It Was Me… I Did The ‘Monster Mash’

With my house currently containing more of the colour orange than an episode of ‘The Only Way Is Essex’; my Mum rolling out the mediocre horror movies and my Dad having a mask primed at the door in his attempt to scare any innocent visitor (feel free to tut him – the ‘trick’ segment of ‘trick-or-treat’ is his favourite part) that can only mean one thing. IT’S HALLOWEEN! Currently attempting to write this amongst the banging of ‘trick-or-treaters’ at my door – I’m a sucka for a challenge *puts on game face*. Warning, this post may be unsuitable for children and the occasional adult. Grab a safety blanket for precaution, otherwise – good luck!

Ahhh it’s finally arrived – the day of the year when if somebody shouts ‘I’m a witch!’, it will be responded to with ‘Wow, great costume!’ as opposed to ‘Heresy, burn the witch!’. I love this time of year, a time of mischief and an incredibly large quantity of sweets. Yet sadly, the excitement for Halloween I see doesn’t tend to arrive until either Hallow’s Eve, or the night itself. Specifically, this is among all the other, Christian folk out there. With Christmas and Easter celebrating the good ole, monotheistic tradition of the story of Jesus, Halloween is a pagan festival. *Gasp* I know, I know – why am I even celebrating it if it goes against what I believe in? Tradition, that’s why. I don’t exactly run around shouting ‘May the dead rise, riiiiise I tell you!’. Not many of us see the origin in things like Halloween – it’s merely a worldwide tradition passed from generation to generation. God’ll let you off, kid, so go out and you beg for candy like (most of us) you’ve never begged before! It’s not just religious people who do it, but the commercial world, too. In most shops, I could probably count the quantity of Halloween merchandise on my hands compared to all of the… Christmas decorations? Christmas decorations? But… it’s October? No, no, no! Take Santa and his reindeer off those shelves, sales assistant – replace them for ghouls, goblins and ghastly treats, muahahah. Erm, sorry, *reads badge* Daniel? I got a bit carried away there!

Though with every tradition, there is always certain aspects that never failed to be carried through to this generation (sadly, apple bobbing. It’s bad enough we’re encouraged to eat ‘Five A Day’, but then they make it MORE difficult for us?). The one which we all know and whilst writing this, cannot seem to avoid; is ‘Trick-Or-Treat’. Like ‘Pigs In a Blanket’ to a Christmas dinner, this really wouldn’t be Halloween without it. Regardless of the fact this activity happens year on year, a question can’t help but arise – where on earth is the trick? Never before when I ‘trick-or-treated’ as a kid did the person who answered the door throw a water balloon at my face or wrap a brussel sprout up in a chocolate wrapper. Maybe I’m in the wrong neighbourhood? What’s the worst ‘trick’ you’ve ever received on a Halloween? Let me know in the comments below! My Dad, on numerous occasions, has attempted to answer this. Last year, whenever someone knocked on the door, he’d open it with himself behind it, leaving the impression that no one was home. Then BAM, wearing a mask that isn’t quite so appealing to the eyes, he’d jump out and truly fulfill the meaning of ‘trick-or-treat’! Usually, I’d call that ‘assault’ on any other day of the year, but what can I say? ‘Trick’ is there for a reason!

I used to love ‘trick-or-treating’ as a kid. Sweet basket in hand, Mum holding the other, wearing a mask which I thought was ‘scary’ and the adults answering the door thought was cute *grrrrrr*. Regardless of diet and healthy eating, we’d come home and stuff our faces with treats until that full moon finally came out. Sadly, I now have to say, that is what we used to do. The occasion hasn’t changed – it’s still the same old dysfunctional event you remember. Why did it change? I guess you could say it was because I grew up. We all did. You stopped going because it was ‘not cool’ or ‘for kids’. Christmas still has presents, Easter still has chocolate eggs; Halloween still has ‘trick-or-treating’? Sadly not! Until I go around with my kids when I’m older (or I resort to it now, for ‘old time’s sake’), I have this feeling I won’t be doing that again for quite some time.

STOP. Turn that frown upside down – this doesn’t mean Halloween has to be a boring occasion that we should ‘endure’ instead of ‘enjoy’. This is one of the times of the year that we can have a ton of fun! Want to know how? I’ll tell you how – here’s my ‘To Do List’ for Halloween 2012:

  • While I might not be the greatest fan of horror movies (or even a fan at all), the best way to celebrate the scariest night of the year is, well, to watch the most gory film of the year! A great idea would be to have a Saw-a-thon, watching the ‘Saw’ movies and only breaking for snacks and toilet breaks. Go on. I double dare ya.
  • If DVDs just aren’t your thing, how about a house party instead? A ‘Halloween Theme’, to be precise. There’s nothing better than seeing your traditional, spooky characters chugging a whole can of ‘Strongbow’ – it really is a sight to behold.
  • One of my personal favourites, combining my favourite show with one of my favourite times of the year. From 6:30 – 8.00pm in the land of the UK, ‘Simpsons Treehouse of Horror’ is playing away, waiting to scare your socks off. Zombie Ned, Vampire Burns, Bart-Fly? I’m really not making this stuff up!
  • For all you gamers out there – if you possess either a ‘PS3’ or an ‘Xbox 360’, I’d highly recommend downloading/playing the Halloween classic of ‘Red Dead Redemption – Undead Nightmare’. Cowboys, zombies, unicorns, a sasquatch and the ‘Four Horses of the Apocalypse’ ALL IN THE SAME GAME? I know. It’s just so much for a download of £8.00. You’d be mad not to buy it.
  • This is an absolute must. Number 5 is to dance to either Micheal Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ or Bobby Pickett’s ‘Monster Mash’. Dancing to either of these on any other day of the year just makes you feel quite silly. On this day? You shall be a legend who can shout ‘I did the mash! I did the moooooonster mash’.

