Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Unofficial Dad

Been with the complete roster of housemates for a little under a week and i have already been blessed with the affectionate nickname of 'Dad.' This was probably assisted by the fact that I prepared dinner for one of them this evening and I just generally try and look out for each of them. Trekked down to Buffalo again for open mic night. One of my new housemates was performing so we all went along to show out support and listen to his jams and he did a damn good job too. Looking forward to many more sets throughout the year at Buffalo now.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Batman and Burgers

We decided to make home-made burger this evening as a house. This notion got me tremendously excited as I love making burgers my own and I've always wanted to create one from scratch. We really gave it our all as well and went all out on ingredients - beef, chicken, bacon - you name it, we had it. I was quite shocked when my housemate rolled out the burger meat not into typical paddies, but rather into tennis ball sized blobs. They took ages to cook but were totally worth it for the flavour.

After chowing down on possibly the biggest burger of my eating career we settled into watching some Batman films. But not the live action kind, but rather the animated sort. Since one of my housemates is doing his dissertation on masculinity and Batman we figured it would be suitable to fill our evening with a bit of the Bat. Honestly, I was very surprised with how decent these films were in terms of exploring the character, even within the confines of a children's animation.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Front Garden Chill

I occasionally enjoy quiet moment halfway through the day. My housemates and I spontaneously sat out in the front garden this morning as we each enjoyed a cup of coffee and greeted the neighbours. This went on for a bit before I mucked in for a full house tidy just because I was running out of things to do today. I had to kill a bit of time until I could head over to Rebecca's house to enjoy a very tasty roast dinner which rounded off my weekend very nicely.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

JUMP at Freshers

Saw a portion of the morning that I don't often see today. I was rising early to help out with JUMP TV's stand for Freshers Fair. I was designated as the sound supervisor, but I also put in a little bit of input for the edit. We basically recorded and edited together a short show for everyone while encouraging people to sign up and join the team. The actual video we made can be found right here - I apologise in advance for how quiet it all sounds, but sadly we could not work audio miricles in such a loud space.

There is also a few fun videos on the JUMP TV channel which are certainly worth looking up. So all in all, we had a very successful day. I even got some free tat during the fair, the trophy of this year was clearly my new piggybank which is a spot on size for holding all my loose change.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Back 2 Uni

First day back at uni today after the long Summer. Work load was dumped onto us from the moment we stepped in, deadlines and tutoring sessions rained down upon us and I felt strangely ok with all of it. We are going to be busy, but I think it's the good kind of busy - I'll feel active and hopefully more organised this year.

Had a nice little evening in with everyone. A few coursemates came over for a bit of chilling and we ambushed them with our nerf guns. Rebecca even came down after her last stint in London, she finally got a chance to see our house in full swing with all my housemates and she couldn't stop laughing along with all of us.   

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Huge Recovery Day

Committed to going out into Bournemouth town yesterday evening and ended up getting home a lot later than expected. Treated today as a rest period on account of all the dancing I did in the club - I honestly surprised myself with how much I enjoyed myself, I guess I was just really glad to be back among my course mates.

Surviving a lengthy evening was worth it though for one photo that someone took at the pre drinks. Now that everyone has moved into the house we got a lovely group photo of all of us on a mini Polaroid. I currently keep the picture in my wallet so I can look at it and smile.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Back to Buff

Late one last night = a slightly off-kilter sleeping pattern. Woke up a lot later this morning and basically secluded myself in my room for the vast majority of today. That said, I did go for a very nice jog with one of my housemates and my running pal from last year. We are once again slowly trying to get back into the swing of running and build up our skills.

Ha d a very nostalgic evening too as we visited my old haunt in first year: Buffalo Bar for a really excellent night out. Open mic night was pounding, everyone was seriously on top form and just a joy to listen too. The crowd I went with even got up on stage at one point and joined the infamous Dr jazz for a performance. We will certainly be heading back there a few more times over the course of the year.

