Friday, 27 August 2010

An Update.

The internet... I never realize how much I actually need it until it's out of reach.

Just recently I've moved into a new flat back in my old stomping ground, the beautiful city of York. I'm preparing to begin my MA in September (have I mentioned this? I'm sorry if I have) and like most new flats it lacks the basic amenities you require everyday to survive. Internet, Kettle, TV, the list of seemingly unimportant appliances stretches on. When we moved in about a week ago, the smallest but most vital things came with me, such as the kettle and toaster, because as a proud Englishman, I will admit the first thing you do after doing anything remotely strenuous is have a cup of tea. Eventually a few days later, after much kerfuffle, the TV was stricken from the list and the Freesat was installed, but not in time to watch the Big Brother final as Sam gave me an earful for (sorry =^.^=). Slowly but surely the list has dwindled and all that remains is the internet. Being a creature of habit (according to Sam, to which she constantly reminds me) I need home comforts and I don't settle in quite right until I have the internet. I would try and explain why, but it would probably make me sound like more of a mentalist than I actually am, so I hope that you empathize. All is well in York and I will post more on my MA and the comings and goings of everyday York-town.

After getting home today I sat down with a cup of tea to scroll through the latest headlines feed. I immediately found some more ludicrous stories on the BBC News website, after my last post, I thought people couldn't get more mentally deranged... I was wrong. The first one made me laugh but after a few seconds the morbidity of it all sunk in and I suddenly felt a bit weird about it all. A family from Japan have been arrested for failing to declare a member of their family as deceased and continuing to collect his pension. The detainees consist of an elderly lady named Michiko Kato (aged 81) who is the daughter of the deceased and also her daughter Tokimi (aged 53). The mummified remains of Sogen Kato were found inside the family home last month but the funny part is how they found him. Government officials were preparing to throw Mr Sogen Kato a birthday party, because he was about to become Tokyo's oldest man, at the ripe age of 111, just like Bilbo Baggins. They visited his home and obviously discovered the truth, but the scary thing is, it could be a common crime. The Police launched an investigation and over 200 centenarians registered as alive... are missing. Apparently he could of been dead for 30 years, I hope they didn't get him a huge cake to fit all those candles, what a waste.

The second story is strangely more sickening to me because it involves an animal. Now before you close the page and cease to read on, it doesn't involve the animal getting hurt physically, and there are no gruesome pictures of poor creatures maimed and being treated in an inhumane way. I would never write about such barbarity as it upsets me to even see stuff like that. The animal involved was a cat named Lola, who was cruelly put into a bin by a passer by and was left there for 15 hours until her owners discovered her, hearing her cries for help. The pedestrian who committed the offense is Ms Mary Bale of Coventry. Amazingly it was all caught on CCTV, the poor cat was on her own garden wall minding her own business when Ms Bale was walking past and stopped to stroke her. She seems friendly enough when all of a sudden she lifts the dustbin lid, picks up the cat by the scruff of the neck and drops her in, walking off without a seconds thought to what she'd done. When questioned by the police she said it was a "split second of misjudgment", whoa whoa whoa. Back up. Misjudgment? Walking past and putting a cat in a bin is not a "misjudgment", how about I come round to your house, Ms Bale, and dump you're fat arse in a wheelybin for 15 hours and see how you like it? Some people have no clue of their actions. I can safely say, without any doubt, I wouldn't piss on her even if she were on fire. Too read the article and see the video click here.

I doubt that I'll write another post before heading back to York on Monday morning, but you never know, crazy things happen when you least expect it.

As always I'm going to leave you with a little treat from Youtube and in the spirit of the Leeds/Reading festival going on this weekend I thought I'd give you some inspired rock. I was supposed to be there but my cash flow wouldn't allow it. So... much more choices than usual but I wanted it to be a bit different and because there's no 3 bands I can say are my favourites, I'm going to give you the headline act from each night of this years Leeds fest, and then 2 acts that I really like from each day. I hope you enjoy.

Friday ------- Saturday ------- Sunday
Headline ------ Headline ------ Headline
Other ---------- Other ---------- Other
Other ---------- Other ---------- Other

Thanks as always for reading

Take it EZ


Monday, 9 August 2010

People Die In Hot... Saunas????

In my last post you may remember I was slightly distressed about my upcoming performance at the University of Sussex. Well for those of you who were wondering, I can announce with great pride, that it went very well. Needless to say I and the rest of the choir were very tired after a long days traveling, but we still impressed the audience consisting of nothing but singing teachers. Which was nice. For you're reading pleasure, and to get stuff of my chest, he's the blow-by-blow as they call it.

