Day 131: Urban Jungle

March 24th 2016

condemmed-horse-chestunt.jpgAlthough it is more than likely already the name of an organisation I decided, earlier today, that my favourite proposed name for the idea I discussed in yesterday’s blog is: Urban Jungle. Traditionally the colloquialism is used almost exclusively to describe a metropolitan setting, a setting which conjures up images of bland, flat grey concrete and almost no colour; I decided that adopting that phrase, turning it on its head and using it as a platform from which to splash colour onto the otherwise blank canvas of forgotten areas of the city would be both clever and innovative (Not that I want to pat myself on the back).

Of course the overall success of this endeavor will rely heavily on finding the correct sponsor and agricultural expertise amidst the general populace. I am not a botanist, I’m not even an avid gardener but I am someone who has the idea and vision to show those unloved areas of society some care and attention. As such I will more than likely try to garner as much outside expertise as possible in order to leave myself free to look over and supervise the financial and administrative sections of this plan- as well as giving my full help and attention too.

As stated yesterday, this is still very much a pipe dream, there’s really nothing that I’ve arranged that will grant credence to this idea of mine, but it would be fair to say that all great things start small- hopefully this will be one of those things too.

Ascent to my bold undertakings.
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Day 130:Ideas

March 23rd 2016

minecraft block.pngToday was otherwise uneventful apart from a rather novel idea that I had. I woke up, made breakfast and lunch, practiced my Japanese for a little while (Grammar and memorising symbols) and then settled in for a small session on Minecraft. Rather oddly it was whilst I was walking through the almost completely stone center of the city we built when it came to me, everything was so gray so drab and there was almost no colour; I began to think about ways I could spruce it up and it hit me, I could make this colourless city centre spring to life with the simple addition of a few patches of colourful flora, but this got me thinking…

What was to stop me doing the same in the real world?

There are areas, in most cities, that seem to have been forgotten by the council, areas that city flowerbedare aging and are perhaps showing a bit of wear and tear that could do with a bit of livening up- who’s to say that I couldn’t do that livening up? I understand of course that this could require some divisive language and coercion to get going since I haven’t got the funds to start this up myself but, should I be able to get this off of the ground and find a sponsor (of any size) this could be an excellent way to give something back to the community.

The effects of living in areas that are well looked after and that are shown to be cared about are well documented as:

instilling a sense of pride in ones area and bestowing a more positive outlook on life even when stressed or in dire straits

So there really is no reason not to try.

The steps for creating something like this would be as follows.

  1. Find a sponsor to fund the project, either out of the goodness of their heart or in return for publicity in the form of a sign.
  2. Obtain the Council’s permission to alter their property
  3. Finally, find people to help me do just that.

It’s a pipe dream at the moment, but it’s certainly doable and it’s something that people would, hopefully, rally behind and appreciate.

Thank you for reading.

Day 129: Stress

March 22nd 2016

Sl_StressBrain

Stress is something that we all deal with, it’s something that permeates our every day life and, if we let it, it can overflow, spill over and cause us to flip our lids- that is without a doubt what happened today and will be the focus of this blog.

I’ve always been subject to a bit of a temper, but I’ve always been good at internalising it as well, in fact I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve truly lost my rag with someone, it rarely happens and when it does it is always justified. Today was one of those days, given the past two days and my ill-health I was already not in the best of sorts, I wasn’t in my right mind but today i had the rather unfortunate displeasure of socialising with… err… we’ll call him “Charlie” to protect the innocent.

An-injury-is-much-sooner-forgotten-than-an-insult.1Charlie is utterly beligerent, self assured and conceited in the extreme. We all have flaws, Charlie just has more of them than ninenty nine percent of the population. My day started with him showing up at my door in the company of Hannah and “Jamie”- oh joy. Despite my improving relationship with Hannah over the past few my rapport with Jamie and Charlie is less than desirable.

Of course, as is her nature, she invited them into my home and, as is my nature, I gritted my teeth and let them in. It didn’t take long for conflict to start.

“You live like a pig”

“You sleep on the sofa?”

“Get me something to eat!” I will add, there was no please to that statement.

