This Photo Fought Off Cancer

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Adrianna – Donator to Cancer Research

Sometimes in life, we do some pretty crazy stuff in the name of charity. Whether that be throwing yourself out of an aeroplane to almost-certain death, or mixing Frosty Jacks with bleach and half a packet of gravy granules for a Necknomination. For supposedly being the most intellectual species on the planet, we can be pretty damn stupid at times – I recently discovered that I am no exception!

Gents, do you and your girlfriend have a list of things that you want to do to each other (steady on, not that list)? For me, I’ve always wanted to make Lydia watch Star Wars, play video games with me and learn to at least tolerate Coldplay. That she has. For Lydia, she wanted me to Holy Music B@tman!, perfect an Irish accent and allow her to ‘doll me up’. To my demise, that list was only two thirds complete – charity was going to change that.

Unless you’ve been living under a social media rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of the latest charity craze, the #nomakeupselfie. Women everywhere have been ‘taking off their masks’ and exposing their natural self to the world. I’ve seen a range of comments, from “Y u so beautiful?! xxxxxxx” to “Some birds are getting deleted after this no make up thing”. Genuine. It’s racked in an astonishing £8m for Cancer Research, changed the way women perceive themselves and created a multitude of grumpy people who shout “DOWN WITH SELFIES” instead of donating for a good cause.

James
Jamesita – Best Friend and Nominator!

Whilst it may be only a small proportion of people, cancer does affect men too. And thanks to one of my best friends who wished to express his inner-diva, I found out that the #makeupselfie was coming to get us. Once I saw my nomination, and the look on Lydia’s face, I knew what I was in for.

An hour and several varieties of makeup later, Lydia’s list was complete and my pride was both degraded and restored simultaenously! Look in the mirror. You see that bearded teenager with lengthy eyelashes and a powdered face? That’s Adriana. She just raised £3 for Cancer Research.

Forget ‘That picture just gave me cancer’, I can hope that some day, this picture fought off cancer. On a serious note, trends like this give everyone that extra reason to help combat any life threatening diseases, not just cancer, so let’s keep them up!

Texts From a Friend

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The majority of the time, texts from a friend usually consist of “How are you?”, “Are you on your way?” and “Wow, what a gay Facebook status”. Yet, there’s that one rare moment when a simple text turns into a conversation filled with specs of goldust just itching to be written down before somebody copyrights what you’ve just discovered… Exhibit A:

“Ross you didn’t invent ‘got milk?’.” “Yes I did, I DID… I should’ve written it down…”

Well, I recently had one of those moments, excluding the ‘got milk’ copyright part! As I’m sure some of you are aware, Irrational Games, the developer behind the critical and commercial phenomenon ‘Bioshock Infinite’ have recently ceased to exist due to a “change of focus”. After publicly grieving on Facebook that there won’t be any more games released in the Bioshock series, I received a text, from my friend Ben,which flourished into a brilliant snippet of critical conversation/banter:

Ben: 2k has thousands of employees. For Mr Levine to want to make something different does not require to out 100 developers out of a job. The game series will just be made by others. Anyway Bioshock 1/2 were not the same as infinite. Also many  developers can work on a franchise and it still be okay. Look at CoD. Also these 100 developers have a chance (not a brilliant on though) to work at another 2k developer and probs still make BioShock games. Even though it probs mean that they have to uproot themselves to another country/state/etc. The story here is not he future of BioShock.

Me: Yeah of course, I beared in mind naughty dog when you said that – one team made Uncharted, one made The Last of Us, apparently similar games, if one of the teams went bust I guess the other team would, to a degree, be able to replicate it 🙂

Ben: Is replication what you want? What about innovation?

*small toilet break*

Me: Recognition more than replication, I guess, I want to recognise what I’m playing, but yes, push the boundaries too 🙂

Ben: Recognition can come from the name on the box. Far cry 3 blood dragon is not like far cry 3 however the box tells you the link

Me You can recognise the title, not necessarily the brand! I don’t see Operation Raccoon City as a Resident Evil game (per se) despite holding the brand name 🙂 We’d make a good critical duo!

