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Health-Type Update [Jan. 18th, 2012|11:33 am]
[Current Mood |optimisticoptimistic]
[Current Music |Curse Of The Golden Vampire - "United Snakes Of America"]

For anyone still actively interested in my ongoing health stuff - I finally got to see someone at a specialist unit yesterday, who concurred with my completely unprofessional opinion that I have had post-viral fatigue. As with other conditions, please do not equate 'fatigue' with 'a wee bit tired'. I have basically been running off adrenaline with a compromised immune system for the past year or so. That fucks you up a bit.

This is obviously a better diagnosis than chronic fatigue or a number of other nasties, and based on recent evidence it would seem I am over the worst of it. Therefore, today I have a JSA appointment. That's JobSeeker's Allowance, and sadly not Justice Society of America. Though I think Hawkman does work part-time at the York Jobcentre Plus.

So yeah. Back to the workforce I go.
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30 Day Song Challenge - Day 20 [Nov. 11th, 2011|03:31 pm]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[Current Music |Hatebreed - "Facing What Consumes You"]

A Song You Listen To When Angry

Unlike some other emotions (coming up in the next few days), when I am angry I actually listen to angry songs. And it doesn't get any angrier than hardcore. That's hardcore of the punk/metal crossover variety, rather than dance.

Have a bit of Hatebreed, guys. It's music made for lifting weights to. While gurning. And screaming until your eyes bleed.

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30 Day Song Challenge - Day 19 [Nov. 7th, 2011|04:47 pm]
[Current Mood |nostalgicnostalgic]
[Current Music |The Smashing Pumpkins - "Thirty-Three"]

A Song From Your Favourite Album

My favourite album is "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness" by The Smashing Pumpkins. I first heard it when I was 15. If you didn't hear your favourite album for the first time when you were between 13 and 16, I pity your teenage years.

It's an inevitable truth that all things start to lose their passion and searing emotion the further away you get from being a teenager, and music is no exception. Would I have the same love for this album if I had first heard it when I was 20 or 25, or today? I have no way of ever telling, but probably not.

It's not the most popular album for many Pumpkins fans, many of whom will place "Siamese Dream" defiantly on top - I expect to get a couple of comments along these lines after posting. The general consensus is that "Mellon Collie" is a bloated almost-masterpiece, which could use a trim around the edges to reign Billy Corgan's ego in to an acceptable level of rock majesty posturing.

Couldn't disagree more - there is a grand total of one track out of the twenty-eight on offer that I would consider skipping on a playthrough, and for me it is not so much bloated as epic. It just builds and builds with a psychedelic grunge energy that I haven't felt in an album before or since. I love the lyrics, the songwriting and the delivery - and spent more hours playing air guitar and singing along in my bedroom than are probably healthy for a growing boy.

I picked this song because it was my favourite from the album in those formative years. I'd probably go for another these days, but I thought it appropriate since this entry has already turned into a total nostalgia trip.

"The earth laughs beneath my heavy feet / At the blasphemy in my old jangly walk
Steeple guide me to my heart and home / The sun is out and up and down again
I know I'll make it, love can last forever / Graceful swans of never topple to the earth"

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30 Day Song Challenge - Day 18 [Nov. 2nd, 2011|11:33 am]
[Current Mood |productiveproductive]
[Current Music |Alkaline Trio - "We've Had Enough"]

A Song You Wish You Heard On The Radio

This one is a no-brainer. I will let the lyrics speak for themselves. Not least because it means I can get away with writing this lazy preamble and move swiftly onto doing my Batman: Arkham City review.

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30 Day Song Challenge - Day 17 [Nov. 1st, 2011|06:06 pm]
[Current Mood |mellowmellow]
[Current Music |Howard Shore - "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm"]

A Song You Hear Often On The Radio

Another tricky one, mainly because I avoid listening to the radio. I'm far too much of a musical control freak to allow someone else to pick the songs I am listening to unless I have good reason to (e.g. going to a club, being played music by a friend). Three choices therefore present themselves:

(a) Pick something I hear on the radio when going in and out of high street shops while not listening to my mp3 player. This is a rare occurrence and would likely result in me posting some Lady Gaga. This is unlikely to happen, despite my guiltridden appreciation of a couple of her songs.

