Monday, August 30, 2010

Feeling Blue...

The SmurfsImage via WikipediaThe date when I leave for University is approaching, the city that my partner will choose to commit to higher education still remains undecided. She has always made it clear that her intention was to create her own destiny and to be sure. Liverpool was her preferred choice, unfortunately that didn't materialise but Leeds and Manchester are being considered. I didn't want to be idle after her holiday, the intention to have several nights out in case she commits to higher education at a different destination. Tonight represented the birthday of her work colleague, everyone was to meet in Greenwich and then head to The Venue, New Cross. I wasn't too sure about The Venue, after the last experience, although Greenwich was appealing. We arrived after taking the scenic route; twenty minutes in the wrong direction before realising we had reached Deptford! Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more.. After being introduced to her friends, admiring the seating arrangements and working through a variety of pitchers and a bottle of vino, the tattoos became a discussion point and music interests. I don't mind talking about music but the tattoos always make an appearance when alcohol is consumed. I'm not an exhibitionist, well at least when sober! The Venue beckoned but we were feeling blue and opted for Sildenafil citrate, I expected more but it didn't let down (excuse the pun). I wouldn't advise for the opposite sex as my partner became Forrest Gump and just felt like running. That could be taken the wrong way, right?!
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

There Is No Spoon...

The Bent Spoon... The Space Cowboy - Adelaide ...Image by ZeeLilBee via Flickr
I have found it really difficult sleeping alone lately. Not sure whether it's the company, warmth or the snoring but sharing a bed provides intimacy and comfort! After being reacquainted with my partner and what can only be described as the longest sleep, we awoke to in excess of a thousand photos uploaded to Facebook that were taken whilst at Zante. That's an impressive account of the holiday, amateur photography has never been more popular and her friend had been busy. Perusing the various albums, that weren't in any particular order, was enlightening as the holiday looked incredible. The henna tattoos are my favourite, the fixation with 'She-she' a small feral cat appeared to have been the inspiration behind one design! My partner had a small bird, spiderman and the letter 'J' on her thigh but I suspect that she would have opted for many more if she had the funds available. Her friends wanted her to mirror some of my designs but thankfully the 'J' is the only acknowledgement. Drake's Over was their holiday tune, although anything is better than We Don't Speak Americano! I spent the afternoon listening to music and watching movies, including the A Team which I watched with a friend later in the evening. I was impressed with the character choices but expected more from the movie if I'm honest. I don't think the vodka assisted in understanding the direction to be fair! Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realise the truth! Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot!!!!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Call A Vet...

The Cat's WhiskersImage by incurable_hippie via FlickrAbsence makes the heart grow fonder, driving to the airport to meet my partner this morning mine was pounding. I have spoken to her regularly whilst she's been in Zante, receiving updates on nights out, bar dancing, henna tattoos, cow suits and occasionally her falling asleep. I envy her because it sounds like she's had an amazing time and I wish I had a comparative experience. Not being with her when she found out her A Level results was difficult, but I will be available for reassurance as she considers her options. I arrived at the airport and received a text message to inform that her plane had landed. I still haven't got used to her phone, but being without an iPhone for a fortnight has been enlightening. I'm expecting the next bill to be significantly more than usual, I imagine that the quarterly one will also be more! I was wearing a tuxedo the last time I met her at the Arrival Hall, I considered Spiderman but I figured it was too early for costumes this time. The outcome was the same though as she jumped into my arms when she appeared. Her friends expecting this waited in the background! All of them were covered in henna tattoos, her friend having whiskers and 'Kev' inked across her face. Can't wait to hear the reaction of work colleagues!! I'm disappointed that Vegas didn't materialise this year, but I intend to go abroad next summer whatever the cost!! Just for the henna obviously!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Making Some New Sense

Abbey RoadImage by joedawson via Flickr
Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London. It is most notable for being the venue in the 1960s for innovative recording techniques adopted by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and others. Today I was invited to the Studios to participate in a television pilot featuring Everything Everything, a British indie rock band.

I travelled there alone expecting to meet my brother, unfortunately he had work commitments which meant he wasn't able to make an appearance. Thankfully I managed to meet someone that I shared a hostel with at Great Escape, Brighton. It's a small World! He was there with several members of his family, and eager to network and distribute his recently produced demo. The afternoon was really enjoyable, the sound, production and direction was great to watch. Everything Everything get better every time I have seen them perform, they're definitely the band that the UK scene has been waiting for.