Charlie and Jamie aggravate me to no end, there is no limit to either their stupidity or their arrogance, they are repugnant and vile and the entire day culminated with me launching a litany of vulgar insults in their direction. It was far too satisfying.

Suffice to say, the day was done, and it was… moderately successful, but it was stressful.

That is all.

Day 128: Quiet

March 21st 2016

There was very little that went on today, In the morning I was in severe pain, my stomach burned and only stopped after I’d gotten something in it, much to my own reluctance i will add because the notion of eating anything other than Weetabix made me physically wretch. I eventually settled on a modest meal of: corn flakes, toast and tea, not the most nutritious of breakfasts but, after yesterday, I was more than willing to accept simply being able to keep anything down, regardless of its nutritional value- call me crazy.

Following this, in the morning a friend asked me to help him out on a minecraft server, I jumed at the chance, recently it’s been quiet and I’ve been plagued with thoughts of guilt and doubt concerning my efforts and future prospects, thus I jumped at the opportunity to do something of moderate use.

Since this culminated at some time in the evening it’s easy to say that I both: didn’t do much of anything today and enjoyed myself more than I can properly express; i didn’t want to do anything else with my day today.

It was quiet and it was slow, but it was my day.

It was a good day.

Day 127: Sickness

March 20th 2016

Most times when you’re sick it can almost be a blessing in disguise, you can lounge around on the sofa, stuff your face with chicken soup and ice cream and, despite feeling a little rough, you can actually have a good time of it, that is if you’re not ‘really’ sick. Today was somewhat of a different story for me and most of it was spent either lurching over the toilet or silently cursing my immune system for it’s ramshackle job of protecting me!

Yes today I was ill, I was properly poorly! I don’t know what I’ve caught of where I’ve caught it from but it feels, quite simply, like my gut has been wrenched around inside of my body and instead of sending food to my bowels it was trying to shove it back up and out of my throat. Nothing that I’ve eaten today has stayed down, nothing, not even water, has lingered in my stomach for more than a few fleeting minutes.

The problem here is twofold. On the one hand, I’m ridiculously hungry and no matter what I eat, and I’ve tried everything, from chicken salad to Weetabix, nothing stays down and I am famished, the second part of this is that because I’ve had nothing to eat and all I’m doing is sitting here sweltering in a comparatively cold house I’m unreasonably tired and all I want to do is roll over and go to sleep, but of course I can’t!

Sleep isn’t even an option because, at the beginning of the day you’re nowhere near tired enough to actually shut your eyes and drift off but, later in the day you’re so uncomfortable and so sick that even the simple closing of your eyes makes you feel nauseous and forces you to wretch like a dog, even though there’s nothing to throw up.

To summarise, all of today, all of it! Was spent cradling a toilet bowl or sweltering on a sofa!

What a wonderful day!

Day 126: Zootopia

March 19th 2016

I’ve been meaning to discuss this masterpiece of animation for a few days now but, due to more recent and perhaps more pertinent matters, it’s had to wait. Disney has done it again and delivered another animated marvel, something that appeals to adults and children alike, it’s beaten: Up, The Lego Movie and even classics like Bambi and Pinnochio when it comes to reviews (except for Meta Critic because they were obviously blind), takings and impact on third party content created. This masterpiece is of course.

Zootopia-logo

Disney often sets the gold standard for animated adventures, their cross between lovable characters, state of the art animation and multi-demographic spanning, heartfelt, narratives have all become hallmark features and Zootopia is no exception to these traits. The movie follows Judy Hopps, a never say die bunny with dreams of becoming a cop who, when given an almost impossible case, teams up with the rakish con-fox Nicholas P Wilde; rabbits and foxes, the law and the con-artist, it’s already a match made in heaven.

Two partners, unlike in dignity, in fair Zootopia, where we lay our scene. Zootopia is a city not like any other, a place where species of both predator and pray coexist in peace and harmony (a microcosm for the humanist desire for an ideal society in our world) where “Anyone can be anything” As their motto states. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, prejudice is rife, especially when it comes to foxes.

