Goals for 2017 (aka A Review of Last Year’s Goals

First off let’s see how well I did this year with the goals that I had in place, they were the following:

– Read 21 Books
– Work on my blog and Youtube
– Get back into photography
– Write a book
– Learn the ukulele (bonus goal)

Now if we look at this from a statistical view, I failed.  However, I’m not keen on maths and I am looking at this as aims to achieve more than anything. So let’s break it down, what went well, what worked and what my goals are for the upcoming New Year.

Reading 21 books was admittedly a high task for me, I had just finished university the previous year and frankly still had issue with sitting down and reading. As of writing this blog by the time, it gets to New Year I will probably be hitting seventeen/eighteen on new books that I have read. It is three off my actually goal but a massive improvement on the eleven new books I read in 2015. I am going to take this as a partial success and a lesson. I am not going set myself such a ‘high’ goal next year; instead, it is going be twelve books. One new book a month, at least. This seems achievable.

Regarding the goal about working on my blog and YouTube, I said last year that I wasn’t sure how I was going to measure the success of this. So here, we are a year later. Looking at my stats things have improved but ultimately not as much as I would like. I have posted 18 times on this blog, which roughly works out at 1.5 blog posts a month, which I would consider consistent. During the latter half of this year, I dropped out of blogging due to other life commitments yet despite this it does show I can be somewhat regular with my content. This is a similar story with YouTube, it is not as impressive but it does show that when I put my mind to it I can commit to doing things.

And the last three goals, I admittedly failed on all parts. I did start playing my ukulele early this year but once again, when things got busy I dropped it, which is a poor excuse. The photography goal was a nonstarter and it did not help with me being a slight recluse for most of the year. I do intend on taking my camera home for Christmas and seeing what I can capture. Lastly, the write a book goal was just an idea I had and I still have the same idea in my head, maybe in the upcoming year I might actually put pen to paper and make some progress with this.

This leads me to the question, what are my goals for 2017?

– Read 12 books (one a month seems easy enough.)
– Clean up my social media accounts/computer (it is something that needs doing, clean computer clean mind.)
– Work on improving the foundations of my blog and YouTube (this is something I need to continue with. Baby steps my friend, baby steps.)
– Find time to explore the ukulele and photography (I don’t have to master them, just be able to play a few chords on the uke and have taken some pictures that I am proud of by next year.)

– Pass my damn drivers test (third time lucky, here is to hoping!)

In year let’s review, same time same place, see you then!

The First Dive into the Online Dating Pool

After a bottle of rose, a sudden urge to flirt shameless and the realisation that I do need a date to take to my best friend’s wedding next May I downloaded Tinder. Let me just preface this entire blog, I have download Tinder several times and found it lacking in anything but for some reason I thought fuck it. So a few weeks ago I went on my first tinder date, the experience was interesting to say the least.

For the sake of this blog we shall call him band boy, that is his identifier for this blog post. After a few chats (lessons one) on Tinder and on Facebook, we quickly arranged to meet at the Irish equivalent of Wetherspoon’s in Manchester city centre.  Before we even got to the pub, he called me the wrong name (lesson two), that should have been my first incline to how the night would go. After then being ignored for several moments by the bartender we got some soft drinks and headed to chat on some sofas. We talked and I soon discovered that he was a little dull, he didn’t seem to have a passion for anything and was happy to just chill at home all his life. I didn’t leave within the first hour because I thought that things might improve, I was wrong. It felt that I asked him questions about his life and his interest yet he never returned the questions. Isn’t that how a conversation is meant to work?

We have moved sofas and on our third soft drink and he decides to sit next to me, which I was awkward as hell about. Soon we are kissing and the first thought I had was wondering what time train I should get back (lessons three). Before anyone jumps up he didn’t force himself on me, I was just somewhat surprised he thought the date was actually going somewhere. I soon made my excuses and left to catch my train with a promise I would let him now about if we were going to do it again.  I messaged him the next morning explaining it was nice to meet and I enjoyed the company but I wasn’t feeling it. Cut to my lunch break at work and I received a paragraph describe how he doesn’t buy the whole “it’s me not you” bullshit and he has had a shit love life this past year, band boy wants to know what he is doing wrong. What I expected was him to reply with a “cool it was nice meeting you/good luck” kind of text but no I was wrong. I told him I didn’t think we had a connection. I wasn’t going to say I found him dull, I am not rude and my mother didn’t bring me up that way. I haven’t heard from him since.

So what have I learned from my first dip into online dating:
1. Talk more before you meet.
2. Meet for coffee first, something short that you can leave if it is heading south.
3. I don’t like making out on a first date.
4. However, if things are going well and we do make out, ask me first, I like that.
5. And finally, appreciate it if you get my name right.

This whole experience hasn’t put me off, actually it has given me some confidence to step out again. I haven’t had the time in recent weeks but I feel more confident when starting a conversation on Tinder. I am ready to jump back into the dating world again and who knows maybe I will write up my next date?

Long Time No Speak

It has been a few months since I last posted on this blog, but here come the excuses.

