lu: (Shire)
2009-08-09 11:17 pm

There and back again

With one week to go and still several things to do, I thought I'd start a blog to write about the whole experience that will be living in DC. Obviously, I don't plan to abandon LJ/DW or anything like it. After all, I have been posting here for the past five years, and the only reason I believe I managed to do that was sticking to the rule: post whatever and whenever you want.

As much as I love LJ, the fact remains that a blog and Live Journal are, at least in my mind, completely different things. This is a space I've created for myself, and in which I have written a lot of crap things over the years, with the one common denominator that I'm the one writing them. I've always believed that a blog needs a little more than that.

I may double post some of my posts on There and Back Again here, and I'll point out when I've done so.

Sleepy and tired as I am, I'll leave you with the link to the new blog, and the hope that it doesn't look too bad: Click!

PS: Just finished catching up with True Blood, and... wow. Amazing season so far! Also, holy frak, Battlestar Galactica has ridiculousy stolen my heart AND NOW I NEED ICONS.
lu: (My favourite obsession)
2009-07-31 09:53 pm

The Big Journey

Snagged this meme from [personal profile] christycorr because I thought it would be fun to do:

Choose your genre show, answer the questions using episode titles from that show—if possible, don't repeat any.

Show: Sex and the City

Are you a male or a female? Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl... The Power of Female Sex
Describe yourself: My Motherboard, My Self
How do you feel: Change of a Dress
Describe where you currently live: Sex and Another City
If you could go anywhere where would you go? I Heart NY
Your favorite form of transportation: Anchors Away
Your best friend is: Ex and the City
What's the weather like: The Cold War
Favourite time of day: Let There Be Light
If your life was a TV show, it would be called: The Freak Show Running with Scissors
What is life to you: Defining Moments
Your fear: Attack of the Five Foot Ten Woman Time and Punishment
What is the best advice you have to give: The Post-It Always Sticks Twice Just Say Yes
Thought for the Day: Ghost Town
How I would like to die: Splat! Let There Be Light
My soul’s present condition: The Drought
My motto: No Ifs, Ands or Butts Yeah. Right.

Granted, SatC isn't my favourite series, but since Chris had already done Six Feet Under, and since the SatC's episode titles are rather amusing, I ended up choosing this particular show. I was right; I had fun doing this. Although now I do feel like watching the whole show again.

On another note, TWO WEEKS before I board to DC. I still have some things to do (like pack), but everything is pretty much in order.

Really. Excited.

I was thinking about writing a blog while I'm there, but I can't seem to think of a title other then There and Back Again. Ideas? Please, please, I need ideas.
lu: I don't know who made this. Is this yours? (Geek)
2009-07-11 01:39 am
Entry tags:

I would postulate that she's escaping into the online world to compensate for her sexual frustration

So for some inexplicable reason I decided to accompany my friends to see 17 again, a new movie starring Zac Effron (yes, I know, shoot me now). Naturally, I thought it would suck so much I wasn't going to be able to enjoy it at all. So what wasn't my surprise to see characters flirting in Elvish.

I guess the fact that Effron's Prom King-material character has an overly geeky best friend for a sidekick is the ultimate sign that nerds are, indeed, the new black. Which, when you think about, may lead to two different consequences:

1) There will be a proliferation of "fake nerds". You know, those people who want to be in, and just for the sake of it start to call themselves geeks, and yet don't quite get why a grown up would possibly want an action figure doll in the first place, and what the bloody difference does it make whether it's in the box or not. And, incidentally, you guys like to wear costumes?!

2) Nerds will gradually start to be generally more accepted by society as a whole, and will actually be able to live a bully-free, out-of-the-geek-closet peaceful existence.

I remember those were the same conclusions I'd gotten to when the whole being-a-lesbian-is-cool trend exploded. Of course, it was overly annoying to have to deal with straight girls who kissed their best friends only to please guys; nonetheless, I can't help feeling there was much improvement where homophobia is concerned. So I hope this is the road the new being-a-nerd-is-cool trend is leading to.

