Kind of obsessed with self preservation – 23rd March 2012

Connie’s birthday was nice. As I predicted, she wanted her presents at midnight so I obliged, and filmed her reactions to the Blu-rays I had gotten her. She liked the roses, chocolates and card too. Again, a departure from what I’ve ever gotten her in the past. She was super excited to get Tron: Legacy on Blu-ray which was awesome, and I think I succeeded in surprising her with the Fast and Furious box set that we had talked about as a possible gift. It’s really fun giving presents to people these days, almost more than getting them. I kinda wish I was a kid again, getting really excited for Christmas and my birthday. More on that later. The video of her presents was quite fun, and I put it up as the first “exclusive” video to my new YouTube channel, LukeRyanLives. It’ll be a companion site to this blog, with personal vlogs going up there quite a lot along with old vlogs, and older home videos.

Why? Well simply put, I’m kind of obsessed with self preservation. It’s kind of creepy, actually. I feel like life could end at any moment and I should do all I can to make sure I leave enough of me behind when that inevitable moment arrives. Silly, right? Yeah, I know it is, I thought it, and those kind of thoughts are always immediately followed by thoughts of how stupid I am. I get it, but it doesn’t change anything, I really want to leave a mark in this world, even if its total garbage. I had an idea the other day to record myself reading all my favourite books, in case I ever have kids and die before they grow up. How crazy is that? It’s not a completely random thought, as I’m currently listening to the Harry Potter audio books read by Stephen Fry. I’m loving them and it sparked that idea in my head. It seems most of the time I have some morbid thought flying around my brain case, unfortunately.

So that’s kind of the idea for having a vlog channel, partly inspired by Chris Cope’s vlogs, who was partly inspired himself by the Shaytards.(an American vlogging family) It all comes full circle at some point. I like the idea that if I die or I’m lucky enough to have grandchildren they can find stuff like this very blog and learn all about me. Then again, thinking about that makes me worry that the internet will be gone by then or something else will go wrong. And the paranoia, that senseless, time-wasting paranoia begins again. I should probably keep my attention in the present, as it always seems mired in the future or the past.

Anyway, we carried on redecorating on the day of Connie’s 25th birthday. Well I say “we”, again, Connie painted and I helped a little, if that. I put on some records which was fun, B.B King and Metallica with a little bit of Wishbone Ash. The drilling was still going on, annoyingly enough. We got a bunch of things in the mail, Connie’s sweets and my WWE Blu-rays plus a Rey Mysterio DVD that capped off her presents. Great timing, SilverVision! Another wall was painted and done, so we went to Harvester for some food. I got an 8oz Aberdeen Angus burger with bacon and Connie ordered her usual steak. It was a really nice meal, but really filling, I felt like a lead balloon when we left. Connie moaned that one of the waiters was allowed to show off his full sleeve tattoo, whereas she had to hide hers in work. I’ve been thinking of getting a tattoo. I’ll talk about it another time.

The room was looking a lot brighter, and as Connie went to bed, I tried to set up the bookcase that arrived earlier in the day. It was huge and my Mum helped me with it. The right word for that bloody bookcase would be “nightmare” I think. The screws were insanely hard to screw in, to the point where we took turns screwing them in over about an hour and a half, still unable to fully screw in two of them. My back was in worse pain than I’ve ever felt, bent over screwing for that long.(Man did that sound wrong.) Damn me and my silly youth, wrestling and throwing myself onto all kinds of surfaces over the years. We finished it in around 2 hours and it was stable enough. I dragged it into our room and spent a lovely half hour rearranging all my DVDs and Blu-rays. The bookcase, a nice black, become my new Blu-ray station. I love it.

The Blu-ray station

The next day I worked all night and Connie finished the whole room. It looked awesome all white, though still a bit weird, and hard to get used to the room being that bright. That night in work was pretty boring and I amused myself by winding up Sam, the guy working with me. He was counting the papers and I ripped off a bullshit Karl Pilkington story from the Ricky Gervais XFM radio show. “Did you hear about that guy in the paper? Where was he from…err…Bulgaria I think. He’s physically unable to have his picture taken.” I said. Sam’s eyes widened like a child. “You’re fucking joking,” he said. I laughed uncontrollably and nodded. I enjoy gullible people. Seriously though, he’s a cool guy who is actually a lot of fun in work.