5:30am - I wake up, I try my damnedest NOT to fall back asleep and I slowly drag myself out of bed.
6:15am - On the bus towards Manchester town centre, looking forward to a caffeine laced hot beverage from Starbucks. When I arrive in the centre of town, I get my legal addictive stimulant swiftly and walk across the deserted city streets to Manchester Victoria train station.
7:10am - Catch my train heading towards Hindley (where the choir is based and where the coach journey begins)
7:45am - Get picked up from Hindley station by Deb the choir director, David and Jen (an old friend from Uni).
8:15am (approx) - We depart from from Hindley heading south to Brighton.

During the journey we stopped a couple of times, once for a short toilet break the other for just short of an hour to get some lunch. I paid 6 quid for a large coke and beans on toast, which I thought was ridiculous seeing as though the coke was barely fizzing and when the lady behind the food counter asked "Is brown toast ok? I haven't got any white done" I replied "No, how long to wait for white?", to my surprise instead of a civilized answer like "A few seconds" she let out a loud grunt like a fat little boar snuffling for food in the filth it stood in. She gave me a nasty glance and told me to wait further along the line, literally a few seconds later my beans on toast was on my tray in front of me. I said "Thank you" with a healthy side order of sarcasm and went to pay. Before I left I purchased the second installment in the Twilight Saga, called New Moon. Yes I'm still reading it and Yes its really very good.

3:30pm - Arrive at the University Of Sussex and make our way to the chapel to stow our belongings. After a little break and some tea and biscuits we went in to watch Deb (our choir director) do her lecture. Despite being used as a guinea pig for the purposes of a demonstration, the talk on the whole was awesome and the audience I imagined to be very critical seemed to be very approving and warm hearted (A lot of them past middle age).

The talk lasted an hour, after which we went for a rehearsal inside the chapel. Once our voices were polished up and ready to go we went for "Food". I don't know what the cooks at this university had in their minds but it wasn't bloody food to me. Not one person said that the food was nice and I had to settle for some bread rolls with butter and ketchup. We were on at 8:30pm and the moment of strewth drew ever closer. Before the performance my nerves were not the worst they've ever been by a long shot, but they were somehow different, I just couldn't put my finger on why that was to help me relax. Eventually we got going and I gradually managed to settle into the performance. It had been a long while since I last sang publicly so it felt great to be out in front of an audience again. After the performance we were greeted with lots of really nice comments from the seemingly delighted audience, so we must of done something right. Immediately after getting changed it was back on the bus and back up north we headed.

10:30pm (ish) - Set off from Sussex University Campus. Driver told loads of shit jokes on the way home, I was tempted to put in a complaint as he said "Ladies and Genitals" over the microphone to announce we were stopping for a toilet break, bearing in mind, it's a youth choir so we had people as young as 12 on the bus. I and a few others had shouted to him that we needed the toilet and he proceeded to drive past two service stations (45 minutes in between) before stopping at a third. He shouted "10 minute break" in the dopey Wigan twang that he had, conjuring images of his rotund frame bounding towards the nearest pie shop. So I thought "He made we wait for a pee, I'll make him wait to get home" I went and ordered some fries at burger king, then while they were being cooked went to W.H.Smith to buy some crisps and chocolate. He'd already been to complain but we just replied "Were starving" and he stormed off back to his little bus. We eventually arrived back where we started at 4:00am, much later than expected because of diversions on the M25 & M6 Toll road. I climbed into Debs small Nissan Micra looking forward to some sleep and soon enough I was on a comfy couch in my pajamas looking forward to the most eagerly awaited shuteye ever recorded in my life.

I've Just realized I described the whole day in great detail, whoops. Hope that wasn't too boring for you. I won't bother with the day after... Oh go on then, quickly. We went for breakfast, I stroked a dog in a car park, I went home, I saw my girlfriend, I slept more. Done. Oh and here are some pictures of the chapel, it was perfectly round with coloured glass windows dotted all over like honeycomb, a really strange building but the acoustics were lovely for a choir. (Pics off the web, I didn't take them)

Anyways in other alarming news, I was on the bus today reading the free paper that they shove on all public transport to keep you're mind of how crap it is and I read a truly horrific story. Basically, in Finland they invented the sauna, and stupid people like to have a competition who can withstand the hottest sauna. Yesterday that game ended up in tears (real tears, definitely not sweat) when a competitor at the "World Sauna Championships" died, not only that but the other guy inside with him suffered major burns all over his body. Now call me cynical, but what kind of idiot does that as a sport? Apparently it's not unusual for people in these contests to withstand temperatures of 110 degrees CELSIUS, not Fahrenheit... CELSIUS. And a few of the people "train" in temperatures of up to 140 degrees C. That's just lunacy in my mind, absolute crackpot, "you should be in a loony bin" mental. Looking at a picture of one of the competitors in the paper (presumably the one who snuffed it) he looks in absolute agony, hunched forward clutching his torso as if he was on the verge of spontaneous combustion.

