Friday, 17 December 2010

It doesn't really feel like Christmas...though that could be because it's still a week away.

It's just over a week to Christmas, and I've been back home for just under a week. It still seems a bit strange to be sat in my own bed and writing a blog entry, since this is something I haven't done since the very first entry that I wrote the night before I went to university. Well, I've made it to the end of the first semester...and I think I've done alright for myself. I won't be going reflective and making comments about how amazing things have been, because I should hope that the other entries have rather covered that.

I'll be brutally honest, it hasn't been the most exciting week in my life. The vast majority of it has been spent at home, though I don't mind that. It's quite nice to just sit around the house and do nothing of great significance or importance, knowing that I can afford to take a few days and relax. On the plus side though, I have managed to complete Call of Duty: Black Ops. As a result, I never need to play that game again, and it can return to my brother's room. I'll be concentrating on F1 2010 once more.

Well, I say I've been relaxing, but I have been working to an extent. Regardless of whether you do or don't know, I have my flute diploma on Wednesday afternoon...and I don't think I've been as nervous for anything else before in my 19 year existence. That might be a lie, and it probably is, though my mind doesn't quite extend to remembering such things these days. I tend to focus all of my brain energies on remembering the important things, such as where I live, which bedroom is mine, trying to figure out how I can make some relatively easy money next semester without resorting to illegal tactics, and what the snare pattern for Batucada is.

Either way, I'm nervous, and it's partially down to how much money this is costing. To do a diploma, it will set you back around £170. That's a hell of a lot of money, so as you can imagine, I'm only getting one shot at this. If I mess up, I mess up. Then, because the exam is on the 22nd, it's ridiculously close to Christmas, so I'll probably spend the rest of the lead up to Christmas in my room huddled in a corner. Still, if that happens, I might get a visit from some festive ghosts. The ghosts of Christmas music past, present and future. Obviously, it'll be a bit of a twisted vision, since I'd imagine the ghosts won't actually be played by dead people. I imagine Christmas music past will be played by Cliff Richard, Christmas present will be played by Simon Cowell and his collection of X Factor number 1 records and Christmas future can be played by an obscure song from the 1980s that Facebook has decided will be appropriate for 2011. In that case, I really hope it's Billy-Ray Cyrus. That's right folks, I'm pulling for Achy Breaky Heart for Christmas number 1 in 2011. You heard it here first.

In a rather delightful festive twist, it's been snowing for the last hour or two. The weather forecast has changed repeated throughout the day, and it'll probably continue to do so as well. Seriously, it must be a great time to be a weatherman. You could say virtually anything and there's a strong chance that it'll either be correct at the moment or be correct at some point within the next few hours. No word of a lie, I've looked at the weather forecast a couple of times within the last hour and a half, and each time it's given a different forecast, both for the next 24 hours and a longer term forecast.

How I long for the weather in I'd also be awake during the cricket. That'd be rather nice. I'm still hoping (perhaps rather blindly) that England can have the Ashes wrapped up and delivered for Christmas...they probably still stand a better chance of doing so than Royal Mail do of delivering everything on time. Andrew (who I've renamed Eskimo Joe) has been waiting for a parcel for getting on two weeks, and Mum had some Christmas presents ordered to be delivered to work a while ago...they didn't come either. So she won't get them until January, which is obviously after Christmas. Great job mail men.

The snow's rather scuppered my plan for tomorrow since my rehearsal with the pianist in Manchester has been cancelled. A rescheduling for Monday has been made...with the weathermen seemingly deciding the forecast based on what they've pulled from a hat (or maybe it's what their Christmas crackers are saying), no one can be sure what the rest of the weekend will bring. As long as the weather is good for Wednesday so I can get to Manchester and back in one piece, I don't mind. I might not be in one piece mentally on the return journey, but it's the physical appearance that counts. Or something like that.

I've been skipping on the quote at the end of a blog entry, and since I don't have my lovely inspirational quote poster behind me, I'll leave you with this one. Until my next entry (which will probably be midweek), enjoy life you crazy people. You only get the one opportunity.

Love is rarer than genius itself. And friendship is rarer than love.
Charles Peguy

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Weather chaos...really? All I see is people having fun.

The vast majority of the country has been covered in some delightful snow over the past week or so. From what I've heard though, there hasn't been that much in Liverpool over the past few days. There certainly wasn't any snow last week when I was at home...though that added a level of awesomeness on the train journey back. Through Liverpool and Manchester, there was no snow, but then as the train got closer to Yorkshire and Leeds, the amount of snow started to increase until I got into Leeds. It was pretty funky.

Of course, since then, we've had a couple of days of it snowing on and off. It's absolutely nothing to other places around the country. Sophie showed me the scene outside her flat in Sheffield yesterday, and it looked as though a car had been effectively buried under the snow. THAT is cool, though I imagine it's highly frustrating for the owner of the car, and it probably doesn't actually do any good for the car.

Yesterday was glorious though. I had to get to uni to do the planning for the podcast assignment, which actually looks really cool. If things go as well as we're hoping with the planning, it could be really good and we should get a really good mark. Result! As I left the flat though, it started to snow. And it didn't really stop until mid-afternoon. It was strange to see how the city almost ground to a halt. I had an epic moment of glory on the way to a quick visit to Tesco with Rachel and her flat. She threw a snowball at me, and I distinctly recall telling her on Monday to not do such a thing, otherwise I wouldn't hesitate in taking her down in the snow. So naturally, I obliged and went to take her down...thinking it'd be a simple trip of some sort. Seems I pretty much picked her up and slammed her to the ground in a sequence that Cain Velasquez would be proud of. Ich fuehle mich so maennlich!!