I also hope the combination of these two fads will lead to my finding a nice geek lesbian girlfriend to snog. At least now I am also armed with blog posts to help me in this quest.

The signs are ominous, though. When googling "nerd lesbians" I actually stumbled on an old Craig's List add: "I'm of the liberal, indie, nerdy variety. I sometimes have a degree of Woody Allen-esque social awkwardness which (i hope) is incredibly endearing"*.

Funnily enough, the add was from someone in Washington DC, and of course I couldn't help but laughing out loud at the irony of it all.


*No, I was not looking for a girlfriend on Craig's List. It just came up on google. I swear. Try it for yourself; it's the third link.
lu: (Vox Populi)
2009-06-28 09:52 pm
Entry tags:

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

Figured I'd make a quick post before going to bed, mostly because I wanted to keep this particularly disturbing piece of news for future reference: the first military coup of the 21st century in Latin America took place today, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

After spending the whole day reading tweets on the matter, watching BBC and CNN International, obsessively updating CNN en Español, El País, and La Prensa, I think I would sum up what happened like this:

Honduras has been living a rather problematic political crisis during President Manuel Zelaya's mandate. For while now, Mr Zelaya has been trying to hold a referendum that would allow him to change the constitution and run for a second term. Last week, the Supreme Court held that said referendum was inconstitucional, and the armed forces commander, Romeo Vazquez, stated that the military would not participate in the vote. Zelaya then fired Vazquez, but the act was also considered illegal by the Supreme Court.

Last Thursday, President Zelaya, along with a group of protesters, seized the ballots that were to be used on the referendum—which had been ordered confiscated by the prosecutor’s office and the electoral tribunal—from an air force installation.

And then all hell broke loose.

The vote was to take place today, but the President awoke to find his house surrounded by the military, and himself thrown on an air force plane with a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. During the course of the afternoon, Congress received an "official resignation letter" from the President, and proceeded to swear in Roberto Micheletti, head of Congress. Mr Zelaya, however, claims he has not and never will resign until his term ends.

The European Union, the UN, the OAS, the United States and several other countries have expressed deep concern over the situation, condemned the coup, and asked for Mr Zelaya to be reinstated as President and for the constitutional order to be restored. The OAS approved a resolution in which it asks for the unconditional return of Mr Zelaya, and emphatically states that it will not recognise the new government.

There are some who are saying that the arrest of the President was ordered by the Judiciary, and was therefore constitutional and justified, seeing that Mr Zelaya broke the law. The way I see it, there is nothing in a democracy that can allow the military to arrest a President and exile him from his own country. In any Latin American History textbook, that is called a military coup.

Latin America is still a region that is learning what it's like to live in a democracy. We still need to be taken by our hands and be patiently told that it's not OK to arbitrarily arrest someone—instead of remembering there is a thing called "due process of law" and another one called "human rights"—and put that person on a plane to a foreign country. Especially when said person is the constitutionally elected President.

Now, I don't care if Zelaya is a crazy-ass communist who dreams of staying in power forever and is best friends with Hugo Chávez and the Castro brothers. He could be a bloody homophobic for all I care; the man is still the representative of the people of Honduras and was elected to run the country until 2010. Therefore, unless there is a proper impeachment process, a forged letter of resignation will not do to constitutionally and democratically destitute him.

It takes time, patience and several mistakes to strengthen a democracy. On the other hand, only a few minutes are needed to tear it down. Unfortunately, this kind lesson remains hard to teach in our still-developing continent. Let's just hope the Honduran congress will come to its senses in the morning.
lu: (New York City girl)
2009-06-22 08:55 am
Entry tags:

Pride 2009 through a guest post.

So this year I had the privilege of making my mandatory Gay Pride Parade post at Rachel's amazing blog, Riogringa.com.

Rachel is a New Yorker who started blogging on her impressions of her experience here in Brazil, where she lived for a couple of years. I've started reading her blog after [personal profile] christycorr referenced it somewhere, and have since become a huge fan. Funnily enough I didn't get to meet her in person while she was still in Rio, but only after she moved back to New York, and I myself was there. Her insights on Brazilian culture, politics and history are particularly impressive, and her comparisons with the "American Dream" lifestyle are an eye-opener, and often pretty amusing (though sometimes it gets me a little more worried about Brazil than I usually am).

