Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Eurovision and Human Rights

I swear, those two are unrelated. They just happen to be what I'm thinking about right now.

I spent the morning listening to this year's Eurovision soundtrack, having finally amended the iTunes listings to tell me which country each song was from. I tell you there's just no point to listening to those collections as an accumulation of music. You have to actually listen to them as representatives of a certain country. For the most part, I understand why certain songs did not make it out of the semi-finals. Although, Ireland's song wasn't really as bad as some of the things that it wound up finishing behind. I'm really likeing Latvia's ska/reggae beat and Ukraine's song that's sort of a hip-hop anthem from the Orange Revolution. The UK's song sucked, but France's wasn't so bad as it ended up being. I think last year's contest had better music, frankly. Here's to still hoping that Juliana will download the video for me! And please know that I'm not really this weird, I just think Eurovision's great. Probably comes from being a model UN kid.

Oooooh and thanks to the French, both the euro and the pound are depreciating against the dollar! Not much, mind you, but enough to get excited!

Finally, I've started reading my books for LSE (at least the ones that I know will be assigned) and one made me think. Should we be thinking about human rights as things that the world owes to us, as things that we are entitled to "by right," or as obligations that we owe to other people? i.e., "I have an obligation to treat you with respect because you are a human being," rather than "I am entitled to be treated with respect because I am a human being." Seeing them in terms of obligations makes the pursuit of human rights a far more active mission because it endows each of us with a responsibility, rather than a sense of entitlement. Does that make violations easier to punish? I hope some of this makes sense to people who aren't me.

Monday, May 30, 2005


So, I've spent most of today playing with Sammer Whammer, my 9-month-old pseudo-nephew. He's so much fun and soooo cute! I know, everyone with a little kid in their life thinks that theirs is the best, but I'm pretty darn sure that Sam's up near the top of the rankings.

In slightly more interesting news, I'm thinking of retaking the LSATs in December. I'd certainly have them out of the way. People in my office are taking them June 6th and all that talk about getting ready for them has kind of put me in the mood to tackle the tests again. I'm kind of itching to get ready and get it over with again. Plus, I thought they were offered only once or twice a year in London. Not so, but I think it would be better than waiting until I'm trying to cram for exams and I don't know if I'll be near a test administration site again. This time I'll try to get to the Guildhall early enough so that I don't take them in the amazing old room, but something a little less distracting (if also less awe-inspiring).

Tomorrow I head back to work and will use lunch to see if I can get the hotspot on the circle (the heart of Indianapolis) to work. Because blogging from work is just plain weird.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The 500

I don't think that people who aren't from Indianapolis can understand how big a deal the race really, actually is in this city. Especially for me. My dad died in early May two years ago, but that year would have been his 50th straight race. He started by selling newspapers there as a kid, then worked on cars and radios, then just hung around the track and enjoyed seeing his friends. I can't really remember the exact date of his death, but when the Radio Network guys called the first lap, I couldn't keep from crying.

When I was little my mom and I would always make his ham and green pepper sandwiches the night before and pack his little cooler. He would be gone long before I ever got up (the rest of us went a few times and we would always be inside the track and standing at the top of the grandstands before the 5 am opening signal "bomb" went off), but we would get up and watch the local news teams covering the drivers and fans until they weren't allowed to broadcast from inside the track anymore (about 10, an hour before the race started). Then they'd talk to people who were hurrying to get to their seats and show the drunk fans and it was time to switch on the radio for the race. I can't really "feel" the race unless I'm hearing it on the radio to this day. Seeing on television is so removed, but the guys on the radio always feel the same and like I'm curled up in my dad's big chair listening to it happen a few miles from home. And "Back Home Again" (in Indiana) also made me teary. It's a sad reminder that the next time Jim Nabors sings that song, I'll be an ocean away from Indiana and may never be here for its singing again. I love being a Hoosier. My dad would always come home about six and tell us a little about the race, then we'd all watch at 7 (or I'd usually fall asleep after the pre-race festivities). You see, they block out the race in Indianapolis (except for one year to celebrate the local ABC affiliate's big anniversary) and show it at night. So, you can either go to the race, drive somewhere that gets another ABC station or listen on the radio. Anyway, I love race day.

The other cool thing of the day was the Stealth bomber. We'd gone to buy shoes and were leaving the parking lot when I spotted something in the air. So we got out and watched for a good 15 minutes as it circled the north side of Indianapolis waiting for its cue to fly over the track. That was cool! And then I remind myself of the evils of the military-industrial complex and go back to thinking that the stealth bombers are really cool. And it was low! Not quite as low as the time that it flew over our heads in the third turn, but still pretty low. London is going to be fantastic and so are the places that I land for law school and beyond, but I'll always think of Indianapolis as home. And I'll probably always cry, every time that I hear "Back Home Again" on the day before Memorial Day from Indianapolis.