Afterwards I volunteered to be interviewed about what I thought about the experience. I have quite an attachment to the Studios as I have The Beatles Abbey Road scene inked on my back. The association with The Beatles goes even further as they influenced the choice of name for my son. I reluctantly showed them the design and was then introduced to the Director. Tattoos have their pros and cons but wasn't sure which category I should allocate for this instance. We were then given the choice whether we wanted to watch another act perform, I decided that it was worthwhile and was able to watch an acoustic performance from Al Lewis. He appeared nervous but was worth the wait as I enjoyed his sound. This was an experience I won't forget, especially with the history attached to the Studios and I'm thankful to Geffen Records for permitting my attendance!!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Go Ninja?

God love GeeksImage by rhurtubia via Flickr
Trying to plan anything is a challenge; location, time, attendees and frequently I find that dates clash for different things that I plan to do. For instance yesterday, I received two surprise birthday invitations and several friends wanted to meet locally for a night out. Achievable? Definitely, I intended to participate in each event, although the 'surprise' for the birthday's was scheduled at the same time so I had to make a decision. Another factor was that one party was fancy dress, I decided against Spiderman and Captain Jack Sparrow, opting instead for the Geek! Heading to the first party, I left the house and climbed into the car, quite what the neighbours found so comical I didn't understand. Whilst driving to the first location, I passed a young child, he clasped his hands together, forming a gun gesture and pointed in my direction. Feeling disappointed by the reaction, I was relieved to arrive at the location for the party and receive several compliments. What do neighbours and small children know anyway! The surprise was emphatic, the breathtaking moment captured by my brother on his camera. The party was enjoyable but with an eye on the clock I had to depart for the second birthday. Already in full swing, the Ninja Turtle setting an unbelievable tempo that unfortunately no one could surpass. I spoke to a few people about university and prospects for the next few years, 'you're so crazy' was the response! Glorious, I may as well have been riding a unicycle and performing a circus act! There was an encouraging reaction from several friends, many wanting to participate in the night life. Get involved! When the night ended the Ninja Turtle collapsed on a table and I headed onwards for the final act. Unfortunately this didn't materialise, instead I travelled home to browse other fancy dress concepts. Hit Girl (Kick-Ass) will almost certainly be considered...
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Reach Those Notes

Crowd The Script Live Concert @ Den Atelier Lu...Image by Kmeron via Flickr
The Album Chart Show showcases the biggest and best album releases from the UK Top 100 Album Chart and also gives up-and-coming talent a chance to make their mark. Through Eventbrite I secured tickets for the show, which is recorded in front of a live audience in London's historic music venue KOKO. I have attended the show several times this year, usually with my partner, and we've made some good friends. I travelled to the show with a friend of the family, he's a great guy and like another brother! The Album Chart Show would be his first experience and the lineup was impressive for his debut, featuring performances from Klaxons, N*E*R*D, The Script and The Hoosiers. I watched N*E*R*D and The Script perform in 2008, Brixton Academy was the venue, and that was a memorable night. This would prove to be another great occasion, especially as there were a few friends attending!

N*E*R*D started proceedings and although new material received a mixed reaction, the classic tracks got everyone involved. I love the stage presence of Pharrell Williams, he's great entertainment value! Moving his head and teasing the crowd with gestures and attitude. The Hoosiers and The Script were equally impressive, The Man Who Can't Be Moved is a crowd favourite, everyone sung loudly and cheered. None more so than a fan with an Irish flag on the second tier, not sure what she had written on her t-shirt but we presumed it to be the name of someone important! The Klaxons headlined the show, when they took to the stage the possibility of not making the final train increased considerably but we weren't bothered. We were joined by my partners sister, passing through Camden because Pretty Reckless had finished earlier than she had expected. The Klaxons were immense, we positioned ourselves directly down the front stage area and proceeded to clamber over people and dance like the night depended on it!

As expected we missed the final train, night buses are always good fun though! We arrived at Trafalgar Square and quickly made friends; a gay couple who were in the mood to party and Laurel and Hardy. The gay couple were great fun, joining us upstairs to sing, dance and talk about London and their travels around the World. Laurel and Hardy on the other hand weren't seeing eye-to-eye, largely due to the fact that a five song play list emitting from a mobile phone wasn't considered easy listening! Apparently there are only a handful of people that can reach certain notes, I met one of them tonight! The journey was good fun, I don't think there was a dull moment once. Due to the time, I decided that my partners sister should crash at mine for the night. My mother wasn't impressed, demanding to know who I had brought home whilst my partner was on holiday. I slept in my brothers room and wasn't exactly the perfect host because I awoke at midday, leaving her to read through 44 pages of Mathilda. Great night though!! :P If you're able to experience The Album Chart Show, you won't be disappointed. I hope that Leeds won't signal the end of this....
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taking Stock

dust cloud aftermath of stirlingfauld's demoli...
A level results have been published. I had an unconditional offer for Leeds Metropolitan University to study Media and Popular Culture confirmed earlier in the year but I have still been worried about today. That's because the destiny of my partner would be confirmed, her placement at Liverpool John Moores University was conditional and dependent on results. I awoke early and nervously waited for the phone call to learn the outcome. My heart pounded when the phone started ringing, I felt confident based on her relaxed attitude and conversations with her over the last few months. As she started speaking I could feel the emotion in the tone of her voice, her disappointment was obvious and I found it difficult to remain composed.
This was important and not being there for support was made harder because she was so upset! Her heart was set on Liverpool John Moores University, before I arrived on the scene but I know how much it meant. Although she missed the grades for her first choice university, she received an offer from her second choice; Leeds Metropolitan University. She's happy to have a place, especially considering the competition, but this has always been her experience, her dream and I don't want to become a distraction. There may still be a chance for her to be accepted at Liverpool John Moores University, but whatever happens I don't feel our relationship will be disruptive. I'm attending higher education for the experience, to make friends and gain a degree in Media and Popular Culture, being close to her is a benefit. Destiny may be seen either as a sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable, or that individuals choose their own destiny by choosing different paths throughout their life. It is said that the different courses of action people take may still lead to a predetermined destiny...
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't Think About Elephants

InceptionImage by flick3r&fade via Flickr
Okay, this is me, planting an idea in your mind. I say: don't think about elephants. What are you thinking about?
I have been thinking about elephants; the reluctance of certain people to accept that I'm going to university, the money aspect, I want to see the faces of my children, A Levels, loyalties, commitments, feeding the Turok, becoming a roadie, the infinite playlist, siblings, confessions of a materialistic, higher education, choices, situations, consequences, hour glasses, not being in a position to extend an arm to embrace, express support and feelings of general unease and nervousness. Has university really become a white elephant, a burdensome possession; creating more trouble than it is worth? Without any distractions this week, I have been thinking way too much and analysing everything. I have felt like the Friends episode where Chandler becomes too emotional, I realise that I can't have foresight with any given opportunity but it doesn't make it any easier to comprehend. I want all the answers but I don't know the right questions! I know that I'm committed to university though regardless of any doubts. I suppose every student has worries, I'm in the fortunate position that I'm not waiting for A Level results. I wish everyone good luck for Thursday!!
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Leefest: Cloudy With A Chance Of Volleyball

LeeFest is a non profit music festival that takes place every August in Bromley South London. The festival began in founder Lee Denny's garden when his parents went away on holiday in 2006. Despite the small scale of the first two years, LeeFest has now become a 1500 capacity all day event. I headed to Highams Hill Farm around midday, being without an iPhone meant that I had to take the laptop, connecting to open networks on the way and navigating with Google Maps! I arrived at the site, feeling very much like a tech geek; wearing a mac and glasses and promptly met friends who were waiting. We traded our tickets for wristbands and although I managed to obtain camping, I didn't bring a tent!

A festival this small has many advantages, everything is in close proximity, no significant queues and the atmosphere reminded me of a garden party! Following entry we were greeted by a lady who wanted to decorate our faces with hearts, we obliged because we wanted to look pretty. After browsing what was available, volleyball participation took centre stage. I hoped that Olympic scouts may have been in attendance, five minutes later I was thankful that they weren't. After burying a child in the sand for a poor shot, we decided to move on and catch some music performances.

We mainly occupied the main stage area and the Lava Lounge, performances from Richard Maddy and Keston Cobblers Club started proceedings and were both encouraging. Keston Cobblers Club had been previously recommended, I wasn't familiar with Richard Maddy but his reflections on life were noteworthy. Mean Poppa Lean on the main stage were a colourful bunch, with bundles of energy and attitude. King Charles really impressed, I thought they were the highlight of Leefest, expect greatness from their album based on their current material. I caught up with the band at the festival and showed them how not to dance! We then attempted volleyball, but fifteen strong teams it was always going to become a power contest, did anyone actually keep any scores?! I was rewarded with a Sunflower print on my face, does that class as man-of-the-match?

On the main stage The King Blues were running late, so Does it Offend You Yeah took the spotlight. I positioned myself amongst those attempting to mosh, I'm not an expert but the guy that hit the floor every thirty seconds either needed better shoes or a taxi! He emerged with a minor head injury, which was expected but I don't think he knew much about it anyway. Johnny Foreigner were impressive, they had a decent following who were great fun because they weren't static and there to just watch the performance. I love The King Blues, a protest band accredited for fusing ska and folk rock together with influences from punk rock and hardcore punk. There performance was great, I even managed to catch Jonny Fox when he dived into the crowd at the end! You can tell the security love it when bands consider that route! Fenech-Soler were good, although every time I have seen them this year they have worn the same clothes?! Dancing to Dubstep isn't a notable quality for anyone, Jakwob though has enough in his locker to get the crowds moving. His remix of Ellie Goulding's Under The Sheets is a personal favourite and I was able to unleash some shapes at the front. The Futureheads wrapped up the festival, everyone singing out of tune provided a lasting memory! We briefly attempted to play with fire before being introduced to Richard Maddy and his entourage. As a collective we headed to the campsite where there was a bonfire, I left shortly after some guy started burning his clothes. Thanks for an enjoyable festival Leefest, looking forward to next year already!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shooting Stars

Perseid meteor shower in Austin Texas.Image via WikipediaIf you see a shooting star you're supposed to make a wish, right? I saw three last night, does that then become like the magpie rhyme; one for sorrow, two for joy.. The shooting stars were actually Perseid meteors! The meteor display, visible every August, is known as the Perseid shower because it appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky. Also flying across the sky last night was my partner, heading to Zante with her friends for a fortnight, dressed in a cow playsuit! I'm slightly jealous, actually I'm very jealous, not about the cow playsuit but because I missed out on the chance to enjoy a holiday with friends when I was eighteen. We even booked a fortnight in Ayia Napa, Cyprus but that was destined to fail because we weren't really financially committed to the holiday. She has admitted that she had doubts, she departs for university soon and that's the main factor. I advised her that not going on holiday then was one of my biggest regrets. Focusing back on the meteors again, I hope that she enjoys her holiday, receives the A Level results she needs and that no volcanoes errupt!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Oh, the Places You'll GoImage by joedawson via Flickr
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go... This is a quote from Oh, the Places You'll Go! Which is a book written and illustrated by children's author Dr. Seuss. It's important because it has a personal, symbolic meaning for my partner relating to an earlier incident. I reference quotes from popular media regularly to provide deeper meaning but I rarely draw anything these days. I used to be considered quite the artist, but I always felt that drawing made me irritable. Today something inside compelled me to sketch some pictures in a card I purchased and attach the above quote. It took over an hour to produce the sketches, I had originally intended to write a message that would cover the entire two pages as I have done previously. I felt that would distract from the memories I have shared with her and the emphasies on the quote. I do feel that she will go places, she instilled the belief that I could achieve anything through her drive and determination. She coincidentally taught me how to work behind a bar earlier! I had intended to give her the card when the A Level results are announced but, because she will be in Zante, I gave it to her tonight as I have a gut feeling that she will succeed. I have only known her a short time but already I have seen her workrate, it's an admirable quality and she deserves this for that reason. I only wish I could be beside her when she learns the outcome!

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

I'll Have A Brasilian

Viva BrasilHernĂ¡n Maglione via FlickrGuanabara is London’s largest Brazilian late night venue. The name Guanabara comes from the Tupi-Guarani language name for the famous bay in Rio de Janeiro, the gateway to Brazil and a home of blazing extremes. After learning that I hadn't received Jobseekers Allowance, the night wasn't looking too good! This only provided a minor setback because I was soon on the train with my friend. The evening was humid, returning home briefly to collect supplies intensified the heat considerable. We arrived in London and attempted to navigate quickly through Covent Garden to the venue, unfortunately arriving after the free entry period. I hold up my hands!! After coughing up the entrance fee, climbing the stairs and making our way inside, we noticed our friend wearing an exotic feather headdress standing with her brothers. She looked spectacular, celebrating her birthday she made sure that she would receive maximum attention. We occupied the smoking area for the majority of the night, my friend knew the doorman, who strangely couldn't remember anything from his past. The venue is a hot spot for Hen Party's, every group that introduced themselves was either involved with a party or were the bride-to-be. As the night progressed, we opted for a brief interlude at the local supermarket, cheaper than the bar, before heading back to the venue. Quite what happened to my friend, I'm not sure but I ended up with a group of Asian guys, playing truth-or-dare and dancing on the table. That's how I roll but thankfully I was able to escape to answer a telephone call before anything else happened. I ventured outside, away from the loudness and the 'paparazzi'; earlier I posed for some eerie photos with this excitable group. The telephone call was from my partner, she was nearby, involved in an evening with her friends. We decided to meet and travel home together, unsure where my friend was this seemed like a sensible option. Especially as he becomes narcoleptic after a few drinks and sleeps anywhere! Our rendezvous was amusing because she was with several friends and they had decided to leave because a postcard stand had fallen on them. Only in London!!

