the previous Belmeloro posting, please read the January newsroom first--Stefan]

This is outrageous, and repulsive. I do not know who has committed this crime, but this [previous posting] is not the real Belmeloro writing. I know because I am he, and I can tell you that the real Belmeloro is not swanning himself on the balcony of some tatty seaside bed & breakfast, but is rolling in the grime, dust and dirt of real life with the rest of you peasants. Belmeloro's writing style is in any case much more elegant. Do not be fooled, faithful reader.

Anyway, what a lot of crap. Do not get married unless it's the only way of keeping hold of your lover, or you are a sanctimonious holier-than-thou happy-clapping God-squad doorstep trooper who believes that sex out of wedlock will doom you to hell, or unless you're dying to start a toaster collection. There is probably life after 30, but not as we know it. Belmeloro HAS NOT YET TURNED 30, you geriatric decrepit impostor! Yes, yes, get a raise, and move to New York if you have to, and who gives a fuck about the Freedom Party? And as for being laid off, so long as you get a good package and hated your job, it's a damn sight better than quitting and leaving penniless like a bloody fool, not that Belmeloro has any problem with anything to do about being laid off. At all.

..... I'm finally back on line at chitt@NewEnergy.com

Like several of our fellow sighers, I am now working at a small startup. The company is called New Energy Ventures - basically, we aim to break the monoplistic hold that traditional utlities have held over the electricity industry for the last 100 years. We are desperately trying to compete with Enron. We're doing well in California where competition has been introduced to a meaningful level. Unfortunately, here in New England the utilities managed to dominate much of the policy debate and the laws that have been passed provide little incentive for a company like mine to even attempt to compete for the next 2 years and the whopping 13 customers we had in Rhode Island had to return to thier old utility. Nevertheless, the "opening" of New York state has just begun, so I am spending many a day driving back and forth to Albany to fight the battle there (for those who don't know, Albany is the capitol of NY). Of course, the pleasure of spending five hours in a car per day, twice a week is not exactly what I had in mind as my career choice, but I love a good fight, and fighting the incumbents is certainly a trip of a different sort.

At this point I'm not sure if we'll make it, so I'm not holding my breath for stock options... just give me some cash, PLEASE! This feeling of uncertainty is compounded by the complete chaos one experiences in a small startup: no cyberconnections, Twinhead computers (the worst laptops in the world), sharing a 1,000 sq.ft with 17 colleagues, 6 weeks to get reimbursed for travel expenses, officemates resorting to their cell phones because all conventional phonelines are in use, one shared administrative assistant and everyone making conflicting decisions (this would be because "corporate" decided that they needed three Presidents, not just one). It's fun, really.

I'm sad to report to all those who have ridden or seen John's '87 completely red (wheels and all) white-capped Toyota truck, it has been retired for a new vehicle which I can drive.

Now back to work.