Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The time of my life - Memory Deleted

It happened, I officially became a proper man, a real adult type person as I turned 21 on the 20th of this month. Of course this wasn't an occasion to let simply sail on by, so we decided to celebrate with a party!

Never before had so much fuss been made about little ol' me, and while flattered and in part enjoying it, in the weeks leading up to the event, I began to feel both nervous and anxious. I mean, what if nobody turned up, or what if nobody had any fun? The fear surrounded me that caused me to think of every possible way the party could be a disaster. This fear however proved false as from what I've heard the party was a success, and I can only really go by what I've heard because unfortunately I wound up more drunk than I've ever been before (and hopefully ever will be) in my life and as a result can not remember the whole night. The parts that I can remember (and more are coming back to me slowly) show me having the time of my life with almost all of my favourite people in the whole wide world. The problem came with everybody wanting to buy me a drink, which was great, apart from the fact that I was soon pretty far gone.

The speech that I made, seemed to me to be very well rehearsed and straight to the point. I have since been told by numerous sources that this in fact wasn't the case as the speech seemed to drag on, with me trying to remember what to say, forgetting very important 'thank yous' , and having to ask for help with what to say. I apparently also kept repeating the same part over and over. The night was a success overall though, and out of everybody that I've spoken to since, all have said that they had a great time. The only downfall seems to have been the downfall of me, as I ended the night with vomit streaming from my nose as I passed out, finishing the night unconscious on the floor. Luckily I don't remember that at all!

Moving on now, let's take a look back at the rest of the month that has been June 2010!

My actual birthday was celebrated with a BBQ! Although it happened to fall on the one day that wasn't as hot as hell, so we shivered everytime a breeze blew through the garden. I also received many nice presents, including a brand new stereo system that features an iPod dock as well as DAB radio from the ever lovely and beautiful Stacey! Thank you!

Before any of my birthday celebrations kicked off, there was another reason for me to feel nervous and anxious aside from the looming party. On the 17th I had another exam, this time to end my studies of the Open University's Approaching Literature course. I was incredibly scared and lacked confidence leading up to the exam, but feel that I hopefully may have pulled off a pass. Only time will tell on that front.

The month kicked off, what seems a lifetime ago now, with 2 trips to London. On Thursday 3rd, Pete, Stacey and I went to our second show at the great venue that it Shakespeare's Globe, which if you've never been, I strongly recommend as not only is it a part of our country's history, but ticket prices also start at just £5! This time we saw a production of Macbeth which was performed extremely well. Not only were the performances great, but the set design was used to great effect and unlike anything I've ever experienced before, with half of the standing area designed so that you can't see below your own neck due to a black sheet, which allows the witches to terrorize the audience and for the dead to rise up in gruesome fashion.Sea of Souls - The Scottish Play at
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The following night, Stacey and I were accompanied by Sarah and Mike to see Frankie Boyle record his new DVD for Christmas, at the Hammersmith Apollo. Now the others may disagree with me here, but I found Frankie to be a huge disappointment. I found that I only laughed a couple of times throughout his set and for most of it, just felt he was trying too hard to be edgy to get cheap reactions. His act was funny a couple of years ago, but it seems as if he's been unable to evolve at all in his act and simply fell flat. As a result I was not at all surprised to hear him announce that he was quitting comedy on the following week's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. Still, Stacey loved it... bless her.Stacey outside the Hammersmith Apollo

June was also a month of birthdays. Not only did I turn in age, but so did many others, including my old friend Vikki, my very good mate Jason, for whom we had a great Friday night out, despite another disappointing England football performance, Stacey's sister Alice, and my birthday buddy neighbour Steve.

That's all for now as I leave you with the Soundtrack to June 2010!

AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill
30 Seconds to Mars - From Yesterday
Fozzy - Let the Madness Begin
Art of Dying - Get Through This (originally listened to to get through exam stress, although also applied to my killer hangover from the party).

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Apparently there's some sort of tennis tournament happening...

Wimbledon is once again upon us, not that you'd know it though, as the entire country would rather watch a bunch of overpaid supposed 'athletes' run around in mostly failed attempts to kick a ball into a net. Now I may not be the biggest tennis fan in the world, I don't even really watch it at all, but I do appreciate it and can actually say that I once went to Wimbledon when I was in Year 4 at school. This evening saw tennis history made as USA's John Isner and France's Nicolas Mahut reached the tenth hour of their match on Court 18. In fact the match is still tied at 59 games each in the fifth and final set, and will continue into the third day tomorrow. I sat and watched the last hour of this and found it to be gripping, much more so than the England vs Slovenia football match that I sat through earlier this afternoon.

My Dad and two brothers are literally obsessed with football, so watching the World Cup is a no-brainer for them. But then my Mum and also Stacey seem to be under the impression that when England play it is 'essential viewing'. Stacey has even admitted to 'jumping on the bandwagon'. Why be so hypocritical though, why feel that those eleven 'men' on a field represent our country when they're only playing a bloody game? Why feel that you have to watch a sport that you find boring for the majority of each four year period?