Ben: Where do a brand and title desperate? That may be a good question to ask?

And the duo idea is so good I’ll take 50% of the moonah

Me: Right down the middle… 70/30, like I said 😉

Aside from the fact that this is a tad boring and I use emoticons far more than I do full stops, you see my point! Don’t just let those wonderful texts get lost into cyberspace – show the world that you, sir/madame, have something pretty darn inspiring to say. I expect to see you overtaking the Queen for her Christmas speech any day now 😉

‘Twas the Night Before Valentine’s

Original article at York Vision

We’ve come a long way from the first medieval associations of Valentine’s Day with the romantic love and chivalry of Geoffrey Chaucer’s time. But is chivalry dead? Doris Xu has given us a fascinating insight into Chinese mythological romance right up to modern commercial culture. Adrian discusses his plans for his first Valentine’s Day as a student in a relationship. Not all of us will be sending generically mass-produced cards and strewing a path of rose petals to the bedroom after a sumptuous restaurant dinner in 2014.

Popular suggestions include e-cards (because it’s the thought that counts?) for long distance relationships, or pushing the boat out with a £20 Marks and Spencer’s dine in for two deal. Even happily established, i.e. virtually married, couples often scoff at the ‘commercialization’ of the tradition. With the trend for doing things ‘ironically’, our comment editor has expressed a desire to watch When Harry Met Sally whilst crying into his Ben & Jerry’s. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Bridget Jones’ Diary are also suitably tragic but brilliant options for viewing on the 14th.

ADRIAN HORAN

For the first time in Valentine’s Day history, I won’t be spending mine sneering at the joyful statuses of lovers on my Facebook news feed, or resisting the urge to mope to R.E.M.’sEverybody Hurts, because I’m now one of the lucky people to be in a relationship and have plans.

Considering this, I find myself a bit of a newbie in celebrating it this year, particularly when me and my girlfriend conform to the opposite gender stereotypes. I’m quite the softy, who considers a box of chocolates and a serenade to be acceptable; she isn’t into cheese (the emotional kind, she loves real cheese) and will happily accept chocolates on an essay-stimulating basis, rather than an emotional one.

That leaves us with limited options: we’re both new to this business. As a compromise, we’ve both agreed that we’ll stand together against the commercialisation and have a romantic, student night in. I’ve been assigned as chef, whilst a cold 76 Tang Hall Lane is the designated romantic cabin of love and assorted biscuits. The problem is that I’m sharing with a couple already, so the fight will be on as to who can claim the table and scented Gladecandles first!

DORIS XU

In China, western Valentine’s Day seems more popular among young lovers than the traditional one known as Qixi festival. Qixi festival originates from Chinese folk tales. According to the mythological story, the love between a weaver girl as an incarnation of Vega and a cowherd symbolizing Altair cannot be permitted by heaven. They were expelled to opposite sides of the Milky Way, and could only meet once a year on the night of July 7 in lunar month, when a flock of magpies would form a bridge with their wings to reunite the lovers. Although the reunion can never happen, lovers, newly-weds, and old couples, will cuddle up together and gaze at the sky to seek Vega and Altair as part of tradition. If it is a rainy night, people believe the rainfall to represent the tears shed by the separated couple.

In contrast to this ancient and sentimental way, young people prefer western Valentine’s Day featuring romance. Generally speaking, young people will enjoy a candlelight dinner with lovers exchanging presents. In some cases, some young men may devise a surprise. One of my best friends in China told me how excited she felt when unpacking the valentine’s gift. She fancied a handbag before and a couple of days later, she was depressed to find other buyers had nabbed it. She felt down, until she unwrapped the Valentine’s present and found it was exactly what she longed for.

On February 14th, some young men and women in love may choose to register marriage on the special day. Another tradition is the blind date. Some dislike spending Valentine’s Day alone, so attend blind dates organised by matchmaking agencies and TV programs. Some parents are even involved in the matchmaking if their children are too busy to date. Parents may put up a profile of their child and if they are satisfied with the counterpart, they will exchange contact information. This seems like a market, but it’s become a prevalent phenomenon in China in current years.

