It's a SKETCH!! It's supposed to be rough! Jeez, everybody's a critic! ..Like everything else in my life, I'll finish it Later!!
Been a while..
Firstly, remember how in my last blog I was saying about how I'd been absent for a while and that all your enquiries about my well being must've got lost in transit 'cos I didn't get them? Well, I've been gone a lot longer this time round, and.. still nothing.
If I didn't get your zany sense of humour, I met be offended. Haha.. you kidders you.. Ha.. ha.
So what's been goin' down?
Only the small matter of Hollywood knocking on my door and asking to buy my script, even though I haven't written it yet!!!!
Nah, I wish. The truth is (boring amongst other things!!) I've been too busy living & enjoying life to bother with writing about it!! I really am having tonnes of fun!!
But it's also pretty bad (“Phew!” I hear you all cry! I know that's why you all really read this shizzle- to hear my tales of woe!!), because I'm supposed to be writing a script!! It's worse than bad, it's embarrassing really. After you read this you'll know why I've been languishing at the bottom of the proverbial barrel these past eleven odd years. I feel like crap about the whole thing.. caught in a downward spiral (when it comes to 'work' at least). You don't do jack, so you feel like crap, which causes you to do even less, which makes you feel even worse, which makes you do less still! And so on, and so forth until before you realise it, you become that guy. You know the one; that guy that always moans about the pathetic state of his life, but never does jackshit about it.
Well people, that guy was once like you, only better! He was once me!
Just HOW do you move through a decade, taking steps every day, and still end up in the same spot? Become a writer, and you're sure to find out! Better still, don't become a writer, become a reader, and let some other writer waste his life telling you about it!!
Check it out, the last time we spoke, I discussed in detail just how I managed to get side tracked from writing my script and extended my self-imposed deadline.. but I had a renewed verve about me. $hit was gonna change and then some.
Well, guess what? $hit did change, but not necessarily for the better!
I know you won't feel anything but frustration with me when I tell you, but believe me, my frustrations with myself are infinitely greater than anything you or anyone else could feel towards me. It's like I have two opposing tendencies, and they're both constantly at war with one another.. unfortunately my destructive or 'lazy' tendencies tend to win, even though I know they're wrecking my life.
I want to be 'productive' more than anything.. but I just keep indulging in procrastination! I'm like an obese person that keeps stuffing their face full of crap and then cries about wanting to be thin!
So what happened these past two weeks?
Fix yerself a cuppa ('tea' to all you non-English 'bloody foreigners' ..as you're known as in these parts), relax and let me tell you a tale.. Please note, I'll stretch this out over the next few days, so check in every day for the ongoing saga..
For all you keen character studying mo-fo's, notice the pattern of my life, multiply it by every week of every year and you might figure out pretty quickly where my 'lost' decade went..
Day 23 (November 23rd)
Bought another Groupon for yet MORE salsa classes. I just wanna learn it, and then put it to bed once and for all!! Spending MORE money I don't have!!
Figuring that some of you might actually enjoy reading my writing enough to want to share it with your friends, I went about adding a 'share' button to my website, in the (false) hope that it might boost my readership.. Yeah, well, we both know how that ended up. You swines!! Well, that didn't stop it taking me most of that day to get the damn button onto my website and not interfere with the Facebook button that was already there.. Time well spent? No.
Day 24 (November 24th)
Had a really traumatic dream about confronting some chick that wronged me earlier in the year (she managed to pull the wool over my eyes until she was long gone..); this bad omen would come home to roost days later. Read the introduction to the 'Inception' shooting script, which is basically an interview with Chris Nolan. Later I played Football with my friends and actually managed to win a game! Football is about the only exercise I do these days, which is pathetic, especially for a fitness enthusiast like myself.. But what can you do? Other things take priority.. like sorting out my damn life!!
Day 25 (November 25th)
That game of football took it's toll, and I overslept like a mother trucker. By the time I got back from the doctor's (again a lengthy wait for a 3 minute chat.. no fractures on the wrist. Thankfully!) and cooked and ate, it was late. It was a good friend's birthday, but as we met up after 10pm, our options in London were limited. That's what I hate about this city; the fact that you can't go from joint to joint sampling the scene unless you start doing that at 5pm and decide to stay at a particular place by 9pm!! One of the consequences of living in a country where the locals can't drink without getting drunk, and then abusive. If you wanna go to a joint with a dancefloor after 9pm, you gotta pay. And if you wanna keep checking out places, you gotta keep paying.
Broke and cheap as we are, we were only going to pay to get into one place, no matter how crap it was! ..So we went to 'TigerTiger'! Hahaha. Yes, if you're only going to one place in London, you definitely don't want it to be that! 'Sleazey 'n Cheesey' seem to be the words that come to mind.. But despite feeling like I was waaaaay too good for that place for most of the night, by the end of it, I'd met some pretty cool people and enjoyed myself for the crucial twenty minutes before closing time! (Just like in the movies, if it ends well, you tend to forgive the rest!) ..Birthday boy had a good time too.
Day 26 (November 26th)
So inevitably, I slept through most of the day, and when I woke up I had a text message on my phone (such a rarity, I just had to tell you about it!). I lazily ate a few scrambled eggs to go with my tower of toast, and slurped some tea in front of the TV.. then began a mad dash to shower and get ready! I was late, and then my train got cancelled! I finally met my friend for a hot chocolate, and chilled out some more before returning home for a quick bite and then headed out again!