Make the most of this crazy night by following these tips – it will certainly be a night to remember. For all the Christians who need a song which combines both God AND Halloween, listen to this. It might change your mind about the way you see this ‘Festival of the Dead’. May your Halloween night be one of mischief and madness! *cackles extensively*

Food… Glorious Food?

Have you ever watched a ‘YouTube’ video recommended by a friend? You type the name into the search bar, each button press supplied with the lowest of expectations whilst your mind thinks ‘*Tsk* this sounds absolutely ridiculous! I’ve never even heard of it, it’s just going to be rubbish!’. Sure, the majority of the time it has been another ‘Hit Single Sung By Barack Obama Himself!’ or yet another adoption to ‘Gangnam Style’ BUT, there’s always that breakthrough every once in a while. My friend showed me, no, he ‘blessed’ me with this video the other day. I’ll just have to face that IT IS AWESOME! While initially, I expressed a great concern for these lunatics’ cholesterol levels at the risk of a heart attack thanks to ‘Bacon, Bacon, Bacon’ flowing through their system, after watching it for a little while that really didn’t concern me. These Gods among men decide to make the craziest things with what basically is strip after strip of that poor little pig (apologies to my vegetarian readers, I can’t ‘sugar-coat’ the fact that some animals were harmed in the making of this video – however, ‘EpicMealTime’ will quite literally ‘sugar-coat’ it for you). I sat there in awe with one thought running through my head, which was Wow… people can really do some caarazy sh*t with food!

Ever since poor, young Oliver Twist stared fear in the face (well, a morbidly obese master, to be precise) and dared to utter the phrase ‘Please, sir, I want some more…’, I’ve never been afraid to ask for that bit of extra food on my plate. Food, glorious foooood I hum to myself whilst munching the extra, spicy enchilada my Mum walloped onto my plate. ‘Kids in Africa don’t have food like this, don’t let it go to waste!’ was the guilt trip my Mum would provide us with if we didn’t finish our tea. ‘But Mum, if I don’t finish this enchilada, will you send it to Africa?’ – the excuse I used if I admitted defeat to a ‘full stomach’. It worked like a charm! Food is the stuff we eat almost every single day and think nothing of it. Yet, ‘food’ is a different concept to different people. Being a biology student, food is a source of nutrition for the human body. For a lot of ‘SuperModels’, food is seen as the enemy because Ewww food contains carbs, which like, make me look healthy and that’s gross. However, for all of those creationists out there, food provides a chance to make an art form AND you can eat it afterwards. It’s a win-win situation!

Amazing Food Carving

Personally? Yeah… I’m not one of them. I can barely scramble egg without the fear of creating a biohazard in my own home! Which is quite surprising, considering I’m a member of a fairly productive, baking-enthusiastic family. Everyone’s family develops their own, little hobby with which everyone can get involved. It may not exactly be every day (unlike the recent take over of ‘James Bond’ to be a daily programme on our tv screens. God, I just love Sky Movies *wipes joyful tear from eye*), but baking has certainly made its entrance into our household with styyyyyle. The women of our household, being my Mum and two sisters, always have a baking tray armed and at the ready if ever they feel the need to ‘start a bakeathon’. Brownies, flapjacks, pancakes, peppermint creams, cookies, chocolate cake, cheesecake *pants exhaustively*. This list I’ll end there, for your own safety! It amazes me how you can just start off with just a few ingredients like eggs and flour and end up with something that expresses both your creativity and ability. Hopefully some of my readers have taken this same route? Tell me the barmier than barmiest thing you have ever baked or cooked from scratch in the comments below! I’ll applaud you extensively if it beats the ‘Flying Mangoes’ in the above picture. I now hope you’re feeling special thanks to that remark.

Whilst food can challenge the senses like nothing else can (particularly parmesan. Man, that thing can gas out a room if it tried!), some foods really do not appeal to any senses. At all. There’s always that dish that may be good for you/may not be bad for you, but we don’t particularly enjoy to eat it. For me, it’s a bit like the news – I’ll happily watch it as it is informative for myself BUT, I wouldn’t exactly be putting BBC Breakfast on ‘series link’ any time soon. That food, is porridge:

porridge recipe

Porridge. Even the word sounds boring to pronounce! It looks boring, taste even more boring on the boring scale. Sure, you can add ‘chocolate to tease the sense’, or some ‘fresh raspberries to enlighten your taste buds’. But, let’s face it, as the Australian saying goes – You can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear. I’ll happily stick to my ‘Weetabix’ from this day forward, no offence, porridge. Yet, on the other side of this golden covered, chocolate coin lies our ‘pet food’. A food that regardless of new recommendations from friends, we still stick to making and munching this gift to our taste buds. For myself, that has to be ham and cheese toasties. Or Cham Toasties, as I take delight in calling them. Easy to make and even easier to eat. Every man’s dream! Well… Homer Simpson’s dream, anyway. Some of us like a challenge, after all.

But not TOO much of a challenge. Whilst someone took delight in creating the ‘Five A Day’ rule, I’d like to take an even bigger delight (mmmm ‘Turkish Delight’ *drools*) in creating the ‘Not So Five A Day’. These aren’t particularly bad foods. However, let me warn you in saying you should approach eating these foods with the utmost caution. You will thank me some day for doing so. Here are the top five foods that humanity really should take a second thought when eating them:

