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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Something.

I look out over the vast open landscape. The crevices in the rocky scenery paint the most spectacular picture that anyone has ever seen. The red-tinted rock glows in the evening sun, and reminds me what life is all about.

The freedom to expand. The promise of beauty.

Or at least I hope that’s what I feel when I actually make it to the Grand Canyon. For now, I’m stuck at home, blundering my way through this menial existence, dreaming of the future. They say some people are stuck in the past, but I know my mind is stuck in the future.

Is it wrong to be displeased with every aspect of the way things are at present? I like to think that things will get better. They have to. Because there’s only so many times I can end up like this; off my bonce in a backwater club where the biggest celebrity they can find is Dave Pearce. No offence to the guy, but none of us had even heard of him until yesterday. I think he was before our time.

And like fate, my friend posted this picture on Facebook as I was typing this.

Image

Oy. Last night was messy. I should stop drinking.

It’s not all bad though. Dave gave me a high five. Claim to fame?

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Posted by on April 27, 2014 in Life

 

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Oh, technology.

This morning, I was feeling rather stressed. I was negotiating a contact with a phone company who’ve been messing me around a little bit. After that and a bad nights sleep, some writing was in order. As I detailed the first half of my epic struggle to keep hold of a mobile phone, my stress levels slowly declined.

My family had just left the house, and so I looked outside at the glowing sun. I was at peace. Finally finished, I went to press ‘Preview’.

Then my WordPress crashed.

Don’t you just hate technology? I have a feeling most of my next posts will follow that sort of theme. Because I hate technology; every circuit board; every mother chip; every annoying sound you hear as you type up a text message on a mobile phone.

But more on that later, because if WordPress crashes again whilst I’m writing, I may punch a hole in my laptop.

Punch COmputer

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Life

 

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The Dwayne Johnson Conundrum

Homoerotic Hobbies

So I’ve just been watching G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It was terrible, but I quite enjoyed it. Sort of like I enjoy Transformers; they’re enjoyable films, but I would never call them good films. Anyway, as with all films featuring an ex-wrestler or body builder, G.I. Joe made it hard not to question the ridiculousness of the lead actor’s physique. Dwayne Johnson always comes off as a friendly loveable sort of guy, but I just can’t understand how a person can sculpt such a body. And that’s after having read Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, the beginning of which is ALL ABOUT building such a collection of muscles.

Anyway, as a big fan of Arnie, action films and comic books, I’ve always felt a bit down whenever I don’t make an effort to keep in some sort of reasonable shape. When your main hobby involves reading about muscular men leaping around in tight clothing, sitting on your butt all day being a slob starts to seem hypocritical.

It’s at this stage that you start to think about working out. And most of the time, after straining yourself thinking about the foils of physical labour, you give up and go back to what you were previously doing.

But sometimes, just sometimes, you manage to do something productive.

Flailing to Get in Shape

But the path to the perfect body is riddled with trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, the only gym that costs less than a fiver to even get to from my house has been built in my old school. Even two years after escaping, the clutches of secondary education are still trying to lure me back to them.

Usually, I go to the gym early, so really it’s not much of a problem. Either I get there before any of the students have even arrived, or they’re stuck in class, and I’m free to enjoy my work out in peace.

But then comes the next dilemma. Before this holiday, it had been the better part of a year since I had last been a member at a gym, and even then, I wasn’t big on muscle building. I stuck with what I knew, which was cardio. But that just left my afro-rocking self looking like a tree. Lanky. Awkward. Crest disproportionate to everything else.

It’s only now that I’m straying into the field of the unknown. For the most part, it works out alright, for my usual company at the gym is middle aged women and old men, and frankly, that suits me just fine, as a twenty year old, even a slightly out of shape one, I at least look young and healthy.

Muscle Meltdown

But then comes my worst nightmare; in comes a sixth former who has a free period. Someone younger and healthier than me. I quickly have to dispense of the dumbells and retreat to something safer; a treadmill, perhaps an easily operated weight-machine; or face being outdone by someone I should have out-bulked years ago. Whilst I’ve been pumping my measly 12 or 14kg dumbells, they’re rocking the 30kg’s.

Those bastards.

But I’ll persist. I’ll achieve that perfect bod one day. Forget the fact I’ve been saying that for years. One day…

Image

 

Maybe not quite that far though.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Comic Books, Film & TV, Life

 

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You Are Who You Choose To Be: Cymru Am Byth

“You are who you choose to be”. I was thinking of a good way to start this post, and that quote came to mind. Curious as to where I’d heard it before, I did a quickly google search and was directed to Warner Bros’ The Iron Giant. Why has that suddenly come to mind? I haven’t a clue; I haven’t watched that film in years. In fact, the only time I’ve thought about it in 2014 is when I discovered Vin Diesel was the titular Iron Giant. Vin Diesel! Did you know that? I didn’t. It’s weird.

But back to the matter at hand. Since returning to Wales two weeks ago at the start of my holiday, I’ve been thinking about how this country as a topic would make an interesting piece. I subsequently forgot about that, as I was distracted by other obligations. But whilst meeting up with old friends or even just lounging about at home, I’ve come to realise recently that having left the country for university, I appreciate it much more than I used to.