So check out my guest post here! Hope y'all enjoy it. *grins*

ETA: On a completely unrelated note, I have two new invite codes for Dreamwidth! Anyone interested please raise your hand in comments.
lu: (New York City girl)
2009-06-07 12:32 pm

"Fantastic!"

Sometimes one needs to put things in writing in order for them to feel real. This is exactly one of those occasions. The truth is, life has been too bloody fantastic to be true.

The moot court competition? Not only we went as far as the semi-finals for the first time. Not only we won the best Memorial in Portuguese. Not only I was the best oralist in Portuguese. We wrote the best Memorial in the whole competition, and I was the best oralist among all the 176 people that participated.

After the first results came out, I was so happy I thought I wasn't going to make it back to Brazil. I thought, hell, something bad has to happen (yes, I'm that positive a person). But I did make it back to Brazil. And the next day the final results were published online. I coulnd't be more pleased or proud of our work. The same night we went out to celebrate; not only the team, but also our professors.

We were (and are) still celebrating one week later, when we had lunch with the Dean. He's more than happy with the results, and is even considering giving us grants. Given that he's one of the people I most admire at PUC, this sort of acknowledgment was the cheery at the top of a perfect semester. To work for seven months straight on something, to spend sleepless nights and days dedicating yourself to a certain subject, and then to have really positive results is a high I had never experienced before. Not on this scale. I may get addicted.

On another note, I started working at the Center for Justice and International Law once more. I'm staying for two months, and working exclusively on a case I love.

This is the first time in a long time I'm not in love with anyone. The first time in a long time I'm actually happy to be alone. The first time in a long time I'm not anxious to find a girlfriend. Pride is next week, and, instead of wondering if I'll meet the girl of my dreams there, all I can think of is celebrating.

Those are all alien feelings to me. But I'm enjoying it. Immensely.

ETA: Holy crap! I forgot to mention I finally went to New York City, and I'm completely in love. New York is everything I thought it would be, except better. I had really high expectations, but it's just so much more fascinating than I could fathom. With my moving to Washington DC in August, there will be plenty of opportunities to go to NY and plenty of posts about it.
lu: (Fucking Professional)
2009-05-16 09:49 am

Mr. Foreman, has the jury reached an unanimous verdict?

In twelve hours I'll be boarding the plane that will take me to DC for the very first time. I haven't been to the United States since before 9/11, and, in a weird way, I really miss it. I don't know if it's some form of escapism, but I can't help feeling the United States will be the place where Important and Defining Things will happen in my life.

Obviously, the first of these will be the Moot Court competition that starts tomorrow. I have been incessantly training and studying for it for six months now, and it's naturally become a huge part of my life, not only academically, but also socially; the people I've met because of the competition have become the friends I've always lacked in college.

During the next week I'll have the responsibility to stand in front of the judges of our make-believe Inter-American Human Rights Court and defend a State that allegedly violated the rights of a woman and her son. My main responsibility, however, is to not disappoint my professors, my team, my friends, and myself. I'll probably be the hardest to please, but I'll be happy if I look back on this experience and believe I did my best.

Wish me luck.
lu: (Choose life)
2009-05-07 08:18 am
Entry tags:

Invite codes

I just got two Dreamwidth invite codes. Please, anybody who is interested, raise your hand in comments.
lu: (Fucking Professional)
2009-05-05 11:01 am
Entry tags:

Unique snowflake.

*points to shiny new layout* *loves*

Thanks for the help, [personal profile] christycorr!

Seriously need to icon hunt
lu: (Republican)
2009-05-03 04:00 pm
Entry tags:

South of Nowhere

I've spent the last three days at my grandmother's house in a really small town called Ituverava. When I was a kid, I used to stay here for a couple of weeks during summer vacations, and enjoyed it very much. Despite the fact that I always had knack for staying home on a sunny day, spending a few weeks at Ituverava, diving in the pool, climbing trees, renting movies, playing video games, and reading under a shade always managed to cheer me up.

