Thursday, February 28, 2013

the beauty of music

Even in cloudy ol' England, burdened by the lived-up reputation of cold dreariness, live music provides a reason to get out and about. A friend and I made one such venture last weekend, and I could not have been more pleased with the result.

[Okay, that's actually a lie. I would have preferred to come out the experience with at least partial function of my vocal cords, but alas, ya can't win all the time.]

In any case, my recent trip to Birmingham was quite pleasant. I made the journey with a friend on Saturday, tickets in hand and excitement overflowing for that night's Lumineers show. To pass the day, we trekked around the old industrial town, popping in and out of various coffee shops, museums, and vintage shops. We rested our feet for a while at a free "Sax in the City" gig at Symphony Hall, which was lovely, but basically served to get us only more excited for live music a bit above the volunteer-community-band skill level (uhh, no offense?). We even stumbled across some rannnndom street art:

The reason for this intricate mosaik's presence on this Birmingham, UK side street, I know not.

Upon my brother's recommendation, we grabbed some Balti food for dinner. [[Because of the whole colonization thing, Indian food as many people know it was actually developed within UK borders, and Balti dishes apparently developed their popularity in Birmingham. Or something like that.]].
it tasted better than it looks...

With full stomachs and happy hearts, we made our way to the venue.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Well, well, well, another half-month has passed. I'm in denial of how rapidly this year is passing.

For risk of letting another chunk of time pass us by before another post is written, I'll abbreviate my intended ramblings and give you this quotation (from Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a big name in Medical Anthropology)...

"Action without reflection is wrongheaded; 
reflection without action is self­-indulgent."

I was lucky enough to venture over to London to attend the Royal Society of Medicine's 3rd Annual Primary Care Ethics Conference yesterday, and on the bus back to Oxford I had plenty of time to reflect, stuck amongst the post-work commuters back to suburbia. Maybe one day soon I'll type out some of those thoughts. More importantly, maybe one day soon I'll turn those reflections into action.

Hope you're doing well, wherever you are.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Mindful Monday x29

I don't know why, but this Monday, as I struggle strive to write on an unfortunately philosophical/theoretical prompt for my grad program, this song is playin on repeat (in between the Ronald Jenkees tunes that keep me intensely diligent. obvi.). I don't have enough mind juices left to decipher its meaning, so I'll just leave it here for you to mull over.

Happy [mindful] Monday!

Saturday, February 02, 2013 have four eyes.

Yep, I'm still alive. Sorry for the absence. It's been a fast-paced couple of weeks, with a few first-in-my-lifes sprinkled in.

Every once in a while, I have to utter David's sentiment, just to keep everything in perspective [the cute, "is this real life?" part, not the rage-filled-outburst part, don't worry]. Turns out this is real life, and turns out, life is pretty...interesting.

Last Friday marked the birth of Scotland's Robert Burns, a famous poet and honoured figure. Each year there is a Burns Night Dinner to celebrate his life and works, and I was able to attend my college's installment of this occasion. The meal has an interesting agenda, part of which includes the main dish being paraded around the room with a bagpipe escort. We happened to have a Fellow (basically, an esteemed professor...I think??) who delivered absolutely fabulous renditions of Burns' poems throughout the evening, including the all-important Address, as well as in incredibly entertaining delivery of Tam O'Shanter. What's neat about these poems is their phonetic verse--it adds a true Scottish flavor, as well as rendering them completely incomprehensible to someone like me, unfamiliar with the accent. No bother. 'Twas entertaining nonetheless. Hard not to be when there's a man, in a kilt, standing on a chair,  yammering off unintelligible balladry: