Today was my Nan’s 77th birthday. Yesterday we drove to Windermere, where she grew up. We drove for around two and half hours. Even though I slept most of the journey, the actual drive itself kind of killed any enthusiasm I had for the place. We sped around long, winding roads past the dying grass, and the crooked fences, and the old crumbling stone walls and more dying grass, and more crooked fences, and more crumbling stone walls. Everything was ugly and wet and in ruin. Thankfully I fell asleep after a while and when I’d woken up we’d arrived.
The rest of yesterday is somewhat of a haze. See I’d only had about 4 hours sleep and I’d also had a couple of drinks but from what I remember, we’d stopped off at this classy-ass hotel or somewhere for “tea and scones”, and by “tea and scones” I mean “being shamelessly overcharge with absolutely no justification”. I’ll let you guess how much it cost five people a few scones and couple of cups of tea. Just come up with a number. £10? £20 even? No. Sixty fucking quid. For some scones. £60. The menu also featured such steals as the £15 sausage and the £14 prawn sandwich. Jesus fuck man.
-The most valuable of baked goods
After we’d enjoyed being robbed, we drove like ten or so miles further to our hotel. It was, inexplicably, a hotel for blind people. There was braille everywhere. I enjoyed a Southern Comfort and lemonade before we had a fairly mediocre meal before I retired to my room. I flicked through television channels before deciding that the concept of flicking through terrestrial television was hilarious and turned off the television, defeated by society again. I’ll be damned if I’m going to watch the fucking X-Factor. Instead I read Ham on Rye, that being probably the highlight of the weekend.
The next morning I woke up noticeably sharper. I’d had some sleep and sobered up. There was an alarm clock on the floor surrounded by batteries. I flashed back to about 2am when it went off while I was asleep. That was a bitch. I got ready and we left. We drove a little further and parked by Lake Windermere. It was a very touristy place. Any direction you looked you saw Asian guys with cameras and middle-aged men and women with anoraks and fleeces and walking boots and have two or three screaming young well-spoken children (who probably had at least 4 names). The type of people who always have their faces scrunched up as if they’re looking up at something. The type of people who go for walks up hills and comment on how “rich” their chocolate cake is. The type of people who’d never be suited to a modelling career. And, of course, there were the wealthy judgmental elderly, too.
So we were smack dab in the middle of touristville. I fucking hated it. Everyone was so fucking obnoxious. The accents grated on me so badly, too. There were at least two incidents where my eyes met with another boy’s and within that instant I knew he was equally if not more bored than I was. Their faces conveyed pure disdain. I really didn’t blame them. I sympathized. After all, the most exciting thing these shops had to offer was shortbread and ornaments. There were dozens of shops and I had no interest in any of them.
-Those bastards can never get enough shortbread
My Nan is in a wheelchair at the moment and we had to push her. The road we were on was very steep and we were walking uphill, and I found myself there, in Windermere, pushing my grandmother up a hill, ignoring the people and the shops stocked full of nothing. For at least two split seconds I would’ve traded with Henry Chinaski. Hell, at least life’d be interesting. We lingered around the shops for a bit and then went back downhill, settling by the water. Swans and ducks and birds were being fed at the shore. Surely enough there were more screaming children and fleece-wearers and Chinese taking photographs. You probably could’ve cut the boredom with a knife. And then some guy told his five year old son to punch a swan and life was interesting again.
Yes, some brilliant man (read: fuck) had brought his son to Windermere and they seemed to have a terrible aversion to winged creatures. It also appeared that he was “walking” his son in the same way a person would walk a dog. The kid was literally on some sort of lead. He rallied his son on with such encouraging lines like “punch the swan! punch the swan!” and “get those birds!” His son, ignoring aforementioned instructions, ran at a gathering of birds, causing them to scatter to the skies in a panic. The swan went luckily un-punched and went back to nibbling at the ground all nonchalant like. Likewise, the boy’s arms went luckily unbroken.
-“come at me bro”
With the man trying to convince his son to punch a swan, and all of the horrible types of people I listed, I realized that, well, no matter where I go, I’ll never really be able to escape people being people. There will always be dickery close by. Never will I find sanctuary from the stupid. We walked back to the car, over pavements paved with duck shit.
God was born in a fireplace. In Jerusalem. Apparently. It really does fluster me how I have a mother who cannot differentiate between the son of God and the deity Himself, and also that she literally said the sentence “God was born in a fireplace in Jerusalem” in all seriousness. We were talking about religion at the dinner table in a very nice restaurant celebrating. It was about three notches posh away from an erected fucking pinky though. The waiter made a very convincing robot; it really creeped me out how emotionless and stiff he was. Religion thankfully wasn’t the only topic; I learned of Sir Jimmy Savile’s death. Nobody will ever again fix it like he did. Also, I’d just like to say a big “fuck you" to Wikipedia for not even putting his death in the "In the news" section. He was a fucking Sir.
We had a lot of fun talking that dinner, although the topics of conversation were quite odd. We talked about how a man had bitten his dog over 30 times (what the flying fuck?), and how one time at McDonald’s when I was 12 I stole some Hamtaro hamsters from the toy display and one of the staff confronted Michael, my mother’s boyfriend. That was the first day I had met him.
We ate up and drove home. My Nan had really enjoyed herself and we all had too. So, again, we drove back along those winding roads, past the crumbling stone walls and the crooked fences and the dying grass. Eventually, after several almost-car accidents later (it’s amazing how badly some people drive) we reached Sunderland. I was home at last. And I have to say, I’m very glad to be back.
Today has been good because this morning I got on the bus but the bus driver was old and he forgot to put his brakes on so he was still moving slowly at the stop and an old woman behind me nearly fell over which was funny and I just bought Batman: Arkham City (PC masterrace, natch) and also bought a ticket to go see The Ting Tings which is really cool.
Boy, yesterday was quite the day. Not only did /r9k/ come back from the dead, but I finished my tumblr. Fifty three weeks and one day later, I’ve finally written about everything I could possibly want to write about. From my nights out to my childhood, I’ve chronicled it all. And, well, I hate it. I’m going to spend a lot of time now just editing posts and improving them because sillily I’ve written a lot of my posts either ridiculously tired, drunk, high or hungover. There’s a lot of stuff I’m not happy with at the moment, but I’m writing this post to celebrate the fact that, well, at least it’s there. It’s essentially my life in words. And pictures. And of funny cats.
So yeah, there’ll be a probable lack of content while I spellcheck and typo-hunt through my entire history of posts. Fun fun fun. I’ll probably find time in between that to reblog some cool shit though. And other than that and the inevitable stories of future nights out, I’m pretty much done. I’ll be focusing a lot more on my SSP (super secret project) from now on. I suppose the amount of people who actually give a flying flip about any of this is close to zero but, well, if I haven’t said this before: I wrote a lot of these stories and posts for myself. To look back on. To remember what it was like to be 17-18 years old. To remember who I was today, just in case I ever forget.
One thousand and one apologies for the delay. I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time now and it’s only today that I’ve actually gotten around to doing so. I’ve already written about the films and tv shows I enjoy, as well as cartoons from the west. A little further east then, today I’ll be writing about all the anime I like. In all honesty I’m not the most seasoned anime enthusiast and I certainly won’t pretend to be one. Regardless though, there’s actually quite a number of shows I’d like to cover. So, my favourite anime shows:
Note: some of the images I’ll be using look a little silly/childish. I implore you to remember a certain idiom about books and covers and judgement. Thank you.
Akira is actually an anime movie as opposed to a series. Despite being released in 1988, it still looks pretty great today. It’s also renowned for being pioneering and influential; without Akira, anime as we know it would be considerably different today. The film itself has a great (if slightly weird and confusing) story focusing on friends-turned-enemies Kaneda and Tetsuo in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo left behind in the wake of the eponymous enigma Akira.
Medabots came out early last decade (urgh, saying that makes me feel old), and was a short-lived but surprisingly good show about a boy and his robot Metabee, a “medabot”. I haven’t seen the show in a few years but I used to love it when I was younger. Anyways, the guy and his medabot fight other medabots in cool-ass robot battles. Those robots blew the hell out of each other, and not in a gay way. Unfortunately, as of now it seems that Medabots has mostly been forgotten about. A nice little anime though.
Escaflowne is one of my all-time favourites. It was one of those ones Fox Kids used to show, and one of the very first shows that got me into anime. It is one of the few anime that I will not recommend but insist upon you watching. It has a nicely done fantasy setting, fuck-off-huge Gundam-Wing-esque mechas and an amazing English dub. It only ran for one series of 26 episodes (and also got a pretty decent film too), despite being met with acclaim from pretty much everywhere other than Japan itself. Definitely worth a watch.