The first two matches of England's World Cup campaign ended in draws and were said by all to be extremely boring games (I didn't really spot the difference). Today in their third and final, make or break group game England managed to just about squeeze out a shallow victory against Slovenia by winning 1-0. The country is now celebrating as if they have won the whole tournament and describing the win as being 'fantastic' and saying that the match was much more entertaining. The match was only more entertaining for the one second that somebody actually scored though, for the other 89 minutes it was exactly the same as the previous two matches with the players that apparently 'represent us all' looking overrated and overpaid as usual.

Basically what I guess I'm trying to say here is that I'd take a 10 hour excellant game of tennis between two real sportsman over a 90 minute game of football featuring overpaid whiny little bitches (see Rooney, W.) anyday! Rant over!

I wonder how many people will now call me unpatriotic...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Return to Super Mario Galaxy

Just a forewarning to say that this may be the nerdiest blog I've written to date. Although I do promise that I will try to keep it as entertaining as possible for all!

Within the last couple of weeks, I read one of Jon Budworth's blogs over at i'll blog all over your face that discussed how great a recent game on Xbox and Playstation called 'RED DEAD REDEMPTION' was. Well in the last few days I've had the chance to play a game that is different in many ways, yet better in more ways. The game of which I speak is SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2! (See there Jon, this game deserves bold print as well as capital letters!) As of writing this game is set to be released tomorrow, but one of the perks of working for a particular chain of rental stores means that I get to rent games and films early.

Now, in the last so many years I have become much less of a gamer than I once was. I've always stuck loyal to Nintendo, even through the dark days of the Gamecube (although it must be said the Gamecube was awesome anyway), but I used to be a lot more into it than I am now. I guess with having jobs, studying for a degree and rediscovering my loves of both books and film, and doing the 'cool thing' in having a girlfriend (no offense sweety, love yah really ;-) ) videogames have taken a backseat in the car that is my life. Don't get me wrong I still play my Wii and DS, and admit to being a subscriber to ONM (Official Nintendo Magazine), it's just that I'm not always in the know anymore, and if, or actually, when customers ask me about games on Playstation and Xbox at work, I simply stare back at them blankly, smile and nod as I haven't the faintest idea of what they're talking about half of the time. The last several years of my life in videogames have consisted of the annual Smackdown and Madden NFL games, Mario Kart for each and every Nintendo console, Sonic and Sega Allstar racing (basically a Mario Kart clone), the Zelda franchise and Wii Sports. So I've basically played it safe with franchises that I know I like! The exceptions to the rule being Scribblenauts which if you don't own on DS yet you need to buy now, Professor Layton which again is a must on the DS, and Okami which is one of the best looking videogames I've ever laid eyes on.

So, as I've already established, while I enjoy a good videogame, especially a Nintendo made one, I haven't had as much time to play through as many as I used to. With that said, as well as my mostly relying on established franchises, back in 2007 when a game named Super Mario Galaxy was released, I made sure to get my copy on release date from my then employer, the late Woolies. Having grown up on a gaming diet of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64, along with Super Mario Sunshine thrown in for good measure, Galaxy was an absolute must! I went into the game safe in the knowledge that I was in for a treat, having never experienced a bad Mario game, something which I don't think does, or ever will, exist, and having read the great reviews it had. Despite this, I never could have imagined how good it was to be and it was soon labelled as my favourite videogame of all of the times. It went unchallenged in its spot as the best until now.

Many wondered how Nintendo could improve on what was still arguably the most fun, and best visually looking, Wii adventure as it had near perfect scores across the critic boards. In their review of the new sequel Super Mario Galaxy 2, ONM ask if Nintendo could top perfection. The answer of course was yes, and in their longer magazine review, they described the first game as standing at the top of Mount Everest, while the sequel stood besides it wearing platform shoes to make it that little bit better. If right now, you're questioning the possible bias of a Nintendo magazine reviewing a Mario game, then head over to Metacritic where the overall score taken from reviews in media the world over are averaged out to give a true unbiased score and you should find that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the second highest rated game of all time!

Having now played the game myself, I can say that so far into the adventure, that it is certainly giving its predecessor a good old run for its money in claiming the top videogame spot in my heart. Nintendo have taken what was great about the first, added a couple of the features that worked well in New Super Mario Bros. such as the world navigation system and including a couple of almost 2D levels, and given us a truly great, fun and easy to pick-up experience. The addition of Yoshi is also a welcome one, as riding the little green dragon thing (in a non-sexual way of course) adds new challenges and types of level.

Not actually an image from the
game, I just find it both hilarious
and heartbreaking at the same time!

