I, J, K are for I Just Keep forgetting to update my blog…

I wish I could say I’ve been busy. You could argue that I have been, but not so much so that I couldn’t write a short blog entry each day. So I’m taking the easy way out and combining the last couple of missing entries with today’s one, under a title which conveniently gives me freedom to ramble about anything, really.

What’s new with me? Here’s some recent events in my life: I had a burrito for dinner. My boyfriend and I went on a lovely trip to Glasgow on Thursday to visit my family and go to a gig. I started watching Suits and am convinced that Netflix is trying to eat up my soul, one TV show at a time. And I just found out the lease for my flat is being terminated in two months, noooo! (Don’t worry Mum, I’ll be fine.)

But let’s not worry about that, or the fact that I’ll be a penniless shop assistant for the rest of my life. I’ve been working on a couple of new songs recently.

One’s almost finished, in the sense that I have a basic skeleton of a song written, including drums and one and a half guitar parts. So what I should have said is that it’s actually no-where near complete. I’m pleased with what I’ve written so far, but it sounds like a backing track, so I’m working on making it sound more interesting. I think I’ll call it How To Become A Ghost, because that sounds damn cool.

As for the other song – let’s call it Song 6, as it’s my 6th effort of 2014 – I’ve only written about 45 seconds of music, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve heard part of it before. I think it must be an idea I’ve played around with in the past. I certainly hope I’m not accidentally plagiarising someone else’s music!

I’ll write more about my music soon, but now I’m off to practice my guitar and then watch another episode of Suits (but just one, honestly!). Tomorrow is a day off for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I promise I’ll use it to get my next few posts organised!

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H is for “How do you stop this thing?!”

One year, when I was a very little kid, it snowed and I went sledging with my family. Now, I don’t actually remember this at all, but apparently I was pretty terrified by the big hill and the speed at which I was presumably plummeting down it on the sledge. I bellowed, “howwww dooooo you stop this thiiiing?!???!” I’m 22 years old now and I think my family may finally have forgotten about the event, but for years and years my sisters would bring it up and laugh about it.

Anyway, I wrote yesterday’s blog entry today, and I have no idea what to write about tomorrow. Don’t you just feel like time is rushing the naive wee kid in you forwards, uncontrollably? How does anyone manage to keep up?

G is for Goals

At the start of the year, I purchased a little notebook and spent some time writing up a set of goals for the year, with the idea that I’d carry the book with me everywhere I went, keeping track of my progress and updating my goals. It hasn’t gone as well as I’d hoped. Part of me is mad at myself for not being as incredibly determined and hard-working as I’d like to magically become, but the other part of me is just really pleased that I am at least trying to improve myself. To use an awful cliché, I’m going for the “half-full glass” approach. I’ve been congratulating myself for at least starting things: starting to dream and create a good future for myself.

I’m disappointed in myself for one particular goal though. Generally speaking, it was to improve my health and fitness, but I’ve actually gone in the complete opposite direction. I had to quit lifting weights at the gym to save money and I never sorted out a bodyweight routine for myself, so my “become a warrior goddess” plan completely fell apart. I’ve become a lazy slob. Also, I was pretty much living off cheap bakery stuff for a couple of months. It was a bad addiction. Those were dark days!

Not to worry, I’ll get back into it again soon. I can at least say that so far this year I’ve gotten better at lots of little things, and even if I slip up or give up, I’m still trying. Even if all my goals fall through, at least I started them. Setting goals and achieving goals are my biggest goals right now.

F is for Feynman Diagrams

my tragic love story
with particle physics continues:
yet another day spent
devoting myself to
hypergeometric functions,
infinite sums
and complex integrals.

trying to push my bloated, thundering fingertips
through tiny gluon loops,
i find them suddenly life-sized and
draped all around me
like Christmas decorations.
bewildered, i can’t untangle myself.

i clumsily squeeze these
mathematical marvels into
misshapen boxes, calculations
that never seem to fit;
crushing the delicate curls
of the universe’s vibrant underworld.

