Dude, Dude, Wake Up! In Fact… Carry On

Oh wait… it was just a dream! If ever there were a valid enough reason to slap my forehead with the palm of my hand – it would certainly be that phrase, the one that I just wish didn’t exist. After engaging myself in a film or book that provides more ‘W.T.F.’, ‘Tug on your heart-string’ and ‘Bloody hell, that was awesome’ moments than I thought imaginable, my recent expansion of imagination is met with the most unfortunate catch. That none of it, not even the itty-bitty bits were real. Could I not have finished watching ‘The Wizard of Oz’ believing that somewhere in the world, (Kansas, if ever I had to point to somewhere on the globe) there lays a yellow brick road surrounded by colourful munchkins, flying monkeys and a singing scarecrow? Okay… now that I read it back to myself, it does sound to be the image of someone who’s incredibly high (not that I would have the slightest idea), but I guess a part of me just wanted it all to be real. For just a second, it would’ve been nice for life to feel less monotonous, to feel more free if not slightly dysfunctional! What I’m attempting to get at here is – wouldn’t life feel so much different if our dreams were real?

This is something we’ve all pondered upon, just as men have thought to themselves ‘Why on earth do women wear high-heels if they’re so bloody uncomfortable?’. It still remains as one of life’s many mysteries. Yet… what even is a dream? The word itself has a different definition to different people (not as many as ‘set’ – seriously, try to define that word for me without thinking of a different one!). My psychology friend, not psycho to clarify, defined a dream as ‘A sequence of images and emotions that combine through mainly semantic ideas. It occurs subconsciously and involuntarily in the mind during sleep.’; others without the benefit of a Psychology A-Level see a dream to be ‘A revelation of secrets, our things to our hearts or goals for our lives’; or as ‘Simple Jack’ (Ben Stiller’s answer to ‘Forrest Gump’) believes them to be called in the ‘Lad’s Answer To Mean Girls’ known as ‘Tropic Thunder’, dreams are simply ‘Head Movies’. Wow… if there were to be any way of extracting my ‘Head Movies’, I’d make an absolute fortune! There is some tense stuff going up in there at night, seriously. So whether you are a Psychology student, a non-Psychology student or a ‘Simple Jack’ (which is possibly no one – Tugg Speedman made the mistake of going ‘full retard’), a ‘dream’ holds a different interpretation to each, individual person.

Regardless of whatever you choose to define it as, this concept has never remained the same as we grow up throughout our life, a bit like what exactly makes us ‘happy’. As a kid, my dreams usually consisted of me riding on a train to this place called ‘DreamLand’. Mock me, but this place was like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory that had much more on offer than ‘just chocolate’. Hot dogs, burgers, cakes and candy floss galore! The beauty of this? Shows like ‘Supersize vs Superskinny’ didn’t exist, nor did the possibility of a failure of one of my organs. Wahooooo! Do I still have this dream now? Not a chance, I haven’t had it in years. Our dreams have changed, just like everything else does with age. My dreams generally consist of me either forgetting to turn up to an exam or involving myself in a scenario that I watched on TV before I went to bed. I personally prefer my younger dreams to be honest! Though, occasionally we have that dysfunctional dream that means absolutely nothing whatsoever. We wake up the next morning, asking ourself the questions, ‘What the *bleep* did that mean?’ ‘Should I follow what it was getting at, or just laugh at how weird my brain is?’.

Okay, so the majority of a dreams help to make sense of what we bury in our subconscious. Yet, if we follow our dreams as if they’re a ‘compass’, then there is a danger of blurring the line between ‘dream’ and ‘reality’. That ‘dysfunctional dream’ we have might appear to be something downright impossible… or is it? I used to think there were things which just appeared to be impossible. A transformer used to be one of them – but who knows where engineering might take us in the future? Another one used to be a unicorn – a dash of genetic engineering here, a pinch of radiation there. Bravo – your very own horned, majestic horse! Though personally, I might dream about doing something, being something or achieving something. I’d like to take the chance to swap the word ‘dream’ for something else – ‘ambition’. When we say ‘I dream to…’, these might not necessarily be something we dream about when we go to sleep but something we hold dear as an aspiration. Don’t cling onto these aspirations too tightly, for like a giddy 7-year-old prizing a balloon in his flailing arms – it’ll pop. Why not listen to your actual dreams every once in a while? They’re bugging you for a reason!

