Saturday, 29 August 2009

Dear me, it's been too long a while.

Dear me, it's been too long a while.

And I really don't know where to start this time. I've been so busy recently my mind is just all fogged up. I don't know who else to put it than use that term which is a cliche in my eyes but in no one else's.

I just want to get noticed. I want the band to get noticed. At this moment, though, I feel an unusual sense of self-doubt.

I'm gonna start with the thing that's immediately obvious to me. Where are all the friends I had that used to be on MySpace. Mainly, on Facebook. They mainly apparently don't use MySpace anymore. But around the time I set up my own MySpace page for my music, I had people publicly commenting me and telling me how good I was. To be fair this new page for the band, Optical Cool, has only been around for a matter of hours. But still, we have no friends except for me, the usual MySpace bots and some bands which are famous enough to have people run them and add everyone anyway. I guess with these things you just have to be patient.

Even though I've been out alot lately, being in on a Saturday night just makes me feel uncomfortable. I love everything about going out. The people around, the sights, the sounds, the whole vibe, the getting drunk, and it really frustrates me when for some reason I can't have it. Here in a quiet part of Derbyshire, there's very little on my doorstep without driving out. Which I still can't. Well, I can, but my mum is still not sure about letting me. It's frustrating.

It's also annoying when you can't talk to certain people when you really need them.
It's also frustrating when you fear that something in life may have already gone wrong, and now there's no putting it right.

I'm trying to figure out where all the negative aspects of my personality came from. It's often said that there aren't that many but for some reason, I'm just never satisfied. I will always want to better myself. No matter how many friends I make, no matter how many people I go out with, no matter how much fitter I become physically.

Got lots of people in my phonebook, but also none. Know what I mean?

Well, I'm off to Cornwall tomorrow. Week's holiday. Hopefully that will be nice. Hopefully I can find some internet somewhere and I can keep in touch.

Should anyone actually read this, please check this out...

Monday, 27 July 2009

To spread those wings...

If you've been following my posts so far, you'll observe that for some reason, running inspires me to write when I get back. Or, at least, I'm just following a trend I started that magical night when Yudai caused me to discover the joy of running.

Yes, you read that right. I, me, the former total lazy layabout with a phobia of anything remotely physical, used the words "running" and "joy" in the very same sentence. And not even very far apart, it seems.

I was surprised by my own enthusiasm tonight. In the absence of any social goings-on this particular evening or any major tasks at hand, I just felt raring to get out there and spread my wings. If I could have met up with some people and gone out, I would have been up for a major night out. My mum almost, but not quite trusts me enough to take her car out for a spin, especially a long one which I was in the mood for. But, I did feel this kind of adventurous spark running through me, that I had to DO SOMETHING, something active, dynamic, and physical. That something was simply to get out there and run, and run, and run.
At some point in my life, quite recently I think, I must have experienced some massive turnaround to my former mentality regarding this particular sphere of life. Tonight I fully realised how amazing it is that I continue to change, grow and become ever fitter.

Next, I learn to fly.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Another run... another side.

Good evening, afternoon or indeed whatever time of day it happens to be when the person who is reading this is reading this. Hope all is well in your merry little lives.