However, when one grows up one realises the several problems that are usually attached to the quiet life of the countryside. Two years ago, when I stayed here for three weeks straight, I realised the depth of the homophobia, the racism, and the narrow mentality that infests most of the people who were born and raised in small towns. I'm definitely not saying they're all like that. Unfortunately I found out my grandmother is very much the stereotype.

Two situations specifically annoyed me this time.

In the first one, we were in the car and she asked me what was my boyfriend's name. I said I didn't have a boyfriend. Then—on an unexpected twist—she asked me what was my girlfriend's name. I figured I could right then and there make someone up just to come out of the closet and be done with that. But I chickened out. Not only I don't have a girlfriend at the moment; I really didn't want to hurt my grandparents. And having a gay granddaughter, for them, actually seems like the end of the world. So I said I didn't have a girlfriend. She then said that it was absurd for a twenty year old girl not be in a relationship. I refrained from commenting.

Later that night we were watching television and there was a story about a lesbian couple that was adopting twins. My grandmother loudly disapproved. A few minutes later she asked me how many boyfriends I previously had, and whether they were handsome. I pointedly said I wasn't going to comment on the subject and asked her to drop it. She wasn't happy. She proceeded to go on and on about my cousin's ex-girlfriend, whom she considered to be the perfect daughter-in-law since she could cook, bake, and sew. Needless to say left the table as soon as etiquette allowed me.

Now, I know I'm a spoiled brat, that I was raised by the most comprehensive, caring, open-minded parents in the World, and consequentially suffered very little prejudice from my own family. Even my maternal grandparents have always approved of my girlfriends, asked after them, invited them to all the parties, and made them feel welcome. I know that's not what usually happens, and I know there are queer people out there who have to endure so much more than I do.

But I still think I have every right to complain. We cannot accept this sort of behavior from the very people who are supposed to love us for who we are. Being prejudiced against by your own family is so oppressing that even I, who have been out and about since I was fourteen, can't find it in me to tell them the truth, or to stand up for what I believe in. The last time I felt like this I had a nervous breakdown. This time, I've spent only three days here and am already going crazy. One thing is for sure, though: I'm not coming here again without my father and my stepmother to back me up. I just can't do it alone.
lu: (Republican)
2009-05-03 04:00 pm
Entry tags:

South of Nowhere

I've spent the last three days at my grandmother's house in a really small town called Ituverava. When I was a kid, I used to stay here for a couple of weeks during summer vacations, and enjoyed it very much. Despite the fact that I always had knack for staying home on a sunny day, spending a few weeks at Ituverava, diving in the pool, climbing trees, renting movies, playing video games, and reading under a shade always managed to cheer me up.

However, when one grows up one realises the several problems that are usually attached to the quiet life of the countryside. Two years ago, when I stayed here for three weeks straight, I realised the depth of the homophobia, the racism, and the narrow mentality that infests most of the people who were born and raised in small towns. I'm definitely not saying they're all like that. Unfortunately I found out my grandmother is very much the stereotype.

Two situations specifically annoyed me this time.

In the first one, we were in the car and she asked me what was my boyfriend's name. I said I didn't have a boyfriend. Then—on an unexpected twist—she asked me what was my girlfriend's name. I figured I could right then and there make someone up just to come out of the closet and be done with that. But I chickened out. Not only I don't have a girlfriend at the moment; I really didn't want to hurt my grandparents. And having a gay granddaughter, for them, actually seems like the end of the world. So I said I didn't have a girlfriend. She then said that it was absurd for a twenty year old girl not be in a relationship. I refrained from commenting.

Later that night we were watching television and there was a story about a lesbian couple that was adopting twins. My grandmother loudly disapproved. A few minutes later she asked me how many boyfriends I previously had, and whether they were handsome. I pointedly said I wasn't going to comment on the subject and asked her to drop it. She wasn't happy. She proceeded to go on and on about my cousin's ex-girlfriend, whom she considered to be the perfect daughter-in-law since she could cook, bake, and sew. Needless to say left the table as soon as etiquette allowed me.