Friday, May 27, 2005


I really need to look at these things on a PC once in awhile. Sorry, everyone, I didn't realize just how big that title was because it never changed size on the Mac.

I'm finishing up the end of my first week at work, where we've been comparing the text of enrolled acts (new laws passed this session) to the first drafts of pages for the 2005 supplements to the Indiana Code. Not too bad and the people here seem nice. I'm the one who wanted to work with the law, after all. Silly me.

This is going to be short because it doesn't really seem right to be doing this at work (but my internet access is non-existant otherwise). But, I did buy a plane ticket for London yesterday. So I officially leave on September 27. I finally got offered a place at the Human Rights LLM program at the National University of Ireland, Galway, but I'd already decided not to complete my application. They never got a second recommendation for me, so I have no idea why I was actually accepted.

I hope that everyone's summers are going well so far!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Back Home

Today was moving day and I'm back in Indianapolis. And I'm still a little bummed about missing Eurovision. Tomorrow I'll dig up the old LJ link that I posted after last year. Because that was one of my favourite cultural experiences EVER!


I don't know if anyone had noticed, but when I'm procrastinating I start putting up lots of blog entries. That's what I'm doing right now. And listening to the live recorded Decemberists concert from All Songs Considered. (Basically a show I discovered because one of my high school friend's band was featured on this week's show...Adam Evil & the Outside Royalty.) And I hate to say it, but 16 Military Wives actually sounds better on the album. Maybe that's because I'm not actually at this concert that is in the past and took place far away from me. I'm still hoping that I'll get to see them sometime. Wish Earlham had publicized the concert this fall, but I was also at a Model UN conference at the time. Ahhhh, LEIMUN.

That was a fun conference. Especially the part where I had to be DD for a group where only two people (one of which was me) were legally allowed to drink. God, I was such a good kid. But, woot for Security Councils and locking the United States out of the room during voting procedures! Hah. But he was being awful and completely out of character (btw, that's just about the worst insult you can give a MUN kid).

My only regret at the moment: by leaving tomorrow, instead of a day later, I won't have access to the broadband in order to download or live stream Eurovision. SAD! SAD! SAD! It was so much fun last year, but it's hard to imagine that I was in London a year ago right now. And cheesy Euro-pop is actually kinda fun. Heh.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Getting Packed

I've been procrastinating on the packing, a really not smart plan when you've got 9 hours and a house to get in shape (not to mention in boxes).

But, the good news is that I finally figured out what I'd been doing wrong with LSE's accommodation form and got that submitted. I'm so glad because I had thought that I was required to have accepted their offer before applying (which I have, but it hasn't been processed yet). I don't know how I feel about living in dorms again, but it's such an easier thing to do than to try and find private housing (especially after recent experiences doing the same thing here in Richmond). But, I want a single! If I don't get into LSE or UCL housing, then I'll find something for sure. I was originally so nervous that I had thought I would start law school in the fall if I didn't get into the dorms, but I now realize that that would be a really dumb move. (No offense WCL-ers...part of me is still just a little sad that I'm not moving to D.C. this fall.)

Right. House. Clean. Pack. Me. Now......

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Templates & Packing

Templates: you've probably noticed that I get bored with them. But I think that I like this one for now and might actually keep it for awhile. Gasp!

The packing continues, as I spent most of the day in the kitchen washing dishes. I'm going to have to give my hands some heavy lotionizing action tonight to make up for it. On the other hand, the kitchen is almost all packed, with the exception of a few food items and stuff that I'm just going to leave for the next guys. Not the most responsible way to be a tenent, but they get a free blender out of the deal, so I suspect they'll live. A good me would have my own room done tonight, but I'm already getting tired. Maybe a nap is in order.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sorry, everyone.

I guess the posting has been pretty sporatic since school finished. If anyone was still worried about the thesis, I finally turned it in. I ducked into the library, printed and handed it to Bob as we were lining up for Commencement. He asked if I wanted to hand it to him onstage, but I thought that it could get messy trying to juggle both the diploma and the thesis. But, I so would have if he'd been seated before I got to (President) Doug and the diploma. Don't have any idea what he thinks of it. I didn't think that it was the best thing I could have written because I know of lots of places where I cut corners or didn't read everything available (Senate hearings, mostly). But, I guess it's not bad. I'll keep a copy, but I'm looking forward to writing something better next summer.

Since then, life has mostly involved working on packing the house.

I also got a job! Work is a good thing, I've decided. I'm going to be working for the state again, but a different branch than before. General office helper sort of thing, starting with code revision-ness. The original goal was to "immerse myself in a legal environment" before heading off to law school. (*nods and looks serious*) Now I'm still excited to be doing (at least some) brain-related work, getting paid for it, and getting to work in downtown Indy again. I love downtown & I'm excited to get to see some of my friends from past internships, now struggling under a change in administration.

