Thursday, July 28, 2005

Le sigh.

This is slightly depressing: the iBook's been upgraded and now my mactop is no longer the latest thing. I'd be sadder if the new 12" had a superdrive option (DVD & CD burning), but they don't.

I don't know how I'll feel when we move on to the G5....

Joyce needs to stop obsessing over her Macs.

Oooh, but does anyone know anything about iPod armbands? (I've got a 30GB Photo (G4).)


My legs are achey again. Poo. And all I did yesterday was walk two miles with the Blacks and run for another one when we got back. Lazy Joyce's™ leg's aren't supposed to annoy her.

Anyone know more about things to strengthen your lower back? That I can do on the floor in my room after crunches?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nothing really important

Hee. Someone got to the blog today by searching for "tort crimes" in google. That was because of the ATCA paper I wrote earlier this year. You know, back when I was an undergrad and all. Continue to get loads of people who are searching for Tricia's blog page. Melanoma news continues to be not so great, but she and her husband are in New York this week and I hope they are having a wonderful time! (I think they're seeing Wicked this evening. I know very little about the show, other than that I should be jealous.

Back at work, code checking continues. I'm doing Title 3: Elections, which is being reprinted in its entirety. That makes for a very, very long set of documents. On the other hand, I was amused by this heading: "Watcher's Rights." And I thought..."Damn straight! Giles has rights, too. Stupid council can't just keep ordering him around."

Oh, the dorktasticness abounds. :-)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Report from Berea

I'm going to start by noting that my legs are a bit achey right now. It's not that a specific muscle group is sore, but my upper legs are just kind of quietly reminding me of their presence. I probably shouldn't be surprised, as there was much dancing this weekend and I managed to fit in a two-mile run on the hotel's treadmill on Saturday night. I might have done the same on Friday night, if management hadn't decided to prevent drunk people from using the pool (and, consequently, the little exercise room) at 4 am.

I have discovered that it is very difficult to be absolutely passionate about more than one band during a given weekend. I thought that having both the Prodigals and Seven Nations at the festival would be the best thing EVER, but discovered that I didn't really have enough enthusiasm to do both concerts. So, I made my choice. We did all three Prodigals concerts and only one of the 7N ones (we had some road delays that prevented us from making it for the Friday show and I really, really wanted to start the drive back to Indianapolis on Sunday night, rather than staying for the last concert of the weekend).

The highlight was Saturday night. After the Seven Nations and Proddies shows, we had dinner, I ran, then we went downstairs to the hotel bar. It was packed with people both from the Irish festival (performers and attendees) and a wedding reception (props on the lovely bridesmaids dresses). I was wearing my camaflouge TEB's Troops t-shirt (reminder: godsister with melanoma's support network shirt), which somehow seemed to encourage drunk guys to read my chest and then make comments about said reading. "Ted" the groomsman was at least nice enough to come over and explain why he would be pointing my chest out to people all night long.

After the bar closed, Gregory and Eamon #2 from the Prodigals, Liam from the Hothouse Flowers and some other people sat down in the hallway and played until 6:30 in the morning. I did crash out about 5:30 (which is exceedingly late for me, anyway), but it was one of the coolest musical experiences I've had. Liam sang several songs in Gaelic, which were, as always, stunningly beautiful. He snuggles with his bodhran when he plays it and, by forsaking a stick, makes it sound like a gentle heartbeat. Anyway, I was impressed. Watching the two Prodigals trying to keep it together during the next day's concert was also pretty darn amusing.

I absolutely love going to the Berea festival. It's homey and kind of quaint, but that's really part of it's charm. Dublin (Columbus, OH) is much, much bigger, shinier and far more corporate. Berea's "Celtic Thunder" (hee) stage is sheets of pressboard raised a couple of feet off the ground and their light is mostly provided by lightbulbs strung across the ceiling of the tent (although this year, they added a few fixed stage lights, too). Dublin's stage is huge, the lights move (and generally shine in the audience's eyes), but there's a good ten foot barrier between the audience and the stage (with security guards posted in between). There's nothing like Berea for feeling the connection between bands and audience (even further exemplified by the late night seisiun). Dublin's probably going to be a day trip because they've got some great music, but the festival itself is just such a let-down.