Another night, another cheesey bar. What can I say, 'tis the season, and in the season, this is how we roll.
Now, I haven't frequented 'Loop' (another cheesey bar in London) for a LONG long time.. for some reason my friends all hate it, but my memories of the place are tinted with rose and jasmine, and other sweet girlie shizzle.. I've had some good times there, and it rarely disappoints. So when another long lost & newly single friend of mine felt like hitting the town, I knew EXACTLY where to go!
Sometimes it's better to just hold onto your rose tinted memories.. like the time you made four touchdowns in one game, when in actual fact it was really Al Bundy that did that.. on a sitcom! ..Yeah so long story short, I definitely won't be going back to 'Loop' any time soon! Fcuking $hithole!
Fortunately chatting to randoms at the bus stop rekindled my faith in (wo)mankind's ability to be friendly, funny, fair minded creatures.. Nightbus was missions as ever. Why couldn't my friend just buy a car & drive?
Day 27 (November 27th)
I won't go into the details about my relationship status (despite this whole blog being essentially about that fact!); I'm far too gentlemanly for that.. and I don't want to ruin my enigmatic mystique! Besides, there's not much to tell. But!! Yeah, there was this one chick that I pursued earlier in the year, but she chose another guy over me.. I didn't even know such a thing was possible, but it happened! (Life's funny, what can I say?) That wouldn't have been so bad, except she kinda strung me along until she eventually skipped the country & was reunited with Mr Loverman (Shabba!).
Now, I'm not one one to mourn the loss of a chick that doesn't wanna know me, but after that dream I had a few days prior to this, I'll admit to feeling a little hard done by.
..So I did what any guy would do in my position. I checked out her Facebook page!
Ouch. I was already feeling like crap from two successive nights of partying and I definitely didn't need to see that!
These two love birds stinking up the joint by declaring their sickeningly sweet love for one another all over Facebook! ..I mean Jeezus Jones! Get a room! Or just text each other!! I had thought about emailing her and telling her my 'feelings' & $hit.. but after seeing that, I just swallowed the pain & manned the hell up!!
..It did sting a bit though, but in retrospect I needed to see that too, just to kill any residual feelings of warmth.
There was also a silver lining, which made the whole excruciating experience worthwhile. I had an instantaneous vision of a short film! It hit me like a bolt of lightening, and I could see & hear all of it so vividly; the characters, the scenes, the music.. everything, all at once! & it was a beautiful!
A computer animated film about a caterpillar.. Cannot wait to make it!
Being an Artist is a blessing & a curse. We are infinitely more sensitive than regulaaar folk. Infinitely more. Without that sensitivity, we couldn't find inspiration. We either self destruct, or create something that could not have been made if it wasn't for the pain.. Thank God I'm an Artist.
UNFINISHED artwork, back when I envisioned Mitch to be played by Harrison Ford..
It's a dark, gloomy Tuesday in November.. and it's raining.Been sitting at my computer for a while now, trying to think of that killer opening line to hook the reader in what will inevitably be a long, LONG blog entry. Did I think of one? ..I dunno, you're still reading aren't you?
So what have you been upto this past week?
..yeah yeah yeah, I didn't ask you for your life story. Back to talking about me. If your internet has been freezing everytime you check my blog this past week, you can relax, there's nothing wrong with it; it's been stuck on the same page because I haven't been updating it.
For all of you that inundated me with enquiries about my health and messages of support, I thank you, but there must be something wrong with my Internet, 'cos I didn't get any of that..? Not even one lousy message! But it's ok, I'm fine! Thanks for caring though.. even though I never heard about any Internet outages, I'm sure that's what must've stopped you from getting in touch! ..Lets just sweep it under the carpet and never speak of this again.. Just like some used lover in a one way relationship, I'll make up my own excuses for the way you sometimes make me feel like you just don't give a damn! Weep, weep, sob, sob.
Wait! Wait! Comeback, I didn't mean it! Lets just continue the way things are!
No Stop! ..I can change!!
(shakes out of it) Sorry, must've been having a flashback..!
Okay, so I've let slide on the daily progress checks. .. I do have a record of what I did each day, and I could go into precise details.. but that would take more time than I have to spare (too busy procrastinating in case you didn't know by now). So instead of a detailed account, I shall summarise to you what I did on each day in a few short paragraphs... at least that's the idea. I'll probably end up spending all night and go into detail! Anyway, here goes:
Day 14 (Monday 14th November 2011)
The whole romantic angle of the film STILL bothered me.. So I researched online about what are considered to be the most romantic films of all time.. none of them really did it for me. Romance in the movies never seems authentic, and now I know why. Having characters meet, fall in love and then fail or succeeded in that love is hard to make 'believable' & 'authentic' in the space of a few events during the course of a two hour movie... I ended the night by blogging. My last blog for a fair few days.
Day 15 (Tuesday 15th November 2011)
Two weeks until I'm supposed to finished this script and I still can't decide on the definitive story (remember, I've written loads of very detailed, yet different outlines of this story, and now have to either mesh them all together, or pick & choose the best elements). It was about this time that I decided that I was better off not blogging if it took up so much time, especially if I could spend that time working on my script.
I read through some very detailed story notes I made of 'Batman Begins' a year and a half ago. I essentially broke the film up into ten minute sections and described the number of scenes and what happened during each of those ten minutes. Very useful! I need to do more of that, but it does take a while... Can't believe it's been so long since I made those notes.
The romantic angle of my film still didn't give me any rest.