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Bar Work

Cocktail Twenty Five CentsImage by Jeremy Brooks via Flickr
It's hard to determine the origins of a phrase; bite the bullet - accept the inevitable impending hardship and endure the resulting pain with fortitude. According to sources 'acceptance' is supposed to be the last stage in any given process. Accepting the inevitable - I have volunteered to work at the bar.

I'm hoping the experience will be useful for September. I'm not expecting the work to be too difficult, back through the systems with the riff-raff again!! I will receive thorough training Tuesday evening, basically whilst on holiday I hope to provide adequate cover. I got the impression that I was considered backup, worse case scenario! Maybe I won't be needed but it's an option, I haven't worked since March and need something. At least in university, I'll be surrounded by the poor-kids, struggling with money, student finance and for many this will be their first time away from home. Will this be third time lucky for me?! The intention is to move to Camden Town but as I have learnt, nothing is ever straight forward!

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Facebook Questions

Questions and answers CD2Image via WikipediaFacebook has begun rolling out it's latest feature, Facebook Questions which is a similar concept to those familiar with Yahoo! Answers and Mahalo. It works by allowing users to get answers to their queries from the entire Facebook community. Available on the homepage, with results displayed on our Facebook profiles through a dedicated tab which shows our entire activity. The feature became available to me earlier and through experimenting with the age, I managed to unlock Facebook Questions for other people. Whether this is coincidence, I don't know but it appeared to work! The filter prevents profanity, illiteracy and excessive usage of punctuation from what I have seen but you can still have some fun. I'm sure that once this is made available to the entire Facebook community, that it will become difficult to moderate because there will be hundreds of answers. I'm intrigued about how this will evolve over time but at the moment it just seems to be another lock-in feature that increases the amount of time spent inside the social network!

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I Want To See The Faces

inception-creative-movie-postersImage by jdxyw via Flickr
Inception, the movie that everyone seems to be talking about, is a science fiction action film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film, a variant on the heist genre, is inspired by the experience of lucid dreaming and dream incubation. I have avoided reading any reviews because I didn't want the plot ruined. Being a student has many advantages, I received a Student discount, and through Student Beans I was able to receive 2 for 1 cinema tickets. I'm going to enjoy being a student!

If you haven't seen Inception yet, then I recommend heading to the cinema as soon as possible. I think that it's genius and agree that this has the potential to become the next billion-dollar movie franchise. The movie centers on Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), an "extractor", who enters the dreams of others to obtain information that is otherwise inaccessible. Cobb just wants to go home and be reunited with his children and is promised a chance to regain his old life in exchange for planting an idea in a corporate target's mind. I won't reveal anymore! With this performance, Leo DiCaprio has emerged as possibly the most influential actor in Hollywood, pursuing an acting career that he has made his own. I found his character's struggle to reach out to his children, fulfill the commitment to his wife that they would grow old together and the convincing portrayal of a haunted man to be emotional, believable and have relevance. You create the world of the dream?! Accompanied with incredible special effects, and a mesmerising score provided by Hans Zimmer. This has to be experienced on the big screen! Leo DiCaprio has come a long way from Titanic, where he broke more than the heart of his screen sweetheart. I have since learnt that Joseph Dawson, a trained carpenter, left his home city and found a berth on the ship billed the "Queen of the Seas" to be a story in some ways more fascinating than even that woven around his invented namesake, Jack Dawson. James Cameron, you ruined an introduction that would have inspired many conversations!

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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Shoot For The Moon

Ricky Gervais Quote - Comedian JokeImage by Humor Blog via Flickr
Sunday afternoon has become a bonding exercise, everyone congregates at my parents and between mouthfuls of food there are discussions about the latest news and developments. I have a broad range of subjects; university, the children being abroad, my 'other half' (as described by someone at her work earlier) will head to Zante soon and I even managed to lose a job before even starting! Facebook has assisted with preparations for university, the social network has provided an insight into what to expect and the opportunities available. I have applied for work through freshers week and I also applied for an internship at XFM Manchester. XFM is a brand of commercial radio stations focused on alternative music, primarily indie pop, and owned by Global Radio in the United Kingdom. I mentioned this to my brother, he actively follows Ricky Gervais and brought to my attention that Gervais worked as an events manager for the University of London Union (ULU), until he took a similar job as "head of speech" at Xfm London. I'm now focusing on emulating the achievements of Ricky Gervais, a realistic ambition? Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars.

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