Meanwhile, in terms of the pressure to celebrate, some young people said they have no alternative. Otherwise, their lovers may think they are not loved. Each year, celebration may cost them a sum of fortune, since after Valentine’s, there are some other romantic festivals such as March 14th known as White Day, and May 21st which is celebrated among the young as the pronunciation of the date in Mandarin is similar to “I love you”, plus Qixi festival. In the end, nobody can be happier than shopkeepers!

 

I Got The Power!

I got a bit nostalgic from all of the Superbowl Superhero ads, so here’s my superhero post from last year 🙂

TheTripletBlogger

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…

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Got Any (Room For) Spare Change?

Pre-warning – ‘change’, to make something different, not to be mixed up with the thing we throw in fountains and find down the backs of our sofas.

‘Keane’ – pardon this inexcusable pun, but I’m pretty *ahem*, ‘keen’ on them. Just like any sentimental teenager my age, I’m just a sucker for a thought-provoking set of lyrics (unlike Madonna, whose lyrics are about as useful to me as the free gift in a Christmas cracker). With nothing meaningful to watch on the t.v., I plug-in my headphones and let the tunes/inspiration flood into my head. Today, that came to me in the form of Keane’s ‘Everybody’s Changing’. Not because it inspired me to sing it out loud and look like an idiot in front of my Mum; nor to inspire me to tap my foot rapidly on the ground to the rhythm of the beat; but instead to think about my life and how, well, everybody’s changing and I don’t know why.

For anyone my age, I”m sure you can relate when I say that I’m stuck between *insert cliche here*, a rock and a hard place. That rock being my A-Levels, being able to not panic, pass them well and, if necessary, hyperventilate into a brown paper bag; and university, where I’m expected to become a young adult and have a bitter taste of the wide, open world (sadly, I still have no clue how to cook, I suck my thumb from time to time and I love Spongebob Squarepants. What can I say?). No matter what I do, I have to begin to accept that everything’s change, as well as everybody I knew. ‘Everybody’s changing and I don’t know whyyyy’, I’d sing to myself – but some changes you just can’t change!

Yet, there are changes that have happened in our lives, because we’ve gone with the flow and not noticed they’ve gone (I blame YOLO. Always blame YOLO). Half term was a good kick of nostalgia up the backside to remember what I once had. With a week on our hands and nadda to do but watch replays of ‘Friends’, me and my brother decided to rack out the board games from the cupboard, blow off the mounds of dust and have a friendly game/highly competetive battle of death of Simpson’s Chess! After about an hour of determination, perspiration, more determination, aggrivation and a bit more perspiration, we brought back something that had long become a distant memory. I’d forgot how good the simple times were. Change has made being a pro at ‘Guess Who’ and winning ‘Operation’ without a single buzz suckish, but instead getting a 25 Kill Streak on COD and 2 million points on Temple Run impressive! Seriously, if you escape from the changing, modern world for just a little while? It does a hell of a lot of good… mainly because I remembered how much better I was at chess than Anthony, BOOYAKASHA!

Despite my initial warning, this is what I like to call ‘sparing a little change’ – sparing this ‘change’ in our lives, and putting it to one lonely corner of our minds (quite like giving up the PS3 – we’ve parted ways. I’m re-reading Harry Potter and it’s doing a brilliant job of making me feel 12 years old again). In a world of Chinese Robot Restaurants and bracelets that light up every time you get a notification on your phone, it’s hard not to notice we’re subject to large changes. However, I’m forgetting that our parents are the key to ‘sparing a little change’. Like my Dad, I’m becoming quite like him (except with more hair, BURN) in that I’m still oldskool. As my friends make the most of i-Tunes and Spotify, I still treck to That’s Entertainment and buy 3 for £5 CDS. My best friend has a Kindle… I’m still that weirdo who sits in the corner at Waterstones taking in ‘the new book smell’! I know why everybody’s changing – but I know that I don’t have to.

Take this pixelated beef-cake, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph’. After many belly laughs, 3 for £1 ASDA sweets and ‘awwww’s later, I could not have been inspired more by this film as it taught me a valuable lesson. Okay, three:

  • The world would be a much tastier place if everything was made out of sweets and chocolate.
  • ‘Glitches’ have feelings too, ya know.
  • You don’t have to change who you are to change your life – only the way you see the world.

Living a monotonous life of wrecking a building, only to then be fixed by squeaky clean ‘Fix-It-Felix Jr.’, he wanted something different. He wanted to *gasps*, become the good guy and… no longer be the good guy? Sadly, despite his efforts, he couldn’t change himself from being the big-fisted, smash-em-up he is; however, after casually saving an arcade game from destruction, he began to change the way in which he saw the world (I might have casually inserted a quote from Mahatma Gandhi there?). Change isn’t a bad thing; but completely changing our lives because it goes at such a fast pace is never great either. Everybody might be changing; but for now? I’m just going to spare room for some spare change like uni, whilst still being a master at Top Trumps and playing Pokemon every now and again. One thing I won’t change is my diet – just for your amusement, I thought I would show you what that would do to me in the future. Here goes my pride:

Ady FatBooth

Yikes… you can’t say I don’t like to poke fun at myself now and again!

1. Half full… awesome!

2. *Ugh*, it’s half empty. Well that’s just great…

3. Seriously, it’s a glass of water, who gives a shit monkey’s?

Who would have thought filling a cup mid-way could provoke so many responses! It seems like a simple enough concept, right? Right? Sadly, I used to think it was – but it turns out, everyone has a little something to say about this half-filled glass of H20. Philosophers have questioned the logic of it; Scientists have attempted to provide an explanation for it, and Optimists and Pessimists have long fought to claim this idiom as their own. The Glass of Water debate – let me (being a pro at Pictionary, of course) sum up all of this aquatic nonsense in one word – Perspective. ‘Is… is that Jesus’ face in my coffee?’ ‘Dude, you crazy?’; ‘That cloud looks like a rabbit!’ ‘Really? Looks like a cloud to me.’; ‘M-m-mum, that cup just accidentally smashed onto the floor – it’s a ghost!’ ‘S-s-son, I just saw you trip and drop it. You’re paying for that.’ To look at something, like an object or a situation, and see it in a completely different way to someone else? As someone who I can’t remember probably might have once said – It’s All A Matter of Perspective.

Certainly, as Lent begins to kicks into its full ’40 Days and 40 Nights’ swing, I’m really beginning to see how important perspective is within our lives. What are you giving up for Lent? is the perfect question to ask if you really want to get perspective out in the open! At this time of year, 9/10 times we feel we owe it to J-man to give up something we take for granted, something we could do without for just a little while. On our own personal level, it feels as if it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do… but tell someone else? And they just might ‘LOL’ in your face at how pathetic you’re sounding. I’ll take myself on this one – in my perspective, I saw through my own square-eyes that I needed to part ways with my mechanical best friend, the Playstation 3. As I got my last kill streak on C.O.D., I put the controller away, said my goodbyes and shed a solemn tear as we parted for fourty long days and fourty sleepless nights. So, what did you give up for lent, Ady? I… * croak*, I had to give up the Playstation… *sniff*’ Oh… poor you, I guess? In someone else’s perspective, my heart-breaking decision was to them, a piece of cake. Or rather, a lack of cake, as they had given that up instead! Perspective always brings out something different in us, possibly even in the same situation.

Sadly, perspective has brought one bad thing into this world – your hormone-filled majesty, her royal ‘cry’ness, ‘The Drama Queen’. *Shudder*, sadly, these Queens do not create a good and prosperous society for their populace; they just create large mountains from molehills instead! It is in their perspective that things just really are worse than they may seem. Remember Veruca Salt from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ (I WANT IT NOOOOOOW) ? In her perspective, Daddy’s wallet and a trip to a secret chocolate factory with colourful midgets singing show tunes just wasn’t enough for her! Thankfully, she was labelled as a ‘bad nut’ and herself, her perspective and her pride were all sent down a garbage shoot. So what good has perspective brought then?