In the evening I watched 'Rio' the animated movie by Blue Sky Studios. Hated it, and then wrote some useful notes on why I thought it didn't work. Often crap films prove to be much more inspirational than good films. When you watch a really good film, you're often left wondering how you could possibly have the audacity to even attempt to make films on that level.. but when you watch a crap film, you know for certain that you can do better!
Day 16 (Wednesday 16th November 2011)
Cleaned my room, etc. etc. which always takes up a larger chunk of the day than any of us are willing to admit.. so I won't be the first! ..Yeah so I cleaned my room in five minutes and chilled out for the rest of the day!
I wasn't satisfied with the number of hits my website was getting.. the Internet has BILLIONS of users, and tonnes & tonnes of crap on it that gets a million times more readership my crap gets! My crap deserves better!! ..So I discovered something called SEO (search engine optimisation).. now I have a feeling some of you knew about this, but never told me! ..Maybe you were doing me a favour. 'cos I spent the rest of that night trying to understand that shizzle, and then trying to use 'Google Web Tools' & 'Google Analytics' (which made the number of 'visitors' to my site seem even more depressing!).. time well spent? Maybe not, but like everything else I want to succeed at in life, I had to try.
Day 17 (Thursday 17th November 2011)
Went to the hospital for another X-Ray. Wrist is slowly regaining flexibility, but still hurts. I spent the waiting room time preparing for a job interview!
BMB (the advertising agency in London) were holding interviews for their Graduate scheme all day via Skype. It was a tremendous opportunity and was open to all (graduates & non-graduates alike); whoever wanted an interview, got one.
I gotta face facts: as soon as this script is done, I have to confront the financial black hole that is my bank account, and the sooner the better (ever wondered where bankers get their huge bonuses from? It's from the interest I'm paying on my massive debts!). My best bet is to get a job, but rather than go back to stuffing envelopes or doing other menial office jobs that no one else wants, I'd prefer my indentured slavery to at least be in the creative industries. So, never one to let an opportunity go begging, I spent the rest of that day sprucing up my measly CV and preparing for the interview..
I had my 7 minute Skype interview in the evening, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!! It was just an informal chat where the interviewer asked three questions:
'What is the most uplifting creativity you've seen in the past year?'
A dude dressed up as a cardboard robot at a Cosplay event. It was all heart man.
'If you could start your dream company, what would it be?'
Easy, my own production company (Planet Nish anyone?).
'If you were on the first public flight to space, what one item would you take with you & why?'
A notepad & pencil so I can take notes & free up my mind to enjoy the moment. Besides, no writer is ever without a notepad & pen. You never know when a great idea will strike! Also, can you imagine the inspiration you'd get from a space flight?!
Day 18 (Friday 18th November 2011)
Okay so I included my web page address on my CV, so I figured that the folks at BMB might actually pay it a visit.. but I had no 'About' page!!
So I spent most of the day designing one! ..I worked slowly, but was enjoying it. Headphones on, messing about with Photoshop. Goodtimes. I didn't finish it though.
Friday night, I REALLY needed to go out, so I called up two of my boys that I hadn't seen in a while. It was good to see them, but when it comes to going out, they don't share my 'tastes' shall we say. But I was just glad to be going out, so I let them choose the joint.
I'd have preferred a sophisticated 'work' crowd, but instead we were rubbing shoulders with foreigners & students in some of the finest $hit holes in King's Cross.. which is fine, but by this point in my life, I've rinsed that bottom of the barrel scene to DEATH!! I need something more..
Day 19 (Saturday 19th November 2011)
Got home late and slept 'til late too. Worked on my 'About' page for a bit, but spent most of my time just lounging and eating crap.. typical next day $hit. Stayed in and watched 'Bridesmaids' with my sisters in the evening.. At first I thought it was standard 'chick flick' fare, but it actually wasn't that bad. I wouldn't say it was good, but in a genre cluttered with some of the $hittest films ever made, this one stood out.
That scene when they're trying on the bridesmaid's outfits.. Sickest. $hit. Ever. But funny as hell!!
Day 20 (Sunday 20th November 2011)
Needed some inspiration, so pretty much retraced my steps from the previous Sunday, except this time I paid a visit to the British Museum to check out the Manga exhibit. It was smaller than I expected.. just a few pages from Hoshino Yokinobu's 'Professor Munakata's Bristish Museum Adventure'. The artwork was CRISP! Couldn't believe how clean and detailed it was... My comic art is filled with the scars of smudges and eraser marks, whereas this stuff was pristine!
Afterwards I did my usual walk through Covent Garden to Southbank and stopped off at Festival Hall. Again. Place was packed as a mother trucker. Jazz Week. Again.
I sat for aaaaages trying to think of ideas, but alas, the brain must've been on the blink again. Later I moved downstairs and sat on one of the sofa's. Finally I started getting some ideas and began sketching them.
Then some lonely old geezer eating his packed lunch started talking to me.. and didn't stop. Now you know me, I'm always a friend to the friendless, but this guy was just being plain old disruptive! I couldn't get anything done- he just wouldn't stop!
I maintained my politeness as always, and humoured him as best I could, but in the end, I just had to get up and leave. I walked to Oxford Circus and tubed it home.
The thing that scared me most about that whole encounter with that scruffy, talkative old geezer was the fact that anyone of us could end up like that.. most of all me!!! He wasn't even that old, probably in his forties!! (you know you're old when 'forty' no longer seems that old!)
