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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Chapter 8 - A story about Weetabix and Simon Cowell

With my working hours this week, powering through writing football related junk, writing music and planning / booking events – it’s been a very busy week – most of which has been spent staring at a computer (there is also a small possibility that a couple of days did not see me progress any further in getting up than putting on lounge pants). So because of that - I’m not going to take you through what I’ve been up to – because the simple answer would be not a lot (that would be worth writing about). Instead though – I thought I’d try and tackle some of the questions that have been steadily building up since 10 resolutions began two months ago. In my answers – there will definitely be spoilers for a couple of resolutions though….so pay attention……

What does a typical day off look like?
I’ll normally wake up quite early (no alarm) and check the football news to see if there is anything worth writing about. I’ll then probably catch up with a few programmes in bed before putting on some lounge pants and heading downstairs to let Milo the destroyer into the garden. The next stage is the “T” junction in my routine and normally decides the fate of the rest of the day……Should I sit for 10 minutes and play on the Playstation (knowing full well that it wont just be for 10 minutes)? Or should I go back upstairs to work on some more articles and to write some music? I’ve now probably switched to being about 75% towards the latter option – a complete reversal on what I was doing before….
After a few hours of catching up with emails, being constantly amazed at how much I enjoy writing music, writing other various things, doing housework (don’t be shocked – I learnt how to use the washing machine the other day!) and catching up with my Bible plan (I like to read the Bible every day so I follow a Bible plan – pretty self explanatory really….) – I might well revisit the Playstation / sitting on the sofa option…but I need to make sure that I’ve done everything that actually needs doing first because I find it really hard to switch to anything else once I’ve switched to the Playstation option. I’ll probably then start cooking for the wife for when she’s home from work (which explains the obvious question of “where is Wifey in all this”? – and the answer is that we rarely have full days off together). Obviously each day off is different and one might well involve heading out and catching up with friends – but as this blog is a day late – and as I had a day off yesterday - I’ll let you work out how I spent my day off yesterday. In my defence though – the man flu that has been brewing in my body for months has now started to take hold of me. And yes– man flu is real

What is your favourite animated programme?
Even from a young age I loved cartoons. Thundercats, Ghostbusters, He-Man, MASK, Jace and the wheeled warriors, TMHT (or TMNT living in the US)……I watched all of them regularly…something that has continued into my adulthood – (although the list of cartoons that I now watch has changed a little bit). I currently watch Transformers Prime, The Avengers, New Thundercats (RIP), Family Guy, American Dad and the Cleveland Show – but my current favourite (and by a substantial distance) is Archer.
Archer is the tale of a womanising American secret agent called Sterling Archer and the fictional security agency that he works for called ISIS. Think of a character that mixes the stupidity of Johnny English, the suaveness and skill set of James Bond with a bit of American obnoxiousness and arrogance thrown in for good measure. Archer constantly has me in fits of laughter – and whilst it isn’t for everyone- it’s well worth checking out – even if it is just for some of the completely ridiculous scenarios Archer finds himself in.

If something changed and you had to become deaf, dumb or blind – which would you choose?
An odd question (thanks Kate) - but one that has actually been quite challenging to answer. I even had this answer nailed – until I asked Bex in the office today the same question and she completely changed my opinion…..

Originally – my answer was going to be that I’d prefur to be blind – but then Bex really threw me a curveball by saying that she would really struggle not seeing the sun coming up in the morning, not being able to see her nieces grow up and not being able to see the beauty of the world. I completely agree. I don’t know how I would cope being blind – but I can only imagine that it wouldn’t be very well. (Bex then went on to completely dilute her beautiful answer by saying that she would also struggle to paint her nails…….)

Bex also really challenged me about the prospect of being dumb. She was brutally honest about how she would struggle with not being able to communicate in the same way that she had been used to. My reaction was a struck open wide mouth. I was amazed by the thought and honesty that went into her answer and thanks to her reasoning – I completely agree. Bex however went on to “jokingly” suggest that she would miss shouting at her husband James – something which left me pondering which option he would choose if given the option…..

