Friday, 2 October 2015

2 Years Later...

What's up! It's been a while hasn't it?'s been over TWO WHOLE YEARS in fact! (31 months by my last count). A lot has changed since the last post. You're probably wondering what exactly has been happening in my life or maybe you don't give a monkeys. Either way we've plenty of catching up to do, eh?

 My time has mostly been spent studying, working, gaming, traveling and LEARNING. "Learning and studying?". YES. I'm not going to drone on about the differences the two. All I'll say is that learning never ceases. It's a big world out there so go and experience it.

Speaking of travel, I recently came back from a solo trip to Japan. It's long been a dream of mine to visit the far-east, in particularly Tokyo and it did not disappoint! On the trip I met so many amazing people from around the world. It's hard to even begin to describe the beauty of the nature, structures, people and culture embedded in the island. I'm itching to revisit at the next opportunity and have already started brushing up on my Nihonjin (Japanese) so I don't rely on translation apps as much.

For some reason people have been commending me taking it upon myself to follow one of my biggest dreams. In my opinion, solo travel isn't necessarily BRAVE or COURAGEOUS. If you want to go somewhere just GET UP AND GO! (providing you have no immediate responsibilities of course lol).

In all seriousness, life has been good so far. I've been dealt a decent hand to be fair but things haven't always been easy, I just deal with it. Thinking of having a side blog documenting my Japanese learning journey but we'll see. Final year of uni has begun so gotta kick into work gear one again (he types as he heads to a major London gaming tournament for the weekend). Anyway, just a quick post containing a jumbled mess of thoughts saying I'm back and speak to you again soon! :)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wreck-It Ralph: The W is Silent

Wow it's almost been a month since the last post.

Hope you're all doing well and making the most of 2013. It's only February and it's been great for me! New house, new games, new music. Not to mention Ravens won the Superbowl and I saw an awesome film by the name of Django Unchained. It features Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L Jackson so it already had my seal of approval from the time of it's announcement.

Jamie Foxx is an incredible talent. You just can't knock the guy. Whether he's acting, doing stand-up  or singing all his performances are undeniably brilliant. His starring role as Django in Quentin Tarantino's latest work has sparked controversy. Many prominent figures within the African-American community have complained about the alleged glamourization of slavery and frequent use of the n-word throughout the film. 

Recently, Jamie Foxx gave a response in defense of the film and to explain his attachment to the role:

"They knee-jerked to slavery, they knee-jerked towards the n-word. But I come from the south and that’s where the word grew. And I think that gave me an upper hand on the material. I know people like Stephen. I know people like Calvin Candie. I played cheese-and-wine parties for men who called us niggers. But my grandmother worked as a housemaid all her life and she taught me some truths. I learned those lessons and I learned them in the south, and I did a pretty good job of it too."

Personally, I think Tarantino's depiction of slavery was harsh enough. If a guy being ripped apart by dogs doesn't meet your requirements of a graphic film then consider registering as a full-time sadist.
Moreover, it is a Quentin Tarantino film. Did you really expect him to dumb it down? I know I didn't.
Regardless of the ongoing embroilment, Jamie Foxx delivers an amazing and charismatic performance. Highly recommended!

On the topic of films I literally cannot wait to see Wreck-It Ralph. Our American cousins have had it since late October and I frequently hear comparisons with Toy Story in terms of it being one the best ever animated films. That is a VERY big claim which some die-hard Toy Story fans such as myself would even consider blasphemous. Still, the fact that Wreck-It Ralph has been nominated for several awards including Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature speaks volumes. Nevertheless, I'll have to wait and see if my anticipation is valid as I endure another Ralph-less week (Orange Wednesdays people, harsh economic times!). 

Over and Out

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Midweek Metaphor

What's up everyone? An assignment is pending but right now there are too much thoughts and ideas bouncing around my head. I need to materialize them in writing for you to ponder or they'll ultimately disappear into a forgotten realm. Here goes...

My beard and I share a special bond. Over the Christmas break my brother challenged me to a "beard-off " thus a relationship was born.  During the good times it was flourishing and all was well. However, this relationship wasn't meant to be. The growth began to stagnate so I severed the connection. It last a total of six weeks. Upon reflection it wasn't the right decision because my face now feels naked. Nevertheless, there is some consolation in knowing my facial hair will eventually come back.

Human relationships can arguably seem more complex. My beard began life already attached (to my face) but to form an attachment with another person the good experiences have to happen first. From this initial connection a relationship may develop. Without proper maintenance there is no guarantee it will last. To cut a beard you need a razor and a steady hand. It can be difficult to just cut someone off once you are attached and it's likely to be the heart instead of your face that feels the detriments of separation. In a relationship, slow growth is better than no growth and love is what keeps it going.

Okay, I'm getting all metaphorical in this bitch today. My intention was to define some key differences between attachment, love and relationships using my beard story as an analogy. Hopefully I have accomplished that mission so I'll get back to work.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Back In The Day

Since I've been back at uni time just seems to evaporate. Apologies for neglecting the blog over the last few days, it's a mixture of genuine amnesia and procrastination so I'll try to be more focused. Hmm... what's on my mind today?

Childhood. Let's take it old school!

I was a 90's baby - '93 to be precise. This was the golden era. Spice Girls were topping the charts, Power Rangers was actually a decent show and Pokemon was the centre of my world. My love for games also began around this time. I vividly remember playing Super Nintendo at my cousin's house. To say he was a bit greedy is an understatement. My brother and I would hardly have a turn but it was still enjoyable. The day we got our own console was unforgettable, the original Playstation. Powering it on for the first time was a magical experience.