  • Candy Apples – ‘That dinner was delightful, Mum. It was so easy to eat and quite the treat, too. What’s for desert?’ ‘Candy Apples, dear.’ ‘*Sigh* it was good whilst it lasted…’ An apple covered in candy – nothing too complicated, right? Be warned, folks. I had one of these yesterday and it was certainly a mission and a half to eat this without having half of it stuck in my mouth. Good luck spending the next 7 minutes attempting to pronounce a syllable!
  • Sushi – There’s a certain mystery behind this. You look at a piece of sushi thinking, ‘Can I eat this in one go? It seems relatively small to do so!’ and then you face the consequences. Being just a few millimetres bigger than your mouth, you really wish your optimism hadn’t occurred to you when you have a difficulty of swallowing it.
  • Noodles – How long is a piece of string? A better question – How long is a noodle? Nobody knows! You could have one a few centimetres wide or one being double the length of your plate! If you misjudge the length, well, prepare to look like a fool when you’re slurping the entire thing up.
  • Lobster – Hard shell. Soft shell. Just which one is it? So, do I not eat this part then? I’ve never asked so many questions when eating one meal. I think I’ll go back to the chippy, it’s just far more simple…
  • Banana – Oh, don’t get me wrong. This is incredibly easy to eat. Peel the skin and eat – job’s a good’un! It’s just, well… your technique around others. The banana has a certain connotation, meaning you have to eat it like a gentleman/lady, avoid eye-contact with surrounding people and DO NOT touch the banana. Failure to comply with any of the above means you become labelled as a ‘pervert’.

Oliver Twist wouldn’t exactly burst into song at the thought of having to eat these foods. I certainly wouldn’t blame him! Thanks for reading, the difficulty with writing this post was to not create the impression that my BMI is dangerously high. I have a strange feeling that I have succeeded in not appearing like this:

I Got The Power!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO – it’s a flying journalist in incredibly tight spandex!

This just about sums up how much creative, spare time I have on my hands; albeit, my photo-shop skills could do with an extra ‘spit and polish’! Lack of technical genius aside, THIS man/alien/thingamajig is, well… Super. He quite literally has everything I would want out of life. Despite coming from a completely different planet, he landed himself a job as a journalist to ‘bring truth to the forefront and fight for the little guy’ and a not-so-shabby girlfriend, whilst having powers like ‘heat vision’ and a buffer than buff can be buff stature for a body. I possess NONE of the above – why do the ones from outer-space get to have all the fun? *Humph* lucky you, Clark Kent. I casually just gave your identity away, Humanity 1 – Krytonians 0! For those cave-dwellers who have not heard of this guy, this is ‘Superman’. Or as we common folk prefer to name him – a ‘Superhero’.

Whether describing my Mum having the ability to look after four, screaming toddlers at once or seeing one of my friends solve a ‘Rubix Cube’ faster than is humanely possible, I have used the term ‘Superhero’ quite freely in my daily life. Yet, what exactly is a ‘Superhero’? Well, *flicks open dictionary*, ‘super’ is the idea of being very good or excellent; whilst a ‘hero’ is someone who is admired for courage or noble qualities. If my addition skills are up to scratch, a ‘Superhero’ is an excellent person who is admired for courage or noble qualities. Considering my first two examples, I must have ‘hit the nail on the head’, right? Ohhh how I am wrong. I think my logic needs a good seeing to! What a ‘Superhero’ really is is someone with extraordinary powers shouting comments like ‘Holy haberdashery, Batman! ‘ and ‘Up, up and awaaaaaay!’. *Facepalm* All cringe-worthy exclamatives used by these above average crime fighters. Sometimes it baffles me why society admires these fictional, dysfunctional characters. As a mainstream part of today’s culture, they have a place where they deserve the connotation of  ‘super’ in their title. Personally I feel that real, inspirational members of our society deserve that accolade in their job description. Whether that be teachers, soldiers or paramedics. I mean, have you seen ‘Casualty’? Man… those people make Spidey’s job like a nice, breezing stroll through a park! As humans, we don’t need the ‘super’ to do the heroic thing – as long we apply our morals and intuition correctly, who needs to be soaked in a tub full of radioactive waste? *Tsk* I think I’ll decline that tempting offer.

Just like a recently published piece of ‘Mummy-Porn’ (I think we both know what I’m referring to), ‘Superheroes’ seem to be a concept on everyone’s mind and is a great topic of conversation if, well… the weather isn’t enough to break the awkwardness! Not so much about the realistic stuff; such as ‘Why on earth would Bruce Wayne use a Lamborghini, of all of God’s wonderful creations, to stop an oncoming van?!’ or ‘How many shirts does Peter Parker rip through in one day?’, but more so that we wish to become these fascinating beings. Just to have a bit of that glory that they get from stopping an armed robbery with about as much effort as I need to open a jar of jam. No matter how old you become, no matter how much you develop your maturity, you always have that same conversation:

‘So what Superhero would you be, Tim?’ ‘Gee, I dunno, John, I’d want to have a really cool name and have awesome powers, like invisibility and super speed!’

*Ahem* All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Despite this being always being the same conversation, it’s the end that’s different every single time. Hopefully me and my friends aren’t the only ones who occasionally have this conversation. If so? We really need some new, less nerdy small-talk. Anyway, we always struggle to think what would be a good set of have criteria to have and what set of ‘kryptonite traits Superman wouldn’t even touch with a barge pole’ would be! LOOK NO FURTHER, as Adrian Horan presents ‘The Dos and Don’ts of Being a Superhero!’:

  • DO have incredibly rich parents – they will benefit your cause for achieving justice more than you can believe.
  • DON’T have the ability to read minds. This will become useless when fighting crime AND… some thoughts are best left alone. *shudder*
  • DO have ‘super-strength’. You’ll be able to defeat villains with ease, you’ll win every single arm wrestling contest you enter AND you’ll certainly pull on a ‘Lad’s Night Out’ thanks to Ze Gun Show! *Flexes biceps*
  • DON’T have your abilities granted to you through a ‘Christmas Cracker’. No good shall come of it – just stick to those radioactive bugs, kids.
  • DO have a bad-ass ‘Superhero Voice’ – no one wants to be saved by a caped crusader with a voice like ‘Squeaky-Voiced Teen’.
  • DON’T wear a snazzy suit when roaming the city streets. Chances are you’ll have to rip straight through it when faced with crime, ultimately ripping a hole straight in your finances.
  • DO have the ability to fly – the offense, that is ‘public transport’, will be a thing of the past.
  • DON’T wear a tight, spandex for your costume. ‘Nuff said.