It's a bit mental though how we get some snow and the country descends into chaos. We had a similar scenario earlier this year, and if this is all down to climate change, surely we should be expecting much more of this sort of thing in the future. So why don't we begin to prepare for this sort of thing? If, in 5 years, we still have a country that stops completely when there's a few inches of snow, this country is in major trouble. I'm not the man to fix the problem, but I'll be more than happy to point the problems out and then sit back and have a sleep while someone else who can do a better job sorts everything out.

It's finally December, and this means that we're just 29 short days away from 2011. That's a bit crazy! What have I done with the other 336 days? I'll definitely be doing some sort of end-of-year blog entry...maybe. I'll have to actually sit down and think of things that I've done with my year though, my mind isn't great at remembering things these days. Oops!

It is December though, and this means that Christmas music is now socially acceptable to listen to. I celebrated this fact by putting a Christmas album onto my iPod bang on midnight. Anything called "We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year" must equal win.

Anyone who reads this and is in Leeds, this part is for you. If you're elsewhere in the country, feel free to read it, but I'm shamelessly plugging an event in Leeds.
Honeydrum are having their Christmas party/Winter Feast in the Riley Smith Theatre in Leeds University Union NEXT THURSDAY (9th) from 7-11. There's a couple of hundred tickets available for this, and they're at the amazing price of just £2. Come down and get involved with singing, dancing, drumming, a raffle, food, fun and more. It promises to be an utterly amazing evening. They'll be in the union on Monday (and Tuesday...I think) selling tickets and advertising Honeydrum in general. If you're free, head down and check them out!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Can't I just protest from my bed?

If I were a good student...actually, scrap that. It's not quite correct to say that. I am a good student, I get my work done and hand in assignments and essays on time, and on work that I've had returned to me, I've not done too badly. So we won't suggest I'm not a "good" student. I am. Try again...

If I were a more stereotypical know, again this is probably true to an extent. I'm not getting anywhere with this. I'll cut to the chase. Currently, there are plenty of student protests going on around the country to go with Cameron and Clegg (I might call them Los Conquistadores because it's amusing). Anyway, I won't try and tell you what Los Conquistadores want to do with students and tuition fees, you should really know about that. It's all over the news. Have a look, just make sure you come back and finish the blog.

There was the option and possibility for me to go and join in with the demonstration/walkout/protest. BUT...I woke up this morning to find that my room was very cold and my bed was very warm. It's a foolish man who leaves the warmth and comfort of his own bed to be in a cold room, wander through the city and be outside. Alternatively, I could stay in my flat, drink some coffee and write a blog entry and then do some music. It's really not much of a competition for me today...

AMAZING NEWS! I've been interrupted by Rachel. Complete change of stance on this entry now. It'll at least make her happy and keep her quiet for a while. She's always complaining that she doesn't get a mention on the blog. Well here you go Rachel!!! This shortened entry will now consist of you because you said you wanted to go and make some rice pudding.

Apparently, I need to be there as well while she does this. Strange.

The Ashes start tonight, so I'll be awake for that, or at least until I get ridiculously tired and need sleep. I might turn into something of an Ashes Zombie over the next few weeks, which could be interesting to say the least. I may write another entry and complete what I was on about later tonight.

Tell a friend about the blog, tell them to find me on Facebook or Twitter (thomaskayll).

Stay safe!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Reading Week and not a book to be seen

Reading Week is very nearly over, and I'll be completely honest...I've not done too much reading. Then again, I've not really done a lot of the things that I planned to do. The original plan was to sit in bed and sleep for long periods of time, watch my Tagged Classic DVD (No Way Out/Backlash 2000), Survivor Series 2002 and the long awaited Chris Jericho boxset and then maybe do a little bit of work to celebrate my laziness.

However, it is now Thursday night. I've not even looked at a wrestling DVD and thought "I'll watch that". Instead, it's been a case of gazing at them and dreaming of having time to be able to watch them in peace and without a million other things to do. Saying that, this week has been a brilliant week...strange how that coincides with not having to go to Uni and work!!

On Sunday, I made a bold decision and something that I don't often do, which is to not watch a Grand Prix live. Obviously, this is partially down to not having a TV License and the licensing people being all over our backs and saying they're going to come and visit us. We don't have a TV, they can't get us that way, but I have watched some GP stuff live because it's just much better than watching it on iPlayer. BUT...this was also motivated by the fact that I was already going to be up and around at this time since I ended up going to university at 10am for library opening time in order to copy some papers for an essay I needed to write (and still need to).

Why didn't I watch the race live then? I went on a walk with some Honeydrummers. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining and creating that sort of really funky autumn atmosphere that is so amazing. We went along the Meanwood Valley Trail, and it really was a glorious walk. If you've seen my Facebook page, I took some photos of the views and bits of nature, and I'll be honest, I think they're pretty good photos.

I had no idea this sort of thing was in Leeds, and it really is in Leeds. Just a short walk from the university, and if you follow the trail for the entire 7 miles, you can end up in the Dales and in the middle of nowhere. I may well have to give that a go at some point!!!

If you haven't, go and have a look at those photos though. There are some really good shots, and there's an amazing array of colours thanks to the cycle of life.