Hell, to those of you that read this blog but don't know me, you probably already think of me as a lonely old codger! ..But it's all part of the act! I've got tonnes of friends! Honest! (& most of them are chicks!! ..Ok, that last bit's open to debate, but still!!)
Day 21 (Monday 21st November 2011)
I met up with a good friend (one of many I'll have you know!), hung out, had one of the best laughs in ages and watched a boring-ass film (the critically acclaimed 'Take Shelter'). Sometimes you just gotta 'hang' and not feel guilty about it.
I also got a rejection email from BMB. Ah, c'est la vie.
Day 22 (Today)
Well that was a fun trip down memory lane wasn't it?
Not at all the boring 'shopping-list literature' you were expecting.. Okay, okay, I know. It wasn't exactly riveting, but I was just catching up. I could've spent this entire time telling you about how I made a complete and utter fool of myself on Friday night, but then you'd be all confused an' $hit, wondering how we went from Sunday to Friday with nothing inbetween (and aren't there just times you wished that was the case children?).
By now I'm so far behind in my scriptwriting duties that it seems impossible for me to meet the deadline. Similarly, my blog's been getting Jackshit readership. Admittedly, I did the same thing that comes naturally to all humans in hopeless situations.. I took my peddle off and pretty much ground to a halt. Just the opposite of what I've been encouraging myself to do in my blogs (remember how I mentioned that when the going gets tough, we should intensify our efforts, not relax them?). I stopped working on my film as consistently as I had been, and I stopped blogging. What was the point? I wasn't gonna make the deadline, so why bother busting a gut over it? Not many people were reading my blogs, so what difference does it make if I stop? To top it all off, my most recent efforts in being a social butterfly left me feeling squashed. My beautiful wings ripped apart, disfigured and no longer fit for flying.. (at least until next week!)
So now what?
Disappear into nothing like 'Keyser Söze'?
Haha. You wish! Like every chick that ever met me knows, I'm not that easy to get rid of!
I STILL need to finish this script with a vengeance! All the rest of the stories about my life during this time, and the blogging etc. are just added value.
I won't make the 30th of November deadline, and that's not being negative or anything, it's being real. 'Know thyself' is the first key to unlocking your potential. Setting unrealistic deadlines is the just another step on the path to disappointment.
But I do need a deadline, and I do need to build momentum. So I'm re-assessing my progress during these past three weeks, and learning from all the stuff that's been holding me back.
Number one on that list is blogging.. no, actually it's Facebook! Damn you Mark Zuckerberg!! I want my life back!!
..But a close second is Blogging. So whilst I will continue to blog about my daily struggles, this will probably take the form of 'summing up' every few days (similar to this blog entry), instead of actually blogging every day.
Also, I'm setting a new deadline. Monday 19th December 2011. I'd like to set something sooner, but the truth is, it's party season, and much as I may try and kid myself into thinking I'll be focused like a laser beam, I won't be able to resist the urge to go out and enjoy life.. and why should I resist? We live but once people!
So reduce time spent online, reduce time spent blogging, increase time spent writing the film and give myself more time. Should all add up to success right?
Well there's only one way to find out..
Keep it here!
No doubt I'll still regale you with stories about my 'misadventures' during party season.. something tells me there'll be a lot to tell, or more likely, a lot to keep my mouth shut about!!!
Thanks for reading!
P.S. This took waaaaay longer than I wanted it to. Dammit! Off to a bad re-start already!!
Covent Garden market on Sunday...
After the disappointment of Saturday night I awoke on Sunday feeling incredibly positive and fortunate. Maybe it was the sunshine (a rarity in these parts) or maybe it was something deeper, but I woke up feeling damn good about life and that feeling stayed with me all day.
I really needed to get out of the house and enjoy what was left of the sun (which began setting at around 3pm!), but before I left, I watched a bit of Friday's 'The Derren Brown Experiments', the gist of which was 'People that feel lucky, are lucky'. I always feel lucky, but watching that programme drilled it into me more so.
Of course there are times when I feel like my back's against the wall, and that no matter what I do, I can't seem to change my status-quo, but at these times I tend to write, and it really is the best therapy. It's a shame then, that the only part of me you get to know, is from these writings. I must seem like a right old sad-sack, but trust me, I'm the most jolly person you could hope to meet. If I don't crack you up within a minute of meeting you, then you're probably more of a sad-sack than me!
Sunday was a picture postcard day; the kind of day that made you feel glad to be living in London and not somewhere less vibrant.
I emerged from the Underground to a bustling and packed Oxford Circus; the sun melting slowly in the crisp blue sky and the Christmas lights beginning to show their wonder. I felt more alive than I had done for all the nights I'd been going out.
I walked through Carnaby Street and checked out a few of the trendier trainer(sneaker) shops, thinking about what style I'd go for and if it was worth adding a few more digits to the debt pile. Maybe later.
Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square were the congested tourist traps they always are, and though I loathe the area now, that day I remembered it with fonder memories, as I made my way to my favourite part of London, Coven Garden.
I remember my dad taking us there when we were little, and the magic of the atmosphere, the people, and most of all, the street theatre. All those gems still sparkle, and I still love being there. I sat for a few minutes in the cold on a bench in the market, listening to a musician scraping a buck and watching a young art student draw the interior of the market. I tried in vain to write the odd story note, but found it prevented me from enjoying the moment.
I stopped by The National Gallery to warm myself and to bask in the warm glow of an appreciative crowd, all there for the sold out 'Leonardo da Vinci' exhibition. I'm glad art has it's admirers, it's just a shame that an artist often has to die before any of that appreciation is shared with him.