For all those considering a career in being a ‘Superhero’ (you need help, my friend), follow these rules and you should fit in just fine! But remember, ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’ so think carefully next time you use your invisibility to scare the hell outta’ your friends as a ‘G-g-g-g-ghoooost!’. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I have had writing it – but my homework awaits and I must be called to finish it. To the study room, Adrian!

Look Ma, I Caught Me Success!

If at first you don’t succeed… do I even need to finish this phrase off? I hear this slightly overused cliche from all different groups of people in my life. Whether that be my Mum after I came second in a radio competition to win tickets to see Micheal Mcintyre, my friend if I had ONE grammatical error in my recent blog post or my mind telling me to re-spawn yet again after another Tomahawk to the face on Call of Duty! All of which are painful examples to recollect *grasps chest in heartache*. Though, from all of these events I beg to ask two questions – why is it that we use this question so frequently? Is it even necessary? For those who are puzzled, let me have a bash at the answers for you – it’s because others just want to see us succeed through a bit of the ole ‘perseverance’. *Tsk*, asking external questions that I know I will provide the answers with… I need to stop taking pages out of Dora the Explorer’s book!

There have been times in all of our lives when the If at first you don’t succeed’ segment of that phrase has become incredibly appropriate. The first time I see a challenge I think ‘O.M.G. YES I CAN DO THIS THING’, so I approach it like the testosterone-fueled, adrenaline-junkie that I am ( I possess no evidence to prove or deny that = win ). Yet, just like an incredibly patient fisherman, there’s always a catch. That catch, folks, is failure. For all of us, the first failure always brings that painful feeling. For girls, it’s about the same feeling as when you found out that Mean Girls 2 was a ‘straight to DVD’ release, i.e. an *insert derogatory term here*. For us, boys? Well, it’s the same feeling as when a new Twilight film gets released… ohhh the horror. The failure hits you. You lose all sense of achievement and you just ask yourself, ‘Why did that happen? How could I have done that differently? Am I losing my mojo?’

Have no fear, for your mojo may still remain intact. The ”Try, try, try again’ makes its debut into our subconscious  and provides the correction to our failures. Here is where, as human beings, we begin to persevere. Just forget everything that happened in the past – for it’s the next moment where you take your failure and make it into a success. Now, here’s a common example that I’m sure you are all familiar with (if not, well, my respect for you is lost). Do you remember ‘Rex’ from ‘Toy Story’? Okay, I know he is a dinosaur and I LOVE dinosaurs, but bear with me, this is relevant. On countless occasions in that beauty of a film that is ‘Toy Story 2′, Rex continuously loses in his/Buzz’ epic, climatic battle with ‘Emperor Zurg’. ‘I’m never gonna defeat Zurg!’ Wallace Shawn *ahem*, sorry, REX exclaims in his lovable, whiny voice. However, with a sense of determination (mainly, that large tail of his) he finally defeats the criminal mastermind of a toy. He set himself a goal and he achieved it – whether that be with the help of a strategy book from an Al’s Toy Barn, or just pushing ourselves that bit further, we can persevere to avoid ‘catching’ failure the second time around and achieve success.

I’ll take a personal approach in this when I say that I always assume achieving this success will be a personal thing. Refusing help from others and just attempting to take the ‘D.I.Y.’ approach is something I can be accused guilty of. BUT, here’s a little, nerdy concept that I use to correct my stubbornness and accept that I can have a little bit of help every once in a while – There is a Sam to every Frodo. Little (pardon the pun) Frodo Baggins wishes to take the ring to Mordor alllll by himself – but will his ‘West-Country’ gardening companion let him go it alone? You bet your hairy, hobbit feet he won’t! We can all share this example when it comes to perseverance. Some of us, including myself, feel that our goal to achieve success through perseverance is down to ourselves. Just once in a while, we should share our heavy load with others and make reaching that goal not as much of an apparently daunting task. An everyday example is in the sport of Football. Despite certain ‘ball-hoggers’ (what rhymes with ‘Main Loony’?), this sport is a team effort. Only in ‘FIFA’ will you see a goalkeeper run from one net to the other in an attempt to score! In the world of reality, players work together to pursue that common goal of victory, of success. Most times, quite literally through blood, sweat and tears. *Yuck*

‘Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate you are sure to wake somebody’ as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said. You can always rely on myself to find a reliable quote. This is something we can all look towards. Perseverance is about making yourself known, both to others and yourself, that you really want something. Failure is not an option, we have had enough failures. After our failures, we have learnt from our mistakes. Rather than speeding ahead attempting to avoid a blue shell on ‘Mario Kart’, we know to brake just a little bit to slide into second, then accelerate our way into victory whilst Luigi is busy weeping over the victory he almost had. Success? That’s-a more like it!

Award – The Blogger’s Reward

‘So you want to be a journalist? Okay… have you got a blog? ‘I’m afraid not… but I’m about to begin writing one!’ ‘What will it be about?’ *Awkward pause* ‘…EVERYTHING!’. This was the amusing conversation I had with a woman who visited our school wishing to discuss careers with our sixth form. Okay, so my reply MAY have projected from my mouth a tad more prosperously than I expected, but I just panicked. Yet… she was certainly impressed with my reply and to be honest – so was I.

Writing that first blog post is always going to be seen as a daunting task. Do I write in a serious manner and get my point across in a mature fashion? Do I write like a complete goofball and just be sillier than silly? My writing style was always the concept that I had difficulty grasping, initially. At first, it was just rife with cliche after cliche; then it became about as formal as formal gets *snooze*. I cringed at both attempts to write, they just weren’t me. But after a good old inspirational ‘kick up the ass’ from one of my friends, I finally grasped it. YUS! I began to finally feel comfortable with my writing style – ultimately, so did my readers. My blog has enjoyed moderate success over the past month and I’ve finally hit the first milestone – receiving a blogging award.