Monday night was drumming night, and instead of the usual session at Wrangthorn, we did a gig for RAG as part of their fundraising week. They had a bunch of people walking over hot coals, which is a pretty impressive thing really. Slightly spoiled by the rain which apparently took some of the heat from the coals, but it's still a brilliant thing to do. When we played, we really got the crowd going. It seems Honeydrum always gets a great atmosphere going with a combination of singing, dancing and drumming. You really know you're doing something worthwhile when you can play with a big smile on your face, look up and see loads of people dancing along to the beats and enjoying it themselves.

As proof of how warm it was in that building though, when we arrived, I was completely soaked and had very wet hair. By the time we finished, my hair was completely dry.

Tuesday was where the week highlighted, and I went to the Steel City to see another part of the world and catch up with the ever-delightful Molly Toal and the equally-awesome Sophie Moore. Sheffield is a really nice place actually from the little bits that I saw. It certainly seems different to Leeds! But the union was really nice (and they had some cracking food!), and I'll be honest, their flats are MUCH nicer than the one I'm in. I wonder how difficult it would be to commute each day. :P

Molly and I did some wandering while Smoo got a bit closer to being a medic, and it was a really good wander. We ended up in a museum where we were able to fool around a little bit and see some really cool things. They had dressing up as well, so that's also awesome! I put on a carrot costume, we were both Anglo-Saxons, Molly found her true profession as a Victorian maid and we dressed like Inuit people. I tell you, the Inuit clothing was ridiculously comfortable and warm...I definitely want one of those jumpers!

After watching Father Ted (Escape to Victory) A delightful walk to buy fast food for dinner was part of the evening, and then we had a couple of drinks in some pubs/bars around the area, before getting back to Molly's flat and watching some more Father Ted (Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse) before collapsing on the rather comfortable sofa and having some well earned sleep.

In the morning, we went to the union for Molly's morning lecture and had breakfast in a cafe in the union (why don't we have that in Leeds?!). While Molly was gone, Smoo and myself had some typical conversation where we end up getting a bit mopey and depressive...that always happens whenever we end up together and talking. Brilliant. :P

It was a fantastic trip, and I really did realise how much I've missed those two over the last two months. They are pretty much the best friends I have in the world, and I hope I rank pretty high for them too. Hopefully they'll get to Leeds at some point in the near future, though it seems that this might not be until next year since Sophie's timetable is a bit mental! If they'll have me returning, I'll definitely head back to Sheffield at some point to see them's a rather delightful place!

So this rather brings us to I've now done one of my essays. For something that was only 250 words long, it certainly look me a while to do! Bit ridiculous really, but at least it's out of the way. I've got another one to write at some point over the weekend, and then hopefully that should be it.

I'm back to Liverpool tomorrow (Friday). It seems it may well be a bit of a crazy weekend though, I've got a mental Saturday ahead of me where I'll be in Manchester doing rehearsals for the diploma, but hopefully I'll get some time to play some Xbox, see friends and then catch up on sleep!

I'll probably be back some time next week with my next blog entry, stay safe people!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sometimes, it's the simple things that mean the most.

I sit down to write this feeling rather awake and refreshed, though my head is still throbbing. I don't like Tuesdays really...they just go on and on and my head hasn't enjoyed this Tuesday. It's annoying really, since I got to bed at a rather sensible time last night and got plenty of sleep and woke up to the thought that it wouldn't be a drastic day. However, since around midday, my head has felt like every single German word I've ever learnt has been trying to explode and escape. I guess sometimes, Tuesdays can just be a bit of a Germanic overload...

That's alright though, because I've had my birthday now. By the laws of logic, this means that I'm probably a little bit wiser, a little bit more mature and a whole lot more awesome. Thankfully, only the latter is correct. I highly doubt I gained much intelligence by adding another year to my tally, I certainly don't feel any more mature, and I wouldn't want to either. As I've stated many times, the day I feel mature and that I should grow up is the day that I give up on life.

I imagine now is a pretty logical time to write about my was a pretty funky weekend to be honest. Admittedly, the Friday journey didn't go so well since my train ticket to get me from Leeds to home failed in epic fashion, so I had to pay another £16 to get a new ticket. Douchebags. That's the same price I paid for a return ticket originally, robbing little...

Once I got back though, it was rather epic. My birthday was effectively spread out over Friday and Saturday since I got presents when I got home, and then I had friends round on Saturday. Clearly, this is good...and made the weekend far better than my actual birthday, though that will come towards the end of this entry.

As you know by now, I got the rather amazing caricature drawing of me as a Red Bull Racing driver which was done by Steve from Mum's school. Huge thanks for that, since it really is awesome. Hopefully, this link works, but if not...then it's my Facebook profile picture, you can't miss it!

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I also got a bunch of other cool stuff like the new Jericho DVD (which should be epic), a new hat, the new Smackdown game and grapes. Grapes, for those who aren't aware, is a present based around the love of this particular food by Matt Hardy. Check his videos on Youtube, they're unintentionally funny and brilliant stuff..

Saturday was a cool day since I got to see Cheryl, Joseph and Maisie. And oh, how much Joseph has grown in the last 6 weeks! The dude's huge now! He's what, 6 months old? I'll be honest, it's pretty cool seeing him when I come home, and I think he probably likes me more than Maisie does, or at least did at the same stage. Hopefully, Maisie's decided she likes me a bit more now...she at least speaks to me now, and that's progress from last year. After some Xbox playing, I had people over. We played games, we ate food and we just chatted the usual crap that we do on one of those nights. I've missed those evenings...they're awesome!