Alex enters the House

More people coming into the house. Hit the big number 4 with Alex this morning and his presence has injected a crazy amount of life into the house. So far we have introduced ourselves to the neighbours and some other house across the road. We also had a short nerf war early in the afternoon and now were are having an impromptu jam session in the living room with a couple of beers. Alex even came up to me and said how much he was looking forward to this year. As he walked away I smiled and nodded to myself, from this evening on, I know that we are destined for some kind of greatness, this will certainly be a year to remember.

Monday, 21 September 2015

3 In the House

Think we established the fact that I am certainly the early bird of the house this year. There's me creeping around making breakfast and watching telly on lowest possible volume until midday when Simon eventually strolls downstairs. We once again sat and watched the rugby, which I am slowly getting more and more into. Another housemate joined us in the evening, 3 currently occupy the house and we are getting on very well - even more effortlessly than I expected.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Housemates are Flocking

First batch of housemates have moved in. The first dashed in early this morning with his folks, I had a very nice chat with all of them while I helped them move stuff in. Just as the final sock was packed away, he had to dash off for a Birthday party in Devon so for just a little longer, I was home alone. Then came another housemate whom I spent the rest of the day and evening with. I rustled up some dinner for the both of us while we watched the Rugby, and by golly what a good match.

Very much looking forward to seeing what living in a full house is going to be like now.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Last Day at mambo

Finished up my last day at mambo Media today with a nice little ribbon on top. We complete our list of actors and extras necessary for filming and I even sent emails out to everybody to let them know if they were successful applicants or not. I was then given a beer from their mini fridge at about 2pm since 'It's a Friday,' tasted like magic. We were all then told that we could go home 30 minutes early, this was a big treat for me since I could actually catch the bus at a half-decent time for once, no more half an hour stints of bus stop pondering for me.

Hope I made an impression with them along the way as they were a nice little team to be working with. I was told a few times today how much they appreciated my hard work and that really made me feel like an important piece of the effort. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Smashing Work Experience

Getting deeolper into the swing of things at work. Just about bagged the actors and extras that we want so I'll be on prop buying duties tomorrow. I think I'm becoming well valued there too which is really nice. As I left today the boss said 'bit sad that tomorrow is your last day, we could really do with you for a few more weeks.' I walked home with a smile on my face thanks to that comment.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Actors and Extras

Work actually went quite well today as I felt like a real production assistant. My primary task again was finding bearded men, of which I found 2 possible options, and then some extras to pad out the scene, I found 18 people who were interested in that job. So far so good there. I was sending off emails and drinking coffee like a boss and I get to do it all again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Hunt for Bearded Men

Dived into a the faintly unfamiliar realm of casting and actor searching. At my work experience we are looking for a bearded gentleman with a fun personality. This was a search which I underestimated in difficulty as I've put out an ad for a 'bearded male' on a cluster of casting websites and got about 100 applicants. Result there, but only 20% of them actually had beards in their provided headshot. The hunt continues tomorrow though.

I finally got to put my well spent youth to good use today and helped brainstorm a potential web-browser computer game for Mark and Wildseed Studios. I took a conference call with them and gave my two cents on what the game should be like and ultimately got a little bit carried away with myself and created a mini treatment for a potential idea. Enjoyed myself though and with a little luck, they should take some of the ideas on-board.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Early Morning Pilgrimage

If you love hearing delicious tales about when the world beats me down because I am stubborn then you will love this.

Started my work experience today, its in a little office situated in Poole, the next big town over from where I am. Rebecca and I did a little bit of research into transport and generally how I would get there. Bikes and buses were both the popular options, buses were a bit more complicated as the slightly cheaper route was also double the length and required a change so I figured cycling into work would be hip and trendy.

Wake up this morning and already cycling is slowly becoming less and less attractive on account of the bad weather. I continued getting myself ready for the day and fortunately the rain subsided so I made a dash for the bike that Dad left behind. It was one of those bikes with very thin wheels on it, I tried to give it a spin on the patio and I couldn't actually stay upright on it; I might as well have been riding a unicycle.