Foxes are coined as: cunning and devious swindlers that are only out to save their own pelt and profit from others misery; dubious swindlers that are almost universally loathed. Nick unfortunately learned this at a very young age when his scout-mates beat him to the floor, slapped a muzzle on him and forced him to run, scared from a sanctum where he was supposed to feel safe and accepted. He learned that the world can be cruel and that “You can’t be anything, you can only be what you are” and has since resolved that “If they expect foxes to be liars, cheats and swindlers, that’s what they’ll get”.

My heart bled for him, through no fault of his own his noble intentions had been crushed and used to weave a rope around his neck, he loathes himself because the world loathes him; I nearly cried. Judy, who up until this point in the film subscribes to the belief that he’s only out to get off the hook for a crime, now begins to see that he’s a kindhearted soul who is not the stereotypical fox. He cared enough for her to risk his neck to make sure she was safe and kept her job- he’s actually rather gallant.

The film made me look at my life and realise that I could do more, I could strike out and do anything that I put my mind to, be it: Writing, Piano, the Gym or even learning a new language; I have no excuse to not defy and challenge my boundaries, self imposed or otherwise. That is what a good film should do, it should inspire you, make you think differently and above all else, should enrapture you from start to finish.

Zootopia does that in spectacular fashion
10/10

Day 125: Errand Boy

March 18th 2016

When I woke up this morning, in my bed shivering with no covers on, I was surprised and relieved that despite the absolutely apocalyptic pain I suffered through the night before that I had no hangover. I’m not a religious man but I’d like to thank whatever celestial force there is, if one exists, for gracing me with immunity to hangovers; I would have been dying or at least wishing I was. Much to my thanks I was spared this horrible fate and, despite a little dizziness when I first stumbled out of bed, the rest of the day was pain-free.

I’m just glad I didn’t do anything ‘particularly’ stupid

With my easy morning coming to an end I decided that I should get a head start on the errands I’d have to run today and believe me, there’s a lot of them. The first task on my list was to go and pick up a worming tablet for my cat, and yes this is the cat that just showed up one day, I guess it’s adopted me and I it, with that being said I need to make sure that it’s protected against all manner of little beasties.

I hopped on my bike and decided to head out into the windy world; it’s become noticeably chillier over the past few days, perhaps it’s just me being used to the indoors or perhaps it’s the wind chill that’s had me reaching for my gloves over the last few days, in any case today was no exception. After about thirty minutes of cycling I was there and back and after another thirty minutes of chasing the cat around the house he’d had his tablet and was ready to go sulk on my bed (he still wont look at me).

After this I had to empty and refill the dryer, you might not believe this to be a particularly arduous task but you’d be wrong, my dryer is about three times too small for my needs and it almost always burns me with steam when I go to unload it. It’s the dryer from hell and I don’t understand why it hates me so…

Following this it was time for me to help carry compost from my neighbours car up to their planters at the top of their garden, again, this might not have been such an arduous task had their house not been situated atop a hill with a thirty degree incline.

Everywhere ached, my muscles in my legs burned with lactic acid and my arms simply refused to raise above my shoulders, they thumped with pain and, worst of all, my mind was fatigued beyond all belief. It was menial work, but for some reason I was tired, I needed to rest and after I got back into the house, sleepy and caked in mud I fell onto the couch and went to sleep.

I awoke the following morning.

Day 124: Never Again!

March 17th 2016

I’m certain that the statement “Never again” Is something that many people say after a night out on the town and, I would wager, they almost exclusively say it when they’re in the midst of a hangover. It’s only when they’re curled up in bed, retching and trying to shy away from all light do they curse their actions, never when they’re still out drinking but, as is beginning to become customary with this record, we will see again why I’m the odd one out.

Yesterday I drank an ‘ungodly’ amount of alcohol.

beer.jpgI’m of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with being black-out drunk, it happens to most of us, we’re only human and we all (all of us that drink that is) make the mistake of thinking that, after six or seven pints, the notion of six or seven more pints is a good idea- it’s never a good idea. In my case I drank the entirety of a bottle of whiskey and then decided that it would be a good idea to start drinking a crate of beer.

This was ‘easily’ one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had…

This series of absolutely appalling decisions culminated in what I can only describe as gut-wrenching agony as my insides went through Armageddon, I was so intoxicated that even after I had emptied the contents of my stomach into the porcelain throne I was still doubled over and was writhing around on my bathroom floor in mind-wracking anguish.