Wednesday night we polished off Spiderman for the Epic Film Challenge, which was a great watch, been a while since I saw it. The box set of all three films arrived that day, so we got straight into watching them. Thursday I only worked three hours which seemed like such a pointless exercise but I need any money I can get. It really dragged too, much more than the eight and a half hours I worked the night before. When I work a short shift I’m constantly clock watching, which makes it worse and drag like hell. I know this, yet I torture myself with it anyway. I was actually woken up by Connie showing me she had filmed Lily outside. It was the first time she had gone out on her own, on the grass, outside, for longer than a minute or so. The footage was so cool in the sunlight, and sound was great, picking up beautiful birdsong. That was a real cool highlight of the day that will going in the vlog . Before work I chatted with Alex, one of my best mates, on Facebook. We mainly talked about our planned WrestleMania trip next year to New York. More on that at a later date.

After work I got a chicken burger and chips from the kebab shop as I knew my Mum had moved onto redecorating the kitchen and was stripping it all down, cooking would only get in her way. I watched Toy Story 2, thoroughly enjoyed it and then Connie arrived home. We played the Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit game I had bought her for her birthday. It’s this DVD game with cards and some dice, with questions all relating to the three Lord of the Rings movies. Connie was getting a little grumpy about it because I knew so much about the films and books, whereas she didn’t, but we eventually had some fun and I gave her points if she knew the answer without knowing the exact name of the character or place. Connie went to bed and then I watched Toy Story 3, the one I hadn’t seen. I was blown away by it, not just visually but mentally. It’s such a poignant film that touches on so many things, I can’t wait to review it for the Epic Film Challenge and spill my guts over how much I loved it.

Bringing me to my final point for today. I miss being a kid! Watching the three Toy Story films has re-instilled a love of the films for me, the first in particular being one of my favourite childhood movies. I wore that VHS tape out for years, it’s a very special film to me. I had the Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys and would leave them lying around, pretend to be asleep and then look to see if they would move. I adored it. The second film has less of a connection with me, but the third really hammered it all home. What a film. If I ever have kids, they’re gonna be required viewing for them. Notice how I always say “if” and not “when” I have kids? I’m terrified of jinxing myself and saying I definitely will. I’m screwed up.



It means no worries – 19th March 2012

Yesterday we decorated a small portion of the room, painting the wall with the windows white. It didn’t take too well so a second coat needs to go on later.(it was too late to do another right then and there) It was the first of three days off and didn’t feel like much of a day off, as usual. I wasn’t keen on painting i.e doing anything. I liked how my DVD shelf looked propped up against the cupboard door though. The room was a complete mess when we were painting and I hate mess, so I was kind of milling about moodily not doing much until I decided to actually help out a tiny bit with the painting. I accidentally touched the wall with my hair but only a small amount of paint got in it. At least Connie had Spotify on and it was playing mostly The Who and Rush.

Earlier on in the day I was awoke by Connie asking me where L.A Noire was, a Playstation 3 game. It’s a crime, noir detective game that revolves around investigating crimes and interrogating people. The facial graphics are outstanding and allow you to tell whether they’re lying or not. The annoying thing is you can’t just choose Lie or Truth, you also have a Doubt option, which throws a spanner in the works. If you get something wrong, you have to listen to the whole interrogation conversation again, which is super tedious and part of the reason why I stopped playing it a few months ago. Connie was really enjoying it until the first, easiest interrogation. After having to replay the scene a mere three times, she went absolutely mental. I found it so funny, as usual and couldn’t stop laughing. She got really mad and stormed out, shouting obscenities at me through the flat, which just added to my hysteric amusement.

She claimed she was never going to play it ever again. Angry Connie is so funny, put a game in front of her and it’s pretty much a done deal she will get incredibly annoyed very quickly. Take this video for example, when we were playing through an old SNES game on her laptop(ROMs are amazing), Donkey Kong Country, one of my all time favourite games. I absolutely adored it and played it to death on my old Super Nintendo as a child. Giving it away to my cousin was one of the stupidest decisions I was ever coaxed into making by my dear Mother. I’d love to have a SNES, still. I had gotten Connie a SNES style USB controller to play the ROMs on her laptop, as opposed to just tapping the keyboard and it worked great. We played a few levels each, connecting her laptop to her TV, which made for awesome retro gaming. I filmed her playing through the final boss in what turned out to be a genius piece of Angry Connie captured for eternal posterity. It’s one of my favourite memories from visiting her in Norway.

