2013 Goals

That’s a fairly shitty title right there, but to be honest I’ve been thinking about this post all day and that was the best I could come up with. Every New Year I come up with a list of resolutions that are forgotten within the month but this year I thought maybe the best thing to do was to set some goals for the year, things both big and small that I want to have achieved by the end of 2013. Some of these are fairly obvious, but others are a bit more random. The plan is to have this as a second page on the blog (see Goal No 1) and cross them off as they’re achieved.

So ladies and gents, in no particular order, I present my goals for 2013!

  1. Get my head around WordPress properly. Ideally I’d have my blog layed out a bit more logically, with pages for different categories etc
  2. Linked to that I want to start actually commenting on the blogs I read. I do most of my blog reading through Google reader so I tend to read a bunch of blogs without ever commenting on any of them, I feel like the weird silent kid in school who nobody ever talked to. Not cool.
  3. Finish my PhD. Duh.
  4. Get a real job. Ditto
  5. Get a Leinster season ticket. Two of my closest friends already have them, and realistically if I’m going to be in Dublin for the next year it makes sense. Plus great way to see the other two.
  6. Go to a music festival with Electric. We actually met (very briefly) at Electric Picnic but we’ve never done the overnight festival tent thing. Yet.
  7. Cook a new recipe once a week (or maybe more reasonably, cook 52 new recipes this year). Only way to keep track of that will be to blog about it I guess…
  8. Run the Women’s Mini Marathon in June. Which means I’ll be doing the couch to 10k programme before then!
  9. Acquire a savings account, with savings.
  10. Read 40 books. I read a LOT (once I get going), so I’ve no idea if this is a reasonable goal or not but I guess we’ll find out.
  11. See both sets of friends (college and school) at least once a month. Lately I’ve almost become a recluse when it comes to meeting up with friends, and it’s really not doing me any good.
  12. Email a friend abroad once a week (not including the big bro’s).
  13. Learn to use my sewing machine.
  14. Use sewing machine to alter an item of clothing (anything at all!).
  15. Blog regularly.
  16. Maintain a positive attitude.
  17. Either get my ears pierced again, or do something a bit more dramatic with my hair colour wise (I know, I’m such a rebel!)
  18. Visit  both big brothers.
  19. Go on a holiday with Electric (visits to aforementioned brothers don’t count).
  20. Save for a fancy pants camera.
  21. Possibly acquire fancy pants camera.
  22. Do my Christmas shopping before the December payday.
  23. Start learning French.
  24. Arrange the Hobbit music for my clarinet students. Random I know but I promised it for next years Christmas concert.
  25. Take more pictures.

I think that covers a fair few angles, and if I can achieve even half of these I’ll be thrilled with myself. Most importantly though, my main goal for this year is to take it a bit easier on myself. I spent a lot of 2012 feeling as if I was a failure, when in reality I’m far from it. This year, I’m going to make a conscious decision to stop once a day and think about everything I’ve achieved so far, and all the things I’ll achieve in the future.

2013 you say? Bring it on!

-S x

Belated Tunes (Plus an Update)

Apologies once again for the lack of postings round these parts. Life took over there for a little while, and is in fact still taking over but I thought of this last night and figured I could set aside a few minutes to post here.

On Monday my big*  brother emigrated. And yesterday, I brought my little brother (misleading title there, he’s a good head taller than me these days) to his first ever gig. Or at least his first ever gig he wasn’t playing at himself. These two events aren’t linked, but maybe they should be. The big bro is a keen music fan, and ever since he could afford to has brought me with him to concerts. Time to be honest, it’s him who’s responsible for my taste in music. From Arcade Fire, to Brendan Benson, to Hard Working Class Heroes back when tickets were a fiver, to Bruce Springsteen in August just gone,  I’ve seen them courtesy of big bro. Up until I started my PhD and could afford to buy my own tickets  my musical outings all involved a night out with big bro. There are many, many reasons why I will miss him more than I can express here, but that was what sprung to mind last night as I stood in a crowded venue, smelling beer and excitement and watching my little bro react to his first live show.

Little bro has been a dedicated fan of the Temper Trap for a long time, so I think his decision to make last night’s gig his first was an easy one. I was worried they’d disappoint, that his expectations were too high. I needn’t have. From start to finish, it was impossible to look away. They only complaint I could have was that it was over too soon.

Highlights? For me there were two.

Firstly this:

A spine tingling performance. I listened to their first album over and over when I started my PhD, so rather weirdly, this reminds me of doing cell culture. It also reminds me of a difficult break up. Difficult not because it was the wrong decision but because I desperately wanted it to be. It was a decision I struggled with greatly, but have never regretted since.

All of which leads me to this:

Obvious I know, but it’s easily one of my favourite songs. Oddly I associate this with the aftermath of that breakup. The feeling of freedom, excitement and endless possibility. Realising that my gut had been right after all. Last night I heard it again, as if for the first time.

