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!

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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.

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.