Mum made her chocolate cake, which should really be world famous, or at least famous to the continent of Europe and all chocolate cake fans. Combined with more ribs than you can shake a stick at, it was a food-heaven day (and Sunday, since leftovers were my best friend).

Then Sunday came, and I saw KP and Smoo! Again, I've not seen those guys for a few weeks, so it was awesome to see them both and catch up for an hour or so about life. I don't know man, for an hour or so, it didn't feel like we'd been away for a month and a half. It was just like the days of school and just wasting time doing nothing of great significance, but enjoying wasting that time. Pretty cool stuff.

Just before I left to head back up to Leeds, I did the Lantern Carnival with Beatlife. Oh, this felt good to be playing with the full band again. And of course, I saw the ever-wonderful Harley and the magnificant Matthew. Awesome dudes. It was good to play some new rhythms as well, and I think I got away with not doing a single rehearsal with them (admittedly, getting to Liverpool on a Tuesday evening isn't possible), but with the tunes being on the website, I gave them a listening and think I pulled it off. Chris said he might be up in this part of the world soon, so hopefully I'll catch up with him then.

My actual birthday was pretty average to be honest for a Monday. A couple of hours at uni, coming back to the flat and working for another few hours until I've finished my work and then drumming. I guess the differences were that I bought a sandwich for my lunch from Bakery 164. Damn, that food is like crack...addictive stuff and for what it is, rather reasonably priced. I'll be honest, I'm still a fan of the sandwich from Tesco that involves brown bread, ham, cheese, lettuce and pickle for £2. That's a damn fine sandwich, and it's mayonnaise free...which means it's Tom-friendly. Win! As well as the Bakery 164 sandwich, I treated myself to a "nap" for two hours in the afternoon once I'd finished my work. There is no greater feeling than going to bed at 3pm and waking up at 5pm, having some DELICIOUS crumble that I brought back with me from home (more excellent home cooking right there!) and then going to do a few hours of drumming.

Bizarrely, I'm feeling tired once again. I imagine this could be a sign that I'm ill or something, but I'm past the point of really caring too much about that. Instead, I'll just go back to bed, finish listening to the podcast I've got on and wake up tomorrow for the start of a new day.

I usually stick a quote on the end, and since I'm listening to his podcast at the moment, I'll stick on one of Joe Rogan's from an old blog entry of his:
Life can be really fucking beautiful, but man is it a tricky thing to manage.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

A week in the life and Sambarrrrr!!

It's currently Thursday afternoon, which means that tomorrow is Friday. This means that the weekend is nearly upon us, and this can only be a good thing. I'm off home tomorrow, which shall be very awesome. For those of you who don't know (and shame on you!) I reach another year milestone in the journey of life on Monday. Admittedly, this milestone isn't as big as the one for being 18, and like most prime numbers, it often finds itself being forgotten about on a regular basis. I shall be 19, and start the last year of teenage life.

As it's Thursday, I'm currently inbetween doing Spanish homework since I have that one glorious hour a week when I don't have a funking clue what's happening. To be quite honest, I'll probably only need Spanish to be able to throw a basic insult at Fernando Alonso for being a whiney little dweeb. Of course, he would then hurl far more complex insults at me which I wouldn't understand, so I could just imagine in my head he's actually just suggesting that I'm correct and that he needs to grow up and learn to accept that if someone is ahead of you, they were clearly faster than you at some point during the race. You idiot.

That brings me nicely to the past weekend. I really didn't get much sleep over that weekend, and I suspect that leads to the underlying problems I've endured this week. I really don't remember too much about Friday night apart from the fact that I decided it would be clever to start writing my Goodbye, Lenin essay before deciding that watching UFC 120 was a better idea and did that instead. By the time I'd finished watching that, it was around 2am (and I did skip a few fights that I'll probably go back and watch at a later date. But since it was 2am, and I'd seen this on the UKFF (it was also mentioned on Dropkick Radio, but I didn't manage to catch the show live since I was....oh, I remember, I'll get back to that. I was gigging.)...where were we?

Oh, yes, 2am on Saturday morning. The very first Dragon Gate USA show Enter the Dragon was being shown on GoFightLive for free to promote and hype the fact that they've got a live iPPV this Friday night. Absolute belter of a show, though I did get to a point where I was flicking between that and FP3 from Korea.

Backtracking ever-so-slightly, we now go back to this time last week. As part of Honeydrum, we did three short performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at the union as part of the Backstage Society's performance fundraising event. Very good shows each night, and I think we got progressively better each night so things are looking good. I'm more confident with the grooves for each rhythm, and I think I know most of the breaks now. Clearly, this is all good news and hopefully I'll get through a gig in the near future without going "Oh, shit...I messed that entry" or "I shouldn't have played that break...I didn't know it properly and looked like a dick."

Then on Saturday after the final gig, we ended up at a house party in Headingley which was so awesome. It was a very good night, and to be honest, we were the greatest thing there. ;)
Honestly though, Phen brought some drums with him and had the congas set up when we arrived. We just played and jammed with some people for a couple of hours and it was a ridiculous amount of fun. My hands were VERY sore when I got home though...they're not quite used to such an intense level of playing for that long!

The Grand Prix was a bit of a mad one! The rain delay was a bit mental, though I completely see why they'd done that. It was also rather useful for me. Somehow, I managed to sneak in a quick nap and woke up just as the restart was being announced as a five minute warning. Just enough time to make a coffee obviously!! But it did mean that I didn't really get to sleep properly until about 10am on Sunday morning, and I was up and about less than two hours later. Clearly, my weekend wasn't sleep-filled.

