Saturday, February 25, 2006


Madrid is wonderful! Why didn´t anyone tell me when I was actually learning Spanish? I might have tried harder. I´m so sad that I only had 24 hours here. I´m about to meet a high school friend and head toward the Basque Country (LongroƱo), before coming back to London on Tuesday.

In other news, and I was really waiting for this one, my LSAT score came in. I´m up 4 points to a 166! That´s 94%, instead of my old 87%. Not bad for not studying, eh?

Right. Train station. ¡Adios, mis amigos!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Pairs

Ouch? What else can I say? The silver Chinese pair was mindblowing and they're obviously miles ahead of the other two Chinese pairs. What was that last lift, fourth place Chinese pair? Ewwwww. Bad! Get some upper body strength! But, sigh, the Russians are still fantastic. And, when did they get taste in costuming? Amazing!

Why did I never notice the awfully ugliness of pairs spins before? And no one was holding their death spirals for very long.

And, finally, the best part of watching the Olympics on the Beeb (apart from the lack of commercial breaks and the fact that the prime time events are live)? NO DICK BUTTON! NO PEGGY FLEMMING! Woot! But, for the record, and I think only my mother would get this joke, Robin Cousins also has a thing for soft knees. *grins* But, then, when people (erm, fourth place Chinese pair, I'm still looking at you) either land throw jumps or come out of lifts like a sack of potatoes, we notice (even those of us who haven't watched a skating competition (probably) since Salt Lake City)!

Also, the second US team's guy used to skate at my first rink in Indianapolis. That was cool.

Sorry about the Olympic musings. I'm a bit of an ex-Olympics stamp collector/former figure skater/all around nerd and it sort of shows at times like these. You know, during the Olympics!


Libby and I did our first, honest to goodness, non-stop run today for TWENTY whole minutes! I know that sounds puny, but we were psyched! It's odd, this, but you really don't feel good on the days that you don't run and somehow wind up compensating for the endorphins with chocolate. Yesterday, for example, we were both bummed because rain kept us in in the morning and my 2-11pm Model UN session kept us from going in the afternoon or evening.

But actually, Saturday was our best day. We took the bus/tube to Hyde Park and ran through the park, partially around the Serpentine and through the Diana Memorial (think a textured, water, Mobeus strip). It was a nice day and we just felt like queens of the world. It was cool.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I'm just sort of killing time, waiting for Miss Libby to get over here, so we can go for our run. Tomorrow's the first day that we run non-stop and I'm a bit nervous, but today won't be quite as scary.

I did watch the Opening Ceremonies last night and had a few observations:
1) I want Swedish flag mittens!
2) I want Danish flag ear...covers?
3) I realize that I pay license fees so that the BBC will be commerical-free, but three and a half hours without a pottty break gets to be a bit much.
4) WTF was "From Renaissance to Baroque?"
5) There were not enough cute kids.
6) I actually liked the country sign holder Alps dresses.
7) The commentators kept making really dumb remarks that made my night. (The snarky comments about how much they and the rest of the country enjoyed watching the Canadians beat the Americans at the 2002 hockey final were priceless!)
8) It would have been even more fun if you were drunk.
9) The British are adorable! Their athlete profiles were all about "he was 17th at the last world cup of whatever and might just be our best hope for a medal!" (So it wasn't that bad, but if I have to see the winning shot of the 2002 curling game, I might just curl hurl.) I love being in a country which has gone back to the "if" of medal winning, rather than the "how many."
10) I don't think the line's "If anyone can, a kiwi can," but thanks for trying BBC.
11) I made salmon for myself. This from the girl who's a) scard of cooking meat and b) had no idea what to do with fish. My roommate's rubbing off. She's an expert, being from a coastal city in the Basque region of Spain!