I remember around this time nine years ago, when my time at primary school was coming to an end, and we were preparing to leave for North Wales. It was quite a change, and one that I was not looking forward to. Of course, as anyone who’s moved house knows, any place takes some time to adjust to, but this one for me just wouldn’t stick. Sure, I appreciated the new friends that came with my new home, but the countryside of Wales just didn’t compare to the streets of London. There was nothing for miles around except endless fields and sheep. The weather was kind of suck-y, and everywhere smelt of excrement. I wanted to go back to the concrete jungle that I had known for so long; I had no time for this new setting.

The years went by, and my view remained the same. I don’t think it really helped that a lot of my friends were also English, and thus shared a similar view of their adoptive nation. But as with all things, as I grew older, I gained a new perspective about the whole situation. Don’t get me wrong, it took quite a while longer, and my initial reasoning for warming to Wales was probably not the best.

You see, one of the reasons I started to warm to Wales was a twisted sense of patriotism. As I begun to encounter more and more residents of England, their constant bad-mouthing of my newer home began to offend me. And not in the average, “Oh, he just called me a ‘sheep shagger” sort of way, but more the ignorance they showed that naturally comes with youth. I’ll admit to being guilty of the same ignorance, but in this instance, it was my home they were insulting, even if I had long been doing the same thing until that point.

In a way, the petty English/Wales culture clash is not unlike the North/South British divide. This was highlighted to me by a couple of articles I saw on Facebook. You may have seen them too.

Why Southerners are better than Northerners‘ and ‘Why Northerners are better than Southerners‘.

Now, despite the fact I think the whole debate is ridiculous, I enjoy these sorts of things because some of the reasons on those sites are kind of funny; especially the song about hipsters. However, they also made me realise that a lot of the points Northerners make are just self promoting, whereas the points for the south are primarily aimed at putting the north down. That then lead me to realise that the same can be said when you see Northerners and Southerners arguing in real life. The Northerners are much more down-to-earth, and are proud of who they are, whereas the Southerners seem to feel the need to put everyone else down.

In a sense, I’m sort of doing that exact thing right now, but I’m going to blame it on being from London. But at the same time, I like to think I can give this overview because I’ve lived in both places, as I find a lot of the stuff to do with the North can be associated with the part of Wales I live in.

Although I’m not properly welsh, I’m proud of my new home, perhaps more so than my university home of Leicester, and definitely more so than London. People rave that London is the ‘best place in the world’ (which I really hope doesn’t turn out to be true, otherwise going abroad in future’s going to be very disappointing), but for the most part, the ones I’ve met can only say that because they have such an unnecessarily low opinion of everywhere else.

Of course, I’m not trying to reveal a deep dislike of Southerners; I’ve got friends and family down South. I’m not even trying to say that the countryside is better than the city. There are lots of different ways to look at what I’ve said, but my main point is that people need to be a little more open-minded when it comes to judging others and their homes. After all, this is Britain, the weather sucks everywhere, even down south; pretty much all the countryside kind of smells, its a fact of life; and being surrounded by fields, sheep and mountains means there are more opportunities to enjoy more outdoors-y fun.

Also, controversial as it may seem, in my opinion pasties from Cornwall are not all that, in fact, I had one a while ago and it put me off Cornish Pasties almost all together. But that was probably just a bad choice of bakery on my part. Rant over (Although I realise I sort of went quite off-track again. Part 2, anyone?).

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Life

 

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Cowboys and Cameramen, Part 2: A Brief Respite

It’s been a while since I last wrote anything. My five week Easter holiday started with a plan to get fit, get loads of work done, and catch up on all the films I missed. Before returning to Wales, I met with my prospective dissertation tutor, hoping to come out of our session with a definite plan for my dissertation, and the chance to submit my proposal. Since then, little has happened. My dissertation tutor just made me more confused about my whole. Now I have no idea what the correct option would be in moving forward with my dissertation. Not only that, but I ended up leaving the notes he gave me in Leicester, so now I’m stuck back at Square one.

Do I look at how the image of the cowboy has varied throughout the decades? Do I focus on how masculinity is portrayed in select western films? Where would I even start on that? Do I try and hammer down how actors like Harrison Ford seem to follow a set characterization which could be said as influenced by men of the Western Frontier? It’s a lot to think about, and has lead me to do nothing over the last two weeks.

But in focusing on other things, like the gym and catching up with friends, I’ve neglected over things that I wanted to focus on over my holiday. I haven’t written a post on WordPress in just over two weeks. I haven’t done any sketching to put on my re-started Deviant Art account. I haven’t practised any guitar songs. I have started to learn a song on the piano, but then the keyboard power cable stopped working. But such is life.

Setting myself goals was a bit unrealistic. Being on holiday, I wasn’t liable to stick strictly to many of my plans, even if I have got five weeks off. The only one I have stuck with is my exercise goal, and even then, it’s been touch and go at some points. I know I shouldn’t complain, but sometimes these holidays just feel too long. I’m happy for these five weeks off, but the summer holiday consists of four free months, which is ridiculous. Fortunately, I’ve managed to organise a trip to the United States, which is currently all I think about.

But until then, maybe I should just take it easy, as the Dude suggests. I’m lacking inspiration at the moment, but I’ve still got three more weeks of holiday, and not much work that needs to be done, so maybe I should just make use of this second Netflix Trial, do some drawing and see what happens.

And of course, as soon as I finish writing this, something more interesting comes to mind. Tomorrow, my views on Wales…

Cymru Am Byth?

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Life

 

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