Just been for another late evening run. It's just as calm and still out there as it was a few nights ago with Yudai, but obviously it was a different experience this time without someone by my side.
I may have touched on the following sentiments in my last entry, but I'm just feeling in the right mind to expand on them right now.
There's a side of this village which is just incredibly beautiful to me. At night, it's a different kind of beauty and something I personally find more deeply inspiring, awesome as it looks in the daytime as well. Just past the bus stop and the sweetshop, over the bridge and following the river down the little road of fairy tale cottages, heading towards the grounds of the Chatsworth estate.
Tonight, I paused by the brick wall of a lane in between a tall hedge and a big, grassy field overlooking the village emanating it's street-lit glow beneath the deepening black of night. As this little lane does, it brought some nice memories into focus, which in conjunction with the awesomeness of my surroundings complemented my musical reflections.
At some point on my way back home, I thought about parallel universes - universes which exist for every possible outcome of a decision (at least in fiction, but I like to imagine at least that there might be some truth to the idea), and I allowed myself to envisage alternate me's, as if to see how they were getting along.
Then, finally, I stopped again by the wooden gate of another big field closer to my actual house. I imagine meeting somebody for the first time... imagined a first kiss with somebody very special, somebody with real and uncertain qualities as far as I can tell. Somebody who has lost touch with me lately, and these days wondering where she may have got to is almost painful even if it is for the best. Still, I am sure this will work itself out at some point.
But that moment, that kiss... almost felt real, for some reason. Being out there at that time, feeling the gentle touch of the cool breeze, I could practically feel her kiss. It was kinda spooky.
Yeah, it feels weird to open about this kind of stuff on here, but so what. Chances are most people I know aren't reading it, and I'm a pretty open kinda guy! I just hope that whoever's reading this can take something from it.

'Til the next time.


Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Value of Friendship

Jim-eh feels happy!

And he is about to tell you for why. Even though he doesn't understand why people sometimes say that - "for" before why. What purpose does it serve?? Answers not on a postcard, but some kind of media format which is relevant in today's society. Actually, a postcard would be nice - quite romantic isn't it? Yeah, send me a postcard then. If you like.

So anyway, yes. You want to know why I'm happy, don't you?

What do you mean, you don't care?

So, what are you doing here then? You clicked onto this page - somehow - by total accident, and just happened to take a glimpse of this paragraph telling you off for not caring about my present frame of my mind?

In any case.

I've just been for a run, around my sleepy, quiet hometown. A very serene, peaceful place. The weather was very mild, and obviously being after dark it just seems even more quiet that usual. But I didn't just go on my own - as I have often taken a stroll around this calm, tranquil place, many a time, through the changing of many a season and as all the stages of my life have gone by.

I went with my good friend, Yudai.

And this evening, not only did I rediscover the beauty that rests right outside my door which I cannot even begin to describe here, and the awesomeness that is the area surrounding the Chatsworth estate to which we were lead on our path, but the importance and incredible value of true friendship.

There is absolutely nothing in this life like having a true friend by your side. It's one thing to be fortunate enough to live in this delightful world, but having people to share it with just takes it all to a whole other level of wonder.

I remember the moment this thought occurred to me. As we ran, we came across a little pathway leading towards the Chatsworth estate, over the bridge beyond the sweetshop, which I have not been down for quite sometime and has certain special memories attached to it. I don't quite know what set this feeling off, but I was suddenly very grateful for his friendship and I, like many others, am going to miss him when he goes back to Japan at the end of August.

I'm going to enjoy many more such evenings - most likely alone from now on, but in a way that's ok.

Tonight was special. I just wanted to capture this feeling now - recording it here, forever.

Monday, 6 July 2009

The Count of St. Anne's

Hey guys. Wassuuuuuuuuuup.