Later I crossed Hungerford Bridge and stopped for a moment to gaze at the spectacle of St. Paul's cathedral in the fog.. what an ancient sight, looking even more ancient in the cloak of a mist; a sight synonymous with London for hundreds of years.
Finally I made my way to the Royal Festival Hall; again packed out. The free performances that were part of Jazz week had finished, but everyone lingered and enjoyed their drinks. I sat on a sofa and wrote some story notes for a while..
Before I left, I browsed through the 'Photographer of the Year' exhibition, which was also taking place at Festival Hall..
It really was a pleasant day, and apart from the exorbitant cost of travel in London, it was all free. All the places I went and the atmospheres, experiences and exhibitions I enjoyed, didn't cost a penny. In these tough economic times, the human soul needs a little free cheer. Shame on all those that demand funding for the arts to be cut. London would be an infinitely poorer city without it.
I got home and all was well.
I'm lucky, and I feel lucky.
Even though right now the chips are down, I fundamentally believe that everything happens for a reason, and that ultimately, that reason is for my own benefit. Whether it be to test my resolve or make me a stronger person; at the end of it all, I can only emerge from these trials as a better person. Even if all that means is being more humble.
I do believe I will have the life I always craved; life is just making me into the kind of person capable of achieving it.
I do need to remind myself of it though. When the going gets tough, why do we always think of giving up? I'm no different in that regard. Sure, I'm not where I want to be in life, and God knows I've spent my life trying, but all that means is I need to try harder, or try smarter! Evolve, adapt, rise to the challenge!
When you're losing a game of football, do you relax your efforts or intensify them? When you're driving up hill, does the car need more power to get there or less? ..It's pretty simple when you think about it, but I know all too well that in practice, the temptation is to give up and feel sorry for oneself. But if we want to turn the game around, or get up that hill, we need to go harder, not ease up.
So I haven't met the right chick, and I'm getting older. Do I take a break and console myself with some other distraction, or do I step up, go out and meet more people than I ever have before?! Similarly, this whole dream of being the next 'Chris Nolan' or 'George Lucas' (before he made the prequels!!) is destroying my life- do I give up and walk away, or do I tackle it with greater intensity than ever before?!
Times are tough, but life will help you find a way, you just have to take that leap of faith. I need to keep reminding myself of this too.
I hadn't been on Holiday for two and a half years; I just couldn't afford it, and I thought it was plain irresponsible for me to get further in debt to take one. All the while the stresses of my life built up and took their toll. I missed out on adventure after adventure with my friends, to the point where they no longer even asked me if I wanted to come. Then, a friend of a friend (not even my friend!) invited me to his stag in Ibiza. I'd wanted to go to Ibiza for ages, but as ever, money scuppered my plans. My youth was fading, and the opportunities to enjoy time with my friends became less and less frequent as they married off one by one.
I needed this break, so I threw caution to the wind, indebted myself further, and took that opportunity! I had an amazing time! And it's only whetted my appetite for more adventures! But the point is, I was glad I took the opportunity, because the memories justified the burden of debt! To add to that, a month later, I won a competition on the radio. The prize was 'an adventure with my friends' ..I figured they'd send us on a night out, or at best, maybe book us a weekend excursion somewhere.. But on Saturday morning, much to my delight, they sent me the prize. It was a cheque that covered the expense of my trip to Ibiza.
I needed a break, I took a chance, and life helped me on my way. Keep the faith. I'm telling myself just as much as I'm telling you.
But forget about winning competitions; that's not luck, that's statistics. I enter a lot, I win a lot.
I've stood barefoot on wet floor as over 200 volts of electricity surged through my body, and came out of it only shaken.
I've lain dying of Malaria for over three weeks, before finally having to suggest the diagnosis to doctors myself, and though it nearly bested me, I'm still here.
I've been attacked with a knife and stabbed multiple times, with no lasting damage done.
I've suffered absolutely debilitating bouts of the most severe dizziness you can imagine for more than a decade; had brain scans, chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy, and I'm not still here for nothing. I was put on this Earth for a reason.
Sure my career's nowhere and my love life's a tragic joke, but I spend each and every day chasing my dreams..
How can I be anything but Lucky?!