(b) Picking something that was on an endless loop in the days when I worked in software support with the radio constantly blaring in the background for the rest of the team. The one track I can remember from this was "Ruby" by Kaiser Chiefs, and actively spamming that at my friends and acquaintances is a sin equivalent to mild blasphemous genocide.

(c) Picking something that might be on the radio on the very rare occasion when I have no choice but to listen to it, and have the choice of station to listen to. When forced, I pick Classic FM. Because I am an old, weary man and (opera aside) there is nothing of any offensive quality on it.

It's going to be (c), folks. I could pretend to have a vast knowledge of classical music but we all know that would be a lie (I know I like Bach, that's about it), so I will go with some orchestral movie score stuff they seem to pad out their playlists with. And that means it is time for me to go all Middle-Earth on your asses.

Oh yeah.

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30 Day Song Challenge - Day 16 [Oct. 31st, 2011|05:13 pm]
[Current Mood |rushedrushed]
[Current Music |Metallica - "Enter Sandman"]

A Song You Used To Love, But Now Hate

So this meme is back, after a break of only five damn months. And annoyingly for a return effort this one gave me a bit of a difficult time, as I simply wasn't sure where to look. I am lucky/unlucky enough that the vast majority of the bands I have listened to over the years still provide me with entertainment value, even if my love for them has turned to nostalgia.

15-year old Matt had no problem whatsoever banging his head and singing along with passion to Iron Maiden and Meat Loaf. 31-year old Matt will still do that ironically. Or seriously, if he can get away with it in the right company. The spark that made me listen to those albums on repeat is gone, but an appreciation remains. There are bands who have completely fallen by the wayside, but I wouldn't go so far as to hate them. My instinctive choice was my first ever cassette purchase (The Rembrandts, if you MUST know) but then I realised I bear them no antipathy whatsoever. I just don't like them anymore.

So what to do? Well, a solution presented itself slowly at the back of my brain. How about a song I really liked when I first heard it, that has gradually become near-unacceptable due to being massively overplayed at clubs, on music television and generally anywhere there is anything approaching heavy music being thrown around?

Yeah, that'll do. But there are a lot of songs out there a little like that, frankly. Which one to - oh. Wait. Yeah. That one. DEFINITELY that one. I have no idea how, twenty years on, some people can still bang their heads to this week in, week out at their local shitty metal club. MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIVES.

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"i'm not eager to achieve your life skills" [Sep. 28th, 2011|10:23 am]
[Current Mood |sleepysleepy]
[Current Music |Biffy Clyro - "Bonanzoid Deathgrip"]

Suckers. I'd let him go for a crisp £5 note and a Picnic bar. has valued my cat at £19.55 has valued my cat at £19.55.

*ganked from kissmeforlonger
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"swimming in saltwater" [Sep. 6th, 2011|08:14 am]
[Current Mood |exhaustedexhausted]
[Current Music |Chicane - "Saltwater"]

So, pretty much radio silence from me since May. The lack of activity really isn't restricted to Livejournal, unfortunately. So what has actually happened within the last 3 and a half months?

Well, I have been ill. That's probably the big ticket news. No real idea what it is yet, but it's been going on since May - which was the last time I went into work. At first both I, my friends and my doctor thought it was stress-related. It's been no secret that since I took on a new role at work in January my job has been one long sequence of assholes and teethgrinding stupidity. So it didn't seem unreasonable that this would be the case, especially considering the generally shitty private life I have had for the previous 12 months or so.