Process of elimination therefore led us both to the conclusion that we would prefur to be deaf. We could learn to lip–read and understand sign language, we could still communicate (although we’d need to adapt as to how), we could still enjoy seeing the world and because we would have already experienced the sounds – we would already have a soundtrack to go with everything we saw and experienced.

It’s certainly not a question that I had thought about before – but it has challenged me beyond belief. Whereas before I just had sympathy (probably through a lack of understanding) for people that are deaf, dumb and blind – I’m now hit with a new found respect for these people – a lot of whom live the most out of every single moment. That in itself sets an example for all of us (including me).  We need to make the most of and be thankful for whatever we’ve got – not get hung up on what we don’t have.

If you could change into anyone for a day – who would it be?
Ok – so to move away from the typical “I’d be James Bond” answer I’ve amended the question slightly (because obviously I would be James Bond). So the question now is “If you could change into anyone for a day AND gain an understanding of their knowledge – who would it be?”
I’ve decided that I’m allowed 3 answers here….so option 1:

Simon Cowell
No I don’t want to have trousers up to my armpits, the smuggest face on the tellybox or any understanding whatsoever of his social life. But being Simon Cowell for a day would enable me to bring down (or at least cause serious damage) to X Factor and Britain’s got talent. I’d also kindly donate all of his money to charity.
Arsene Wenger
In the first chapter of 10 resolutions I promised that I wouldn’t rant about Arsenal. Therefore I won’t. But I’m desperate to know what on Earth is currently going on in Arsene Wenger’s head and if he really is as delusional as he comes across. Or does he have a master plan?

Dennis Daugaard (or any senior member of the NRA)
The name Dennis Daugaard may not mean that much to many of you. But Dennis Daugaard is the South Dakota governor who in the last week signed a piece of legislation which allows schools to create “school sentinels” – (which in translation means) teachers, staff or parent volunteers that are armed to protect students. No part of me can see the logic in taking firearms into these situations. That’s why I wouldn’t mind seeing into his head to see if I could try and understand. To see if I could grasp the train of thought that could possibly have resulted in the conclusion that taking guns into schools was a good idea. I’m desperate to understand – because at the moment I can’t help but shake the feeling that someone has taken some insanity pills.
I also mention the NRA – because the National Rifle Association throughout all of these shootings hasn’t taken enough of a stand against those who look to use “their right to defend themselves” as a right to attack others. I can understand the owning a gun part to protect your family - but having small arsenals in their homes? What are they expecting? What do they expect to happen when something switches in someone’s mental state and they are surrounded by weaponry? The only way to stop gun crime in America is to kill it at the source and to have much more control over people owning guns. Parts of America are cottoning on to this – New York and Colorado for instance. But it took violent act after violent act to get to the place where it was finally accepted that change needed to happen. Some of the country has now accepted that this needs to happen. But I’m now terrified about what it would take for the rest of the country to follow suit. Change is coming – but far too slowly. Fair play to Obama for getting a move on with it – but on a personal level – I struggle to look at the US as a world leader because in a lot of ways they haven’t even got their own house in order. Don’t get me wrong – Blighty is far from perfect – but when you look at some of the issues that the US is encountering you quickly realise that in truth – we don’t have it that bad at all.

*Political rant over*

What would you like to do in your next job?
This is actually really simple – I’d love to be paid to write (and not something that someone has asked me to write about). I want to write about stuff that I’m passionate about and I’m extremely lucky to have been given a number of opportunities like this along the way already – so it seems like the natural progression. I’d also love to do more with music and the Church as well as writing a novel – so I guess what I’d be looking for is to be paid enough to write so I could spend a day a week NOT playing Playstation but spending time on the other things that I’m passionate about. Leaving my current company in the first place though would be really hard because I adore the people that I work with at the moment. I’m not that fussed about the actual job (don’t get me wrong – it’s not bad - but in context it is the people that keep me alive in the office on a day to day basis.) 