If you’re ever wondering what to make of your life – why not pair the two of them together? I like to see that ‘aspirations’ and ‘dreams’ can be added together to make our ‘goals (‘Dreamspirations’, if you will). From this, our life can actually have our own little guideline. Next time somebody says ‘Wake up! Stop dreaming and get back into the real world!’, smile at the fact that you’ve combined the two – a sense of realism with a nice little visit to ‘DreamLand’. Whether we reach our dreamspiration is dependent on our ability. Though nothing is perfect (apart from the Toy Story trilogy. Gah what a wonderful creation), so don’t dream to be an intergalactic footballer who gets to work via spaceship. Let’s just take one thing at a time! To finish, here’s a little something to give you a good old, inspirational, kick up the backside! You are most welcome:

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!

My Life Is Alive, With The Sound of Muuusiiic

It may be Monday. It may have rained so much today that my clothes have stuck to me for the majority of the day. There may be a triple bill of Simpsons on Sky One tonight. BUT even those reasons aren’t enough to stop me posting tonight. Now I would say ‘commitment’ is my middle name – but I kind of spoilt that illusion in my last article. You catch the drift, time for my next post!

Now my WordPress ‘Gravatar’ gives it away, but I am a dedicated musician. Quite like the picture, there never seems to be a moment where I don’t have a violin in my hand. Myself and my triplet siblings have played it from the age of 7 and music has been a key part of my life ever since. I know that some people will find themselves in a situation where they literally have nothing else to do – music gives you an excuse to fill that empty space in time. Whether it’s to have fun or to expand your skill-set, playing an instrument is a great way to create a new hobby.

Yeah, I know that a lot of guys nowadays prefer to play Call of Duty as opposed to a crackin’ tune on a violin, but still – that doesn’t mean music is dead. Hopefully people can agree with me when I say that I always seem to have a pair of earphones plugged into my ears. While obviously it’s a great way to get out of an awkward situation (nothing to say? Pretend to text and stick those headphones in – works like a charm!), listening to music helps to reinforce every emotion. Feeling happy? Feel even happier with a bit of music. Feeling sad? Chin up, buddy, put those headphones in. For those few minutes whilst a song plays, we immerse ourselves into our own little musical bubble, where the world can be forgotten just for a little while. It has helped me get through a lot in my life, and I’m sure it will continue to do so.

We all have different musical tastes thanks to our different personalities. Personally I like to see myself as a bold individual, someone who likes to make themselves heard, who’s not afraid to experiment from time to time. Hopefully you’ve guessed my musical choice already. If not – here is a bit of a giveaway: 

I’m not a great fan of modern chart music (I’m looking at you ‘The Wanted’), it’s just too “samey” for me. Rock’s always finding a way to reinvent itself, to be even more barmy than the last record whilst keeping to a deep, meaningful lyric set. Well, most of the time anyway. That’s always been a concept I’ve thought about – look at yourself as a person. How you act, how you react. Does it reflect your personality? Just a little thought to leave you with. Oh, and this. Of course I wouldn’t do a music post without a reference to this. It’s just brill.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

Where Did You Come From? Where Did You Go?

I’m starting this post with a smile on my face, as I stole the title from Cotton-Eye Joe. Now I never thought I would do that, but at least it’s appropriate for my topic of discussion! Earlier this week, I joined a writing class at the town centre near where I live (I don’t know I single guy my age who would join such a thing; then again, I don’t have any friends who want to become journalists). The ice-breaking activity was to write my full name down on paper and state what each name means, where it came from etc. Simple, yes, but it really got me thinking – how much meaning and history lies behind our names? What hides behind those names that we say near enough every day?

Now for poor Cotton-Eye Joe, his name doesn’t exactly paint a great picture of himself (Yeah…  it’s not just the ‘ultimate redneck song’). Names are a crucial part of today’s society. They help to make a first impression, to define yourself as a person and make yourself known to others. Personally, my name is just something that I write to fill in forms and introduce myself to others – but there is a lot more behind it than that. I’ll show you my full name and tell you how it reflects on me as a person: Adrian Charles ‘Peter’ Horan.