Naively, I believed nothing could make me as excited ever again. That is until the arrival of Scalextric. For those who don't know, Scalextric let's you build your own circuit and use a triggered controller to race against an opponent. Our Scalextric set lasted about a week. The car engines simply could not handle the heat. Now I think about it a lot of my toys broke from overexertion, the mini air-hockey table, swingball, action figures. I was a pretty destructive kid.

Thankfully, I've become more calm as an adult but my wilder side is prevalent in certain situations. Some things never change though because Space Jam is still one of my all-time favourite films and I'm into games now more than ever before. As a child, you imagine yourself as a grownup: what you'll look like, how you'll speak, your profession etc. I never would have pictured myself where I am today, hell! I used to wanna be a fireman to be honest.

Ah well!

Times change, people grow older, we might lose the ones we love. All these things can influence the person we become. As I see it, it doesn't matter so long as you have an aspiration and the commitment to reach your goals.

Ugh! this sounds all preachy and motivational. I'm off for a well-deserved games break, ciao!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Dishing It Out

My favourite food? Macaroni cheese. It is so good. I remember as a kid I would only eat bananas, custard and macaroni cheese (not in the same meal; well the macaroni anyway). Growing up, more foods were introduced to the equation: my grandma's chicken and rice was a staple part of my diet. Cooking amazing meals runs in the family and I'm no exception. My partner's gene pool must share a similar level of culinary finesse. After all who doesn't want a master-chef baby?

Cooking is a necessity if you want to live a long and healthy life. Some people can cook. On the other hand others cannot fry an egg - yes it's a sad world. Worse yet, living among us are those who don't even like eggs. Now I'm not really too fussed whenever food is concerned apart from two travesties:

I find mushrooms to be completely pointless. Furry, tasteless fungi - no thank you. Any amount of breadcrumbs won't save the damn things. I implore you all to leave the mushroom life behind.

A mess to say the least. Hard to define exactly what I despise about. Maybe the diabolical texture, maybe the rancid taste. Banish it now!

Anyway, it's gonna be a short post today. All this talk is making me hungry...

Kirby from Super Smash Bros Brawl ©2008 Nintendo

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Back To Business?

The last few remnants of Christmas and New Years festivities are quickly fading. Nationwide, adults are facing the reality of returning to work. As for many students, January exams await. Abandoned textbooks are being dusted off while I write. 'Tis the season of mass-cramming, especially for university students living away from home.

The dreaded packing process. Many hours of life are wasted in a futile attempt to fit tons of clothes into a tiny case. For those lacking the skills the struggle is definitely real. However, a Tetris master like myself belongs to the packing elite. I'd advise you to stay ahead of the game and prepare in advance.

This time next week I'll already be back in Bournemouth. Saying I haven't missed B-town would be a lie. Don't get me wrong, it was nice to catch up with friends and family but this break has been dragging on.Will I get work done? Of course, I'm there to learn and tuition fees aren't cheap anymore (yes coalition government I am looking at you) but I'm sure as hell gonna have my fair share of fun.

As for my packing, it is done and dusted. There's something I love about the anticipation of where I'm going. Travelling is as much about the journey as the destination and I find that the suitcase becomes the physical manifestation of my inner excitement. In the future I plan to travel the world: business class or above. Not sure whether to take anybody with me though because people generally begin annoy me after approximately 3 weeks. Besides, I'm a solo guy. Anyway, the place I'd like to visit most is Japan. My case is likely to be empty when I head there so I can stock up on vintage tees (they can keep the sushi). It's all about the big J A P A N! The landscapes looks amazing. Manga is awesome. Samurai swords are fucking bad-ass. Oh and how can I forget the games?

Happy holidays everyone.

One last thing. If you could go anywhere in the world then where would you like to go?

Photograph by Martin Stavars ©2010-2013 *xMEGALOPOLISx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Catch Me If You Can

Hello, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. As I'm sure you have gauged, this guy is the epitome of smooth. Don't know who "this guy" is? Slap yourself.

Leonardo DiCaprio easily cuts the mustard as one of the greatest actors of all time (apart from Titanic. I hate Titanic with a passion). Continuing the trend from my last post I am once again late to the scene for a great film, Catch Me If You Can. One of my housemates has been pestering me to watch it and to be honest I don't know why I didn't listen earlier, after all he was right about The Walking Dead (which is awesome by the way) How can I accurately convey my sentiment? It also stars Tom Hanks. Enough said.

I don't intend to delve too deeply into the plot. The main premise is that Frank (DiCaprio) is on the run for committing financial fraud. A lot of films have tried to incorporate the idea of a fugitive but none do it in quite the same way as this Spielberg masterpiece. The connection between Frank and Carl (Hanks) is far more than the generic "cops and robbers" archetype. There's not much more to say apart from "watch the damn thing!"

Catch Me If You Can did get me wondering. What is the obsession with staying ahead? Will owning a £300 belt really make you happy? Moreover, is the procurement of material goods your definition of winning?  I know we live in capitalist society where competition is necessary but is winning really everything?  On the contrary, competition can bring out the best in people, winning can inspire others and losing can motivate you to try harder. Few things motivate me  more than missing out on 1st place by a single point in Mario Kart. Believe me, all my housemates have heard the midnight MK rage.

Let's apply some of these concepts to sport e.g. London 2012 Olympics. Competition brought Great Britain's residents closer together. Also, sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake broke records and inspired a whole generation to win. Jessica Ennis became the face of Britain. In my opinion, winning is a lovely habit.

Just some random thoughts.

Get out there and win!