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.

Monthly Favourites #9 (May 2016)

Despite having a productive month, this monthly favourites is admittedly on the short side. However, next month promises to be one full of excitement so stay tuned for that!

Film – Captain America: Civil War/Spotlight
Captain America: Civil War
, what a film! If you have been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the past few years, Captain America was the build-up of the majority of the films (it was also the film to kick off MCU Phase 3). What can I say about Civil War? There are no winners. The film is not just about Iron Man and Captain America; it is about choosing a side, what is morally right vs what is legally right. As an audience, you finally see that despite all the saving The Avengers have done, they have caused a lot of damage. The film does tug on the heartstring and at various points I was on the verge of tears. In my opinion I think Russo brothers (the directors) are some of the best directors in the MCU and I am so pumped they will be directing Infinity War.

CW.png

The other film that is my favourite this month is Spotlight, the film that won Best Picture at the Oscars this year. Spotlight is about a team of investigating journalists (of the same name) at Boston Globe who uncover a widespread of cases about child abuse amongst Roman Catholic priests. The filming is gripping in the sense you are with the team as they discover more horrors within the Church and you are shocked by the numbers. The biographically film is something I would suggest people watch, it opens your eyes to great journalism and how not everything is as pure as it seems.

Spotlight

Music – Avenged Sevenfold
As you may have seen from my previous blog post Avenged Sevenfold have been my jam this month. I won’t bore you with the details this time but I will say that I do love the band.

Book – A Court of Misty and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I have finally got back into reading this month, I read two books (not a lot, but a lot better than one book every three months!). My favourite of the two was A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF), it was the sequel to  A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. The story follows Feyre after the Under The Mountain ordeal, she now has to deal with Rhysland the Lord of the Night Court whom she made a bargain with. I won’t spoil the book for those of you haven’t read it but it is such a good read! If you are into fantasy and young adult, new adult (a new genre) then these books may be for you! Also feel free to check out my goodreads, I try to update it when I can.

ACOMAF

 

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

Monthly Favourites #8 (April 2016)

I would like to give myself a pat on the back. Why? Because I have been blogging (somewhat regularly) for the past few months and I have not missed a monthly favourite so far this year! I might actually complete one of my goals this year.

Film – The Jungle Book (2016)
I went to see The Jungle Book on its opening weekend with one of my best friends. I wasn’t disappointed! The story follows the Disney’s original animation closely (it does stray from it on the odd occasion) however, I cannot comment on how loyal it stays to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book as I have not read his collection of stories.  The animation for this film is on point (or fleek, whatever the kids of today say) it flowed seamlessly with Neel Sethi acting as Mowgli. Credit where credit is due, many of the characters in this film where given a bit more depth than the original animation. It can be a little scary at times so I wouldn’t advise taken the tiniest of humans to see it. The character I strongly relate to is Baloo, naps are very important!

The Jungle Book

Soundtrack – Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Everyone and their mother has been going on about how good Hamilton the musical is and after hearing all the cries about this musical I finally took a listen. I am on this bandwagon! I am desperately waiting for it to official come to the West End because I will buy all the tickets! It is hard to summarise what Hamilton is about when you are British but it is the story about the man on the $10 bill. The soundtrack is an infusion of hip hop meets musicals and it works so well. Just give it a listen on Spotify you won’t be disappointed.

Hamiltion

Video Game – Fallout: New Vegas
I have had FNV for under a year and since I have been doing these monthly favourites, I have never mentioned the video game. Well recently (still currently)I have been on a bit of binge with the video game and I just want to take a moment of your time to tell you how good it is. Set in a post-apocalyptic world (this follows the same as the previous Fallout games). In this version your character is a courier who was to deliver a package to New Vegas, however the character was attacked and left for dead in a shallow ditch just outside a town called Goodsprings . After the local doctor saves your life, the game beings as your start your journey. All of your actions and how you complete quests give different alternative ending, so depending on how you play depends on the ending. There is a lot of love for Fallout and I can see why, it might not be the game for everyone but if you are into decision making and role play this could be the game for you.