The crowds were also wonderful (at least on Friday and Saturday). There were lots of roving bands of teenagers, many of them drunk or on their way to drunk, who were having such a good time at the shows. There were loads of guys willing to jump up and down and girls who were probably a bit more "friendly" then they should have been. But, you know, compared to the 40-something drunk women who usually end up throwing themselves at the band (or really, just Gregory...and yes, I am looking your direction, Byrne's Pub), I was quite happy. Being with a crowd that was my own age was really great. Anyway, Good job Cleveland! I'll miss you next year. :-(

Finally, without sounding too fan-girlish...they know my name! EEEEEEEE! *end moment* I'm also completely fine now with the new bassist, because Ed is just plain cool. The only thing that could have made this weekend better is if the Muppet had been able to come.

Wow, that was a long post about nothing particularly important. Especially for those of you who haven't a clue what I'm talking about or who all of these people are. :-)

Tonight I shall probably go to Blockbuster to get new "running" movies, attempt a bit faster of a run (although inside, because we've been having nasty hot weather) and do my laundry. Ahhhhh, what a life.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

An update:

1) The passport containing my visa has arrived. Of course, it really arrived yesterday and I had to place a somewhat anxious phonecall asking someone to actually check the front porch. My passport was outside overnight. Sheesh. Go me.

2) LSE found my paperwork!!! This means I can stop worrying. Unfortunately, with both the housing and the visa done I'm all pumped and ready to go (other than selling my car) and departure is still two months away.

I've been using the lulls at work to do blog research. I found two more great ones and you will note the new links on the left. "Life in Airstrip One..." is written by another American, who is just finishing her MSc in Russian and Post Soviet Studies at LSE. The other, "Jex in the UK", is written by a Canadian MSc Criminology Student, who just happens to have taken the class that is the core for my program. They got to go on a very sweet trip to Geneva this year and I've got my fingers crossed for next year! Anyway, it's been really helpful to read about their experiences over the past year.

This weekend (or tomorrow, really), we're heading off for the five hour drive to Cleveland ( was only four hours from Richmond) and the Cleveland Irish Festival. I loved this smallish festival last year and I'm looking forward to it far more then I am the Dublin Irish Festival. Expect a report and some drooling. Why? Because the lead singer for Seven Nations is AMAZING(ly hot). Hee.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hurrah! My visa has been approved! I can go be a student now!

LSE doesn't think that it has received my accommodations letter, but it may be buried under a huge stack of post.

I'm trolling the print databases (which I can still access...thank you, Earlham) for scholarly articles on Buffy with which to convince a skeptical friend. And I'm amusing myself by reading the abstracts.

But, now, I must deal with the huge stack of papers that just landed on my desk.

Potter VI

Well, the Harry Potter party was a success (in that I walked out of the Borders by 12:30am with two copies of Half-Blood Prince and a Buffy episode guide). I had intended to savour the book and really stretch out my reading, but this one is much more gripping, faster paced and shorter than the previous two have been. I won't go into anything that could be considered a spoiler (because some people haven't recieved their British versions in the mail yet), but I really liked this one. Many people on my LJ friends list seemed absolutely appalled and shocked at the ending, but I think it was obviously going to happen. Like with Cedric, the death itself is over quickly, but this time she gives the character a decent send-off. I also loved finally getting background. There are some interesting theories floating around the internets, but I'll wait. Now I just have to wait until everyone who didn't buy a book reads mine, so that I can read it again before I leave.

I spent most of Sunday in the house by myself, just cleaning my room. It sounds dumb, but I really enjoyed it. I like having time to myself every once in awhile. And I worked on the ECMUN bible stuff that continues to hang over my head. Two months from today, everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2005


Like Kristine, I'm pumped about the new Harry Potter. As we did two years ago, Duchess and I are going to the Border's party. This year has three added bonuses:

1. Us knowing that the numbers start getting handed out at I'm heading up there after work to get ours (let's go for top 50, eh?). I'd love to sleep tonight....

2. The fact that my friend Eli (from Louisville) will be up visiting his girl and we're all having dinner.

3. Now that we've graduated, we actually own our own black robes to wear! (The HS ones were red...'course that doesn't seem to be stopping the little one from using hers for Quidditch robes).