I've made up for it since then though. I guess that's the good thing about the later-stages of my week. Wednesday off means I can sleep late (or as the case was yesterday, I can sleep most of the afternoon. Greatest two hours of sleep on a Wednesday afternoon I've had in a while. Probably wouldn't have happened if hadn't have had to go up to uni just to give in a piece of work.

This weekend is going to be rather funky. From the sounds of it, there will be chocolate cake, ribs, friends, Xbox games, great times and even more drumming~! Is that possible?! Clearly, I can find a way to squeeze more drumming into my life. At the moment, I'm putting in about 6 hours a week of drumming, and then whenever we have a gig, it's a couple more. So Sunday evening is the Lantern Carnival/Parade in Sefton Park for Halloween, which has been one of my favourite Beatlife gigs to do because there are some brilliant designs and ideas each year. I'm looking forward to that, even though I have got to learn Pirate Sambarrrr and Zebra Shuffle using the sound recordings and words! I tell you something though, I reckon I'll have it.

For those of you who I shall see very soon, I look forward to it. If I don't, why not? Either way, stay safe and enjoy your lives.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Getting the band back together

Before I get into my actual blog entry, I was asked to mentioned Rachel. There...on we go!

What a bizarre weekend that was. I'll admit that I loved being home, and even though Vicky commented on Sunday that she'd missed Leeds a bit while she was back home, I didn't really. I'd guess that was just because my weekend was so full of stuff that I really didn't have that much time to sit back and think about Leeds. My mind was always moving onto the next thing on the list of stuff to do, whether it was getting to another Beatlife gig, getting to Fozzy or just playing video games with Emma and Andrew. I guess I'll probably get that feeling when I'm home next weekend since it *should* be a much more laid-back weekend where I can actually relax and chill. Then again, I'll have some work to do that weekend which'll be due in the following week.

I've learnt my lesson to not take my big bag to uni. It was a bit of a painful experience to carry the bag, which was, I thought, rather full (though coming back laughed in the face of Friday). From now on, I'll just get a slightly later coach and come back to the flat to get my bag. Then again, I could probably make the journey and be back at the station for half 1. Maybe I'd be pushing it a bit...I won't take the risk.

Anyway, here is where the fun begins. My lovely new phone, which I had been rather enjoying over the previous week and going slightly app-crazy with, decided to take up a new owner. I work on the basis of it was stolen, since I checked where I had been sitting, the floor around it and also the area outside near the coach and the very small journey I had taken before realising I was phoneless. Thankfully, the battery was nearly dead on the phone. Take that thief!

So I then had to spend my initial time at home calling the phone company to get the sim card and phone blocked, and then calling the police to report it. Oh, how fun! Jumping forward a bit, the joy of the insurance company kicked in when I found out the details hadn't been forwarded by T-Mobile yet, so I wasn't on the system. This leaves me waiting for the next week to hear back from the company on whether my claim is successful. As things stand right now, I have a replacement sim card, but no phone to use it with. ¬_¬

Beatlife...oh, how amazing it was to get the band back together. Obviously, they've all been together and doing the regular Tuesday nights and whatnot, but it was so awesome to get to play with them again. I mean, Al said that it was awesome to see me again and to play and it really was. The gig in Manchester was pretty darn funky, and the one on Sunday was surrounded by food, VERY strong coffee (though that could have been due to immense tiredness) and face painting. What more could you want from a Sunday in Sefton?

Hopefully, I'll be playing with them again for the Lantern Parade on Halloween night. It's a very funky gig, and if I can make it/they'll let me play, it'll be a very fun way to spend a late October evening!

Fozzy provided one of the most awesome gigs I've been to. Admittedly, I've not been to loads of gigs, but this was definitely better than some others. If I'm honest, the first two support acts weren't anything special with their brand of screamo-type rock. They could have both done the same song for 20 minutes and I wouldn't have noticed the difference really.

Thankfully, I thought the third act was a bit better. Though this could have been helped by the rather attractive lady singer. After them though, it was time for Fozzy! I wouldn't be surprised if a rather significant portion of the crowd was there just to see Jericho. Admittedly, I started listening to Fozzy because of Y2J, but they've put out some good music over the years.

Jericho just proved he can still work a crowd, even a rather small one (especially compared to the sizes he usually works with!). We were pretty electric when they got on stage, and the entire band did a good job of getting us hyped up. Rich kicked ass on guitar, and Sean was providing some funky basslines. Good stuff all round!

I did get time to play F1 2010 for a bit over the weekend, and I can confirm that it is rather funky. It took a little bit of time to get used to the steering, and I think I need to tweak the AI settings to be a bit more realistic, but I'm digging it so far. Hopefully I can sneak some more time on it next weekend!

Stay safe, take care of yourselves and I'll be back...probably over the weekend if anything interesting happens!

Life is too important to be taken seriously.

Oscar Wilde

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A weekend of games, gigs and fire alarms

It's been a bit of an awesome week, and things are only about to get better. Well, they'll be better as of about 24 hours from now. I'm coming home baby! And what a weekend I've got waiting for me...two Beatlife gigs ( in Manchester and Sefton Park and Fozzy ( on Saturday night. In between all of this, I've got to find time to catch up with family, try and see some friends and also waste large portions of my time playing video games. Since I've been gone, we've had a pretty decent influx of games into the house. Emma got the new Guitar Hero game, and we were always going to be spending a bit of time jamming away on that upon my return. I'm looking forward to that, it should be a bit of a step forward and improvement after the previous instalment of the GH Series was something of a let down. This one looks like a huge return to form though, and there are some seriously epic tracks on there.