With cycling out of the picture I thought that I had probably missed the quick hourly bus and all the others would take too long. I bit the bullet and decided to walk in. Google maps said it would take about 75 minutes to walk it which I felt strangely optimistic about considering it was 10 to 8 in the morning. I had my music in and I was navigating my way to a strange new land, it felt kinda cool so i didn't mind walking the first little bit. Then the rain came. And the rain came hard. And I kid you not, this song came on. (listen along to achieve empathy for my situation; it didn't help my mood)

Being the genius I am, I also thought the skies had cleared up enough to warrant me not bringing an umbrella before I left home so naturally I got soaked. The rain hit 'downpour' status just as I reached a critical turning point for my journey. Google maps was pointing me in a very odd looking direction - into what looked like the countryside, I couldn't look at my phone for extended periods because I feared that the rain would damage it so I cut myself a new path in the midst of some very heavy rain. I was flying blind here, with no sense of direction, I had a gist of roughly where I needed to go but it wasn't good enough. 10 minutes of wandering made me feel desperate, I couldn't afford to be late to my first day in a new job and I was already cutting it very fine for time. I nipped under some trees and checked my phone again which had recalculated and pointed me back on track. The rain was still awful at this point but I kept on slogging it.

I was in a foul mood at this point, I was pretty miffed at myself for wasting time with a 'I know better than GPS home-made shortcut' and I was kicking myself for not bringing a brolly. Google maps then took me right back to the turning I had previously sneered just to really rub in how poor all my decisions had been that morning. I put all my faith in it from that point on and did get to my work bang on time thanks in part to some power-walking.

The work experience itself was pretty cool. I was first making a chart of eye expressions within animation as a point of reference for a television advert they are making (I'm not allowed to say which one yet!) I also helped with a very rough edit job and even put out a few casting calls for actors within the local area like a real production assistant. In fact, we already heard back from a few applicants so I must be doing something right.

I got the bus home. Learnt my lesson. I'll be getting the bus tomorrow morning to save myself the pain of the early morning pilgrimage.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Moving back down to B Town

All things considered, today was a mostly successful move-in day. Rebecca helped me pack in the morning which was good as 'teamwork makes the dreamwork.' After we arrived in Bournemouth though, two little problems cropped up. Firstly, I forgot my mouse and keyboard - I had to make an emergency trip to Argos to get a replacement. And secondly, the chest of drawers that Mum wanted to construct took a lot longer than we expected to put up.

Despite these hiccups, I just about made it in time to Chris' birthday meal/celebration at Wagamama followed. He was genuinely speechless when we showed him his flying lessons ticket so I hope he really enjoys that.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Beer Festival 2015

Tucked into the 2015 beer festival with my close group of friends. We all sampled the very finest of what was on offer, including a really excellent hog roast - you can put that in a list of food you have to eat before you die. We came back to play games like the good old days and it all started to feel more and more like I was at home again, ironically I am moving out tomorrow to head back to Bournemouth. I've packed a majority of my stuff, just the last little big bits to go now and then it's bye-bye Newbury.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Sour Beer?!

Did a pseudo recce for the beer festival later on in the evening as the same people were hosting an event called 'Cider Friday.' Everything was in place for big festival tomorrow but here we just got to drink a few quiet beers with very small group of people which was an all round pleasant experience. Minus one beer. Apparently it's a done thing to brew something called 'sour beer' which sounds every bit as uninviting as its name. Louis, Dad and I all sampled a peach flavoured sour beer and all I can say is run for the hills when someone offers you a glass of it.    

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Happy Birthday to Me! 2015!

