OK, so I think I can now call myself a "PhD candidate" as on Friday I completed the defense of my secondary field paper, which nobody will ever read again (I hope), entitled "Politicizing Ethnicity: How Ethnic Identity Aligns with Patronage and Partisanship."
Perhaps it helped that the 10:15 am aftershock from Friday's 4:30 am earthquake occurred during the middle of my defense.
Now that that badboy is out of the way, the dissertation will be my main focus for... well, whatever free time I can conjure up!
Meanwhile, I am hopeful that despite the downturn (read liquification) in the real estate market, some of the plans for downtown will continue to proceed. It would be just too depressing to see the Jefferson Arms sit vacant and boarded up for another couple years. For that matter, I still haven't seen much progress on the new construction side of the Park Pacific development just across the street from my work.