For me, getting a blog award was like a little kid reaching for the sweets on that infamous ‘Top Shelf’, it just wasn’t possible! The ‘taller’ kids were grabbing sweet after sweet, munching on it’s tastiness. Whereas me? I was the kid twiddling his thumbs waiting to get that bit taller. Finally – I’ve grown. Clearly this is only a metaphor, as I have this feeling that I physically can’t grow any taller (a six feet seventeen year old. Today’s youth really doesn’t get much taller than that). But, thanks to Ad-libb3d, I’ve finally reached my goal! I was honoured that he told me that my blog was fantastic and he wanted to ‘throw it around a bit’. This man is one of my favourite bloggers, a must read. He is naturally a humorous character, yet his blog posts are logical and he aims to convey a serious message. I.e. a role-model for myself, for this is the writing style I attempt to grasp in my posts. He has nominated me for the following awards:

                                                                                                                                   

Oooo… *ahem*, anyway, the nomination requires that I say seven things about myself. Personally, I’ve always wanted to have a conversation with Chris Martin SO, I’ll have a question and answer with the man himself. Hide your judgement, people:

So, Adrian, what do you see to be unique about yourself?

Well, Chris, genetically I see myself as somewhat of a ‘rare find’, about as rare as finding a teenager who hasn’t seen a single Harry Potter film. I am one of triplets, which includes a brother and sister. BUT there is more to this production story,  for my brother is also my identical twin! I shall give you a minute to recover from your recent mind explosion. *pauses*

You’ve been blogging for a about a month now. What even made you start in the first place? 

You write great music AND ask great questions? Anyway, I guess the primary reason I created this blog was to gain some writing experience as I wanted to become a journalist. Personally, the only things that I have chosen to write outside of school are ‘to-do-lists’ and job vacancy forms… not exactly a great level of experience. Yet, I felt as if there was another reason. As an individual, I feel the need to entertain others and make people laugh. It’s just how I work, wanting to make others happy. Also, I am a person who wishes to voice my opinions to those around me – this blog was just the perfect way to collaborate the two.

You seem like a committed individual. How often do you post on this blog?

*chuckles childishly* Ohhh you’re too kind. Rather than just choosing to blog meaningless posts, each and every day for the sake of doing so, I write at least every three days to add a bit more content and depth to my posts. ‘More bang for your buck’, as the saying goes (even though we say ‘quid’ here in England, we really should adapt that).

I write music for a career – it’s basically my life. Do you like music at all?

Nah I hate music, it’s really not my thing… SNAP, got you! I have about as much music in my life as I do oxygen. My Dad is convinced that my earphones are surgically fixed into my ear hole, I constantly listen to it as a way of relaxation, to escape from things. Ironically, the thing I escape from is also music! I play the violin at least five days a week and I have done ever since I was a child. Say… I can play a little bit of ‘Viva La Vida’ on it, want to hear it? No? *humph*

So what things just really tick you off, Adrian? 

Ohhh a plentiful. Adverts between my favourite shows, ‘Crocks’, horror movies, the ‘Go Compare’ man, ‘Hollyoaks’ and the final episode of ‘Friends’ just because it brought the end. The world would be a much better place without all of the above.

Where’s your favourite place to be in the world?

Hmm… I’d have to say Ireland. You’re surrounded by a top-class accent 100% of the time, it’s the birthplace of musical acts I worship like U2 (no offence), they’re one of the few countries that actually know how to throw a great party AND my Dad was born there – I HAVE to like it.

You look like a guy who eats food. What do you love and hate?

I’d say ham and cheese toasties, Chris, because unlike the majority of prepared meals I make, this is the one that ends up appetizing and not tasting of  ‘failure’. On the other hand, I hate ‘vomit flavoured’ jelly beans. I mean, what kind of a sick joke is that?!

The two blog awards I have received, I have the pleasure of sharing with six of my favourite bloggers. Each and every one of these blogs has a charming approach to cultural topics, whether that be aspects that affect themselves, society or both! They are enjoyable reads and I suggest that my readers should have a nosy at each one. The nominations are:

The general rules to follow after being nominated are to:

1. Mention the blogger who awarded you

2. Display the logo somewhere on your blog

3. Share seven things about yourself with your readers

4. Nominate five to ten of your favorite bloggers for the award and let them know that you’ve nominated them

There we have it – thank you for reading and I hope you manage to check out these wonderful bloggers! OH and listen to Coldplay after witnessing mine and Chris’ chat, for that could be yourself in my shoes one day.

Mm…mm… my dear, you have… THE GRIMM! Poor Harry Potter – he innocently turns up to his Divination class just to learn a few wizardry techniques and discovers he possesses an ‘Omen of Death’. As if school  isn’t bad enough! Not to worry, Harry, it’s probably a false claim – after all, your teacher predicted this from staring at the remains of tea leaves in a cup… seems legit? If this was the real world, Trelawney would quite possibly be labelled as a ‘loony bin’ by some people; but I guess her intentions are clear. In the magical world of ‘Harry Potter’, Divination is a class where wizards get all ‘wizardy’ by gaining knowledge of future events. Sound familiar? Whilst we might not exactly fight trolls or play giant ‘Wizard’s Chess’, Divination is something we ‘muggles’ do on a day-to-day basis – look towards the future.

Now, I don’t mean to sound like a crystal-ball gazer or a tarot card reader (though someday I’ll probably end up taking my pride out of the equation and giving them a shot), but sometimes a little prediction goes a long way. While it may be a method, that the majority of the time creates these predictions up on the spot, this is something the majority of us look at from time to time JUST to see if they’ve ‘hit the nail on the head’ – horoscopes. To a lot of people, horoscopes are about as useful to us as a tennis racket with no strings; but I don’t think it will hurt to just sneak a peek once in a while. Personally, I am a Taurus – supposedly someone who is kind and caring, but push me too far and I’m about as calm as a restless toddler. My horoscope usually works around this, today suggesting that I will ‘Divert from my regular schedule and procrastinate’. *Pfffft* I am currently writing my blog on schedule = Adrian, One, Predictions, ZERO. I am certain that many people reading today’s horoscope will laugh at how far-fetched it sounds, but it is just a small prediction based on character traits – just like the weather report, it WILL be wrong most of the time.