I know that I had more witty comments to make. For now, just be jealous that I get to watch everything live and you have tape delay!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Just a few notes

As many of you know, the winter olympics start tomorrow. I went though a bit thing last month trying to decide whether or not I should fly to Turin to attend and ultimately decided that I really shouldn't. (Something about a presentation on Wednesday, Model UN next weekend and Spain the one after that...) But, I was really, really not willing to sit out on them altogether. I can't even explain how big the Olympics have always been in my family. I mean, obviously, I was never one of those delusional little skaters who thought that I'd compete in them, but my, erm, stamp exhibit did compete as a part of the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta in 1996 (I got a silver-bronze, if you must know). And one of things that made my mom most sad after her initial diagnosis was the probability that she would never know if Michelle Kwan won a gold medal or not. But, that's why I am now the proud borrower of a properly licensed television! Woot! We're still working on names. I'm sort of thinking Hugh (which may come as a surprise to the person who caught me drooling over the photo of another aging British actor at the Donmar last month) because it's British and our television is a cube...sort of borgish? Maybe? As I said, 'tis a work in progress.

The other news is that we got our practice essays back today; they got handed in the week after Christmas break. I got a 67, which is a high merit, not a distinction. A British friend suggested that I add 20 points to put it roughly in the context of a US scale (so, a B+). The comments were nice and complementary, but really highlighted the weakness that I already knew about. I'd decided that I wouldn't put in absolutely the most effort ever, since this was practice, and so I spent a long time on my philosophical arguement (which the reader liked) and a whole lot less on the historical stuff (which I probably wouldn't have slacked on if this essay had counted). So, yeah, pleased.

It was convenient that Hugh tonight faciliatated me watching the special edition of Question Time with the three contenders for leader of the Lib Dems. (Question Time is a great BBC news show, which involves a live audience asking questions of and having discussion with a panel of politicians.) I'd been leaning Ming, but Chris Huhne really, really impressed me. He was great on camera (should be, after all those years as a journalist) and had some really nice answers to the questions asked. I'm looking forward to his LSE visit, but my tide might just be changing. His image is good to the point that I could actually see him being a sucessful politician in the US sense, as well. Plus, he was the only one with a (dark blue) power tie. Simon had some sort of black and white stripes and Ming had PINK!

Monday, February 06, 2006

The New Approach

Some of you may remember that I'd rescheduled my LSATs from December to February. And, then, I wasn't going to take them after all (since I already had a score that got me into my first choice and didn't want to bother with the studying), but my friend convinced me that I really, really should. I could treat them as fun practice and cancel afterwards. So, I looked over my TestMaster's weekend class book the night before, slept in, went shopping at the market and arrived at 1:50 for my 2pm test (btw, overseas testing centers starting in the afternoon=AWESOME!). We were the slacker room; apparently another whole room of people had started half an hour beforehand. Heh. So, absolutely no pressure, very little prep and I didn't feel rushed or awful about it. It was sort of a nice way to take the test. If I got bogged down on a logic game, then I could just say to myself: "Joyce, don't worry! You're going to cancel." The weird thing was that I made it through all the questions. So, I think I'm going to let it stand. The stress bunnies on the pre-law discussion boards are freaking me out, maybe a little, but I felt pretty decent about it when I left and I doubt that I'd a) do a whole lot better without some major discipline and studying or b) do a whole lot worse than my last score. And even so, do you think American would still take me, with my masters? On a related note, I was researching for a model UN study guide and found something perfect for a friend's dissertation. And I had to point out that it was from the AU International Law Review. Go WCL people! BTW, did you know that Professor Orentlicher's brother is my state representative? Cool, no?

Well, that was a bit random of me! I'm still trying to sort out my life, in terms of work, more school, language training, etc. and whether or not I want to do my JD at all...would I be better off skipping directly to an LLM (in Europe), so that I only have to study public international law and not the stuff that I will never use? Or is an understanding of contracts, torts, etc. absolutely vital to my future life? And, would those questions be easier to answer if I knew whether I wanted to be a bureaucrat (or civil servant, for the British who get confused at my North American vocabulary) or an academic or some sort of do-good NGO person? The answer to that one, at least, I think is yes.

I suppose we all go through the post-college crisis and this one is mine. That thing last year didn't count.