Were it that I had any sense of physical coordination left, any remaining vestige of sense that hadn’t been robbed of me by the alcohol in my system I would have absolutely called an ambulance. The best thing that I could have done at that moment was to call an ambulace and, more than likely, have my stomach pumped but, the thing I remember clearly through the blur of pain and nausea that was last night was the thought.

“Never again”

I have never felt pain or sickness like it, the sheer magnitude of the discomfort I was nausea.jpgsubject to was mindboggling and I NEVER want to feel like that again; it felt like I was subject to an eternity of suffering, I felt: hot, cold, dizzy, sick and in pain, all at the same time. I’m glad I didn’t pass out but, at the time, I just wished I’d pass out from sensory overload.

The message of the story is, don’t drink kids…

Day 123: Physiotherapy.

March 16th 2016

Today marked the start of a course of physiotherapy sessions at my local health center and I can confirm that it was one of the most unenoyable experiences I’ve had in recent Physiomemory. Like most things it started out fine and the good doctor had me do some gentle stretches, rate them on a scale of one to ten based on how painful they were and then ask me to do a slightly more extreme version of the same stretch. There was nothing wrong with that, it seemed simple enough and I now knew just how far I could reall push my leg, however it didn’t last, unfortunately.

Now that the easy part of the initial assessment was done it was time for a more hands on approach, literally; the doc had me lay on the bench and began to push my leg up against its natural restrains, stretching muscle and worst of all twisting it- it was agony. He didn’t wrench my libs around, nothing like that, but he pushed the joint past where was comfortable and, on one occasion, if I hadn’t bitten down I would have screamed, it wracked my mind with pain.

I can only assume he knew what he was doing though as there was no lasting effect from that particular stretch, the pain subsided almost immediately and I could walk fine on it afterwards; it was worrying for sure but I should have trusted the doctor from the beginning, he, more than likely, has seen this injury tens of times and knows exactly how to work me through it.

The session lasted about an hour, it was painful at times but it gave me a powerful sense of confidence in my joint, of course that could simply be a placebo effect, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t but it’s more than what I had hoped for from my first appointment.

There is a rather large gap until my next appointment, if memory serves it’s on the health.JPGeleventh of April but don’t quote me on that. I’ve opted to have my phone remind me but hopefully, after a month of doint the exercises that have been prescribed, I’ll see a healthy change in the use of my knee by the time of my appointment.

That’s all for now though.

Goodbye.

Day 122: Storyboarding

March 15th 2016

Today’s blog starts in a rather unusual matter, today’s blog starts at midnight before I’d gone to bed for the night.

Midnight 15th March 2016: 00:00

I’d been talking with my friend of six years, Lex, for the better half of the night now and eventually we got onto talking about my writing; up until this point Lex had been very patient with me and had bared with me as I tried and failed time after time to write something… anything. Today the cycle of me trying and failing was broken and, in his own words.

You seemed sort of happy, and it’s the first time you’ve been engaged and involved in writing in how long?

Years?

The IP (Intellectual Property) I’d decided to write about was Pixar’s latest triumph Zootopia. The film struck me hard but what really hit me was the bond between the main two protagonists, Judy Hopps and Nicholas Wilde, and the way that their completely opposite personalities melded together to make one, wonderfully written, unit that really enraptured me and captured my heart.

I wanted to write about them but that meant writing, something I’ve developed an aversion for over the years; every exercise that Lex issued me, every time he tried get me to engage with him was met with a resounding no, or at the very least me falling flat on my face- it was like drawing blood from a stone. I feel as though I surprised him today though and he definitely responded positively when I successfully produced two paragraphs of prose and whilst that doesn’t sound like a lot it is, sadly, the most I’ve written in over three years.

Lex has fought for me and has stood by me for over a third of my life.
He’s shared in my triumphs, my tragedies.
He’s stood by me when everyone else scattered.
Even when I gave him no reason to.
Friends family and even my only Love.
When they abandoned me, he never left my side.
I will not let him down this time.
Never again.