Thankfully, perspective has brought a hell of a lot of good in our lives! We all live in the same world, surrounded by similar influences – but that doesn’t mean we all have to react in the same way. Piccasso, Da Vinci and MickyAngelo would have all started out with coloured paint; yet, they all saw the world they lived in a completely different way and chose to put brush to canvas and smere something completely different. Or even playing Pictionary – seriously, just draw a basic shape and you’ll be surprised what you get back. Perspective really does make the world an interesting, strange, dysfunctional, fun, entertaining place to be – just like a glass being both half full and empty, it can be all of them at once!

At first I thought it was because it was due to genetic differences; yet what amazes me is the fact that I share a completely different perspective on the world with my identical twin brother, Ant. We have the same hobbies, the same friends, the same diet… basically everything is the same. Though, we have grown up to want to do different things later in life and to achieve different things! Yeah, we do finish each others sentences and make a cracking ‘Fred and George’ impersonation act; but our perspectives just can’t be identical. It’s all a matter of perspective – the way you see the world is unique. You might see your cup half empty, or half full. Heck, you might even think ‘Ew, water’s gross, it doesn’t even taste of anything!’. But, whatever the measurement, your perspective might someday change the world. Though… if you do someday become inspired from this and get rich? Don’t forget whose perspective it was who inspired you! *nudge nudge*

You’re The One Who Is My Man Crush

In light of Valentine’s Day (or Thursday, the 14th of February we singletons prefer to call it), I’m going to share a little something with you. As couples reel out the ‘Pretty Woman’s and the ‘Titanic’s in preparation for a soppy, tear-filled evening; as roses are bought and love-letters are sealed with a great, fat *MWAH*; and as Cupid readies his golden arrows in the hope of shooting some poor, lonely sod in the derriere and filling them with a rush of hormones, I begin to realise that I’m one of the few people who will spend their night singing Akon’s ‘Mr Lonely’ in front of a mirror. Yet, we ‘lone wolves’ are capable of feeling as mushy as a plate of school dinner mash-potatoe around this time of year, too – I certainly am. Though, not in a But, but you don’t understand. I love her so much it hurts! kind of way. In a different way…

Whether it be at parties, or just randomly with my best friend, this question has awkwardly been placed into conversation, with me as its victim. So, if you had to pick one person, who would you say your man crush is? ‘The Man Crush’ – normally, I have never been able to answer this question at the expense of both my pride and my heterosexuality! However, thanks to the likes of ‘Urban Dictionary’ (which is much better than your mainstream dictionary, if not slightly more dysfunctional), I realise now that I completely misunderstood what I thought, at first, was a teenage guy’s answer to a ‘social taboo’. Respect, admiration and idolisation of another man. Bearing that in mind, I feel that to myself and my readers, I can finally answer this question without the fear of being called ‘a puff’. This is slightly awkward for me, so rather than telling you my man crush is Johnny Depp, I’ll just show you a picture of him instead:

*Lone wolf whistle*, hellooooo Johnny! Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bad-looking chap; but it’s not his looks that encouraged me to publicly embarrass myself on WordPress. Rather, it’s the fact he has grown to become many of the traditional, fictional characters that I myself have grown to love ever since I was a little kid. Captain Jack Sparrow – the treacherous yet coward-like pirate who spends the majority of his time chasing after girls and long-lost treasures, with the question ‘Why is the rum gone?’ always at the back of his mind. Edward Scissorhands – an unfortunately disfigured ‘creation’ who doesn’t make the best first impression, but chooses to make cracking ice sculptures instead. Mad Hatter – a dysfunctional, loyal friend to Alice who throws the best damn tea party in all of Wonderland. Seriously, ask anyone! All of these different, unique characters came about from this one man. This is what makes Mr Depp worthy of being the man who is worthy of my crush. Okay, the elephant in the blog post is that all actors do this – yet, not all actors can do it in the way that he can.