But regardless of accuracy to predictions, there lies a reason as to why we all wish to see what ‘the land beyond the present’ holds for us. Each and everyone one of us (unless you’re the Doctor and have access to all of space and time, no biggie) spends our life in the present. Thanks to history, we can ponder upon the past until the cows come home! Yet… what about the future? Where does that lie for us to see? Venturing into the unknown is just a part to our human nature. In my opinion, I desire to see what my life will be like for myself ahead of my own time. As a kid, I always used to sit and talk with my twin brother about what the world would be like in 100 years time. How many more James Bond films will be released, if any at all? How many more FIFA’s can be made until the world becomes sick of virtual football (just one for myself!). Will the ‘Go Compare’ man still exist, or will he just reign superior as time’s most frustrating advertising campaign/creation? These are aspects that I could speculate about, but do I possess any genuine answers to these questions? Sadly not – for the future doesn’t ‘care to share’ with his buddy, the present.

The very first time my mind was exposed to the future was when I watched ‘Back to the Future’. I remember seeing good ole Marty hitting that 88 m.p.h. in his DeLorean and transporting into a distant future, where Jaws would be back for a  ‘really, really personal’ revenge in Jaws: 19 and the city was just littered with hover-car after hover-car as far as Marty’s baffled eye could see. Years passed, time me and my brother spent chuckling at the fact that Jaws was only on its fourth and entry, whilst  the world’s strongest men spent their time making cars ‘hover’ above the ground higher than any scientist could! Yet now, I can’t help but admire writers like Bob Gale who just use their imagination to present how the world around them would look in the future. This is something that all of modern civilization appears to be doing, whether that be films, video games or technology – everyone wants a piece of that ‘futuristic cake’ that’s… not even been baked yet? Wow… I think I’ve just created the world’s most confusing cliche!

Whilst Hermione Granger quite literally spends her hours pondering through the past to get a little extra work done (*tsk*, what a… oh who am I kidding, we’d all love a ‘Time Turner’) , the ‘Men in White’ spend theirs attempting to create time travel to earn a ‘sneak preview’ of tomorrow’s today. Okay, so I applaud them on their efforts; however I feel stepping into the future to witness what lies ahead shouldn’t be as large an issue as people create. Personally, I just feel that all of us should live today and live tomorrow when tomorrow finally does arrive in its own time, if you pardon the pun! As Dean Acheson said in the past, ‘Always remember that the future comes one step at a time’. The future doesn’t need us right now. So let’s just daydream about exploring the stars someday, read the occasional, mediocre horoscope and hope that where we’re going? Well – we won’t need roads.

Schooooool’s Out For *Insert Residential Trip Here*

Well it’s about time you finally arrived! – the welcoming phrase that pops right into my noggin when that time of year makes its debut. Throughout the year, you’ll hear numerous phrases from your friends that just ooze with excitement, such as ‘OMG, it’s like, 10 months away… that means it’s really soon!!’. You don’t want to be the bearer of bad news and tell them that their observation skills are a bit off, you just let the excitement build and build and build. Until BAM, they’re the one laughing at your baffled face which reads ‘Huh? It’s not been that long, surely?’. Before you know it, folks, the time has come around that corner faster than a speeding chav in his newly prized, pimped-up Peugeot 106! Christmas, you say? Steady on – you’ve got a bit of waiting to do before that arrives. Want to know what I’m really referring to? This should help:

That looks to be either a ginormous child, or just the world’s smallest bus – but I’ll have to leave that mystery unsolved for now. If you’re a pro at Pictionary, you should have guessed that I was referring to the world famous ‘School Trip’. If not? *Applauds for effort*. For me, this is one of the most exciting times of the entire year. You stroll across the school yard, suitcase in hand, looking flyyyy in your non-uniform. Greeted by your equally ecstatic peers, you place that suitcase into the holder of your bus, ‘belt yourself up and smile at the thought of all the learning/banter/madness that’ll occur over the next few days. At that moment, you say goodbye to your own civilization and welcome the one that, like my Samsung’s battery life, won’t last very long!

For myself and 14 other Biology students who were just reared to go – that magical place was Cranedale.

After a few tense games of Top Trumps, sing-a-longs to ‘Gangnam Style’ and waves to passing drivers later, we finally arrived at our destination. That innate feeling you get when you first visit a new place is quite unique. Everything about it is different; the sights, the sounds, the smell. Before you get time to settle in, you’re already off doing activities here and there. We took a tour around the place – boy, it was NOT what I thought it would be. When they said ‘Field Studies Centre’, my childlike stereotype imagined myself surrounded by wildlife, sleeping in a hay bed and waking up to the crow of a cockerel at the crack of dawn. Okay… so it wasn’t quite like that, but one out of three ain’t bad. Tennis courts, unlimited hot chocolate supply, table tennis, bar, wi-fi?! My expectations were blown sky high, out of the water. It’s something we can all account for on a school trip. Our immediate perceptions change once we visit the place, quite like when you imagine what the next regeneration of Doctor Who will look like – it just never looks like what you thought it would.

Sadly, I couldn’t bask in this bliss for long – the education had to start at some point. We ‘broke the ice’ by creating traps in the hope to catch some of Cranedale’s woodland friends. Putting our observation skills to the test, it was decided that it would take place at night. I persisted to go without a torch as I’m a regular ‘carrot-muncher’, but sadly my persuasive skills aren’t that great so I admitted defeat. After bumping into each other numerous times and doing impressions of ‘Slender’, we’d created a pitfall trap in the hope that we would catch some insects and a mechanism to catch some innocent field mice. Were we successful in our attempt? Indeed we were! After the ‘shower rush’ and hoovering up our ‘morning banquets’,  we were greeted with a few, furry friends sleeping in their new, metallic houses. SUCCESS. Every student’s dream is for their first field trip practical to go according to plan, and we were awake living it (despite myself yawning like a hippo thanks to the early get-up).