Yes, it has been rather a while, hasn't it? I guess it's mainly 'cos I do most of my ramblings in my own personal journal, but then somebody told recently that she finds them rather interesting and had been looking over my old blog, wanting more! So here I am, I 'spose. Don't worry, I do still write at least as much as I used to, just that nobody gets to see it anymore! Until now.
So, where do we start? By the way, I'm listening to Scott Mills again. He's so awesome!! One of the best shows on radio, fact! He currently has his assistant producer in a strait-jacket and filming her trying to escape. It's insane! (BBC Radio 1, 4-7pm, Weekdays)
I absolutely MUST talk about the new Dream Theater album. I listened to it the first time on the evening of the day it came out, and listened to it a couple of times since. I tell you, the BEST way to listen to an album is just to sit under the headphones and really immerse yourself in it. You can hear everything that way, and thats when you really appreciate the quality of mixing and production as well as the musicality of... well, music.
Anyway, Black Clouds and Silver Linings is the highly anticipated 10th studio album from Dream Theater. So highly anticipated by me it was that I had an absolute marathon in the weeks leading up to it listening to every album, watching every DVD and even going through all the official YTSEJam bootlegs. I still hadn't finished on the day of release so I literally had to spend almost the whole day reaching the end. But then, finally, at about 10.40pm that evening, I stuck the headphones on and clicked play. I was not disappointed. 
The tone of the album is just incredible. The way it start off just blew me away. The last album started by launching pretty much straight into the riffs, but this time the album begins the way an album full of epics really should. The first sound you hear is the sound of a distant storm, perfectly setting us up for the tone of the album, before JR comes in with this sparse, haunting piano melody which also has this incredibly dark and haunting tone. A Nightmare to Remember, the first track off the album is just incredibly epic. Very metal, very powerful, very melodic, very progressive, it's just got everything. The powerful chords right at the start when the band enters are just so overwhelmingly heavy, and I can quite understand what Jordan meant by the infamous "gothic" comment regarding the musical direction of the album. That evil choir sound really does it! The chorus of this song has the most epic chord sequence, it reminds me of some really dark stuff from Kingdom Hearts, stupid as that sounds. The Best of Times is a very sweet break from all the intensity and James really does a good job with the vocals on this one, especially so as it's such a personal subject to the lyricist, Mike Portnoy. However, arguably the highlight of the album is the Count of Tuscany. Just under 20 minutes, this has everything of an epic Dream Theater classic. The chorus is just as EPIC as Nightmare to Remember, with John Petrucci trapped and fearing for his life and wondering if he will ever see anyone ever again, you don't really get more epic than the subject of one's life flashing before their eyes.

YES!! IT'S RAINING OUTSIDE! I fucking LOVE the rain. It's just so awesome! It's so epic. By the way, I am aware how much I keep using the same words. I'm just that clever and funny.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, Count of Tuscany. Well, the subject of this song I found so inspiring I had a dream recently that followed a similar plot, and involving some very familiar people in my life. It was a little while ago now, but it involved somebody I work with, a very nice guy that does most of the cleaning at the school down the road where I've had my little work position for a number of years now. I dreamt that I was trapped in the school one night alone with him, and for whatever reason, he was trying to kill me. The bit I remember the most vividly is when he took a shot me, which missed, and I then ran into another door and locked myself inside a cubicle. Weirdly enough, in real life it would have been a toilet cubicle but in my dream it was a solid cubicle with a secure door that couldn't be broken down, and I hid in there for hours. I slept standing up, until I heard his voice calling after me, and I realised I couldn't hide away from him for ever. I opened the door and wrestled with him and threw him into the cubicle and locked him away, then I escaped from the school and quickly called the police. Later that day, I returned to work as usual, talking to my friends about what had happened, but then I was shocked to see him emerge from the staff room, with his usual cheery smile. It then became apparent that there was never any danger and that he would never try to hurt me, the whole thing was just in my head. I then started to cry as he consoled me, as I wailed about how scared I had been.
So, it follows the same basic outline as JP's story, and I found that so cool! I like when I have dreams like this, where interesting stuff happens and I can make connections with real life things. 
I saw this thing online, on JP's forum, where some guy had claimed that the Count was "too epic for the subject matter". This is his hilarious yet strangely accurate summation of the story:

"Come checkout my crib, homes" 
"WTF dude are u trying to kill me? i didn't want this to happen please let me go"  
"lol wut no this is how i live d00d" 
"oh ok lol mi bad"

When you think about it... yeah, that's pretty much the gist of it.

Oh great, has this fucked up my font?
I don't know how to change it back yet, soz.

I'll just finish it off like this. What else shall I talk about?
Ah, let's leave it for now. 'Til the next time. =)