I went to Ireland, moved house and got a new job all within a few weeks of each other! I had to let things drop off, the things that took a hit from my sudden change in schedule where YouTube and this blog, however, I am slowly getting to a place where I can begin to commit to these things once again.

As I have said, Ireland was a blast, a lot of walking and on one particular night a lot of drinking. Shortly after that I moved out of Yorkshire and over the pennies. I am currently working in a job that is relevant to my degree and I am enjoying it. It is odd to think that in a YouTube video that I did back in April I mentioned that I would hopefully be able to say on camera that by September I might have a full time job. Here I am, a prediction I made came true.
I also moved out of the family and into a house with my best friend, the house always seems to have problems but that is a whole another blog post. There has been time where I have wanted to scream and shout at my best friend but I feel this whole experience has made our friendship stronger.

So expect the odd blog post appearing every now and then, my next blog post after this will be my first dip into the world of online dating!

22 Things I Have Learned

Last week it is was my birthday and as you have probably already guessed I turned 22 (I am not feeling 22). Over the week I filmed various bits and pieces as I thought it would be interesting to document the busy week.  You can see the YouTube video at the end of this post.  In conjunction, on this blog I am doing a list of 22 Things I Have Learned which is something I have seen other YouTubers (Rosianna Halse Rojas & Karlie Kloss) and bloggers do.  I feel it is important to look back and see what you have learned but it is best not to linger in the past. The list you are about to read is a mixture of serious and funny things; take what you will from it.

  1. When one door closes, another will open. Maybe not straight away but it will you might just have to wait.
  2. The more cheese the better the cheesy chips.
  3. I can be extremely productive but I can also procrastinate till the cows come home.
  4. You might not find your closest friends until later on in life.
  5. Unplanned nights out are just as good as planned nights out, sometimes even better.
  6. P’s & Q’s are essentials in life, many people don’t have them.
  7. Sometimes it is hard to admit you are struggling but when you do there will be people to help.
  8. You will regret things, but don’t dwell on them, move on.
  9. Grief is not something that can be measured by time.
  10. Any fool can be cold.
  11. Some people never grow as a person but that is not your cross to bear.
  12. A lot of things make me happy. Don’t be afraid to tell people what those things are.
  13. It is not about view counts or subscribers, if you are enjoying the content you are making carry on.
  14. University does not guarantee a job but your time their will give you much needed life lessons.
  15. Everyone can be an asshole, even you.
  16. Being in your 20’s does not mean you have to have your life together.
  17. Having a bottle opener and a pen is always useful.
  18. Baking makes me happy, bake more.
  19. You might not realise how important you are to others.
  20. My loyalty is a great virtue but it is also a vice.
  21. I am very much a Gryffindor.
  22. Laughter is the best feeling in the world.

Albums That Have Had An Impact On My Life: Avenged Sevenfold – Self Titled

avengedsevenfold

Welcome to a new miniseries on this blog! This miniseries will be taken a closer look at a selection of albums that have had a significant impact on my life, be it that they have guided me through a difficult time or the album just makes me profoundly happy. So kicking off we have Avenged Sevenfold’s self-titled album.

Avenged Sevenfold’s (A7X) album came out around the time I was getting into more heavy rock and in fairness I think Avenged are my limit to how heavy I like my rock (with the odd exception). This was the band’s fourth studio album but I was aware of their previous work mainly through the music channels such as Scuzz and Kerrang. My step sister/close friend Abie was one who got me into Avenged Sevenfold, I can’t remember when she got her hands on this album but whenever I stayed at my dad’s house she had it on constantly. We watched the webisodes from the making of the album and we watched the behind the scenes DVD that came with the album relentlessly, we could probably quote it word for word.  It was far to say between the years of 2007 to 2009, this album was my holy grail.

Commercial the album received mixed to positive reviews, some critics slated the album for being too polished and not sounding that like Avenged. Yes, to be fair some of the songs on the self-titled are a lot more lighter than those on City of Evil. However, over the years and I think since the passing of Jimmy (The Rev, drummer of A7X) this album has become a legacy of its own. The album dips its toes into a vary of genre and I personally feel some of the song writing on this record is top notch. Recently the penultimate song on the album, A Little Piece of Heaven was voted by the fans as the champion of Avenged Sevenfold’s March Mania Song Tournament. While some thought that Unholy Confessions should have won, A Little Piece Of Heaven is only a fitting tribute to Jimmy’s true creativity and visionary genius.

Now I have talked a brief history about the album and what critics thought of it but here is where I tell you why this album will always have a place in my heart.  I was fourteen when the album came out, there are many angst lyrics within the song on the album and as a teenager, I related a lot to some of the anger behind some of the songs, such as Critical Acclaim.  But there are also songs on the album such as Dear God and Afterlife which focus on loved ones.  In early 2008 I lost my granddad and I think in part this album helped me cope with the loss. The album became my soundtrack for the summer and then for the whole year. I may have listened to other albums yet when I think of 2007/2008 this music takes me right back there.  Now my favourite song by far off this album (and maybe in all of Avenged’s back catalogue) is A Little Piece of Heaven. So much so most of my social media names give a nod to the title, my YouTube channel is alittlepieceofkim because for me this song will always be a favourite. ALPOH is a Broadway show tune, with twisted and explicit lyrics that detail such things as necrophilia and murder but the production in this song is outstanding. This was one of the last songs to go on the album and Matt (M Shadows, Jimmy created the original song but at some points did feel like they should let the song go) pushed for it so hard, he really knew he they were onto a gem. I think it is obvious from much of this blog post that Jimmy was my favourite member of Avenged Sevenfold (even though you shouldn’t have favourites) but this album couldn’t have been as successful without Matt, Bryan, Zacky and Johnny. You can tell this record was made with passion and as a fan I truly adore it.