Adrian quite literally means ‘From Hadria’, a place who’s name was borne by the emperor who had this built in his reign:            

Yeah, he was pretty powerful. Charles has been the name of numerous kings and princes throughout history (there’s even a prince alive now who’s called Charles. He is Her Majesty’s son, no biggy). Peter is my Catholic confirmation name, which I chose because even though he did wrong against Jesus, he was always close and faithful to him. Horan is one of the most common Irish surnames to date. To sum up, I’m a powerful Irish Catholic. Well… not really, but it’s not something people would guess when you look at me and ask me what my name was.

My last name is something which tends to surprise people, because not many people even know I’m part Irish apart from my close friends. I’ve always been primarily English – I speak with a Yorkshire accent, I love British food and I love Doctor Who (If you don’t like Doctor Who, then you might need to consider doing so. It’s ‘amazeballs’, to quote one of my past articles). But there is a part to both me and my family that wants to embrace our Irish heritage. My Dad is the Irish-bred member of the household, and it has certainly rubbed off on the family as we have grown up. We have a ‘FECK’ reg plate hanging above our kitchen door and there’s an ornament in our garden holding a Magners bottle. ‘Nuff said, really. Ireland’s my favourite place in the world; I have travelled with my family there umpteen times and I always want to go back after each visit. I’ve always wanted to embrace my heritage (I’ve finally perfected an Irish accent being constantly around my Dad = win), and I think it is important that we all should. Names are not just something we apply to ourselves. They are a reason to delve into our past and explore what makes the history of ourselves. Hopefully this has inspired my readers to do the same, or to listen to Cotton-Eye Joe for old times sake? Heck, why not do both?

And for all you Horans out there (or just anyone who was interested, really) here’s a picture of my family crest. It’s something to be proud of!              

Go Fourth and Multiply

Ohhh the magical world of science. My parents asked for one, just one more child so that my older sister Naomi could have a play-friend. But the big man in the sky was feeling generous that day, and decided to give them… *dramatic pause*, three babies!

That’s right readers, for those who don’t know (mainly the blogging community, I’ve not really shared this fact with you, apologies), I am one of a set of triplets. With an identical twin brother in that set of triplets. To sum up, my Mum and Dad basically hit the jackpot on the genetic lottery. I tend to take that fact for granted, but me and my class were having a chat about myself and my brother today and I came to a conclusion. Multiple births rock.

Despite Mum reminiscing about the constant back-pain problems, and a reduced ability to walk carrying three babies, she always tells us that having triplets changed her life. Now whether that’s for better or for worse I’m not sure; but personally, having three restless babies in close proximity 24/7 wouldn’t be my ideal cup of tea, but we all have different preferences. A lot of my friends really don’t know how she managed to constantly monitor three little rascals, but from her perspective we didn’t seem all that bad. It’s the stories she told that makes the idea of raising multiple children that less scary; whether that’s how my brother Anthony would spill chocolate down his face and become ‘The Chocolate Monster’, or how my sister Olivia would team up with Naomi and dress up our cat in numerous baby’s accessories (why on earth my cat agreed with such a thing, I’ll never know).

Now for anyone out there who was part of a multiple birth, you can agree with me when I say that personally it doesn’t seem all that amazing; but I always forget that multiple births are a rare event. Sure I’m used to it, but whenever I meet new people and tell them I have two siblings the same age as me, it’s as if I’ve just told them I secretly have superpowers (I’m still waiting for the day when I can tell someone that!). But it’s even better when I’m with my siblings, the conversation tends to go a little something like this:

“Excuse me, but are you two twins?” “Why yes, yes we are… triplet’s whilst we’re getting things out in the open.” “WOW that’s amazing! But… bless your poor mother!”

It’s kind of become a routine with the three of us, and it makes me chuckle each and every time we say it. Yet, even though we’re triplets, it’s the concept of twins that people ask the most questions about. Any twins out there can back me up on this, but you tend to get this series of questions. 1. Who was born first? 2. Are you like, psychic? Can you read each others minds? 3. If i punched twin one, would twin two feel it? 4.Who’s the evil one? It becomes slightly tedious, but you’ve got to answer these questions – it’s standard twin procedure! Any multiple birth child who has an identical sibling knows that you’ve got to make the most of your awesome identical gene order. You can have a ton of fun, whether it’s swapping names for photo day, swapping classes, finishing each others sentences, heck, even having alternative dates with the same girl –  make the most of being a multiple child. We’re a special breed.

It may be a slim possibility to be a multiple sibling? But wow, I’m glad I’m that 1 in *insert figure here*, because I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s pretty neat.