So I guess as a little side note – If you are reading this and I work with you – or have done in the past - let me just say thanks for making me chuckle on a daily basis – and for helping me not to wake up with a feeling of dread each morning. It’s an honour and a pleasure. Thank you.

What was your most recent purchase?
In small terms....a multipack of Weetabix. Now I’m very fond of Weetabix – but I don’t agree with paying 83p for 2 in the office canteen – so today I went to the garage across from the office and picked up 12 for the comparative bargain of £1.55.
In larger terms – last week I bought a new pair of running / gym trainers which are a rather swanky blue colour. I saw them in a shop priced at £80 and then went home to find them on EBay Daily Deals for £30. I like to think of that as me beating the shop...and before anyone else goes on at me about shopping on the internet when shops are shutting on the high response is very simple. Are you going to pay me the difference?

What do you do to stay fit?
In complete honesty - nowhere near enough (hence the new trainers). I walk a fair bit, drum and play football occasionally – but unfortunately that’s about it. I’d love to play more football and to play some badminton (maybe even handball after watching it at the Olympics) but until recently I was lacking the motivation to actually push on with making something happen. I’m not any more – I just need to find some partners in crime to play with. (So if you are up for it – let me know). And before anyone suggests the gym...I’d get really bored on my own.....

Tell me about a TV show that you are watching at the moment
Because I’m kind, caring and sharing - I’m going to tell you about 2 programmes that I love.
First up is the Last Leg. Originally running alongside the Paralympics providing an alternative take on the day’s events – the show returned for a special at New Year (cleverly titled “the Last Leg of the Year”) before being commissioned for a full (live) series by Channel 4. The name of the show also has special meaning as two of the hosts (Adam Hills and Alex Brooker) have Prosthetic legs and because of that the show manages really well to break down some of the stigma attached to disabilities - regularly fielding questions of “is it ok to ask” along the way. It’s genuinely funny and different to other panel shows – especially as it actually has a fair amount of integrity contained within (the episode after all of the stuff about Oscar Pistorious came out highlights this really well).
Next up is a show about a lesser-known comic book character from the DC (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman etc) Universe – Arrow.
Now the truth about Arrow is that I am completely and utterly aware that it is absolute rubbish – but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. And whilst the scripts are created from cheese encrusted cardboard –the storyline is completely engaging and draws you in leaving you desperate for the next episode (something that previous DC show Smallville failed to do over its first few seasons). The acting from the leads isn’t great (or perhaps “not exactly taxing” is a better way to phrase it) - but it has been noticeably well cast because if needed – all of the cast are capable of acting to deliver an emotional punch (spoiler alert – one is coming). Something else that I find interesting about Arrow is that (for the time being at least) Arrow is based in the human world. There are no superheroes. They haven’t been ruled out.....but the only powers present at the moment are human powers - making it much more filmable (something else that Smallville struggled with and one reason why pilots for Wonder Woman and Aqua Man didn’t get pushed to series). The character Arrow is also is a long way away from being a boy scout (and he has a harrowing past) meaning that the story can shy away from real predictability. At the moment Arrow has little competition in terms of similar shows.  It’s been renewed for a second season with weeks to spare – but expect the competition and storylines to rapidly heat up should Joss Whedon’s fast tracked S.H.I.E.L.D pilot go (as expected) to series. For a geek like me though – I’m excited....
Arrow is very much a guilty pleasure show (that when lined up against Smallville looks strong). But I don’t mind – because if girls are allowed their own guilty pleasure shows – why can’t I have mine?

10 Resolutions will return as normal next week – but in the mean time if you have any questions you want to ask please email or visit the 10 resolutions facebook page. Right – I’m off to make dinner for the wife and prepare for Arsenal going out of Big Cup.

I'll leave you with this video. It completely ripped me apart - and then inspired me.

Until next week. God Bless

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