I am thrilled that I have already had the chance to play the game before release. The child in me (again, non-sexual, it's a metaphor) was absolutely relishing it. I obtained the first 20 Power Stars, which for those of you not in the know, means that I completed 20 missions within the game. I basically beat the first two worlds, beating the Bowser (who is bigger than ever by the way) for the first time in the game as the last thing I got to do before having to return the game.... Oh yeah, that's right, it was only a rental and unfortunately I had to return it. It killed me having to check it back in at work tonight. A few minutes into the shift my colleagues found me rocking in a corner sobbing over it. 'Surely you'll be buying it tomorrow?' I hear you ask, but alas I can not, for my date of birth is once again nearly upon us, and as such will most likely receive it next week. Basically I've been banned from buying stuff until after my birthday by the laws of Stacey and my parents. I reckon one of them has definitely got it for me, and if they haven't, there will be a temper tantrum and tears on my 21st birthday!

It's probably for the best anyway, as I should be revising for an important exam I've got coming up in the next week rather than playing with Mario anyways!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A blog written late at night about stuff and things that I have done recently!

The first two days of June have already passed! Both were spent at work, although one was extremely busy and the other completely dead. The fact that we are now in June (the month of Kings if I do say so myself) means two things:

  1. That this year is rocketing by faster than the speed of light.
  2. That it is time to recap my May in blog form.
May wound up being a rather brilliant month in many ways. As I've already banged on about in my last blog, I got to meet Fozzy and my childhood hero Chris Jericho. As well as meeting Mr. Jericho that day, we also met old friends Michelle and Si, who after the gig took us to London's Hard Rock Cafe. This was Stacey's and my first ever time in a Hard Rock Cafe and we absolutely loved it. Si had a VIP card, which meant that we got to walk past the queue outside and be seated at a table straight away. The sheer amount of rock memorabilia is amazing and was very fitting for that day. Our table was located directly beneath Lenny Kravitz's guitar! Then there was a food, for which all I really need to say is that when you order a burger, and the waitress asks how you would like it cooked, you're in for some tasty times!

The weekend following Fozzy saw my parents going away for the weekend, leaving Stacey and me in charge of the household. This involved making sure my brothers stayed alive and taking care of the little sister. It was a weekend full of takeaways, Avatar, Guitar Hero, The Shining and Bluewater. As far as the guitar heroing goes, it turns out nobody can sing!

May then came to an end this past weekend, a super bonus three-day bank holiday weekend. I had work on the first two days of this weekend, although that didn't stop me from having a good time. On Saturday night, a few of us went out for leaving drinks, as our friend Tam is leaving us to go and work somewhere else. We had ourselves a good drinky-poo, strutted our stuff on the dance floor, and even got to see Jason's 'MILF'!

On Sunday night we went on a double date with fellow couple Nat and Chris. I had my first Prezzo experience (not quite Hard Rock, but the price we paid due to having a voucher can't be argued against), and from the meal we moved on to the cinema. Now you may at this time be wondering what movie we went to see. Well this was a date of sorts and the girls kind did have their say. I'm ashamed (and proud that I survived) to say ladies and gentlemen that I endured the second Sex and the City movie. It was terrible and I don't want to talk about it anymore... MOVING ON!

Monday was a day off, so like half of Kent seems to do on a Bank Holiday, we went to Hastings for some Fish 'n' Chips (Veggie Burger in Stacey's case - I know it's weird but I can't seem to change this!). After Stacey's sensible driving on the bumper cars, and both of us acting like complete wimps on the ghost train, we left Hastings for Rye and met my Uncle, Aunt and Cousin, who celebrated his 8th Birthday earlier in the month, for a couple of drinks at their caravan.

More did happen during the month, I just can't be bothered to try and remember and write it all down. I need to get out of the habit of writing these things late at night I guess. Although I can say that I have been cycling to and from work regularly and have even cycled the seven miles to Stacey's house and back! Anyways time to look forward as it is now June! I have in fact just thought of a third thing that being June means: It's nearly my birthday! I am going to become an official, proper type adult person this month as I hit the big 21. Let the celebrations begin!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this blog as always. I'm going to bed now as it's getting quite late, I'm tired, and have a lot happening the next few nights. Tomorrow I'm off to the Globe theatre to see Macbeth, then on Friday it's Frankie Boyle at Hammersmith. Saturday night shall then be spent at work which will be dead due to the final of a particular talent show.

For now, here's my May 2010 soundtrack:

Fozzy - Let the Madness Begin
Fozzy - Under Blackened Skies
Fozzy - God Pounds His Nails
Fozzy - Enemy
Rich Ward - Running
Rich Ward - Immune

I know it's a Fozzy and Rich Ward dominated list, but I did meet them this month. Whereas Fozzy's music is quite heavy, I think all of you will be pleasantly surprised by Rich Ward's songs, so please do give them a listen, it'll be the best thing you'll hear all day! The links to those two songs take you to the Rich Ward website and from there you will need to select the songs!

Night everybody! Stay Tuned!