Though no one wants a school trip to be, well, like school itself. So after our hard work, we were granted an impressive amount of free time. This is the time on a school trip where a different side comes out in just about every person you usually spend every day with. School trips enable us all to just relax, to wind back from our stressful lives which don’t seem to grant us a break. Quite like the flowers of Cranedale, (I just couldn’t resist this simile) we can just grow and blossom into these completely different people. Our teacher became not just our teacher, but a friend who we could teach the meaning of abbreviated words to, with the likes of ‘GTFO’ and ‘STFU’ at our arsenal. He used these to full effect during the whole trip, I felt like a proud father, regardless of the apparent age difference. My friends became much funnier and I could see that all that stress they usually carried with them just evaporated. Whether it was saying that a Hillary Devey midget lived under our breakfast table and ate up all the crumbs, or impersonations of Batman whilst we went ‘Bat-Hunting’, banter was made thanks to escaping from our everyday lives. Now that’s another great part to a school trip – DA BANTA! You can just make up these silly, meaningless phrases that if used back home, people would consider you to receive some ‘Medical Attention’. Teachers and friends just show that other side to them that they usually shy away, it makes you feel really proud to see them showing their true colours.

I’ve forgotten an aspect of every school trip that just cannot be forgotten. Despite a school trip being a fun, yet educational experience, some of us just can’t help but develop that little crush on a special someone. A realistic crush that if approached correctly, could result in an amazing relationship back home? Pffffffffft. Not that crush. What I’m referring to, readers, is the ‘Teacher Crush’. Although they are merely the person to enhance your education, some of us can’t help but look at them, imagining ourselves marrying them and riding with them into the sunset on the back of a majestic unicorn. For the girls of my school, that poor soul, was Chris. Look at how he sweeps his hair!! Look at the way he talks so lovingly about nature!! His jeans make his… STOP! I won’t utter what follows after that, for all of our safety. But, we all have to accept that the ‘Teacher Crush’ is just part of the natural cycle of a school trip.

Just like the end.

The last day, quite like the finale episode of ‘Friends’, it had to arrive at some point. The final practical was coming to a close. We’d battled the raging winds at Filey Beach for a whole three and a half hours, filling our ‘wellies’ with an uncomfortable quantity of seawater and discovering an impressive amount of species at sea, including crabs (I walked straight into that one). Our brains were filled with a host of new Biology terms to feast on, a plentiful supply of banter to go home with and the girls had enough images of Chris’ windswept hair to last them a life-time! As every one of us does at the end of a school trip, we say goodbye to the civilization we so warmly welcomed and sulk towards that coach with our belongings. Wipe that tear, child, because you’ll be going home with many a memory, many a banter AND many a bar of signal, now that you begin to enter a good enough hot-spot. The school trip might be over? But quite like Cranedale’s readily supply of hot chocolate – there’s plenty more where that came from.

Seriously? A post on fashion? What are you, like, gay? Unfortunately, this was the “supportive feedback” I received from one of my friends when they were informed about my new ‘blopic’ – fashion. Let me put both hands up in the air when I say that… I’m not exactly a regular fashion blogger, as you’ve gathered from my previous posts. However, I’m always one to try new things now and again (except black pudding *bleurgh*, those poor little piggies), so I shall accept the challenge. The challenge being, you ask? To write a fashion post that provides my own, charasmatic insight into the magical world of clothes, is humourous AND my testosterone levels are still intact at the end of it. Let’s do this thing!

I like to see fashion as a continuously growing concept, quite similar to ourselves. Fashion was born in a land that time almost forgot ( go science for being all sciencey and discovering the past!) thanks to our hairy, funny-looking caveman buddy billions of years ago, who decided to use that well-earnt leopard skin as a pair of undies. From that point, clothes were just a part to our exterier. Forget about ‘clashing colours’ and moments like this:

Gay Jack Sparrow - Oh GURL!... That top!...With those shoes!...

Clothes were just worn – the way you looked and the way you dressed really didn’t make you sleep less at night. Yet over time, this perception began to alter. Different cultural societies went all ‘Gok Wan’, making these sea shells into a necklace or that mammoth skin into a cosy coat (blame fashion for their exctinction, kids). It became a mainstream concept, it started to become noticed. Fashion is no longer that baby who can barely pronounce a syllable. It grew up, it went through puberty – it came out on the other side. Proud of you, fashion. I guess I can put myself into this equation. When I was a kid, as long as my Mum put a shirt on my back and a, slightly snazzy, pair of trousers – I was a happy chappy. Though, when the day arrived when I realised my fashion sense was identical to my brother’s (slightly encouraging the ‘twin sterotype’), I thought to myself ‘Now this needs to change!’

It did change – I started to care about the way I dressed. There’s a point to our lives where we actually begin to care about the way we look. Well… except from that one person who persists to buy their entire wardrobe from a charity shop. Yikes! Those ‘Spider-Man’ shoes you got from George? Sling yer hook. Your favourite ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ top? Time to say goodbye. The pair of ‘Simpsons’ slippers you always wore? Well… you can stay, you’re ‘Simpsons’ slippers after all. The life of having your Mum dress you up like ‘the doll she never had’ is just a thing of the past. You begin to adopt a certain image that becomes suited towards yourself. A certain image. Now, where did that come from? A question I puzzle myself with from time to time – why is it we dress the way we dress? Does it create a certain self-expression? Do we use our appearance to create a lasting impression on others?