It makes me feel uncomfortable thinking about how that sort of temperature affects the body. Please excuse the weird music but seeing visually what 100+ degrees C looks like makes me think even less of these absolute dumb arses. If you're gonna do that to you're body then you're going to get hurt, simple as that, and don't expect anyone to feel sorry for you when it goes tits up like that blond freakazoid.

Well, its time for me to leave you with a musical treat for you're listening pleasure. Once again I haven't got a single song in mind, so I present you with another choice. Some authentic 90's pop or some 90's inspired pop. The first reminds me of when I was younger, this particular song was never off the radio. The latter is a very guilty pleasure by one of todays pop "phenomenons". In my eyes, maybe not a phenomenon, but they certainly are doing a lot to shake up pop culture which is refreshing to see instead of the same old manufactured drivel all the time. Anyways... Enjoy.

90's - Authentic or 90's - Inspired

Thanks as always for reading,

Take it EZ


Friday, 6 August 2010

183 Days Of... Not Much

After a brief time away from my blog, I always begin with an apology to those very few (but very appreciated) people who actually take the time to read it. This time round, I don't think I will. I'm not sure why, but in the huge gap between then and now I just didn't feel like writing anything. I'll use the excuse of writers block, but I'm not quite sure what it was. From now on though, I will endeavor to keep my brain hydrated with stuff that you good people may find interesting/amusing.

Over the past 6 months (and 2 days to be precise) I don't think I've done anything that is worth highlighting, I've been unemployed for the majority of it (not by choice) so I rode my bike a lot, that's about it. Me and my gorgeous girlfriend Sam celebrated our 6 year anniversary a few days ago so that was really cool. Oh and I started reading Twilight! Is that sad? I liked the movies so I thought why not. Anyways that's enough babble.

The date as you can clearly see from the top of this post is Friday 6th of August 2010, and tomorrow I will be performing with a choir at the convention & AGM of The Association for Singing Teachers. I've been to 2 rehearsals with the choir and the final one is today, my nerves are fine at the moment but I'm pretty positive when the time comes tomorrow it shall be a very different story. For me It's the fact that the entire audience will hear the slightest mistake like it was a blatant curse word in the middle of a Hymn, and whats even worse, is that they are LOOKING for the mistakes. Not because they are evil or sadistic because that's what musicians and teachers do. I think as a general rule people who have a dedicated profession, wherever they are just instinctively look out for indicators of there work. For example, a singer could go to an open mic night with friends, having a few drinks, enjoying the evening, but as soon as someone is singing, without thinking about it they would listen and critique the person(s) singing. A Dancer could go to watch a performance and again from the moment someone walks on stage, instinctively he/she would critique the performance without thinking about it. I'm not saying this works for every profession, shelf-stackers wouldn't be arsed if the muesli wasn't evenly spaced on the shelf, but in saying that shelf stacking isn't really a profession, it's just a job. A painter and decorator or a kitchen fitter may go round to his/her friends house for a party/watch the football, whatever, and once more they would check the work, it's not a bad thing, its just what people do. A bad example would be a gynecologist, they are clearly NOT going to go to their mates house, kneel down in front of the wife/girlfriend and say "Ok deep breath, this might be a little bit cold", that just wouldn't happen, but of course you see my point. The main point of all this is that I'm shitting my pants and the audience will sense that like a shark in a blood soaked paddling pool.

Moving swiftly on, reading the news on the web as I often do, I came across a story about a set of parents who have had their children taken away from them, presumably because they are crazy. The parents on the other hand think it's because of what they named the children. Now before I tell you the names, you will need to understand that if you call you're child something ridiculous then immediately warning bells flash up for the social services and you will either be court ordered to change the name or you get you're children removed from you're care. Heath and Deborah Campbell from New Jersey failed to realise this when naming their children...