Whether it be a role-model, an inspiration or an *insert sex here* crush, we enjoy to follow them by example. I realised that just having a broad, Yorkshire accent isn’t the most entertaining and inspirational one to listen to – the answer to solve this problem was in fact GCSE Drama. I thought I’d follow Johnny’s example and maybe try out a few more accents here and there. Just like he expanded into all of these different characters, I enjoyed embracing my sense of creativity and venturing into these different, cultural voices. There was a Gok Wan here, an African-American Vicar there, even a West Country farmer somewhere else! Now? You’ll certainly want me on your side when you’re prank calling someone! Having an idol to measure up against helped me achieve such a goal, albeit, a rather child-like one.

‘Measure Up Against’ being the key phrase in that sentence! In one shameful way from another, we have had to bear witness to some people who, rather than just having a crush or a role model to admire, have one instead to duplicate. Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Joker – we’ve sadly seen them all. I think the joy of having someone to look up to is that we don’t change who we are in an attempt to become someone else; but instead we can change the way we are because it seems the right thing to do so. I’m going to bear in mind the cliché Facebook ‘You’re The One Who…’ comment: You’re the one who’s great, so don’t ever change! If it’s a real crush or a ‘Johnny Depp like’ one, remain true to yourself before you send that extra cringey Valentines Card or shave your head because ‘Britney did it so I totally should!’.

It’s A New Start, It’s A New Year, It’s A New Life For Me – And I’m Feeling Drunk

 Top New Years Eve Parties In Las Vegas

Here we go everyone! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… BLAST OFF! Wait, that’s not it… *Ahem*, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… ZERO! Nope, that’s not it either.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1… happy new year? Really? Well then – HAPPY NEW YEAR! That dysfunctional time of year has finally arrived – not a time where pink bunnies skip around throwing chocolate eggs from baskets; nor a time where hyperactive, costumed kids flock the streets to fill their goody bags a plenty. Oh no, this is a time when stumbling around your living room, champagne glass in hand and dancing around to Jools Holland are the ways to celebrate properly!

New Year’s Eve, or ‘Day’, it really does depend on whether you’re reading this before or after twelve; quite possibly the second most mischievous night of the year (I think we all know which is the first, its self explanatory title gives it away)! The thing about tonight is, we certainly remember to celebrate it with our friends and family, those close to us. With 70m texts on average sent shortly before midnight and 28% of Brits expected to go out for a family walk, I think our concern to celebrate it with others is clear! However, whether we remember any of that celebration whatsoever? Well… that is one wacky, drunken story altogether. The majority of those texts sent possibly have to be translated or… considered, as they may have been intended for someone else. The Drunken Text, the pally-pall of this night of celebration. With 180m pints of alcohol expected to be drunk, I think these two will remain friends for yet another year. Here is a simple equation for you – Drink + Text = Nskjdpehzxfdscsdq. It works, I can promise you that. Also, that family walk may even be a ‘family stumble’, depending on how hard we celebrate tonight! 70% of us are expected to have some form of house party, whether that be within our own home or at our friends. The other 30%? *Sigh*, I’m afraid you’re just not celebrating right.

As you can see, this night is a time to let go. In that void between one year and another, we can just throw all of the past year into it. Within just a mere, few seconds, we look back at an entire year. Whilst we can’t remember all of the previous year (curse you, pint of Carlsberg!), we at least try to ponder upon both the admirable and cringe-worthy highlights of it. That time you managed to spell ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ correct for the very first time without having to Google it. Or how about that time your Mum walked in on the Inbetweeners at the point where Simon had his doo-das out on the fashion show, *shudder*? Thinking about the Olympic games, whether that be the incredible sporting achievements, how Steven Feck ‘Fecked Up’ (it had to be done) his diving attempt, or seeing James Bond parachute out of a helicopter with ‘Her Majesty’ (who still looked miserable afterwards. Come on, Lizzy, you just skydived with 007 and opened the Olympic Games, crack us a smile!). Memories, memories, even more memories. We weigh up the past 365 days and just consider one of two options:

  1. Wow, 2012 was an absolutely brilliant year. Here’s to 2013! *Clinks wineglasses*
  2. Man… my year has been *beep*! Another year? Another whole year? Here’s to 2013… *Downs Smirnoff*

Before you cry on your screen and risk breaking the thing at realising you are option two – DON’T PANIC. There is still hope, which comes in the form of a little promise you make to yourself – The New Year’s Resolution. Mate, they‘re just crap, never stick to ’em anyway! Okay, the odds are stacked against me – only 1 in 10 of us succeed in fulfilling our new year’s resolution, whilst 12% of those resolutions only last throughout the year. Seems pointless, right? Well scaaaarew the statistics! To be honest, it’s not about whether you stick by your promise, but as to whether you feel you can see a change in yourself for the year. It’s a strange, little concept, the new year’s resolution. Tonight, as we change those two digits from a ’12’ to a ’13’, we in some way hope to change a little something about ourselves, too. It may even appear insignificant, something we don’t even consider throughout the year. Yet, as we see ourselves boxing the Christmas decorations *sniff* away, changing our bedside calendars, we feel that it is a necessary thing to witness a change in ourselves. To lose weight, to gain weight; to find more extra-curricular activities to do, to get rid of a few extra-curricular activities because you do too many; to make a new year’s resolution, to make a resolution to promise yourself not to make a resolution next year. The list continues! When he’s not making E.T. phone home, or creating CGI dinosaurs to chase Jeff Goldblum, Speilberg is making quotes like this:

‘All of us, every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives’

Too right, Stevie. Who knows whether we’ll succeed in our miniature promise – but as long as we ignore the fact that 2013 may be an unlucky year if you’re superstitious, party the night away today and count those 10 numbers down with Ole Joolsey like you’ve never bloomin’ counted before? Well, the next year is going to be one hell of a ride. Happy New Year, sober readers, and to those too intoxicated to read this? Happy New Year to you, too! I hope you all have a prosperous 2013… queue fireworks:

And I Think To Myself – ‘What A Weird And Wonderful World’

Personally, I hope you read that title in a Louis Armstrong-like manner. Don’t worry, you can now return to your normal, narrative voice for the rest of the article! Now, feast your eyes on the above picture. This idiom is finally relevent in a literal sense within my life as recently, I innocently cracked open an egg, not knowing what unnatural abomination lay inside it. Any idea what it was? *Gips*, my egg white… was green. Neon green. Neon green like ‘Monster’ energy drink and Borat’s ‘mankini’ neon green. Sadly, I had to grant this a different name – ‘lunch’. The irony here is that neon green is far beyond the likes of the colour white (Okay, physics people,  I know that green is a fragment of the spectrum of light which is white. Just put your ‘Biology Heads’ on momentarily). I didn’t even know what to make of this yucky substance. Even Google was divided on the matter! Whilst some suggested, ‘No seriously, it’s just a surplus of B12 vitamin, eat it, it’ll be ‘rate’, others exclaimed ‘Whatever you do – DON’T eat it! It’s a bacterial infection, which means you’ll die!’. *Moderate applause*, both convincing arguments; however, my tummy needed a fillin’, so I muttered ‘yolo’ under my breath and ate the thing. Ate it and spent the next half an hour thinking that my stomach was now a tick-tocking time bomb!

But nothing happened.

I’m alive? I ate that weird slime and I’m alive? It really was a surplus of B12! If I were to be stereotypical old me and throw it away because it looked weird, I wouldn’t have digested that wonderful, B12 goodness. Mind you, I don’t know what B12 vitamin does – but I’m a sucker for a freebie! Whilst the weird and the wonderful bat for two, separate, metaphorical teams; this instance brought the two together (albeit, in a green, ‘gunky’ mess). Can the two be one in the same?