And, work should be very, very quiet next week, so I'll have time to read! Yeah! And we're a week from the start of Irish Fest Tour 2005.
LSE is making me nervous. After offering me my first choice in housing, I haven't received any confirmation that the forms arrived at the school or that my credit card was successfully charged for the deposit. Again, this is a bit scary. And they didn't answer my e-mail yesterday.

Little Sammers, my sort-of-nephew, decided that yesterday would be just as good a day as any to start walking. He's only about 10 months old, so I'm thinking that this is early. If his mommy is lucky, she'll come home after her brain surgery this weekend. I really hope so, anyway.

Finally, the Lib Dems held Cheadle in the by-election yesterday! The majority there has increased from 33 in 2001 to 4,000 over the Tories and Labour lost their deposit. Congrats to everyone in Lib Dem land. I wish I'd been there. Can we please have a by-election somewhere next year?!?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

People are still talking housing over on the LSE message board. I feel sorry, I really do, for the people who didn't get an offer. I also keep compulsively checking my bank account to see if the deposit has been withdrawn.

One girl contacted LSE Accommodations about the process and this is what they told her:

All applications received before the deadline are given a random number. We then place all the applications in chronological order by random number. Following this we start at the top of the random numbers and begin to make offers. Thus those people who are lucky to be at the top will receive their first choice. We then keep making offers until we have no rooms left in the halls of residences to offer. If a student's first choice has been offered we then offer their second choice and so on. The reason we do it like this and not first come first served is because not all LSE offers are sent at the same time and we do not feel it fair to offer those who got an offer early their first choice just because LSE sent them an offer early.

Can I suggest that this might just make up for the four years of Res. Life Hell at Earlham? It would appear that I got very lucky.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Saying goodbye....

I talked to my favorite Julesapunk last night. She's leaving for two years in the Peace Corps and their assembly day is today in Philadelphia. The group leaves for Niger on Thursday.

I want her to be safe and to have a wonderful experience. And I want to make sure that I don't suck at staying in touch, because Juliet is one of my closest friends and wonderful, wonderful person.

I could never forget the fun of camp thesis, when we spent our spring break hiding in the Earlham library after it closed or laying on the couches at Charlie's trying to refine my topic. Or (and why do all my memories seem to center around the Earlham library right now) how she found me in the library on Valentine's Day with a huge bag of candy and flowers? (Ush, btw!) Or the updates that we would get from her during the Semester at Sea. We were laughing at my favorite memory yesterday: her account of visiting Mao's tomb in China and the capitalist irony of the plastic flowers that they sold over and over again to the visitors. I remember when we would all pile into Juliet and Juliana's rooms to watch Escaflowne and bootleg Star Trek episodes and the freedom that her car gave us. Otherwise, how would we have managed to take a road trip of our own after we saw the Britney Spears' classic, Crossroads? Juliet wasn't at Earlham the semester that my mom died, but she and Juliana have always been the people who I talked to when I was feeling low or upset. Jules is goofy, silly, and beautiful. She eats frosting with a spoon and puts Italian dressing on everything. How could you not feel better?

Jules, I don't know if you'll see this before you go, but I'm going to ask Baha'u'llah to find you a nice hot Baha'i guy and to help ensure that this is the most rewarding experience of your life. Be safe and know that there's a floor waiting for you in London any time that you want it.

Love, Joyce

Friday, July 08, 2005

The London bombings seem like they were a million years ago and a thousand miles away. We forget how powerful the media are to control our perceptions of current events and when no one continues to flip out, it all just seems to melt away. Hurrah for the stiff upper lip, I suppose. It did give me the chance to talk to some people whom I hadn't heard from in awhile, which was nice.

I'm feeling really drained right now. Tricia's cancer has stopped growing in her shoulder and hip (per surgery five weeks ago), but has spread to her brain. She had started having massive migranes and had a scan. I'm supposed to go to the first night of our stamp show tonight, but I really just want to go home, have some Joyce time, check in with the Blacks and do some running for the first blasted time this week. I think I'll do that, on second thought.