Warning: a lot of swearing from my lovely Fiancee.

I love it when she thinks she’s beaten the boss, only for him to get back up again, forcing her to continue and die in frustrated shock. We both love the part when she alludes to how you can save the game on a ROM emulator at any time, kind of defeating the point of playing through a game without saving old school style, when you can save at any point. The boss fight “finishes” and the “credits” roll before the fight starts up again. Connie says she’s going to save the game at the credits so she doesn’t have to play the first part of the boss fight again, finishing with an outburst we’ve decided was her saying “afterWARDS!” Full quote: “I’m saving it on the fucking credits afterWARDS!”

After “we” painted we ordered some Dominos, which I was hesitant about, not wanting to spend that much money, but I gave in against my better judgement. We watched The Lion King, the second of my Disney Blu-ray purchases from Friday. It was just as epic as watching Beauty and the Beast in HD, if not more. When a film is that epic from the first three seconds(the beginning of Circle of Life, as a blazing African sun rises over the horizon), you know it’s something special. It was another trip seeing a film I had grown up on but hadn’t seen in many, many years. It’s definitely one of the greatest animated films of all time. One of the highlights of the High Definition experience was the stampede scene, it looked un-be-frickin-liev-able. I was on such a high after seeing another awesome Disney film on Blu-ray, I ordered two more. There’s a country wide Disney “Buy One Get One Free” sale going on everywhere. Mostly they’re £20 each, but on they were £16.99 so I snatched up Dumbo and Fantasia. The cool part is every Disney Blu-ray. DVD, or game you buy, you get a code to get Disney rewards.

The awesome stampede scene from Lion King, so cinematic.

I figured you’d need to buy about a hundred DVDs to ever have enough points to buy another one, but after redeeming my codes for the Toy Story Trilogy, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, I almost have enough points for another Blu-ray! A good one at least, I have enough to buy any of a whole bunch of okay Disney movies(live action films produced by Disney etc.), but when I get Dumbo and Fantasia, I’ll have more than enough points to get Alice in Wonderland, another one of my favourites. It’s a very reward system, I like-it-a-lot.

Today Connie was working and I was woken up by what I can only describe as extreme drilling on the other side of our bedroom wall. We had a letter about an hour after they started drilling that they would in fact, be starting drilling, and that not only would they be starting drilling, they would be starting drilling on the 22nd of March. Which is three days from now. They spent a lot of time drilling so loudly it was hard to think, and a lot of time dossing about talking, drinking tea, having lunch. The guy fitting our flat with a new intercom system(the reason for the drilling) was actually on the phone in our hallway, sorting out his plans for the night with someone. After he’d used our toilet for ten minutes, that is. Annoying.

I went into Penarth town and sent off a few packages for fellow YouTubers Robbie Webster and CM42TV. One headed for the US, the other for sunny Glasgow in Scotland. It felt good to get out of the way and getting a nice bubbly air mail packet for Robbie’s package was surprisingly easy and the service was quick, I’m definitely warmer to the idea of sending things out now. Lets hope it reaches him quickly. I also went into the chemists, bought some new nail clippers and some cough drops.(Wow this blog is really descending into the mundane, isn’t it?) I also got Connie some extra things for her birthday, some chocolates, some roses, and a card.(I’ve never gotten her any of those three, not that she minds, she’s not that kind of person, but I know she’d appreciate the thought all the same)

I then watched Toy Story, still enamored with the Disney Blu-ray experience. My Mum has a week off and is doing a mass redecoration of the whole flat.(which sparked the inspiration for Connie to paint our room earlier than planned) I’m now just waiting for Connie to come home, I think she wants her presents at midnight, despite my insistence on waiting til the morning. We always cave and give each other gifts too early because we’re so excited, but I’m adamant. I’m sure I’ll give in to the midnight thing though. Why not.

Hakuna Matata.

She’s my Rushmore – 18th March 2012

So I’ve gone a few days without updating this, and I guess I don’t have to every day. I mean, I could have, but I just, didn’t. Anyway. On Thursday I had a pretty uneventful day ahead of me, until Connie woke me up to show me a package had arrived for me. I checked out the front and realised it was Robbie Webster, a cool guy I met on YouTube. A while back I offered to help him out with a Blu-ray Steelbook that can only be bought in the UK. So he ordered it to my place and I’m going to send it out to him, saving some money instead of  just getting it on eBay for an extortionate price. He said he’d be sending me something but I figured it’d be after he got the Blu-ray, which is In Time, a really cool futuristic film released last year starring Justin Timberlake.