Admittedly, after Jimmy’s death I struggled a lot with listening to Avenged Sevenfold’s new stuff and I still do but I am hoping with a new album in the pipeline I may fall back in love with the band.  For me, Avenged Sevenfold was an album that I didn’t know I needed at the time but know I do. It opened the door for me into rock, not necessary heavy but rock none the less. I would suggest giving the album a whirl just to hear some of the talent on this record not just from the band but from some of the session musicians as well.

So there we have it, the first album of the miniseries. If you have listened to the album let me know what you think in the comments! Do you have an album that you hold close to your heart?

foREVer

Going Solo

A week ago today I attend my first gig on my own, I didn’t see any friends at this gig nor did I plan to meet up with anyone (which I have done in the past) I was flying solo this time. The concert in question was 5 Seconds of Summer at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

I have been a fan of 5sos for roughly two years so it was only natural when they announced their UK tour last year that I wanted to go, however, there was a small problem. No one wanted to go with me. After at least three days of going back and forth between various friends I decided to bite the bullet and just get one ticket for myself, to hell with everyone else. By three minutes past nine on a Friday morning, I had one seated ticket for 5sos. A feeling of happiness flooded over me, I was going to see a band I really enjoyed and I managed to get a ticket with a decent seat.

Over the recent months, there was a worry that I would stand out like a sore thumb and it would be an awkward experience for me. However, I am happy to report it was far from that! I had a great time, my seat was fantastic and I really enjoyed myself. No one asked me why I was alone and yes, it would have been fun to have someone to freak out when the band did certain things but really I didn’t need someone because I was having so much fun seeing one of my favourites bands live.

The concert made me think more about doing things alone, it may seem daunting at first but actually its fine. In the next few months my only close friend in my hometown is moving away, I don’t go out that much as it is but there is a worry I might become even more of a recluse than I already am. However, I might be somewhat more confident about doing things on my own after my recent positive experience. Who knows I might start going to the cinema on my own!

So I ask you what do you prefer; going along with friends to things or going solo? Let me know in the comments!

5sos collage

The Vinyl Countdown

Last year for my 21st birthday I requested what would be considered ‘vintage’ things, I asked for a polaroid camera and a vinyl player. My step dad got me a vinyl player/turntable and it is probably one of my favourite things I own.

Vinly stackcollage

My turntable is ION Audio Profile LP Record Player and one of its main features is that is converts your vinyl (if you want it to) onto the computer, however, I use it as turntable. It took a few weeks to get it to work. First I needed speakers (Edifer Speakers, my brother suggested this would be the best). and then I needed an adapter and then a stand for the turntable but eventually I got it work. To date I have had no problems with it, well apart from the damn fluff on the needle but so far things have been good. I do have a minor issue with trying to store all my vinyl, yes in under a year I have obtained quite the collection but the large majority are from my dad. My dad gave me (I am still due) a stack of records everything from AC/DC to Pavarotti, I have admittedly not listen to all of them but I am sure there are some gem of records stored away in there.  So let’s talk about my favourite records!

Actual Vinyl Collage

From left to right, we will start with AC/DC. My dad bought this record on a school trip to Holland, he wanted it desperately because it had the time stamps on the back, which the UK record didn’t. Highway to Hell is a fantastic album and it sounds amazing on this vinyl. I really do cherish this album as it was one of my dad’s favourites growing up and now it is one of mine.

The 1975 self-titled album was bought by a friend for my 21st. I love The 1975 and this album is such a strong album, I can just put it on, sit back and read without a worry or a care in the world. I am currently listening to the new 1975 on Spotify (I do intend to buy the vinyl when I can afford it).

I pre ordered 5 Seconds Of Summer new album way back before I had the turntable, I knew I wanted a vinyl player and this would be a great record to listen to on vinyl. I wasn’t wrong. First of the actually LP is bright green, which looks great and all the songs are solid.

And finally Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison. Like my dad, I am a fan of the man in black and this is a classic album so I just had to get on vinyl. It has the full show on the vinyl, not just part of it; it has his introduction and the cheers from the inmates. It is such a classic album that playing it on vinyl only seems right.

Vinyl All 4 Colage

Admittedly I don’t spend money on CD’s like I use to, I use Spotify as my music sources and if I really like an album I will buy it. However, if there is an album I love I think I may just have to buy it on vinyl. So things on my wish list include Sigur Ros, The 1975, All Time Low and whatever I can raid from my dad’s collection.

Edit: I just found American Idiot on vinyl, that was the first one I bought. It gets an honorable mention!