You know you are doing well when your international friends are wishing you a happy Birthday before you English friends. I woke up to a flurry of well wishes from across the pond thanks to the fact they are one hour ahead of us. Reading their messages really got me in the mood for a nice day so I headed downstairs to say good morning to my folks before they headed off to work. I opened my cards and my presents then too: I got a great new pair of jeans after wearing out a bad hole in the old ones. A smaller runners pouch for my any less demanding roles which I can actually run with. A very swish travel mug which I will get a lot of use from in the next term of uni. Same goes for Pokemon and The Witcher 3, both massive open world games that I can really sink my teeth into.

The day itself was mega-chill, Louis and I just kinda gamed and laughed for a few hours until Dan, and later Jamie showed up to play some games and generally wish me a good Birthday. I'll be seeing them again for the beer festival in a few days time as well along with the other usual suspects, so in my mind, the party is still incoming.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Homeless Look

Rather unintentionally rocked a 'homeless look' today. Now that its gotten a bit colder I've been wearing my fuzzy hoodie and thermal socks and grew a lazy beard - not a legit beard by any means but just beyond the point of stubble where it starts looking gross and nasty. Louis came back home from holiday, took one look at me and said 'Boy, you look like crap.' I had to agree with him after looking in the mirror.

But who has time for beautifying yourself when you can be watching Iron Man 3? Based on Jamie's recommendation I have now seen all the Iron Man films, if only to get him off my back about it. I must say though, the third film is probably the best of the bunch as it took clear inspiration from The Avengers and took steps to up the comedy and action element. Both of which were long overdue improvements but they really benefited the film since the characters have been well established. While the villain and his motives were still undercooked, I'm always happy to see Guy Pearce on my screen. The ending was actually quite satisfying as well with everything wrapped up in a neat bow. So ultimately I was glad I check out this Marvel trilogy, just wished that 2 was a lot better

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Window and Work

Being a stay at home kinda guy has it's perks. Typically I can wait around for the mail, Louis often has big Amazon parcels to collect but today we had someone come and sort out a window in the garage. So I waited for him in the kitchen and got a fair bit of work done on my laptop. I finished up a short article for Never Media, a review for Hitman Go which I'll pop here once it's been properly published. Otherwise I have been admittedly moping around a bit today. Summer is winding down and I'm slowly anticipating the start of the final year at uni - gotta think about what to pack.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Dan's the Man

Had a extremely nice catch up day with Daniel this afternoon. We got through a lot of Smash Brothers along with a plethora of other multiplayer games and just kinda spent away the hours sparring or co-operating with one another. The coolest thing about hanging around with Dan (especially so if Louis is around too) is that it makes me feel young again. Granted I'm not too old anyways but there is a real nostalgic quality to spending an afternoon chilling an gaming with Dan.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Revealed: Mystery Trip to London

Yesterday morning I was whisked onto a coach to London and taken on a small tour of the city with Rebecca as my guide. In the evening we headed to a mystery location for my Birthday treat as she couldn't be with me on the special day and this was the best day for the both of us. I had no idea where we were going too whatsoever as I had never really been to the part of the city that the Tube took us too. Her face was beaming as she tried to keep the surprise a surprise during my external train of thought. I threw out all these guesses and she swatted most of them down, but it all became clearer as we approached a brewery. Good thoughts were flashing through my head. And then We saw this:

It transpired that Rebecca had planned for us to watch The Terminator at an outdoor showing. Her smile was infectious when she told me about how she kept it a secret for so long. I was just really excited to see the film again in an outdoor venue.

A complimentary pint of beer was included in the ticket price (amazing) Rebecca went on the beer run and came back with a glass for each of us and she had a rather noticeable wet patch on her. 'The bartender managed to spill a lot a beer on me so as his way of saying sorry, I can go up and get another beer free of charge whenever' So I had two free beers with my movie at the expense of having a slightly damp girlfriend, I certainly came out on top of this deal. We slouched back on the rug we bought with us and it got pretty real when we saw this:

It was pretty hype.