Adolf Hitler Campbell, 4
JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, 3
Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie, 2 (taken supposedly from Heinrich Himmler)

I shit you not, this is true, and I'll post the link towards the end to prove it. Apparently the case came to light in 2008 when a shop refused to decorate a cake with the name Adolf. Now firstly, what retard actually allowed them to use those names in the first place? I can see it now, at the registry office, "What name?" "Adolf Hitler Campbell mam" "Oh what a pretty name!". The mind boggles. Secondly on a more serious note, the name Adolf (synonymous with Hitler, obviously) is a traditional name in Germanic countries, Scandinavia and The Netherlands. It comes from the Old German Athalwolf which means Noble Wolf and has been the name of many Kings, Princes, Dukes (Including Prince Adolphus, The Duke of Cambridge) not to mention countless composers, musicians, scientists, sportsmen, even a mayor of San Francisco. In my opinion a store should not refuse to put some icing on a cake in the shape of a name, doing so only facilitates that particular name is bad. If a man named Kyle (random name) came along and massacred millions of people in our time, yes I can understand that the name Kyle would therefore be blacklisted and boycotted everywhere for an extremely long time but WW2 and its atrocities happened many years ago and even today, there are still repercussions from it. Refusing to write Adolf in icing on a cake is just stupid. That child isn't Hitler and neither is anyone else that bares his first name, so why should they be discriminated against because of it. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the store was Jewish and they felt a particular religious objection to doing it, I don't know. All I know is, I feel sorry for the children. The full article is here.

Well I think I'm gonna run and start getting ready to go to rehearsal, need a shower and some food before I head out. Tradition runs strongly on my blog, so I will leave you with a YouTube delight, in the form a Happy and Sad choice. The happy option, an amazingly up beat song and the Sad option reminiscent of my lack of a blog post. Enjoy

Happy or Sad

Thanks as always for reading,

Take it EZ


Thursday, 4 February 2010

Ello, Ello, Ello, What's Goin' On 'Ere Then: Update

In my previous post I was talking about weird news stories, and how I seem to be reading about them a lot recently? Well I just stumbled across a story that made all the other ones I discussed, seem like regular, everyday occurrences.

I give you a tale of pregnancy and knife fights. Yep, knife fights.

Take it EZ


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Ello, Ello, Ello, What's Goin' On 'Ere Then

Within seconds of starting this post, the words that appeared on my screen sounded slightly like a part from a cliche gangster film, you know the old, "Forgive me father, for I have sinned, it been 6 months since my last confession" lark. Well honestly I have no idea how long it's been, and I refuse to check my previous posts to work it out. All I know is, it's been a while. Fortunately for me I don't look like a bald, pierced, smoking, Mr. Potato head lookalike like Aaron Lewis and the time away from blogging has done little to change my physical appearance.

Recently I've had a sudden urge to dive right back into my blog, so that's exactly what I'm going to do. I've been compiling photo's and articles over the time away from posting so I have a few things to waffle on about. So here I go.

Everyday I check the Latest Headlines feed on my browser to see whats going on in the world, not because I have the NEED to know, it's just because I'm extremely curious. So imagine my face when I read this headline from the BBC News website...

'Body Sold To Russia Kebab Shop'

Now a number of things sprang in to my mind when I read this, and for your benefit, I will list them. I dearly hope similar things are appearing in yours at this very moment.

1. Where does someone get the idea to do this?
2. How do you disguise a PERSON good enough to pass it off as cheap kebab meat
3. Where do you get a person?
4. If you found them, why wouldn't you report them, not think "Oh I'll sell the body to a Food and Drink Kiosk!"
5. If you murdered them, why wouldn't you hide the evidence, instead of thinking "Oh I'll sell the body to a Food and Drink Kiosk!"
6. When a person you've never met comes up to you with a huge bloody sack asking do you want to buy some cheap meat, surely alarm bells MUST go off. How dumb is the person that bought said meat.
7. How dumb are they to actually cook it and sell it on as safe, edible meat.
8. What about the poor people that PAID for this Man-Kebab

Reading on, I discovered that the 3 men charged with the offense, were homeless, and they had in fact murdered the man. They claimed it was an act of "personal hostility". So they obviously disliked him enough to kill him, but thought he had a good enough body to flog him to a Kebab and Pie stall. They attacked the 25 year old victim with knives and a hammer and after killing him they consumed part of his body (presumably the best bits).

All in all a pretty sick story, but I couldn't help but laugh at the final words in the article. "It was not immediately clear if any customers had been served". Which is clearly code for "They sold the lot of it, and we don't wanna scare the shit out of people who have eaten a Thigh and Kidney Pie (I assume that was a combination on offer)"

In other news an Indonesian man has been given compensation after a cigarette he was smoking, exploded and blew out 6 teeth! He was awarded 5 million rupiah, which equates to about £335, so I now feel even more sorry him. But really, what is going on with the world? Human kebabs, exploding cigarettes, what next? I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

As always I'll leave you with a You tube feast for the eyes and the ears. It's a song that I hadn't heard in years, and if you've seen the original Transformers: The Movie, then you'll know how awesome I must of felt to rediscover it. Enjoy.

Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