So Saturday pretty much all I did was blog and then get ready to go out. This speed dating thing started at half 7, so I arranged to meet my friend at around a quarter past, so we could head off together.. at the very latest we would've been there at 8:15pm. I've only been to one of these before, and it was pretty poor. The ratio was bad, and the speed dating was excruciating to say the least (click here for the full story), but any good conversations that were had, were had early. Also, a lifetime of experience has taught me one thing; the later it gets, the less women there are. It's like one of Newton's laws of physics or something... So my friend, who clearly doesn't share my zeal when it comes to going out (but then, who does?) arrived at my house at a quarter to 8.. we finally made it to the bar just after 9pm and were greeted by a sea of sausages..! I've seriously not seen that many men in a bar for a long, LONG time.. You could hardly make out the women folk, for each one was flanked by at least three men! We went over to book a speed dating slot, but were unable; they were all full. Now, I had no preconceptions about meeting my future baby's mama, but when you pays your money to go speed dating, you kind of expect to go speed dating.. My friend apologised again for being late, but it wasn't his fault, it was the organisers of this fiasco that prayed on the romantic aspirations of at least a hundred men, and then fleeced them dry as they exploited those aspirations! Those lucky women were spoilt for choice! Fortunately, I'm somewhat expert when it comes to the bar scene, and all my years of 'training' (if you can call it that) stood me in good stead.. Just stand there and look pretty counting backwards from ten.. nine.. eight.. Yeah, that didn't work.. for like the first time EVER! This was going to be tougher than I thought..! Now, I'm not one to step on another man's toes, or stand in the way of what another man thinks is his happy ending. In my long & illustrious career as a man, I've been treated harshly by way, waaaaaaaay more women, than I have been by men; so I have a certain.. loyalty towards my brethren, in that I won't discard them at the first sign of a pretty lady. Unfortunately, not all men share this altruism, especially at the first sign of a pretty lady! It's dog eat dog in the dating & mating game, and I'm starting to see it now. Men & women would very happily poach the partner of another, if it meant they themselves got what they wanted. I don't play that way, which is why I'm a serial singleton. So I never really got to meet 85% of the few women that turned up. I very cordially waited for other's to finish their conversations before I went about approaching women to talk to, which meant the opportunities were few and far between. All around I could see the frenzy that would greet a girl not engaged in conversation, as males would dart in her direction, or have to turn in disappointment if someone beat them to it. What I can say is, there's no one I had my eye on but never chatted to, simply because there was no one I had my eye on! All I could see were huddled circles of blokes for most of the night! But I was here, and I was going to make the most of it; at the very least I was going to have a good time dammit! I'm not a moper, that's for damn sure!! ..At least when I'm not typing away on the internet that is!! Chatting to the guys, they were disappointed, chatting to the girls, they were disappointed.. It's as if everyone had been duped into thinking this thing would provide the answers we were all searching for, but instead, all it did was bring home the gravity of our dire situation! THERE ARE NO DECENT SINGLE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!! Which is ironic, considering we were all single, and we all thought ourselves to be more than decent!! Y'know, screw it. It was worse than last time, but I chatted to a few chicks, some of whom were very nice (but just didn't 'float ma boat' if y'know what I mean), and I got to visit a bar I've never been to before (which is quite rare these days)! Romantically speaking though, that's another avenue that's dead in the water. I won't be going down this speed dating/non-speed dating route again in a hurry!! That night, any bar or club in London held better prospects than that sausage factory!! I missed my sister's birthday party for that thing, and when I met everyone afterwards they all offered me their perspectives: 'You find someone when you're not looking' is a popular anecdote. Well, I've spent my entire life not looking, and look how that turned out.. Everyone agreed, however, that the best place to meet partners is at work, or drinks after work.. Too bad I work from home! Now some of you humble readers may have shared a night on the town with me in the past, but for the rest of you this will come as a shock. When it comes to socialising with chicks, I don't do that badly.. but when it comes to meeting the 'right girl' ..well, it's yet to happen (and please don't get into an argument with me about what it means to be the right' person. We all know we've met that person when we meet them). So I guess the fun continues!! I get to keep searching.. But hey, it could be worse; I could be married ;)
Ah, the underrated art of taking a picture of oneself yet pretending to be unaware of it..
So after a marathon blogging session the night before, I woke up on Friday afternoon and checked the stats on my website.. Because I'm using free website builder 'weebly' the only information I get is the number of 'hits' my website gets..14. Fourteen hits after all that effort! It's almost enough to make me give up on the blog and concentrate on just writing my script! ..Almost. Friday night came quickly, and with only a precious few Friday nights remaining in my youth, I wasn't going to waste one. Friday nights in London town are the best! The vibe, the atmosphere, the people, the drunken debauchery! Friday nights are my favourite, which is why it's such a pity that I tend to stay at home for most of them. Being an arty-farty type of guy, I like hanging out in galleries and museums, and nowadays, most of the big galleries and museums hold FREE events on Friday nights. The British Museum, The National Gallery, The Portrait Gallery were all holding cocktail parties & special events lastnight.. and I would have LOVED to have gone.. but there's nothing sadder than the lone figure of a man at a party, and I really didn't want to be that guy, so I went to the local Salsa place near my house instead.Now you know how I love to dance; you really should see me in my bedroom, 'cos I have got some mooooves!! But for some reason, when there's people watching, it all just goes flying out the window! At least when it comes to salsa dancing that is ('other' dancing, I'm pretty good). It's like those beam splitting experiments in quantum mechanics (you know the ones!), where the act of observing the experiment affects the results! I don't know if I'll go back to salsa in any hurry. There's no point unless I can find the time to practice in-between lessons. That's the only way I'm going to get to where I think I should be... by doing dreaded homework! Otherwise I'm just sat there watching pretty chicks dancing sexily with guys that aren't me, and that aint my idea of a good time. So I left. If you're gonna go out, go all out. 'Do, or Do Not.' Half hearted is no way to go about anything in life. I got home and felt a bit like 'WTF?! Life aint a spectator sport, yet all too often I'm left watching!' I finally sat down and wrote some good story notes well into the early hours of Saturday morning... –--------- Now Kids, Daddy's getting on a bit, and he needs to find you a Mummy before all he's left with are divorcees and single-parent mum's. Contrary to what it might seem like from reading this blog, I really am quite active. I'm not gonna keep complaining about my love life (amongst other things) and yet spend all my time sitting at home. I like to get out there and I love meeting new people, even if they don't always love meeting me! (the fools!!) The sad truth is, however, that when it comes to the fairer sex, 'I am a man more sinned against than sinning.' But hey, aren't we all. I've yet to meet a girl that sees me as anything other than the penniless dreamer that I appear to be. Someone that's good for a laugh, but nothing more. They see me as the man I am and not the man I will grow to be, and honestly, who can blame them. I'm not at all negative towards them, but it would be nice to meet someone that doesn't roll their eyes everytime I wax lyrical about myself. I never believed it, but now I do. 'Behind every great man is a great woman.' It takes a great woman to be able to see that greatness in the man, and an even greater woman to help him uncover it. Still, it could be worse. I'd hate to have met that great woman and then let her get away. It's unfortunate that I haven't met her, but at the same time, I'm thankful too, if that makes any sense? But I'm excited! Life's greatest adventure awaits me; after all, what greater adventure is there other than the search for love? Okay enough of the seriousness! Tonight I'm going back into the Lion's den- Speed Dating Round 2!! Check out my previous blog for the hilarious results of Round 1. I'm sure more painful hilarity will ensue tonight, but don't worry, I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!! I don't have any expectations, but I also like to stay positive.. so wish me luck!! Have fun kids!