Watching the film was great thanks to the big screen which really made every action feel gigantic. I'd never seen the film on such scale before and it almost made me feel like I was watching it for the first time again. I felt very lucky to be there as it really was an excellent Birthday treat. Outdoor cinemas are just a really cool thing to do as it turns out, definitely want to try and do a few more of them now.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Mystery Trip to London

Spent a good portion of the day writing up a very abridged set of instructions for my sound kit as I'll be loaning it out to some people who want to make a short film. In hindsight, I possibly included too much information, but I put in a few photos so that should soften the blow. It's mostly so they don't knock out any settings I like to keep on my main unit but they should be putting it to good use. Apparently there is quite a big cash prize if their short film wins and I may be privvy to some of that dough if they win. 

Taking a coach up to London once more to see Rebecca tomorrow as she has a apparently prepared a birthday surprise of sorts. I still have no clue what she is planning but she always sounds very excited whenever she is discussing it - at this point I'm a wee bit scared but also pretty dang curious about what she could have cooked up.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

It is Finally Working

I decided to give my graphics card one final stab and enlisted Tom Todd to help me out and update my BIOS. I read on a forum that someone was having a similar issue to me and updating his internal software resolved it. Well, Tom was only round for 7 minutes and we plugged in my graphics card, the one that has been giving me insurmountable grief for the past month and it worked! Been spending the rest of the afternoon just replaying a lot of my games with the settings cranked right up to get the most out of them and it really is a sight to behold. Bioshock Infinite especially looks incredible thanks to its blend of art direction and graphical prowess. So glad that its all sorted now and I can just sit back and enjoy my games on a new system.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Fajita Fail

I would call Iron Man 2 a disappointing sequel. I thought the first film had some slight pacing issues and had some very intermittent action scenes, I can forgive the first film somewhat because it did need to set up the scene and the character. Now with the second installment I was ready to jump into some old fashioned action but it never really came. In fact, barely anything interesting truly happens with the characters until about 3/4 of the way through, but at that point the damage had already been done. The villian was about as menacing and shallow as a puddle - Mickey Rourke was a good casting choice but his writing and development really made him a missed opportunity. A good sequel should build on the foundations and aim to be a successor, Iron Man 2 felt like a placeholder.

Thought I would do my darnedest and cook Rebecca and her housemate a very original student meal of chicken fajitas. Seeing at it was the first time using the hob and any of utensils in their house I was bound to make some mistakes. First being the classic smoke detector going off since I overheated the oil in the pan - lesson learnt there. The second being using a pan way too small to fit in all the ingredients, I do love a challenge though and I tend to get quite stubborn when I want to see something through to the end, half-cooked onions be damned. Rebecca intervened and helped me scoop the mix into a deeper pan and we all had a good laugh at my expense.     

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Top of my Finger

Felt like I accomplished a days worth in about 2 hours this morning. Woke up to say my goodbyes to Rebecca as she toddled off to work. Was about to hop into the shower so I bought my washbag along, reach in to grab my shampoo and my finger was greeted with a very odd sensation which kind of tickled at first but quickly turned into pain as I realised what I had done. I blindly went and grabbed my razor blade-first. Blood begun pouring out of a sizable dimple on my fingeras I looked woefully at the part that left me, still attached the the razor-blade. And its blooming tough trying to shower with only one hand whle keeping the other a mile away from hot water and/or soap. To top it all off, I couldn't get Rebecca's shower to play ball. It was the kind of shower scenario that I only thought existed in stand-up comedy. Fine tuning the temperature dial like a radio didn't help either as bare millimeters to the right or left meant the difference between Arctic tundra or blazing inferno.

After a very eventful shower I did my duty as a temporary 'stay at home boyfriend' and went into town to exchange a lightbulb, we bought the wrong size basically. Ingredients for dinner this evening were also bought as I attempted to follow in Lucy's footsteps and make her infamous salmon parcels with pesto. When it came to cooking them I actually pulled it off with only a fraction of burnt pastry. Happy tummies all round otherwise though.