So I opened the package, not before flicking the camera on, to post the video on my channel. He had sent me not one, but two Blu-rays! The first was a digibook of Amadeus, which I haven’t seen. The packaging was amazing, the digibook is like a small book shape that holds the Blu-ray disc and in the center there’s a full colour 20 or 30 pages filled with pictures and information about the film. I must get more of them. The icing on the cake though was the second Blu-ray: Rushmore! One of my all time favourite films, Wes Anderson’s second film starring Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. It was also the Criterion Collection edition of the film. The Criterion Collection is a company that specialises in releasing classic and contemporary films of importance in cinema, restoring them meticulously for preservation and loading them with more special features than you can shake many sticks at.

I won’t be able to watch it just yet, as I need a region free Blu-ray player(Criterion, among most US Blu-rays and DVDs are region locked) which I’m still a bit unsure about. There’s no real guaranteed way of getting one, as they’re not sold officially, so the most reliable one I’ve found is on eBay, from a seller who offers no returns. So I’ll have to look into that, but I definitely will get on. I’m yearning for the Seven Samurai Criterion Blu-ray. Not only another one of my top ten favourite films in High Definition, but the Criterion offers the most complete version of the film, which isn’t available any other way. So that made my day, and work flew by. I was able to pore over the contents of the Rushmore Blu-ray on my break, as it came with an awesome booklet and poster, the artwork is just great. Robbie is a great guy, I’ll never forget him sending me them, it was a really nice gesture and goes another step in convincing me of something. As messed up as life can get, and as head-shakingly awful people can be, there are still a lot of genuinely nice people out there. If you like movies, check out his channel, it’s listed on the links on here.

On Friday I got paid, which is always good. After working 12-3pm(such a short shift, almost no point doing it, but I need every bit of overtime I can get, more on that later), I went into Cardiff to scout out a few things for Connie’s birthday on Tuesday. I found a couple of things but feel like I could’ve done better, and gotten her something with a more personal touch. Still, I kind of shot myself in the foot a couple of years ago with an amazing, bound book I made her for our first anniversary. I’ll definitely go out of my way to do special things for her for years to come, but this year for her birthday I feel a bit underwhelmed with my own efforts. We’ll see on Tuesday. I also tried to find a laundry basket for us, because we have too many clothes, but for the life of me couldn’t find any. My Mum actually picked us up one at a store she went to, to buy curtains and paint to redecorate the flat this week. It turned out to be very small though, but it was a nice thought.

I also picked up a few Blu-rays in Cardiff, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and the Toy Story Trilogy(I haven’t seen 3) plus a few DVDs from the bargain media shop That’s Entertainment. They do all kinds of old DVDs, Blu-rays and CDs, it’s always worth a look in there. I felt like finally checking out Disney on Blu-ray after getting an interesting question for my upcoming Q&A video on my YouTube channel.(It sounds a bit self serving but they’re cool videos to make) It was Robbie, who asked what was the first film I saw in the cinema? I strained to think and came up with Beauty and the Beast, which suddenly rekindled an urge for me to see it, so I just had to grab it. When I showed Connie what I had bought, she gasped and asked if we could watch BATB that night. So we did.

It was such an experience, beyond how amazing it looked in High Definition. Filling the 42” screen, bursting with colour, the backgrounds looking beautiful, and the sound outstanding. It all came back to me as we watched, remembering all the moments vividly now I was watching it. The musical numbers were great and the story is just so simple and sweet. I’m a sucker for it, and interestingly enough, it was the first animated feature film to ever be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1991. So I must’ve been three years old when I saw it in the cinema! I definitely remember sitting down and watching it, the opening shot etched in my head. My Nan took me, like she always did. I hardly ever went to the cinema with anyone else. My Dad took me a few times(Super Mario Bros., Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and The Sphere spring to mind), as well as once letting me down by never taking me to see Batman & Robin. I guess that was a good thing though.

The opening shot of Beauty and the Beast, that I remember so clearly: one of my earliest memories.