Pulling back the curtain on the ancient and mysterious art of blogging! It hasn't changed much since the days of the Pyramids..
My dedication to this blog seems to trump my dedication to writing my film. Instead of working on my script I spent most of the day writing the blog, and the evening playing football, and why?
Gratification my friends, gratification.
At least when I write this, I know there's someone reading it, and though I get nothing out of it other than a small sense of satisfaction, it's enough. I spend hours, days, weeks, months, years(!!) working on my film ambitions and there's no gratification, no satisfaction, no rewards at the end. My personal life is just as bad.
I'm not saying that I won't be successful, but subconsciously, I know that in the past I haven't been, so it's that much harder to convince myself that this time will be different.
Fruitless labour is the biggest killer of egos amongst young men aged between 16 and 30, closely followed by rejection from women!
But seriously folks, to say that I've been humbled is an understatement. Can you imagine toiling away, pursuing a dream for more than a decade with nothing more than a stubborn sense of your own self-worth to keep you going during all that time??
No success, no money, no reward whatsoever, other than the chance to learn from your mistakes.
Why go on? Why continue?
Especially when at the end of the struggle you may end up with nothing. There's no guarantee of success at the end of this journey.
It's not like climbing Everest or something, where you know that each hard fought step brings you closer to the summit.
Each hard fought step I take could be bringing me one-step closer to ruin for all I know! And it's that uncertainty, which makes it all the more difficult to justify enduring the pain.
When I started down this path, I was an arrogant youth, cock-sure of myself and absolutely certain that I would not only succeed, but succeed in record time! If Spielberg directed his first blockbuster at 26 (Jaws), then I'd direct mine at 22!
More than a decade later, and being able to live a 'normal' life would be a massive accomplishment, let alone living the dream...
So why go on?
...I don't know. But I'll be sure to tell you when I'm walking down the red carpet at my movie première! ;)
Bring on tomorrow!
London might be expensive, but the arts scene is probably the best in the world, and a lot of it is FREE!! (if u know where to look!)
I started the day by writing some good story notes. I'm not moving anywhere near the speed at which I should be moving, but I'm still moving. Typically, the month in which I set myself a 30-day challenge just happens to be same month my long lost social life decides to turn up! I'm out practically every night! ..But as long time readers know, I shouldn't complain; there's been more than enough days when I haven't gone out at all, so enjoy it while it lasts.. Just means I can't waste a single moment (that's always the case with me!!). I got more free tickets to a show last night. One of the great ironies of my life is that I get free tickets to shows, but never have anyone special to go with. I have one friend who is the major beneficiary of my good fortune; he tells me I have good luck, but I think his luck is better. I mean, I actually apply for these tickets or enter competitions to win them.. He enjoys the prizes without even having to do that! For anyone interested in the creative arts, I cannot stress enough the importance of going out and actually experiencing the arts in all their forms! I guess this is when living in London is a BIG help. Go to galleries, shows, movies, plays, theatres.. anything & everything!! You have to experience creativity to better understand it, and then apply that understanding to your own creativity. Call it inspiration, or whatever, but good or bad, you only stand to benefit. That's why I'll go to anything! I want to see how others express their creativity to better enable me to express mine. It was a comedy show called 'The Boy with Tape on his Face' and was part of Internet Week Europe (and here I thought every week was internet week!). It's hard to describe exactly what it was, but it was innovative and involved the audience tweeting throughout the show, suggesting things to do or answering questions and winning really crappy prizes. I was tweeting too, and was well chuffed to see my tweets appear on the big screen behind the stage, but I didn't really want to win anything in case I'd be called on stage to participate (as many others had to).. I much prefer being a show-off behind the safety & anonymity of the internet! It was a good way to spend an evening in the posher part of Notting Hill. Definitely gotta go back to that joint on a Friday/Saturday night.Got home and watched 'Inception'. It's still a great film, but watching it with a critical eye, I could definitely see the flaws, not only in the story, but also the logic. Some of it is just plain absurd, (Spoiler Alert) like how it takes the jolt of the car falling off a bridge to wake everyone up, yet the jolt of the car tumbling off the road leaves them sound asleep? Even how Cobb & Saito wake-up from limbo is left unanswered, let alone how they wake-up without having their brains scrambled (a consequence of being in limbo as suggested by another character). But who cares if it makes sense? As an audience, we're so entrenched in the characters and so engaged by the story that we don't really care! And that's the secret. My own story is pretty far fetched to say the least. But f I can capture the audience, then maybe, just maybe, I can get away with it.. Just gotta write the damn thing first!!!