Now, I know I'm a spoiled brat, that I was raised by the most comprehensive, caring, open-minded parents in the World, and consequentially suffered very little prejudice from my own family. Even my maternal grandparents have always approved of my girlfriends, asked after them, invited them to all the parties, and made them feel welcome. I know that's not what usually happens, and I know there are queer people out there who have to endure so much more than I do.

But I still think I have every right to complain. We cannot accept this sort of behavior from the very people who are supposed to love us for who we are. Being prejudiced against by your own family is so oppressing that even I, who have been out and about since I was fourteen, can't find it in me to tell them the truth, or to stand up for what I believe in. The last time I felt like this I had a nervous breakdown. This time, I've spent only three days here and am already going crazy. One thing is for sure, though: I'm not coming here again without my father and my stepmother to back me up. I just can't do it alone.
lu: (Ineffable)
2009-05-03 03:26 am
Entry tags:

*looks around*

My favourite thing about my new Dreamwidth account?

I finally have 'Lu' as a username. *grins*
lu: (Explanation)
2009-04-23 07:50 pm
Entry tags:

DW x LJ?

After reading [livejournal.com profile] afterthree's post regarding Dreamwidth I got fairly curious about the whole thing.

I read their site, but I'm still not quite understanding what really differs DW from LJ. Can anyone enlighten me? Another question—who plans to get an account, and why? I'm seriously thinking about it.
lu: (Nerdy dance of joy)
2009-02-11 02:44 am
Entry tags:

Version 2.0.

My birthday has passed, and it seems my self-absorbed, egotistic crisis went along with it. All I can say is: good riddance. I'm twenty years old now, and I've never felt better.

All is well at home, with my friends, my family, the girlfriend, and, in an interesting turn of events, with college. I know moments like these are fleeting, and so I'm seizing the day. Esther leaves on Friday, and from then on, it's back to my usual responsibilities. Only this time, I actually believe I'll be up for the job.
lu: (Sick)
2009-01-25 08:21 am
Entry tags:

Fever.

I have been running a fever since Friday, which means I spent the whole weekend tossing and turning in bed, taking medicine, drinking water and having two showers a day.

I sincerely thought I would get better after yesterday, when I went to sleep with the blessed temperature of 98F, instead of my usual 101.5F. To my frustration, though, I woke up today really sweaty and really cold, and with a temperature of 99.5F, and rising. After taking some more medicine, I called my grandmother to tell her I might want to go to her house, after all. Grandmothers know how to take care of their grandchildren, and I'm quite tired of being sick and home alone (except for the cat, of course).

Worst part of it all is that I have a report due tomorrow, and I haven't even started working on it yet. Oh, summer vacations, why did you cease to exist? Oh, that's right. I'm the one who volunteered to work throughout January and February.
lu: (A little unwell.)
2009-01-16 01:05 am
Entry tags:

Dear Lu,

Please look back on this post in the future and remember how ridiculous you're feeling right now. Please avoid this behaviour in the future. It's not good for you, it fucked up one of your past relationships, and it's on its way to fuck this one up. And, hey, we don't want that, do we?

With love,

Conscience.

PS: For future reference, today is the day you saw Harold Saxon for the second time.
lu: (All work and no play.)
2009-01-07 01:14 pm
Entry tags:

So this is the new year.

I've pushed it as far as I could, but it's now officially unavoidable: I need to start my research again. In other words: summer vacations have prematurely ended after one month. Now I need to breathe deeply and take the plunge; this is going to be a long, long semester.

What happened in the past weeks? I've enjoyed my vacations the only way I really know how: got addicted to a new series (How I Met Your Mother), watched again some episodes of old favourites (The L Word and Doctor Who), spent time with the girlfriend and with friends, drank a lot, and mostly stayed in. Apart from two incidental times I ended up going to the beach (one of them, though, was on New Year's Eve, so it hardly counts), I have been true to my geeky self.