My Mum never took me, though it wasn’t like I ever asked. When we moved to England I never, ever went to the cinema. It was too far away. I even missed out on Star Wars: Episode I. Again, maybe a good thing?(For the record, I like Episode I!) So Robbie inadvertently caused me to unearth(surely) one of my earliest memories. I’m kind of obsessed with my memories, and how much I remember about things. It troubles me when I can’t recall certain things, or remember a really funny story, but simply can’t bring back the vital details, like what was said exactly. Prime example being a night in the Days Inn in Luton, one Winter night in 2007. A group of us wrestlers were having a great time near the lobby when a drunk woman came in starting some trouble. Del, a reserved, stoic Geordie, was sitting in a chair saying nothing, and she started having a go at him. Farrage, an unreserved, brash Geordie, took offence to her hassling his mate, and got right in her face, going toe-to-toe with her verbally. It was an amazing moment(I use “amazing” too much, mental note) and I just wish I could remember the dialog.

Lets just say it ended with Farrage shouting to her as she was escorted out of the building: “No wonder yer husband fookin’ left ya!” He celebrated with a half-smoked victory cigar he had found in the bar area. It was classic. Anyway, back to Beauty and the Beast. It was a great moment reliving it and made me a little emotional thinking back to simpler times. I’m very daft like that. Screw it, I guess, that’s the way I’ve been built, it’s in my hardware. I loved how the backgrounds looked on Blu-ray, I love animated backgrounds in general, they just look so good! I also really enjoyed some the moments that I got a kick out of as a kid, when the French candle character(forget his name) fights off bad guys at the end.

Lumière. I looked it up. He's awesome.

Friday gave way to Saturday and I overslept a lot, due to the fact I had put clean sheets on our bed. For some reason, after a nice long bath, getting into bed with clean sheets is like heaven for me. Every time it happens I oversleep, it must be my body subconsciously enjoying the experience so much it doesn’t let me wake up. I worked through the night in what was my 13th consecutive day of work. Again, I need the money for…well I’ll talk about that another time. Point is, I now have three days off, which is awesome(I use “awesome” too much, mental note), including Connie’s birthday. Which I was originally working on, so to have the shift switched was fabulous.(I use “fabulous” so rarely I forget it’s even a word, lets keep it that way)So here I am in the early hours, blogging. Oh it never ends. I’ve been listening to a live version of The Smiths song How Soon Is Now? Morrissey is amazing, in a weird kind of way. I love the song, and can’t believe how good they sound live. Legendary band. In linking the video I also found a great instrumental cover of the song. Check that out here.

As Dave Williams would say, Peace out homies.

You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy – 15th March 2012

So yesterday was interesting. I work for a superstore chain in the UK, though the store I work at is a smaller one, and in the space of twenty minutes, I stopped three shoplifters. Pretty cool right? Well, it was, kinda. I don’t know why I bother though, it’s a thankless thing to do. I don’t particularly care for the store I work at, I have no emotional connection to it, what’s it to me if it loses a few pounds here and there? However, I’d be willing to bet if you looked at how much money every single shop and superstore in the UK loses every week from shoplifting, it’s probably up in the high hundreds of thousands, if not millions. That’s chump change to some of these chains though, so why should I care? The answer is, I don’t, but I feel like even though I hate working there, and retail plain sucks, I have some kind of duty to stop them when I can. It’s not a nice thing to do, to ask someone if they’ve been stealing, or to follow them, or to confront them. I hate confrontations.

It annoys me though, that some people just seem to think that the world owes them something. Because deep down, most of these people don’t think they’re really doing much wrong, and delude themselves into thinking they’re in the right. So, the people I “stopped”,  here’s the deal:

  1. A girl comes into the store with a strong, white plastic bag. Her calling card. She comes in with her boyfriend all the time(or she used to last year, before our Duty Manager caught her in the act and banned her with some finality that seemed to have sorted her out) and puts things in the white bag. It’s ridiculous that she always brings it, it always stands out so much. So I watch her and she has this cheap bottle of Coke with her. Next minute its in her bag so I ask her if she has a receipt. She gave me probably the dirtiest look that has ever existed and showed me her receipt, glaring even more. I bluntly said to her “you’ve been stealing from her so many times, you think I’m not going to check?” She had about four expensive Mothers Day cards in her hands, which she promptly put back and left. That’s her trick; buy something small, then stay in the shop and dump things into the bag. So I stopped her there. Yet, a small part of me thinks she tricked me and showed me a receipt from another day when she had bought the Coke: I didn’t check the date.(I was shocked she actually had a receipt. Maybe I’m giving her too much credit though, I doubt she’d be that smart, given how conspicuous she acts when she steals.
  2. Literally the second she walked out of the door, I turn around and a guy is just loading a plastic bag up with expensive washing up items. He looked at me and put them back, muttering “oh I…don’t need that one actually.” He tried a few more times and I effectively used the Shoplifter Troll. Which is the best way sometimes when someone looks dodgy or like they could be trouble if you flat out ask them to leave, or if even they look like they could get violent. You do get some really rough looking people who have scars all over them from fights so, it’s best not to go in guns blazing. The Shoplifter Troll is the act of following them around, but not making it look like you are. So they can’t steal anything, and eventually they get annoyed enough to just give up. If you make it obvious you’re following them, then sometimes they actually get more determined and will do anything to get away with the stuff they want for free. He left pretty quickly.
  3. Literally again(I’m not kidding) as soon as that guy had left, I turned around and another was there, with the same brand of plastic bag the last guy had, which also looked rumpled and wrinkled like it had been used fifty times. Coincidence? I think not. They must have been working together. We sometimes get that, gangs of older men tag teaming up. This one however, was loading up a basket, with the plastic bag inside, obviously hoping to slip items in there. I carried on putting easter eggs on the shelves around the store, not giving him more than a few seconds alone. He actually kept phoning himself and having fake conversations. “Oh yeah, I’m in the shop now, I have fifty quid to spend.” I can’t comprehend what goes through their heads, its so embarrassingly obvious. He tried to wait it out, filling his basket to the brim, and after Trolling him a little more, he left the basket and pretended to have a shop-leaving argument on the phone. Success!

So I was feeling pretty damn good about myself after that, having stealthily apprehended three shoplifters in less than half an hour. That feeling soon vanished though. I went on my break and when I came back, a trolley had been stolen. Which could mean only one thing: someone had loaded it up with groceries and walked out. People try that all the time, sadly. I felt so deflated, like, no matter what, the “bad guys” will always win. It turned out a few hours later the trolley was outside the back of the store. Now if someone had loaded the trolley up and left, it’s not likely they would return it outside. Then again, where do they go with all that stuff? Plus our customers love to tell us about things we’ve done wrong or need to sort out, so someone definitely would’ve said something. So my theory is someone took their bought and paid for shopping out back to their car, because they were too lazy to carry a few bags.(we’re not a superstore, yet people insist on buying massive amounts) And they obviously couldn’t be bothered to wheel it back in either. People piss me off. Not as much as shoplifters, but they’re up there.

You may have noticed I haven’t specified which store I work at, and that’s because I know of another superstore that my friends work at, that have an eagle eye on all social networking of their staff, ready to fire or give out warnings for anything negative said about them. Not that I would get in trouble for this, I’m not criticising them, but I’m keeping all my bases covered. I’m sure through my available web of internet musings you can figure out which store it is if you really wanted. Bottom line, as far as I’m concerned, the store is a nice store, frequented by nice customers, that’s usually thriving day to day with awful customers and scumbag shoplifters. You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. In Penarth anyway. Ok I’m exaggerating, I’m sure there’s far worse places, per se. But when it comes to stores, in Penarth town, then yeah, it is.


By the way, in May 2011, I went on what I liked to call at the time, The Epic Journey. It involved me going to see two of my favourite rock bands for the first time, over a long weekend travelling across three countries in the UK. I vlogged throughout the whole process and kept a diary, which you can check out at the top of this blog on the tab under the banner. I’ll probably be adding more diaries and past writings in the future too, I like how it turned out on here.

Growing up it all seemed so one sided – 14th March 2012

So it’s 4am and I’m up making a new blog site whilst listening to Rush. The reason being I’m usually up this later after working untill nearly midnight. I do that at least 3 nights a week, and can never sleep as soon as I get in. I’ll then sleep untill noon or even later, before getting up and doing it all over again. I’m a night person, I feel more comfortable in the night, and about ten times more productive, annoyingly. That’s the way its been for about eight years, ever since I left school and didn’t necessarily need to be up early the next day. So in introduction to this blog, a somewhat spiritual sequel to Save Luke Ryan, which you can always check out here. 