Observation One: No *Beeping* Way! Sometimes, we enjoy to see dysfunctional things happen that are out of the ordinary, just to add a twist to our lives. Videos of a turtle humping a shoe, a flock of ducks running down a street and a rap battle between Moses and Santa Clause are all examples of weird things that I’ve never seen occur in my lifetime, but boy do I need them in my life. They’re bizarre, they make me chuckle, a perfect blend! The Golden Rule (No not Christ’s Golden Rule) of weird things – you’ve got to know where the line is. Passing beyond this line is the reason nature just can’t put ‘weird’ and ‘wonderful’ together. We’ve seen weird things stagger weirdly across this metaphorical line of weirdness into the realm of weird, whether that be on the internet or in our lives (let’s hope we don’t come across these in our lives… ew.). Wonderful? Pffffft. Cringe-worthy? You bet your bottom dollar they’re cringe-worthy! Just to show you why, here is my Top 3 ‘Dude What Even Is That?!’ list. My apologies for bringing these to the world of WordPress, but they had to be seen:

  1. The Aye-Aye. A creature that looks like God combined a bat, a mouse and a creature from ‘Gremlins’ (and I’m not talking ‘Gizmo’. I’m talking about the ‘having chicken after 12’ ones!) into one, weird-ass package:
  2. Rolf Bucholz, the world’s ‘Most Pierced Man’ – because you can never have too many piercings:
  3. I don’t know. I really do not know…

As Joey Tribbiani once said, ‘Over the line? You… you.. you’re so far past the line that you can’t even see
the line! The line is a dot to you!’. Oh how appropriate this is feeling right now! Some weird is good, but examples such as these are reasons why weird remains as weird. Why the weird kids get called ‘weird’ by the other kids, why ‘Weird Al’ calls himself ‘Weird Al’. Why? The line is quite possibly a dot to them. Their egg doesn’t even have a surplus of B12 vitamin – it’s just plain rotten.

Observation Two: Sometimes ‘Weird’ And ‘Wonderful’ Are One In The Same. Now we come to my favourite observation. If you’ve ever looked up the definition of ‘Weird’, it means ‘Of a strikingly odd or unusual character; strange’. Sadly, the first thought that appears to come to mind for a lot of people is something shown in Observation One. Yikes. They’re often seen as a sort of ‘social taboo’, something that would exert a ‘What the f**k?!’ if witnessed in a public place. I really don’t feel it should be seen in such a derogatory way. Heck, if anything, it’s a compliment! It’s different to what we would usually begin to expect, sometimes provided with a reason and sometimes without. Here, the ‘weird’ can be coupled with the ‘wonderful’. Wonderweird, if I need to make up a term! Just think about things in your life that might associate with this concept. Let me give you a hand:

  • Blushing – it’s not a necessary, biological function is it? Scientists know how it happens, but not why your cheeks turn as red as a ripe tomato when someone says ‘Nice work, you’ve done a brilliant job, congratulations!’.
  • Rainbows – they’re not exactly a regular sight to see, unless you’re wandering through Bristol during ‘Gay Pride Parade’! Merely formed when light from the sun enters a raindrop and is bounced around inside it, I still feel amazed when I see one sitting across the sky. It may be weird, but it truly is a sight to behold.
  • Laughing – snorting, cackling, howling… all forms of laughing that when someone else sees you performing a laugh in such an embarrassing manner? They can’t help but laugh too just to make you look less silly. Nawwww. This is our body’s reaction to the spread of positive reactions when we see a fat kid fall off of a trampoline and a desperate teenager warning us to ‘LEAVE BRITNEY ALOOOONE!’

It may not be so obvious, but the wonderfully weird exists all around us. If someone calls you ‘weird’, I’ll leave that to you to interpret which observation they’re referring too. As long as you drink the B12 vitamin ‘Surplus of Life’ and remain on the metaphorical line of not-so-weirdness? You’ll begin to appreciate ‘Wonderweird’ just that bit more often. Oh – and this will also help you on your quest, too, I can promise you that!