Mostly Everyone that was in Rio for the holidays is now gone, and I'm left home with my still-injured cat trying to stop procrastinating. No need to say I'm not doing much progress at the moment.

Only one resolution for 2009: I will learn have a schedule. Even if it kills me. And, let's face it, it probably will.
lu: (Sleep)
2008-11-28 05:59 pm
Entry tags:

Check.

Can I just say thank God this semester is over?

After five exams and two papers I'm done for the year when it comes to mandatory college-related things. Now I can relax and focus on the things I love studying, which is great change of pace. I still have one more week here at work, and then I'll probably spend December preparing for the Moot Court Competition that will take place next year at American University.

My professional life is looking up. I'm about to finish an eight-month internship at one of the largest NGOs that litigate in the Inter-American Human Rights System. I've learned a lot, and acquired very precious experience in the practical aspects of an International process. It was my first job, and I have to say I'm very pleased with it. If I ever had a doubt I'll be a workaholic for the rest of my life, those doubts no longer exist.

The one disadvantage of having a job while still in college is the obvious: I haven't been paying much attention to anything else (with the exception of Human Rights-related things), which means my grades have dropped considerably. Next semester I'll be a full-time student again, so I hope I can do better. I'm also behind in my studies, which means that, if I really get to go to Washington as an exchange student next year, I'll only get my degree three years from now. Oh, well.

On another and a more cheerful note, the girlfriend is coming up to Rio on Sunday and staying for the week. It'll be good to have some guilt-free fun now that my classes are over.

ETA: I can't seem to stop listening to Britney Spears' new album. Never thought I would actually write that sentence.
lu: (Vox Populi)
2008-11-05 11:43 am
Entry tags:

Remember, remember!

Thank you, America. Thank you for not disappointing me on this one.

I actually started yelling when McCain congratulated Obama, was happy, and fell asleep, no longer preoccupied.

Oh, and happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] christycorr.






ETA: Anyone know the official Proposition 8 outcome?
lu: (Justice)
2008-10-28 12:13 pm
Entry tags:

Human Rights Watch[er]

A couple of weeks ago my Inter-American Moot Court study group presented the simulation of the case Almonacid Arellano vs. Chile at the Law Department auditorium. There was a surprisingly high turnout, and apparently people managed to enjoy themselves. I was proud of our work, and very tired at the end of the afternoon. I decided, however, to stay in college a little bit more to watch a lecture that would be given by my Human Rights professor and some other members of the Academy.

After some talk about crime, torture, and impunity (along with its obvious relation to Human Rights), the lecturers asked whether people had questions. It was already late, there were only a few students left at the auditorium, and so a nice, cozy, discussion started. Eventually I raised my hand and posed a question.

"Do you think that we cold say that, if it was considered that the tortures and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by policemen happened in a systematic way, an International Court could say these were crimes against humanity?"

There was a Criminal Law professor there whom I didn't know, and, after answering a few questions, he looked into my eyes, and said:

"You. Based on your question, I can see you have an extraordinary faith in International Law. I wish I had that faith. Because, for me, it's absurd. I cannot believe that waiting for an International Court to solve issues is a solution."

I know that he was probably being condescending, and rather patronizing. But the look my Human Rights professor gave me right then was worth anything. There was also a smirk on her face, full of complicity and understanding, like she was proud of me for some reason, and wanted to say "been that, heard that". On that day, I didn't lose my faith in International Law, but strengthened it.

I remembered this story yesterday, after my Human Rights class. Another professor had given the class that day, and, after class, she and I started discussing the theory she had presented. After some time, she tapped me on the shoulder and said: "You know, it's great that Human Rights defenders like you are actually taking an interest on this."

I'm pretty sure she didn't know she was the first person ever to call me that. And yet, it was the first time, and God, did I feel great. A Human Rights defender is what I want to be, even though it may seem eccentric, and a bit quaint. After all, that's not usually a kid's response when asked what they want to be when they grow up. And, however, every day I am more and more certain that's what I want to work with, that's the one thing I can be really good at.

And an 8.5 out of 10.0 on my Human Rights exam will not convince me otherwise.