Digimon (Adventure 01 and 02) was super popular so it’s not like I need to go over the premise or anything. The first couple of seasons will forever hold a special place in my heart though. Perhaps even the paragon of a late 90’s+ children’s cartoon. It was one of the highlights of my childhood, for certain, tuning in to the next episode of Digimon: Digital Monsters. I’ll probably attract quite the magnitude of controversy for this, but, well… I preferred the digital monsters to the pocket ones. The biggest of love for Digimon, man.
Do I really even need to write anything? I mean, only the entire world went Pikachu-crazy in 1998. It was basically socially unacceptable to be seen without a GameBoy Colour or trading cards in the playground. Everybody knew the name and number of each individual ‘mon. Maybe it’s just nostalgia goggles but, at it’s peak, it was magical. Yet another anime that made my childhood, and certainly many, many others too.
Teknoman is one of the older anime I’m a big fan of. It’s basically about this guy in a suit of armour who flies around space killing aliens to protect Earth, backed up by his space-friends. I mean, what’s not to like? It may’ve aged a little by today’s standards but looking past that it’s actually quite great.
Believe it or not, about 7 years ago I was a huge Yu-Gi-Oh! fanatic. I’d heard about it from friends at school and picked it up, eventually falling in love with it. While the card game was a little convoluted at times, it was nevertheless very enjoyable to play with friends (even though I lost 97% of the time). And so naturally I started watching the anime too. The English dub is a bit hit n’ miss though (with Maximillion Pegasus’ VA being an absolute “hit”). Pretty cool.
-And you have to admit, there was nothing more badass than Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
Transformers: Beast Wars
Ho-ho-ho boy, Beast Wars. Think Transformers but instead of turning into cars they turn into animals. It’s your usual Autobots vs Decepticons formula really, except it’s kind of cooler because it has apes fighting tyrannosauruses, as well as motherfucking waspenator! The toys were also really fun, and it flabbergasted all the grown-ups when you could transform Cheetor from anthropomorphic Cheetor to his cheetah form in like ten seconds flat.
Outlaw Star, like Escaflowne, is one of my favourites. It’s stylish, funny and bold. It’s, in a sense, a more mature anime. Unfortunately, again like Escaflowne, it only ran for one series. It’s jam-packed full of firefights, better-than-Star-Wars inter-space spaceship fights (the spaceships have arms, man) and has a cast of charming characters. Episode 20, “Cats and Girls and Spaceships”, I seriously recommend to everybody who hasn’t seen it. You don’t even have to have seen any of the other episodes to appreciate it. It’s beautiful, really. I love Outlaw Star tremendously.
Ah Naruto. The anime began in 2002 and it’s still going strong nearly a decade later. It’s probably both one of the most popular and most criticized anime shows there is. While it does deserve some of the criticism, I’ve found Naruto to be the best consistently quality, entertaining anime of the last few years. Sure, it could do with a little less filler, yeah the character development is a bit off at times (looking at you, Sakura) and yes, some of the fan-base are annoying (though really that’s not a criticism of the show itself), but other than that, it’s really quite hard to fault.
There are moments so wonderful, or epic, or lovely that you can’t help but adore the show. The animation really is just absolutely beautiful, the characters are all really unique and the build up to some of the events is brilliant. Honestly, the amount of anticipation for the showdown between Sasuke and Itachi, for Naruto to finally achieve his dream of becoming Hokage, for Naruto and Sakura (or Hinata, whoever) to end up together, to for Orochimaru to finally be defeated and for Naruto and Sasuke to finally face off is unreal. Because it had been built up so much, Sasuke’s battle with Itachi was really built up to and it wasn’t just a mindless fight. Regardless of what preceded it, however, it was one of the most satisfying clashes I’ve ever seen in an anime. I can only hope that the other events I mentioned end up being as sating. Naruto is absolutely one of the most rewarding anime you can invest your heart and time in. If you haven’t gotten into it, I heartily suggest you do (but be sure to avoid the dub like the plague because it fucking sucks).