And the little bro? He leans towards reticence at times but I’ve rarely seen him as high afterwards. I think I’ve found myself a new brother to go to gigs with.

-S x

* I have three brothers, who I realise now will need pseudonyms if I’m going to write any more about them. Leave it with me, but in the meantime big bro refers to the older brother who is closest in age to me. There is also a still bigger brother. But he’s ancient. 

Tuesday Tune

Phew! Just barely scraping through before the midnight deadline.

Unlike previous weeks I had no particular inspiration for today’s choice. I thought about what bands I loved but barely heard any more and Editors sprang to mind. I’ve been a big fan since I discovered them in my bigger bro’s music collection aged about 18. I think it’s Tom Smith’s voice that really stands out to me, he has such a distinctive quality.

Anywho, I went with this song, since the album it comes from is sitting on my desk waiting to be added to my iTunes, courtesy of himself. Unfortunately it’s been there for the last two months but I’ll get to it tomorrow, I promise!


Tuesday Tune

I saw  this trailer for Shut Up and Play the Hits a few weeks back and it’s been at the back of my mind ever since.  I’ve no idea what got to me so much about it, seeing as I’ve been barely aware of the existence of LCD Soundsystem for the last few years (yes, I know, sometimes I’m not as cool as I like to believe). To me though, it looks incredibly sad, James Murphy cuts a solitary figure for the vast majority of that trailer, except when he’s on stage.


Anywho, as it turns out the song used in the trailer is this one:

I am in the love.


-S x

PS: If the trailer has got to you too, Shut Up and Play the Hits is showing for tonight only in the usual cinematic culprits around Dublin. And no I’m not going, the only person in the world who’d go with me is sitting what can only be described as THE WORST EXAMS IN THE WORLD for the next three days.  Le sigh.

A Brief History Lesson (Part 2)

Part 1 is here

Seven years ago today I got my Leaving Cert results, fairly confident of getting the points to study medicine as an undergraduate. In hindsight I was embarrassingly arrogant about my capabilities, having done really well in my mock exams, I assumed it’d be no big deal to make up the extra points I’d need to realise my medical dream. Unfortunately, I was wrong. In a frankly cruel twist of fate, I got exactly the same points in my actual leaving cert as in my mock exams. To most people, it seemed like I’d done exceptionally well, there were very few courses I couldn’t have studied in college with those results, but I was pretty distraught. I won’t lie, there were tears. Tears and mucus. Long story short, I was left with two choices: I could repeat the final year of school (at a fairly high price) in the hopes of getting the points second time round, or I could take the college place I’d been offered, which was a science course in Dublin. I honestly couldn’t face the thought of another year with no social life, spending the year repeating material I’d already had to learn while all my friends moved on to college and all the experiences that went with it, so I decided to take the place in the science course.

So off I went to college, and studied science for four years, having all sorts of life experiences along the way. Somewhere in those four years, I changed my life plan from becoming a medical doctor, to becoming a PhD doctor. I decided that I wanted a career in research, preferably in a health related field. I should also point out at this stage that my degree wasn’t actually in a medical science by any stretch, so landing the PhD studentship I eventually got took quite considerable effort. And so here I am, two months from submitting my thesis.

So why, you ask did I apply to sit the GAMSATs? Surely I was on track to achieve my adjusted lifegoal? The thing is, I wasn’t  really happy. Sure, my research was interesting, results were going well, it looked like I’ll be Dr Shmeefa PhD as planned. But the thing I’d come to realise, was that always at the back of my mind, there was a  tiny part of me wondering what might have been.

My best friend from college is about to start his clinical medical training as a graduate entry student. Part of the reason we are such close friends in the first place, is that we both share a similar story, science was both of our second choices. Having heard him rave about the joys of med school for the past two years had probably influenced me in making my decision. Last September I flew to London to sit  GAMSAT exams. I’d already picked out my dream stethoscope.

- S x

Tuesday Tune

Confession time: I don’t drive. Actually, “don’t” makes it sound like I’m taking a stance.  This isn’t a moral position I’ve carefully considered, the word should be “can’t”. I had exactly five lessons a few years ago while working full time in between college terms. Then I went back to college, had no spare cash and quite frankly wasn’t bothered. I live in Dublin, where for all the local complaining the public transport is pretty decent. Luckily for me though, Electric drives.

Because of our setup at the moment, every second weekend I head down by train (€20 student return, boom!) to Limerick, where E picks me up and drives me to his hometown. (Yes I’m being coy on specifics. I’ve had enough internet stalkers for one lifetime thankyouverymuch!) My job on these journeys then is to DJ using his remarkably well stocked iPod.

And that’s where this weeks Tuesday Tune comes in. I stumbled across this on Friday evening and I think by Sunday night when E dropped me back to the train I’d played it at least five times. Luckily for both of us we’re in agreement on the CHOON! status of this one. I suspect you’ll agree…

-S x