My first feature length “vlogumentary” clocking in at almost one hour and forty five minutes, chronicling mine and Connie’s efforts to marathon 24 hours worth of films over a four day period. The initial challenge set down by YouTuber Ryan Chattaway in 2012 was to watch films for 24 hours straight, but we not so much tweaked as we did bend the rules until they snapped, and enjoyed a long, loooong weekend watching films. It was great.
And my worries that my YouTube audience wouldn’t take too kindly to the length of the video were soon washed away with the overwhelmingly positive response, which has lead to my now annual 24 Hour Movie Marathon video becoming the most popular event on my channel every year.
So here it is, roughly, give or take a few days, 20 days since my last blog! It seems I actually convinced myself I was going to keep these up on an almost daily basis! Oh Luke, you should know yourself by now. It’s like what was I THINKING? Nevertheless, I’m here now and writing a little bit. The main problem has been my time consuming video pursuits. I’ve been keeping a daily video blog for a few weeks which has been quite fun, and quite tiresome, but I feel it’ll pay off in the future. I managed to keep it up so far, so it’s kind of an unofficial challenge in my head to see how far I can take it. One day I vlogged about a headache. Groundbreaking stuff. The past few weeks have brought very little stories to interest myself, let alone anyone else. WrestleMania XXVIII was great, and the night was even better. Myself, Dave, Rich, Matt, and Marshy went over Denzel’s place to watch it. Though most of us were of the agreement that it was a good WrestleMania but not a standout one, with a lackluster undercard, I think just getting together was more than enough to make an enjoyable night. I like the fact that wherever we all may be over the years, we’ll probably always still get together to watch WrestleMania every April.
I started joining in on the WrestleMania fun in 2007. My group of wrestling mates became a part of my life around 2004, but I wasn’t quite close enough with them by then to watch ‘Mania with them untill 4am at someones place. Then again, I’m not sure the big get together’s were that regular then either. In 2007 we didn’t see much of WrestleMania because most of the UK’s services had trouble and we got a still image every 5 minutes or so, along with the commentary just teasing us. It was the first night I got really drunk, as Ben lay on the living room floor at the Jones household, cradling a bottle of cheap Vodka in his sleeping bag. He kept nodding off and I kept creeping up to snatch the bottle, but he’d wake up everytime, snatching back his beloved alcohol, which was pretty funny until he eventually stayed asleep. I wondered to do, now having the Vodka in hand, so I began drinking it from the bottle, and madness ensued. Before I knew it, I had a plastic bowl in my lap, and I was throwing up into it. Everyone else found it funny at least.
From 2008, it’s been a yearly event, where most of us, a core group of certain people, meet up to watch the show. 2009, aka WrestleMania 25(I refuse to call the event by it’s official, wrong name), was a great night, the aftermath of which was captured on camera and you can check out if you so wish below:
It was cool this year to finally see the event with Denzel since 2009, having missed out the past two years for various reasons, as much as he wanted to watch it with everyone. So he was psyched to watch it at his place, as was I. He’s definitely my best mate out of everyone, so it sucked when he couldn’t make it the last two years. I ordered a massive Dominos and enjoyed being unhealthy. Whereas I usually just eat and drink unhealthily without thinking about it, and regret it afterwards. But this was WrestleMania dammit!
Anyway, I feel like the daily vlogs more than account for day to day preservation, which is what I want to get out of all of this. I contemplated posting all the vlogs here, and maybe I will, but for now I’m going to leave it. Along with this particular blog, because of course, it’s 5am!
I’ve also been avidly continuing my Blu-ray collecting, naturally.
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 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.
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 Play.com 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.
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.
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