As well as that, Andrew bought F1 2010. Since Codemasters announced they were releasing an F1 game for this season, I've been excited for it. I got the "warm-up" game for the Wii last Christmas, and even though it wasn't that impressive when it comes to the AI, it was still pretty cool to be able to play an F1 game for the first time in years. The graphics were pretty good, it had the 2009 drivers, teams and tracks, and it was almost a signal of intent for what they'd be producing for this year.

Now the game has been released to the world, I can't wait. I've heard things about there being really ridiculous bugs on the game with things like pitstops ruining races and ghost cars overtaking you in the pits. I don't care though. The graphics looked awesome, the gameplay is meant to be rather slick (if a bit slippery at first) and the AI is much improved. This is something I want from my F1 games. I don't want to turn it on, put it onto the hardest setting and be able to win straight away. I want to be in the midfield scrapping for a point or two if I'm lucky and eventually improve with the game until I can do well.

For example, Andrew was telling me he's just won the world championship with Lotus. That's not really very realistic. If he were to put it up a difficulty level, I can almost guarantee that wouldn't happen. I imagine I'll put it straight on the hardest setting and play away.

He's also bought the WRC game, which should be epic. I think the last rally game I played was a Colin McRae game a few years ago. Again though, that looks amazing. He's also bought a wheel for these driving games to add a bit more realism, which I'm looking forward to.

Essentially, this weekend should be one of gaming awesomeness. =)

Last Friday, I had my first gig with Honeydrum at the Raise the Roof event at the West Indian Centre. I spent the first part of the gig playing cameraman, but that was so much fun. I got to stand back, listen to the music, watch the dancers and take everything in. It was really interesting actually, and I could see which parts of the group weren't as tight as they could be, and I was able to share this feedback with Phen after we'd finished playing, and he agreed with most of it.

Oh, there was a fair amount of drugs going on there though. Even just walking out of the toilet and being asked if I "want any gear". thanks, I'm good. Honestly, I won't change my mind just because you've asked if I'm completely sure. Even going outside to sort something out, I get asked if I want to share a joint with someone. Again...I'm alright, don't need that. One of the acts had a rapper/singer who was as high as a kite and didn't care about telling the world about it.

I don't really care about that was an epic night and I had such a good time. It really helped to have a couple of mates tagging along as well. And of course, I love nights out where I don't have to pay admission because I'm one of the acts. Aah, the joy of being a musician!

I'm now becoming rather familiar with the fire alarm in my building too. Last week, we had it go off rather early in the morning. Obviously, I see the logic of this. Everyone (well, theoretically) will be in their flat at stupid o'clock in the morning and they'll be asleep. So if they wake us all up at the same time, we can hear the fire alarm and everyone knows what it sounds like. As I say, logical decision. I just wish it didn't happen so early. I suspect I'm not entitled to complain too much though, as I did just get back into bed and managed to catch another half an hour of sleep.

Then the fire alarm decided it would wake me up earlier this week. I don't remember the day, but that's probably because my brain has turned into a bit of a mess recently. Seriously, it's a little bit worrying, but I'll live. Well, that's the plan. As long as I wake up each morning and keep ticking along, I won't worry about the fact that I'm struggling to piece together each day. Just imagine how messed up my mind would be if I had alcohol in there though...I'd probably have frazzled out by now.

Again though, this fire alarm was just a test run to make sure it was working properly. Now, call me stupid, but wasn't the fire alarm a few days ago a good way of testing that the fire alarm works?

So why do they need to test it again?

Of course, this brings us to today. Some of you may have seen my Facebook status about this. It seems that the fire alarm was set off as a result of steam from someone's shower. I do remember us being told that the fire alarms were smoke detectors, not heat detectors. So this really makes me wonder...just how fucked up are things here? These things continue to baffle me and confuse my sorry mind even further.

Regardless, it's time for me to go and continue my education. My hour of Spanish on a Thursday is approaching. I've then got to work like an idiot tonight (though this might mean I get to listen to Dropkick Radio tonight live) so I can get my work done before I head off home tomorrow afternoon. I don't want to have to spend my time working over the weekend, mainly because I don't think I'll have time to do any work!!

Anyone who has never made mistake has never tried anything new.

Albert Einstein

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

How early is too early?

It's been a while since I last did an entry, so I apologise for that. Since I started at uni for real though, things have actually been rather hectic. So I'm considering mixing this up and actually trying a couple of video blog entries as well to compensate for this. I've got the day off tomorrow, so I shall be spending it trying to get as much of my Core Language work done as I physically can before I head off to the union in the evening to have one more session of drumming before Raise the Roof on Friday.

Hehe, just as I mention how tomorrow will be spent doing work, I get a text. I love it when these things happen. As an alternative, I'm heading to the market tomorrow morning to pick up some stuff with Beth from one the flats upstairs. I might follow suit and pick up some cheap stuff while I'm there. It rather destroys any wish of a lie-in I had, but that's absolutely fine by me.