As time has sped by though, stress is looking increasingly unlikely. Or maybe it started with stress, and has transformed into something else. I don't know at this stage. I have had all sorts of tests so far - ECG and various blood tests for the most part. This week I am having further steroid blood tests and X-rays. Fingers crossed something will be identified soon from my happy-go-lucky grab-bag of unpleasant symptoms. They currently leave me more or less useless and unable to do most things. Even the relaxing things I should be able to enjoy at home are difficult. Amongst other (more physical) things, I find it hard to concentrate. This makes relatively simple activities like reading and writing quite challenging.

One positive is that I have managed to obtain Voluntary Redundancy in the latest round of redundancies at my work. This might not seem like a positive, but since I have slowly come to loathe my job and receive a moderately nice payoff for this I am happy with it. It is still in the process of being confirmed and worked through, but come December or thereabouts I should be free. Assuming I will be back to good health by then, it may be time to actually start doing something I enjoy and care about for a living.

And whatever that will be, it will take place in York - since I moved back here right as the illness was kicking off, in early June. The move itself was only moderately nightmareish, considering how incapable of real exertion I was (and still am). That was mostly thanks to foxy76, who has been so supportive.

It has been pretty surreal to move somewhere else when I have already been breaking my routine completely through being sick. It has felt like shifting to a different life entirely, especially given an almost complete lack of contact from old friends. It's in sharp contrast to foxy76's friends actually, who have all seemed far more concerned for me than many of my own. That isn't aimed at anyone and I certainly don't want this to come across as a pram/toys/pavement type whinge. But in truth, the main reason I am writing this despite the difficulty is because I feel pretty damn isolated. Nothing like a good scream into the void of the internet to fix that, eh? Probably my own fault anyway - I doubt I have let on to many people just how broken I am.

And on that cheery note - I am trying to build focus over the coming days and weeks, one element of which will be an increased effort in writing. I will finish my song list thing that I had been posting here, I will write material for ATCB, I will slowly swing my life back on track one grinding step at a time.
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Riots, Sweeping Statements & Idiots [Aug. 11th, 2011|09:18 am]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Mood |irateirate]

I am getting really sick of people who think that the riots have to polarise you as being pro- or anti-authority. You can believe that our society has problems with the distribution of wealth and resources and yet also believe that looting, destruction of property and mindless violence are inherently wrong.

Supporting the police and condemning the rioters does not make you right-wing or classist. However, claiming that new and innovative forms of punishment are required for them is both bizarre and utterly illogical. This is nothing new, and our current legal system has measures to deal with it.

Supporting the rioters and trying to justify their actions does not make you liberal, socialist or anarchist. It just makes you a reactionary idiot.

Dividing ourselves into camps is what got us into this mess in the first place. There are fundamental issues in the UK that need serious long-term work to balance out the inequalities that currently exist, but that does not make it ok to commit arson, theft and murder for the sake of luxury items. If you have adopted either the viewpoint that actions during the riots have been justified, or that they all need to be put to death and/or barred from the benefits system for life - you might want to take a good long look at your political views and decide whether you have just adopted an Us vs. Them position because it is the path of least resistance.

Think for yourselves, and do so before speaking out.
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30 Day Song Challenge - Day 15 [May. 27th, 2011|04:14 pm]
[Current Mood |optimisticoptimistic]
[Current Music |Hot Water Music - "Rooftops"]

A Song That Describes You

I could post a song a day from now until The Rapture v3 and not run dry of music that I feel describes me. Surely one of the purposes of composition since the first time someone hit a rock with a stick is to create sound that resonates in the hearts and minds of everyone who hears it?

If a song cannot be identified with personally or hit some emotional nerve it has probably not done its job.

So bearing that in mind, what to choose? Well, I'm going through a period of strong upheaval in my life right now. It's all for the better - and man, I have waited a long time to have that optimism. But here and now it is taking its toll on me mentally and physically. I won't go into details, that is for a more autobiographical entry.

This song by Hot Water Music pretty much captures where I am at the moment. It is beautiful, raw, hopeful and fragile. That sums up my brain today. Enjoy.

"Hey world are you listening? Are you listening to me?
I'm here and I'm hurting to begin again.
Hey world I'm ready to listen and learn something new.
I'm here and I'm willing to get myself through."

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