a story punctuated by music

The Cory Monteith / Finn Hudson tribute episode of “Glee” (season 5, episode 3, “The Quarterback”) was aired recently (a week or two ago?), so I’ve gone back and re-watched a few old episodes as well since then. Well, not really whole episodes – I mostly just re-watched performances and stuff – but that’s not the point.

Also not the point but I thought the tribute episode was done so well. All the emotion… and still moments of humour (particularly classic Sue Sylvester humour). The music, the memories, the original cast returning…

Anyway, in the midst of my reminiscing, I came across the song “Barely breathing”, which is performed by Finn and Blaine in season 4, episode 4 (for those of you playing along at home), which I regard as “the break up episode” (not sure if it’s actually called “break ups” or something but everyone breaks up in that episode – sorry to spoil it if you’ve yet to watch it).

I really liked the song, so, out of curiosity, I went in search of the original version by the original artist. Turns out it was originally by Duncan Sheik, who released the song back in 1996. I was actually surprised to find out it’s a ’90s song because I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard it before. I really do like the song, though – both the original and the “Glee” version. And this is another reason why I like ‘Glee’: it introduces me to new songs and new interpretations of songs.

Speaking of new songs, and going back to the Finn tribute episode, I also really liked “Seasons of love” that the cast performed at the start of the episode. Makes me want to watch “Rent” (which is where the song is from).

And speaking of new interpretations, the other night, I happened to be watching “The X Factor”, and one of the male contestants sang Cindi Lauper’s “Girls just wanna have fun”. To be fair, he did do a great job with it, but the praise that he (and his coach) got for being so original hardly seemed justified. I’m not trying to have a go at anyone here – I’m just saying that Cory AKA Finn already performed that on “Glee”.

On yet another side note, that “break up episode” is probably one of my favourites in terms of music. And it’s not because they sing songs I love, but because of the performances, the context, the meaning, etc. Other than “Barely breathing”, I also particularly like the performances of “Don’t speak” and “The scientist”.

Just going off on another tangent (because this is my blog and I’ll write what I want) but I really like the MV for “The scientist” (Coldplay). I remember watching it as a kid and thinking how cool it was. I also vaguely remember seeing an interview that Chris Martin did in which he explained that he had to learn to sing the song backwards so that when the video was played backwards, the song would the be right way around.

Ok, that’s probably enough rambling for one post. Sometimes it just feels like I need to write about certain things/events to sort of put my mind at ease.

why don’t I have more free time?

This is one of the mysteries of graduating and working full-time. In theory, you’d think that without all the assignments to complete and exams to prepare for, one would have abundant free time after graduating (and, in my case, after finishing intern year and gaining registration). But, no, that does not seem to be the case.

That prompts me to ponder the apparent disappearance of my free time (apologies if that sentence is a bit pretentious)

The main thing that’s bugging me is that I don’t seem to have a lot of time for things like reading. It feels like I’m taking forever to finish reading ‘The Angel’s Game’ (Carlos Ruiz Zafon) and ‘The Book Thief’ (Markus Zusak). (Granted, it probably wouldn’t take as long if I just stuck to reading one book instead of reading them both at the same time.) Just have to squeeze in a bit of reading here and there, on the bus and at the train station.

Also don’t seem to have much time for things like shopping (or maybe lack of energy and/or bothered-ness for shopping). Just something like going to the supermarket to buy the winning product from “Recipe to Riches” before it’s all sold out, or going to buy shoes and clothes and stuff.

It’s not like I work that much. Yeah, occasionally I do a bit of overtime, but I finish roughly on time on most days.

Perhaps it’s because I’m trying to do more – or too much. I mean, pre-full-time work, the main focus was completing assessment while maintaining some semblance of a social life. I didn’t really read (certainly not two novels at once, anyway), didn’t watch much TV (probably did but none that made me want to go out and buy stuff), didn’t have to organise catch-ups because I saw people at uni or wherever, didn’t try to cycle/run every week-end (got enough exercise walking/running to Pharmacy School every day)

I guess it’ll be good to finally take some annual leave in a few weeks so that I can actually have some free time. I have not taken any annual leave since November last year, so I’m well overdue, I reckon.

another new beginning

October marks the start of a new CPD year in the pharmacy world (in Australia, anyway), so I’ve been getting back in to journal articles and quizzes and whatnot. (This sounds like the start of a riveting post, doesn’t it?) (Don’t answer that – it’s rhetorical.)

For those of you unfamiliar with “CPD”, it stands for “continuing professional development” and basically means that we, as professionals, have to undertake various activities throughout the year to show that we are continually maintaining and improving our knowledge and skills. Different activities are worth a different number of points and there’s a set amount of points that you have to reach by September 30 each year.

I finished my CPD requirements pretty early on in the last CPD year, so kind of didn’t do much after March/April. Well, to be fair, I did still study and read journal articles (now and then) but just didn’t record any CPD points for it, so really, I could have had even more CPD points. I even did a patient talk, which required a fair bit of research and preparation!

Anyway, I’m getting back into the swing of things, and am hoping to maintain a rate of at least one CPD activity every week (or two, depending on other circumstances). For what it’s worth, I’ve already got 3.25 points.

a boy and his cat

I finished reading Yann Martel’s ‘Life of Pi’ yesterday and I can’t not write a post about it. Of course, a warning about potential spoilers, etc and possibly points that some people may disagree on but that’s ok, I guess.

Firstly, I’d like to say that, for a book about a boy stranded in a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it’s quite incredible and captivating. It’s a great novel. I like novels that are different – not just in terms of the story, but also the way it is written. I actually like that ‘Life of Pi’ was written in a way that made it feel like it was a true, researched story. Usually I don’t read the “author’s note” or introduction to a novel, but I read the one of ‘Life of Pi’ out of curiosity when I was only a little bit into the book. And good thing that I did, since it’s kind of important for the “true story” impression of the rest of it.

I’d say most of the stuff in ‘Life of Pi’ is plausible (referring to the animal story, here). I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was actually a true story – amazed, yes, but not surprised – except the part about the carnivorous island. A floating island that’s harmless by day but dangerously acidic by night? No way! I can’t believe that the teeth of the previous castaway would have survived when everything else didn’t. And why wouldn’t the acidity have been activated when Pi ate the algae? I mean, it still dissolved the rope he used to tie a bundle of it to the boat after he’d cut it up…

As to the big question at the end: I prefer the main story, with the animals. It’s much more interesting and much less gruesome. I’d rather not get into the religion side of things too much, so that brief comment will have to do.

I remember when the film came out earlier this year, some people (critics? can’t remember who exactly) were saying that ‘Life of Pi’ was a novel that could not be filmed. Well, clearly it could be filmed. Don’t know what part(s) of the novel gave them the idea that it couldn’t be filmed. They must have underestimated modern cinematography.

Anyway, I’m getting quite sleepy. Trying to go to bed earlier hasn’t exactly been working.