I also need to finish Julesapunk's present before she leaves for the bloody Peace Corps in FOUR DAYS! Ack. Must. Mail. Tomorrow. (Must. Finish. Tonight.) Also. Must. Get. Frame. For. Present.

Did I mention that I was tired?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Some better news....

Alright, everyone that I tried to get in touch with is now accounted for. Many weren't even in London today. But, thank goodness they're all safe and for the internets, which let me send a bunch of e-mails as soon as I got into work this morning.

I think that lots of people (at least here in my office) are having a hard time putting the blasts into context. But,....

One of the blasts (the bus) was only two blocks or so from Friend's House, where Earlham's London program has classes. Another was just leaving the station nearest to my friend's old flat on the Edgeware Rd and was on its way to Paddington, where I'd go if I wanted to take the train to Newbury (or meet someone coming from Newbury). And, King's Cross is where you'd go if you wanted to catch the Hogwart's Express (or go to Peterborough or Scotland). (Ed. I may HATE King's Cross/St. Pancras as an underground station, but I certainly wouldn't want anyone to blow it up!)

It's been a weird day, because I'm feeling drained. Everyone else in my office is concerned, but still pretty indifferent. London feels far away, even to me, so I can't necessarily blame them.

London friends: I'm glad you're all ok.


This is awful, and not helped by the crappy American media coverage. Thank goodness for the Beeb.

If anyone was wondering, I'm still going to London in the fall.

When you think about it, my choices (even if I were considering them) are between London and Washington, D.C. If I cared about making these huge choices on the basis of terrorism threat, then London's probably still the safest place to be.

I've emailed everyone. Alex is fine, although he's somewhere in London. Ryan (from LDYS) is in Lincoln, but he said that he's heard from most people and that they're fine. I haven't heard back from Newbury Chris, Brent Chris or Daniel, so I'm hoping that they will. Daniel's the only person I can think of who would have been heading to the City for work.

But, from what I can see, the Brits. are even better than us at handling terrorism. I shouldn't have been surprised.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Hell, yeah, London 2012!

Thanks, NPR, for one of those "scream to yourself" in the car moments!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

One more thing...

My new home is in Southwark North & Bermondsey, which is Simon Hughes' seat. So, my local MP is a Lib Dem. Sweet.


What an exciting weekend! Lots of "bigish" news:

1) My godsister came home from the hospital after her second round of treatment, which seems to have been much easier on everyone than the first round. We had a cookout at her house on Saturday and her spirits seemed pretty high. Now the waiting to see if it worked. Sam is also still cute.

2) I've borrowed a bike! It's Duchess' mom's old bike and it is a bit too tall for me and I haven't figured out quite how to ride it without making my a) arms and b) bottom uncomfortable, but I'm very, very excited. If I can practice enough, then I might try and ride it to work later this summer.

3) I saw Welling (favorite professor) in Richmond this weekend, because I went over to pick up pages of her book to work upon. We chatted and that was nice.

4) I saw MUPPET! We watched Buffy episodes and it was fun. I'm going to miss him loads and loads until Europe and I really wish he weren't moving so soon, so that he could go festivaling with us.

5) LSE HOUSING!!! I've been offered a single room in Butler's Wharf, which was absolutely my first choice. Man, that was a great way to start the work day, even if I did scare my co-workers with that little screech! Butler's Wharf is located on the south bank of the Thames, literally next to Tower Bridge (that's the famous one with the big towers ("news from the file marked 'duh'"), that is across from the Tower of London. I love the South Bank on principle and it is such a nice area. The building is made up of shared flats, with a kitchen (because it's self-catering). I also have to provide my own bed stuff, so I'll have to decide whether to take that stuff with me or buy new once I'm there. It's going to be odd to have limited cooking materials, too, but I'm sure I can manage. Oh, this is going to be awesome! Housing for LSE was decidely my biggest worry about this whole thing. And, now that I have an address I can fill out my visa application and finally send that letter telling American that I'm not coming to law school in the fall. I'm sending that form out tonight, gosh darn it! If you'd like the address, leave a comment and I'll e-mail it to you.


Here are a couple of pictures from Butler's Wharf: More here.

The single room. And you know that mine will look like this, eventually.... Small, eh? But WITH A SINK! (This also excites me.)

This is the view from one of the balconies.