It’s a blog that spans 2007-2009, rather sporadically mind you. I may get around to posting those entries on here as some kind of look into the past, as I’d prefer to have all my blog entries on one site, but we’ll see, I already have about a million other things to do it seems. Anyway, introduction, right. So my name is Luke, as the title of the blog goes, and I’m 23. Halfway to 46, and currently working for Tesco as a Customer Assistant. Emphasis on the ‘ass’, because the job is often ASS.(as the Angry Video Game Nerd would say) Just a few hours ago, I was stood behind the till serving customers through the night and a fairly disgruntled old man came towards me, plopping down a vast array of chocolatey treats for himself. I scanned them through, as you do, and asked if he wanted any school vouchers.(vouchers Tesco give to customers after they’ve spent a certain amount, going towards equipment for local schools) He looked at me as though I’d just told him he needed a wash and after a tense back and forth explanation of what the vouchers were, he glared at me, bought his things and left.

I just don’t understand, and will never, how people can be so moody over nothing. Who the hell gets mad at being offered something?! This kind of thing happens all the time, the residents of Penarth are so bizarre. I must think “you can’t write this shit” at least three times a week. However, I could fill a short book with stories like that, so will move on from this pointless tangent. I work in retail and have no discernible career at the end of road, unless I move up the Tesco ladder, which is unlikely. I’m kind of stuck at a crossroads, with hundreds of paths going off in all kinds of directions. I’ve been camping out at that point for a few years now.

I’m engaged to an amazing, Norwegian artist/musician/hairdresser. At the moment she’s living here in Wales with me, and in the very near future I will be making the leap to move to Norway for a year or so. More on that later I imagine. I’m super lucky to be with her, to have someone I can laugh with every single day. Among many things, she’s very good at drawing on Photoshop, I’ll leave an example of her work at the bottom of this vlog, just to show off one of the many talents my future wife has.

As for my creative outputs, where to start? I’ve been “making films” since I was 10, and have been off and on with that one ever since. I currently run a YouTube channel which started out as an outlet to review and talk about professional wrestling, and WWE DVDs. It has since turned into a channel that features movie reviews, Blu-ray and DVD reviews, movie collections and more recently personal, random vlogs. On the topic of wrestling, I used to wrestle myself for a number of years, roughly 2001-2011. I was a backyard wrestler, and proud of it. I’m gonna talk about that someday too, because I’ve got a lot of stories to tell, from wrestling in a barn, to wrestling in front of 250 people in a professional ring. Which leads on to my writing – I’ve loved books and writing stories since I was able to comprehend such things. My teachers were always impressed with my enthusiasm for reading when I first started primary school. I’ve had a few novels in the works since I was very young and in 2010 I completed a 50,000 word novel in under a month, as part of the National Novel Writing Month. 

It turned out well but wasn’t perfect, I hope to someday fine tune a really great story into a really great novel. I know I have it in me, its just having the motivation and inspiration to spur me on and plow through writers block to get it done. I’m also nearly done with a memoir on my backyard wrestling days(which is how wrestling led into writing) which I hope to have finished soon. I almost want to rewrite parts of it so that anyone could read it and follow my crazy journey through the world of wrestling for fun, but I doubt even the wrestlers I know would read it so I won’t bother! I still think if I could somehow force people to read it, they would like it, there’s many funny stories from the “road” travelling around the UK by train and bus to wrestle, not to mention all the personal conflicts and big life moments. A tale of one man’s journey into adulthood, as a backyard wrestler. Wouldn’t sell well would it?

Along with wrestling I edited hundreds of music videos of backyard events.(wrestling events condensed into short music videos, sometimes showing clips of the matches, sometimes really going into the story of a match, all kinds of styles) So I’d call myself a pretty damn good video editor, and along with writing, one of two things I can say I’m very good at. Anything else I may or may not be good at, I’m too self deprecating and void of confidence to believe.

So my YouTube channel keeps me extremely busy(me and Connie are attempting to watch and review/vlog about 365 films in a year, we just hit 230), work keeps me extremely busy and any down time I have, I just feel lethargic and lazy, thus, un-productiveness becomes my reluctant friend. If you’ve read this, feel free to follow me on Twitter(though I mostly Tweet about wrestling) and subscribe to me on YouTube(if you like vloggers, or movies, or wrestling, I’m sure you’ll find something of interest) simply by checking out the tabs in the header above. In closing I’ll leave you with Connie’s awesome portrait of Dean and Sam Winchester from the show Supernatural, and a few lines from the awesome song I’m listening to, which has provided the unrelated title of this post. Why? Because I can. Oh and I’ll throw in a video that encapsulates(as best as it can) my whole life up to 23, in three minutes. I’m cool like that.

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknown

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone
Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone

– Luke