Posting will still probably be sporatic, as I think I'm going to have to frequent coffeeshops in order to use the internets this summer.

That's enough for now. My goal is to have my whole room packed before bed. And Buffy, Season 5 appeared today! Oh, the temptation.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nothing much...

Sorry for taking so long to drop off a new post. Graduation weekend was packed and my grandmother didn't go back until Wednesday. Now things are very quiet in Richmond, although a few of my friends are still on campus for a couple of weeks.

As I said before, graduation doesn't feel any different. But, as another friend pointed out, that's probably because I'm just on summer vacation before starting more school. That's as compared to my friends who are going out and facing the real world right away. Ack, by the time I actually face the world and need employment, I'll have both a masters and a J.D. and be thoroughly over-educated.

The best news all week is that my friend's Peace Corps medical stuff finally cleared and she'll be leaving for Niger in July sometime. I was reading about the famine in Niger last night (after another friend and I had dissected the CIA World Factbook entry) and it seems like she'll really be able to do some good in that assignment. The facts I retained: 1.2% of the population with AIDS (low...the US is 0.6% for comparison) and female literacy that hovers around 9% (although it might also have been 7%). We've known for a long time that she would be headed somewhere in Africa, but it's nice to know where exactly (although our catch all phrase, Zimbumbafuck, was also working quite nicely).

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I graduated today.

And I don't really feel any different, just like a chunk of me is being ripped out and scattered with my friends across the globe.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Election Day 2005

This is interesting. A columnist at The Guardian is arguing for tactical voting, but not because of the Labour scare tactic that voting Lib Dem will let in the Tories. Go to bed with Charlie, wake up with Michael, anyone? Instead, he argues that an increased Lib Dem majority will herald an era of true three party politics, one where proportional representation may well be adopted:

Even proportional representation would not - and obviously should not - secure a Lib-Lab majority for ever. One day, you would have to have a coalition government including the Conservatives. But in order to get there, Conservatives would need to become more liberal themselves, and would then be further constrained by the coalition. So the combined impact of Blair-Brownite New Labour and Lib Dem mould-breakers would have shifted the very centre of British politics, as Thatcherism did before them.

This guy may be completely wrong, but it is an interesting analysis. And I would love to see what happens if the UK moves gradually to the left as the US moves toward the right.

Two and a half hours until the polls open and people have been out doing good morning leaflets for half an hour already. I miss Brent and watching London wake up.

Departmental Honors

Interestingly enough, there was a note in my mailbox today. Apparently I'm getting departmental honors, which is odd because I thought that those things depended on the quality of your thesis. Something that I still have yet to actually turn in. These next four hours are for my final Theories of IR paper.

Polls open in six hours and close at 4 pm tomorrow, Indiana time. I absolutely cannot wait!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Well, I loved the iBook look, but then saw it on my roommate's PC and ewwww! This is horribly dull, but I'll work on it after I finish the dumb thesis.

Lovely thing is that my professor has basically said that he didn't care when I finished as long as it was before graduation!

I Can't Wait!!!

I so can not wait until Thursday for the UK General Election! I love election days and I'm almost quivering to see if the Lib Dems are going to pick up more seats! It seems pretty certain, of course, the polls have been amazing. But, I don't have any real sense of how things are going. I guess I should have kept in better touch with Chris & Chris. Constituencies that Joyce most cares about: Brent East (where I volunteered this summer) and Newbury (where I helped for the municipal elections in 2003). Both could be very close.

Plus, trusty C-SPAN is going to be picking up the BBC coverage, which just makes me so happy. Alas, dumb me scheduled a goodbye dinner with a professor right in the middle of their coverage. Hopefully, it will be early enough that I won't miss anything great. But, still. I was looking forward to parking in front of the tv for four hours, since I'll be done with school stuff officially, and being a complete political anorak.

But, I really wish I were there!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Ugly Green marble is soooo '50s.

So, I'm sitting here watching Kofi speak about the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty before a bunch of delegates in the GA hall. And I'm thinking, as I so often have before, that no one seems to have thought about how butt ugly that room looks on television. All you see is the ugly green marble behind the person who's speaking and just a hint of a logo on the podium. And yet, when I went on the tour of the UN building, I was absolutely blown away by the power and beauty of that single room. And it looked pretty smokin' in The Interpreter. Le sigh. I should have complained when Shashi (the USG) was here.

The thesis is due tomorrow at 4 and is only partially written. But, it is a whole lot better now than it was in the awful draft and much of what I need to work on can be copied from the older version.

And, I had my last undergrad final today without a tinge of regret or any real emotion at all.