Yup. Saved best for last again. Dragon Ball is anime, man. Dragon Ball (including Z, of course) is definitely my favourite anime. Of all time. Ever. What child hasn’t tried to kamehameha? To turn into a Super Saiyan? I really can’t describe how much I love the series. Goku’s journey is, I’d go as far to say, more epic than the fucking Odyssey. There are so many memorable characters, villains, moments, not to mention the godly themetune. The Cell sagas I especially loved, too. The original Dragon Ball though, that show is so much better than probably 99% of whatever kids are watching these days. Hands down the show any budding anime fan should watch.
GT had a lot of great ideas but it wasn’t executed particularly well (plus it had a lot of cringey shit) so a lot of fans like to think of it as non-canon. I liked it when I watched it as a kid but I can really empathize because it’s nowhere near the quality of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.
Having to wait an extra month for Arkham City while it’s out on consoles felates massive donkey dick. What’s worse is that the game is yet another victim of that shitty exclusive-DLC bullshit. At least the game itself is getting great scores. Next month should be the vidya equivalent of a multiple-orgasm what with Skyrim, Arkham City, Skyward Sword, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Modern Warfare 3 and Halo: Anniversary. I honestly don’t know which ones I’m going to save for Christmas.
-“y u no cater to PC audience?”
—Also, “Arkham Shitty" ammirite? No, I am wrong, because the game looks great.
So, uh, hi. Lots of things are happening at the moment. For starters, I may be able to do the apprenticeship at the studio after all. That’d be nice. Secondly, I am dreadfully hungover after last night. It took all the effort my body could muster to drag my ass out of bed. Tumblr was, naturally, the first place I turned to. But yeah, last night, man. It was awesome. I went to see Hard-Fi at Northumbria uni but it wasn’t at the same place I saw Foals at so I got a bit lost. I spend the best part of an hour aimless walking around, trying to find some indicator of the band’s presence. I eventually gave up looking and walked off to find a bar to get ridiculously drunk. Several pints later and I’m talking to some chatty, chubby obnoxious guy who wouldn’t leave me alone. He was alright though, and we had a cigarette together (I’ve had like 4 cigarettes in the last 2 weeks drunk and that is not very good).
-There are no good pictures of hungover people on Google Images so instead have a funny picture I have been trying to stick into a post for at least 6 months. Also, despite the ridiculous volume of alcohol I consumed last night, I have not “whiteyed all owa”
Enough alcohol to kill an underweight 12-year old girl later and I’d left, even more determined to find that fucking venue. I drunkenly stumbled back to the campus and looked about a bit. Eventually I found a building so I went and asked a couple of bouncers inside where the gig was. Apparently it was upstairs. I had enough money for one more glass of Southern Comfort and lemonade, so I drank in celebration of, you know, actually finding the fucking place. I also, for a laugh, replied to one of my texts with one of those “quick reply” text template things which said “Sorry, I’m in a meeting right now. Please try again later” or something. I found it so hilarious that I choked on my Southern Comfort and spat it out, spraying my own face with a thousand drops of the stuff. Even though I was about an hour and a half late to the party, I was still early enough to catch an entire support band. They were actually really great, so I’ll no doubt be putting a few videos of theirs up if I manage to find some. After a brief interval Hard-Fi came out.
-Look how shiny
Now before I say anything about how they sounded, I just wanted to say that Hard-Fi are shit live. I’ve heard them live before and they sounded fucking awful. Nowhere near as good as their studio work. So, going to the gig not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised to find they were actually pretty damn good. They weren’t overwhelming or anything and they did have a few weak moments, but regardless, it was a great pleasure to see them play. I’ve been a fan of theirs since I was about 13 and to actually see them play live after listening to them for so long, well, that was awesome. Their newer stuff is a bit shit but their older material more than made up for it. They finished with “Living For The Weekend”, my favourite song of theirs. It was really the perfect finish.
-Fuck yeah Stars of CCTV
After the gig I got a lift into town to further abuse my liver. I think I ended up at Luma drinking aftershock and woodpecker for a while. It gets quite fuzzy around this point but I’m sure I ended up buying a cheeseburger from Pizza King and then buying three cookies from Subway before getting a taxi home because town was shit. What’s remarkable is that from the pub in Newcastle to the town, I didn’t get ID’d anywhere last night. Fucking rights.
-These are the fucking best and I know this for a fact because, and I’m 100% not shitting you, this guy at Subway told me.
It was, like most, a fun drunken night, though this morning I kind of regret the cigarette and the burger. I need to be healthy! My heart is kind of paying the price right now. Anyways, I’m off to bitch about how today’s music is shit, so later.