Anyway, now that I've got that little sidetrack completed and sorted for the morning. Uni life is all going rather well I think. I'd be a liar if I said my very first lecture wasn't a bit scary, but I guess almost everyone can agree with that sentiment. What I certainly wasn't expecting though, was to have my first lecture be entirely in German...the very definition of being thrown in at the deep end! Still, it is a German degree and it was the Core Language module. Most of the other modules are in English though...apart from the history tutorial, which is in German. Call me a little bit cynical, but if I don't really know that much about German history pre-unification in 1871 altogether, I don't really have much chance of knowing about it, and being able to write/talk about it in German!

All of my other modules are alright so far, the workload has only really been big for Core, and that was a ridiculous amount (or so I thought). It appears that might be the regular workload, and I'll be getting more on top of that occasionally. I'll get used to it, right?

We had the Fresher's Ball on Saturday night. It was a pretty good night, but we did spend a large part of it playing on FIFA 11, and I'll admit that it is one cracking game. I'm seriously considering bringing my Xbox with me to uni when I go home, or I might leave it until Christmas and bring it then...that might be easier. But when we got to the Ball, none of us were really that dressed up, with the exception of Jolie. There were some guys who had suited up for the event, but as we all know, suits aren't really my thing. I was going to wear my jacket and a polo shirt, but I was told that was a step too far, so I went in a t-shirt and some dark jeans.

I still have to admit to not knowing who Eliza Doolittle is, and I don't really know who Diana Vickers is either...someone said she's from X Factor or something? To be fair, Eliza gave a pretty good set. If I saw her again, I'd enjoy the gig but I can't really say I'd pay money to see her. After this though, we got a set from Scott Mills of Radio 1 fame. He became my favourite DJ of the moment purely for his decision to end the night by playing "All I Want for Christmas is You".

And so this begs the early is too early? When is it an acceptable time to start playing Christmas music? If I'm completely honest, I'm of the opinion that if it's a good piece of music, then there's nothing wrong with playing it for a couple of months a year instead of a few weeks before Christmas and then it disappearing from the airwaves (but staying on music channels until January).

For example, take East 17's "Stay Another Day". I don't know about you, but I consider that a Christmas song. Admittedly, it was originally released a few weeks before Christmas, but it was then re-released (another video was made with them all wearing white) and it got Christmas number 1 that year. It's a belter of a tune though, and I can quite happily listen to that at any time of year. I know it's not the best example, but I can listen to something ridiculous like the Christmas song released by The Darkness a few years ago too.

If I'm honest, I don't think hearing a Christmas song now would annoy me. Maybe that's because I think it's all a bit of a joke. The second that supermarkets bring out their selection boxes and decorations, shops start selling Christmas stock and cities start to put up their Christmas lights, it should be officially made Christmas and those songs should be fair game.

Maybe it's just me, but that'd teach us a lesson to not start trying to make money from it months in advance...

Instead of a quote that I've borrowed from my wall, I'll leave you with a song that I got linked to a few weeks ago. You'll see for yourself, but it's an acoustic version of Patience, the Guns'n'Roses song. This version has Slash playing and Miles Kennedy (of Alterbridge fame) doing the vocals. Maybe...just maybe...Kennedy sings this better than Axl himself.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Freshers, fun and finding happiness

It's hard to believe I've been in Leeds for over a week, but it's been a pretty good week overall I think. Once we get past the initial sickness of the first weekend (which I still can't figure out a reasoning for, other than the dodgy lunch I had that day), everything else has been pretty good.

We had an intro party and I now like to think that I paid the princely sum of £10 to go into the union, lose my flatmates, listen to a funky jazz band for a few hours and then sit outside with another lost girl. Admittedly, I would have paid £10 for the musicians and preferred to have sat with that girl inside and been able to be a bit more cheerful and what not, but these are the curveballs that life throws at you sometimes.

Put it this way, if I hadn't have lost my friends in there, I wouldn't have gone back to the bar with the band and stayed there. I wouldn't have heard possibly one of the greatest covers of Hotel California that can be known to man. I wouldn't have got talking to some other people and I wouldn't have sat outside in the cold and spoken to a crying girl sat on her own. 

Yes, maybe I should have asked for her number, or at least given her mine, but the way I see would have been wrong to ask for her number when she had lost everyone and was pretty worked up. I offered to walk her back to her flat so she got home safely though. 

Maybe in another universe, I got her phone number and everything goes a little bit differently. Or maybe it doesn't. I'll probably never know.

I'll be completely honest and say I cannot remember for the life of me what happened on Tuesday or Wednesday. Actually, that's a bit of a lie. I kind of remember, but this week has rather merged into one giant mess in my brain. Tuesday I think was when people went to a 3D disco. I ended up in the bar chilling with people from B Block and Beth from upstairs, and then once the bar shut, we sat around outside for a while before deciding that going out would be pointless and retiring to our flats. Or something like that...

I went exploring on Wednesday and got completely lost trying to come back. Quite simply: epic! To cut a long story short, I ended up wandering along the main road (I think it's an A road..) for ages and trying to remember  where we had turned originally. On the plus side though, I know all of the industrial parks pretty well around here now. Not that such knowledge will serve me that well... 

Just think though...with bizarre things like that happening to me completely sober, imagine how messed up my life could be if I drank. It freaks me out slightly just thinking about it.

Thursday was a night of two halves. The first half was spent in B2.2's kitchen playing drinking games and I learnt how to play "On the Bus". Something I'll definitely remember the rules of. Obviously, drinking games aren't usually as fun when I stick to soft drinks, so I mixed things up a bit. It turns out that cheap Red Bull knockoff, coke and lemonade doesn't taste great, and actually makes you want to throw up a little bit. So even though I wasn't getting drunk, the stuff I was drinking was disgusting and something that I wouldn't have been surprised to see on Fear Factor or a similar show.