Take Lady Gaga, for example. Quite a bizzare example at that! Okay, so she doesn’t exactly have an impressive majority of people who follow her, err… “fashion sense”, if that isn’t an understatement? But you certainly can’t escape from it, that is for sure. Do you think her drastically changing appearance is to emmit a statement about herself? If so, the above picture ain’t creating a pretty statement. *Ahem*, ‘Hey, I’m Lady Gaga. God, don’t you just hate Kermit the Frog? I do, I really do. Thought I’d make a dress out of 48 Kermits just to show my point.’. It just doesn’t have any logical explanation. Whatsoever. Maybe because it doesn’t need one? For me, a fashion sense is a subjective concept. Sure, it can be influenced by certain aspects of our lives, but ultimately it is our creation. Let me put a personal spin on this. I’m known by my friends as the twin with ‘The Hair’, and by my family as ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’. It’s a part of myself that those around me notice, and a part of myself that recieves its own, little associated labels. Do I think twice about it as to why I style it the way I do? Not really, I just like to see it as an aspect to my own look. Good ole Dougy Coupland presented that ‘once you establish a look, and once everybody recognises that look as your look, you never have to think about fashion again.’ Just as a dysfunctional spectrum of coloured hair-dye is Nicki Minaj’s thing and looking like a hip caveman is Russell Brands’s thing (he sees himself as an ‘S&M Willy Wonka’… seriously?), a fashion sense is created that is recognised by others, even if you do not recognise it yourself.

Fashion may not be my area of ‘blogspertise’ (just made that word up, feeling very proud), but I certainly appreciate the way it has made society grow and made ourselves grow as people. It creates a freedom of expression and a self-characterisation that even words sometimes struggle to get across. Okay, so I guess Gok Wan getting middle aged women naked and Mary Queen of Scots asking British women where their knickers are from MAY not be contributing to these qualities – but that’s what makes fashion fun. It doesn’t like to take itself too seriously and it brings a sense of light-heartedness to our occassionaly pessimistic society.

So go on, politicians, put on a meat dress – you’ll feel much better about today’s fiscal situation!

Get Out Of That Gutter, Kid – But Don’t Stop Looking At Those Stars

You there! Yes, you, you haven’t heard of me? Seriously, where HAVE you been? Now, that’s how I interpret what the picture would present if a bit of quirky dialogue was added to it. Let me tell you a little something about this guy… or does he even need an introduction? Quite possibly no! This is the man/thing/time-lord that just about every boy my age I knew wanted to become when I was young. Well, apart from those kids with an addiction to playing football. Why kick a leather ball around for the rest of your life when you can explore vast galaxies and save the Earth from complete destruction on countless occasions? Your loss, buddy! I remember in primary school, one of my friends in particular just used to sit there drawing picture after picture of this ‘regenerating legend’ and his next dysfunctional adventure. ‘Do you think I could become Doctor Who, miss?’ he bellowed with a child-like enthusiasm. Now, my teacher could have denied him his dreams right there, at that time. But she didn’t. She told him, ‘You can be whatever you want to be, Adrian!’. Yeah that’s right, friends, anti- climax! That “friend” was me. I wanted to grow up to be him – but would it always stay this way?

I never tend to read The Guardian, but an article posted today really did draw me in. *Applause*, bravo for reeling in a new reader! Anyway, the article reminisced about the days when as children, we could sit there doodling prosperously for hours about our future careers. Can I be the wildest cowboy in the west? You go ahead, kid. Can I be a knight who fights dragons for a day job? You can be the best! Yet, there was a reference to the current infamous recession; how it will become difficult for today’s youth to get ANY sort of job, let alone be Doctor Who. So, we stop aiming. We stop aiming for those stars and return to that gutter in Planet Earth.

My childhood dream of fighting the Daleks on a daily basis has been long dead. After much suppression and several new faces for the Doctor later, my career path is, well, in a completely different universe. Today I aspire to become a journalist, to pick up a pen in place of a sonic screwdriver. I do feel happy about my life choice, I have a passion for writing and presenting my opinions to others. Yet… didn’t we feel happy about our choices as kids? Didn’t we have that freedom to just be whoever we wanted as kids? I have what I had then, but that’s not important today. What’s important for us today is that we have enough ‘wonga’ in our back pockets to create a life for ourselves. The first time you have a part-time job is the scariest; but then you become used to the world of work. You recieve that first wage slip, along with a bonus smile on your face at the thought of how much amazingly useful/useless stuff you can buy with it. For me, I guess I was thankful that my parents, my teachers and society in general told me that I needed something secure in my life. That metaphorical kick up the backside is what we need to realise that life is a lot tougher than we used to think as a child. Times are tougher, jobs are harder to find and we need to show employers why it is us who deserve that job; not that ‘Joe Blogs’ kid who’ll fight (hopefully not literally) to the death for that last job post. Okay, so realism is what we need. Yet, why does that mean we should have to shoot down our dreams in the process?

My answer? Don’t – those dreams shouldn’t have to be brutally silenced. We should just have to put a realistic twist on that picture we drew in our younger years.

‘The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra’. Ohhh Jimmy Johnson, he has just sneakily answered my point without even realizing – what a guy. We shouldn’t have to see that ‘extra’ as a barrier which says ‘Kid, grow up, forget your dream and move on’. I see it as a way of transforming our childhood dreams into our lifelong careers. For the kid who wants to be the wildest cowboy in the west, how about you learn to get a ‘faithful steed’ of your own and be a jockey? Or embrace the ‘wild’ part of the West and have an adventurous career exploring vast tropical jungles in South America? These are jobs that society sees as being ‘realistic’; but deep down that child you used to be knows why you wanted to do that job – and he’s bloody proud of you for doing it.

Sure, I put the sonic screwdriver down and stopped living in my own, little, inter-galactic world. But, I picked up a tool that’ll help me explore the large, realistic world that I live in now. I’ll enjoy working, I’ll have a paycheck in hand AND – not a Dalek in sight. *Phew*, that sounds much better, doesn’t it?