I wrote this 14 months ago. I’ve only written a handful of poems over the last few years. I’d went through a crazy teenage poet phase and when I realised I was a crazy teenage poet – and not a genius wordsmith – I sort of gave up on writing.

I like this one, though. It maybe only makes sense if you’ve studied quantum field theory, but I think it conveys the frustration and creative aspects of trying to solve a physics problem. I’d really invested my whole heart into that physics nonsense.

E is for Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)

I’ve managed to get some overtime at work – an extra wee 4 hours a week for the rest of the month – which means that I’ll have a few extra pennies and be able to do some fun things! I’ve only been working 16 hours a week, and almost everything I earn goes towards my rent, food, and travel costs. I complain a lot about it, but I can still live comfortably enough and it means I have plenty of time to focus on creative pursuits, or sleep all day, or whatever.

There’s a gig on Thursday that I thought I was going to have to miss, but the extra money means I can justify going. (Clearly I’m choosing to ignore, for now, the fact that I won’t receive that extra wages until the end of the month!) It’ll be a cheap gig – something like £7 for a ticket, since it’s quite an unknown band – but I also have to pay to travel to Glasgow. Nine out of ten times, when bands come on tour to Scotland, they choose Glasgow over Edinburgh, which sucks for my bank balance.

The band I’m planning on going to see on Thursday is a husband-and-wife duo called Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), who write incredibly sweet, sad songs. They’re doing a co-headline tour with another band that has something like 10 members and is called The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die. They’re pretty cool but sometimes when I listen to them I feel like someone’s bombarding me with ribbons and confetti and I get really confused. Anyway, it’s a tour of the ridiculously-named bands! I’m really looking forward to it.

I was a day late with this post because I couldn’t decide whether to write about Edinburgh, “Emo” music or (Quantum) Entanglement. In the end I picked none of those. I need to get myself a bit better organised for this A to Z Blogging Challenge!

D is for Daydreams and Denial

Several weeks ago now, I wrote a song that I called Daydreams and Denial. It’s an instrumental track, and I always enjoy picking a name for a song with no lyrics. I like this title because one section – let’s call it the “chorus” – sounds light like a daydream, but the “verse” has a bit more tension in it, like it’s hinting at something hidden.

I wrote this song entirely using virtual instruments with Ableton Live: in particular there’s a cute synthesiser and a marimba as the two main voices. Writing the song was a little bit of an adventure, and I had a lot of fun with it.

It’s a sweet, silly wee piece of music, and I complained to my boyfriend that the music I write never comes out sounding like I’d want it to. He laughed and told me “that’s because you write songs with marimbas in them!”

Point taken.

C is for Communication… and Cosmic Magnetic Fields?

“You know I’m bad at communication, it’s the hardest thing for me to do”

There are people who have something to say in every situation they find themselves in. I am not one of those people. Instead, I agonise over emails, I never manage to say what I mean in conversations and I take an eternity to construct a blog post or comment. But at least I can proudly say that I continue to struggle on! It’s not that I’m bad at it. I can actually be really quite good at interacting with people; it’s just a huge effort for me. I’m so shy!

As a new blogger, I’ve been wondering about social networks, and how much I should utilise them for blogging. I use Facebook to keep in touch with “real-life” friends, but what about platforms such as Twitter and Google+? Does anyone use Bloglovin’ to follow and find new blogs? What about Tumblr? I tried Instagram – even though I never used to take photos – and I think it’s great. Do you get the urge to sign up to all these different networks to see what you’re missing… or is it just me?

In other news, I’ve been offered a place in the shortlist for a mathsy PhD project to do with cosmic magnetic fields and turbulence and computer simulations and magnetohydrodynamics (a word which I think might be too long for me to cope with). It’s still not an actual offer, and it’s a different direction to the particle physics stuff I’m interested in, but I think it could be really cool! I’m just so tired of waiting and wondering and getting my hopes up about these PhD applications.