Then the silent headphone disco. What a funking awesome idea that is. It just meant I could go into a club and not have to listen to that awful bang-bang-thumpy dance music all night. Instead, they had another channel of music which was dedicated to playing rock, 90s, 00s and indie stuff. Just my sort of thing really. Nothing beats the sound of pulling your headphones down to hear several hundred people all singing Sweet Child of Mine though. We sang very loudly and very out of tune. Oh, how we sang though and how we loved it.

Obviously, inbetween all of these evenings, I had to go to Uni for various introduction meetings. Strange to think that I'll actually have to start doing some serious work on Monday! I'd better get some reading done!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit 


Monday, 20 September 2010

It's just the way life goes...

So I've made the big move up to Leeds. Is it up? I'm never really sure...I assume it's more "across" than up really. Not that it matters to be perfectly honest, unless I was on a boat and needed coordinates and stuff. I'm not though, so it's all gravy. The move itself was alright, I have to admit that I went to sleep about half an hour into the journey after I finished one podcast, stuck another one and then I woke up with about a minute of that left and turning into Leeds.

Moving my belongings in was about as good as I could have expected, or wanted. It was slightly strange how we all essentially moved in at roughly the same time, but quite awesome since we were all in the same boat. They're four absolutely cracking people, and I don't think I could have picked better flatmates if I'd done it myself. Our cooking isn't fantastic, and none of us will be winning Masterchef any time soon, but we're getting by. Saying that, I'm going to blow my own trumpet and claim that I made an absolutely epic stir fry before. The flatmates seemed to enjoy it anyway. At least I didn't have to clean up though, that's always good.

I really wish I wasn't feel so dodgy though. I didn't eat a thing really yesterday because my stomach is completely fucked up, and to be honest, I've not really felt like eating too much today either. It was just a case of eating because I was starving having not eaten since Saturday night, and I can't not eat my own food...that won't look good. At this rate, I'm going to end up addicted to Rennies or something stupid. It almost certainly shows why I don't take any form of drugs unless I can help it. I don't really see a need to justify my use of them, but I guess it's simply because I'm going to look an absolute bellend if I don't go out and party during Freshers like everyone else.

I'm going to need some more before I go out tonight, otherwise I risk being that sober dick who throws up. I'm in uni in the morning for the beginning of my talks, so I don't fancy having a ridiculously late one. To be honest though, I've slept quite well and still been getting up relatively early. I was up at half 8 this morning before I realised I didn't need to be awake and went back to sleep until 10.

Today has been a good day though. I went up to the uni to register and have a bit of a look around and get used to places, and it went rather well. Registration took the absolute piss and I was stood there for well over an hour, just to get a union card. I had look at some societies, ended up joining the Rock society (RockSoc!!) which will undoubtedly be useful for me through the year. To top it all off, I ended up on Student Radio doing a quiz show type thing and won. Sadly, my Doctor Who knowledge that won me free entry somewhere later this week won't really be great when it comes to the ladies...

Looks like this one will have to just be a couple of paragraphs. I'll be back tomorrow to share the love about my first day of actually needing to be up at Uni.

The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.

Walt Disney

Friday, 17 September 2010

The beginning of the rest of my life

As I sit down and start to write this blog entry, hopefully the first of many, it is 00:06 on Friday 17th September. The time is rather insignificant, but the date signals something potentially great in the life of Thomas David Kayll. 

Later on today, during the early afternoon, I'll begin to move my belongings into a small room in a flat in Leeds city centre as I begin at university. Of course, this is a step that many young people take these days, and many of you who read this (at least, in my mind there's many of you reading this) will also be on the same journey as me. Without a doubt, it's going to be one hell of a ride and I'll love every minute of it. 

Thinking about it though, it's almost absolutely crazy how my entire life and the vast majority of my possessions can be fitted into a couple of boxes and bags and moved. I've got a holdall filled with my normal day to day clothes, and a smaller one that has every shirt I own, some ties, some black pants, and black shoes. On top of this, I've got the books I've had to buy for uni, which has come to make a rather heavy box, some other boxes with leisure books, DVDs, my music so I can continue working for that diploma at the end of the year and other bits and pieces. Obviously, I've now got pots, pans, plates and cutlery, but I've never needed to own that sort of stuff before...they will be used though, and you can expect to see me kicking ass on Masterchef in a couple of years!

I imagine this is a thought that people would get quite frequently when they move, but this is the first time I've moved house basically. I've spent 18 years of my life in the same house, and it is my home. So it almost seems illogical to want to move away from it. I guess that's part of growing up though, by moving away, I'll hopefully become far more independent than I've ever been, or needed to be, in my life so far. 

From virtually everything that everyone has told me though, I'll have a great time. Whether it's through the sheer experience of living away from home, studying something that is a real passion for me and that I want to do for the rest of my life, or meeting new people, trying different things and discovering more about myself as a person.

I'll also point out how awesome it is that the final thing I choose to do is watch Scrubs in bed. For those interested, it's the last episode of J.D's residency before he moves on to become a fully fledged doctor. Oh, and there's one of the infamous Dr. Cox rants there as well, absolutely amazing.
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. 
                                                                          Walt Disney

It's been fun people, I've had a fun 18 years so far in life. Things can only get better...right?