Fallout new vegas

YouTuber – Markiplier
After spending some time off YouTube, this year I finally came back to the video sharing platform (blame the dissertation). I have been watching different YouTubers here and there, one of my recent favourites is Markiplier. Markiplier is one of the most popular content creators on YouTube as of right now he has over 12 million subscribers who watch his lets plays. Mark also dabbles in sketches, challenges and the occasional vlog; he also has a super cute dog called Chica. Mark is extremely humble and grateful for the success he has had and I think that is why he is so appealing to millions of people. The video I have linked to is not a let’s play but one of the challenge videos he has done, it is a little NSFW with some of the swearing but it is hilarious to watch.

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

A Sudden Burst of Creativity

This is going to be a short update blog post of shorts. Over the past week or so, I have had a lot of ideas hit me with what to blog about and what videos I would like to do on YouTube, so if there is more than the weekly blog post from me just go with it. I don’t know how long this burst of creativity will last for but I am really enjoying the feel of it at the moment.

As I previously stated I am starting (again) to post videos on YouTube, I do have aims to be more regular with the updates. The video this week is a rambling video about the education system in the UK, it actually ties in nicely with a blog post I wrote a few months ago about being a graduate and the lack of opportunities. Despite the rambling of this video, I am really happy with, it wasn’t forced and it might not get views but it is something I am passionate about. Feel free to check the video out and let me know what you think!

The Price of Fame! (Meeting Your Idols)

We have all dream of the day we meet our idols. They could be superstar athletes or world-class musicians. You meet them at the supermarket or at signing and they are everything you would hope they would be. What you don’t expect is the £150 price tag to meet them.

In all industries be it film, music or TV, fans these days want to meet their idols/favourites. Over the years, it has become increasingly harder or difficult to meet them, so most fans these days tend to pay a price to get a glimpse of their idol. At conventions, it is very common to find ticket/package deals to meet your big name stars, which I have no problem with. At this year, upcoming Asylum 16 (Supernatural convention) for a photo op with either Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki you need to pay £85, which is expensive but from what I have seen and heard about the photo ops it is worth it. However, when it comes to musicians and photos ops for me things are very different.

Busted have recently reformed and if you want to meet the three guys (this is for an exclusive photo of you and them) you will need to cough up £160.Yes, you may get other bits and pieces thrown in but still that is a lot of money. 5 Seconds of Summer (who I am off to see later this month) ask fans to pay around £110 for a ‘Soundcheck Package’ which because of the wording I am not sure you will even be able to get a picture with the band. Prices like this are not uncommon in the music business and frankly, it is disgusting. Whoever has the biggest wad of cash gets to meet their idols, what about the people who don’t have the funds?

Is there a reason to why the prices are like this? No, not really. These fans have been behind your music for years and yet still want more money from them just so they can say I have met so and so.  Is there an alternative? Yes, there is.
Signings and waiting outside the venue are relatively cheap ways to meet a band. However, the moments are often brief but from my experience, they are some best moments.
Up next is fan clubs, for several years I paid either £25 (this was for merchandise) or £5 to join The Hustler Club (All Time Low). My membership allowed me to get pre-sale tickets, exclusive merchandise and if I was lucky enough a perk for the gig in the form of an early entry or on two occasions a meet and greet with the band themselves. I am thinking about re-joining THC because whatever they do, they do it well.
Lastly is lottery idea. Conventions such as Summer In The City and Vidcon are fans of this system. From what I can gather you submit a list of people you wish to meet and it is all entered into a lottery system. You either get lucky or you don’t, it is mostly fair and I don’t believe you have to pay for this perk.

Ruo Reynolds of Enter Shikari summarised the whole pay to meet your idols beautifully in a few tweets.  “These bands are exploiting their fans. Everyone is beginning to think paying to simply meet another human is acceptable. It’s madness.” Bands should appreciate fans, not charge them. It shouldn’t be a luxury to meet your favourite band but sadly in today’s world it is.