After much discussion, we decided a World Tour was the fairest option..!
I travelled home on the tube after a night out with commuters going to work on Monday morning, which was.. pretty cool actually! I blatantly wasn't the only one that looked like cr@p!! Haha. It's not something I normally do, and I love doing stuff I don't normally do, so it was all good. Except, if you remember, I had an enormous urge to sort my life THE HELL OUT!!
A few hours kip later and I was ready to take on the world!!
I got a few ideas.. then wrote a blog entry, which to be honest, took me waaaaay longer than I wanted, and actually prevented me from doing any work.. Damn you Blog!!
And then... Facebook happened. Again.
You know what it's like. Sitting infront of a blank page on the monitor.. maybe I'll have a quick look at what ol' Facebook is saying. I made a random comment.. and then all hell broke loose!!!
Usually I say something on Facebook and tumble-weeds drift by, such is the silence greeted by my status updates.
At first I enjoyed the novelty of attracting some attention.. and then it just got out of hand. Over 400 comments later, and HOURS sat in front of the computer, I just wanted to sleeeeeeeep! But it was so much jokes, I couldn't tear myself away!
Productivity wise, I probably won't illicit your sympathy anymore (as if I ever did!! Haha). But it was a rare night, literally the only time I've been caught up in a thread like that, and it was REALLY funny!! So what the hell. Sometimes you just gotta NOT feel guilty about EVERYTHING Aaaall the damn time!
Three weeks left.. I can still do this!
I'm already a party animal, but I'm still not reaching my potential. I COULD BE SO MUCH MORE!!
On Sunday I started the day by watching a bit of 'Inception' on TV; I just caught it in the middle as I was flicking through channels and literally had to force myself to stop watching after around 40 minutes, because I had stuff to do.
Christopher Nolan is by far my favourite filmmaker at the moment, and watching a bit of 'Inception' was the perfect reminder of the kind of films I want to make myself.
I imprisoned myself in my room and chained myself to my desk once more.. Soundtracks blaring in the background. No idea was forthcoming, so I started writing notes; thinking out loud on paper and asking myself questions about the story.
Not every idea is born of inspiration; often they are contrived through hard work and determination. Slowly the 'Love-Story angle' of the film began to form. Finally I have it. It's not the best story mind you, but I've spent absolutely aaaaages trying to forge the perfect scenario and it hasn't happened in my life or in my imagination, so time to just press ahead anyway. It fits the purpose, so that will have to do for now.
Having learnt my lesson from the day before, I threw caution to the wind and enjoyed a night out. I already had plans to watch a new show in London called 'Office Party' which is a kind of audience participatory show where we are all given name badges and departments in a fake company, and we attend the office Christmas party. Actors are placed within the group and lead all manner of crazy antics that may or may not take place at office parties (I'm not an expert, having only been to one). It was great fun and very novel, although sadly, we missed the first half hour! This time it wasn't entirely my fault.. the internet lied about the start time! The internet lied! Can you believe it??
Ordinarily I would've refused the offer of joining a group of people I don't know for drinks afterwards, but y'know what, I need more adventures in my life, so what the hell!
A night of partying later, and all I can say is, I can't keep doing this $hit! Haha.
Don't get me wrong, I had a.. well it was a bit of a fcuked up & traumatic night to be honest, but I've got a story to tell by the end of it, which is the main thing. Only problem is, I can't tell you what that story is! (Maybe someday in the novelization..) Not only to respect the privacy of the people that were with me, but also because they might actually read this and then come after me for defamation of character!! ..As if! But I had fun, as always!!
The thing I can't keep doing is coasting through life not being the best version of myself, and then feeling embarrassed when I'm in new company. Or being afraid to enter into new company because I feel I'm not up to scratch. My situation prevents me from doing everything I want to do, and going at life without abandon. I returned home in the morning with a sobering realisation that I was slipping and sliding down the ladder of life. All my peers are a million miles ahead of me, and to people my own age, I must seem pretty damn pathetic; and it's not a nice feeling man. Not only do I want to compete with the best of my generation, but I want to beat them too!! But wanting is not enough; one must DO. I need to change my situation; having fun only numbs you for so long...
A part of me just wants to hide away from the world, and emerge triumphantly when I'm ready to take on all comers.. but the truth is, you don't grow by hiding from the world. Everyday there are lessons to be learned; character building situations to be confronted and questions to be asked of oneself.
To become the best version of yourself, you have to rise to the challenges before you, not become a recluse and hide.
There's a lot for me to do. Need to get on with it.
This time a picture of my mind..!
I spent the whole of Saturday trapped in a state of ennui. Lethargy of the mind and body.. days later (i.e. today!) my soul would pay the price.
I figured I'd be a good boy, stay at home and catch up on my work. I may as well have frolicked in the streets, dancing like a mad man for all the good it did me. It was an absolutely ABYSMAL day!! I sat in front of the computer or at my desk ALL DAY & NIGHT and couldn't even string together a single idea!!!!
My mind wasn't blank, it was just running here, there and everywhere except where I wanted it to go!! The evil duo of Google & Facebook played their usual villainous parts in aiding my downfall.. The swine's.
I persevered well into the early hours, hoping that if I get a single good idea even a second before I stop, then a whole day doing nothing would be justified. But it wasn't, just like so many days before it. I achieved nothing, but it was a shattering, soul destroying day... or life.
I learned the same lesson I always learn; hedge your bets.
Pursue work & pursue play.
Nothing more to say.