New Opportunities Available with Good Morning Bedtime Story

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen. I hope your New Years Celebrations were great. Sorry that I have been incognito for the past few weeks. On that note, I thought I would kick the New Year off by discussing opportunities with an online company I am associated with.

Good Morning Bedtime Story, an international online organization dedicated to building an awareness of mental health through writing, poetry, art and music has a number of new prospects that are coming alive in 2014.

The first is the announcement of a forum, where people will be able to discuss issues they are having whilst dealing with their mental illness, talk about their survival stories and offer advice to others who are suffering. We hope it will become an area of the internet where those suffering depression, bipolar, schizophrenia or any other form of mental illness will be able to congregate and safely discuss their lives, challenges and feelings.

Additionally on the forum, emerging artists will be able to showcase aspects of their artistic creations and acquire feedback in order to help become published. This will assist artists with becoming creative contributors in Good Morning Bedtime Story (GMBS) anthologies.

To help manage the forum, GMBS will require moderators to look at the conversations taking place to ensure that none begin to show racism, hatred, derogatory comments or excessive violence.

Moreover, GMBS still has a number of openings available for volunteers. Jobs will include updating social media pages; posting calls for submissions to anthologies; marketing any new ventures the organization is undertaking, and creating ideas to advantageously benefit the organizational cause.

GMBS is always open for online submissions, which will be posted on the website. Volunteers too are able to contribute with submissions, and those who volunteer their services have the opportunity to receive a recommendation for their resume.

If anyone is interested in becoming involved with GMBS, you can e-mail them at: gmbssubmissions@gmail.com

In the e-mail, explain why mental health matters to you, what ideas you have to help further promote the organization, and also outline whether you are interested in working as a forum moderator. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

If you ever want to submit work to GMBS, you may submit poetry, writing (both fictional and memoir), music and images relating to mental health to: gmbssubmissions@gmail.com

You are able to post under a pseudonym if you wish, and all published work remains copyright of the original creators. Be sure to include the word ‘submission’ in the title of the e-mail.

Thank you for reading and I hope you consider submitting work and contributing to the organization.

Have a great day. I wish all of you health and happiness in 2014. Cheers!

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Universum Student Test

Hey guys!

I don’t often advertise on this particular blog, but this is important.

Universum, a major company which works alongside organisations from around the world has recently unveiled their annual survey for university students to undertake. By completing the ‘Wet Feet Career Test’, students, who are uncertain of their future career paths, will be able to know their career profile and discover which jobs are right for them.

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In my spare time I am working as a Student Ambassador for the Australian survey. I believe this is an important endeavor because in the coming year, many university students may not be able to find themselves a job. Making the right career choice can be one of the hardest decisions, and this survey will assist students in finding the career that is right for them.

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For university students in Australia, the survey can be undertaken here: http://unisurv.co/1010auss14

I wish you the best of luck.

Recently signed the petition to stop the unjustified killing of Montana’s wolves

Ladies and Gentleman,

 

I know, it has been a little while since I last posted, and I apologise for my inconsistency, however, recently I discovered something that simply ought to be shared because of its monumental significance.

Recently I signed the petition to help save the wolves in Montana from being unjustifiably slaughtered to extinction.

Now, yes, I live in Australia, so what right do I have to have a beef with something that is occurring in another country that I have no ties with?

I would answer that question with another. What right do we as people have to sanction the genocide of an entire species?

I understand that every day several species go extinct and maybe it has become justifiable in human culture to simply watch as animals on Earth are extinguished. But to stand by and do nothing, even when we know that something cruel and inhumane is occurring, is that not criminal? Ethically and morally, if not for any other reason?

Maybe signing the petition will do very little; but it’s a start though – and if doing the right thing is no longer worth anything, then what is the point to being alive?

I personally would like to live in a world where humans are not the only animals walking the planet. What about you guys?

I signed the petition at this particular address:

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-unjustified-killing-and-hunting-of-montana-s-wolves-use-science?share_id=LejopZyzQv&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

If you believe as I do that this is an important cause, please feel free to sign this petition.

Thank you for reading guys!

Have a great weekend!

If you are broke, do you have the right to ask someone out on a date?

In the past on this blog I have asked two questions regarding relationships, including ‘do guys date women who remind them of their mothers’ after reading an article on the subject and feeling a little queasy at the thought, to asking ‘do women date guys who wear glasses’, which was more of a rhetorical question, but I was glad for the feedback generated by it.

Today I am asking another question, and as suggested by the title, it is as follows: if you are broke, or are not economically comfortable, do you have the right to ask someone out?

Over the course of this post I am going to be talking about a man asking a woman out, however, the same argument can be made for anyone of any gender in any relationship.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m broke, don’t get me wrong. Of course, I wouldn’t openly admit to such an embarrassing notion even if I was. At the moment I have the money to sustain myself and acquire the necessities (food, etc) and can acquire entertainment on an occasional basis, however, if I were in a relationship, I have no evidential proof of how long I would be able to afford to go out with a woman before I inevitably ran out of money to date her, let alone support my own existence.

I think it is an obvious connotation, that if a guy asks a woman out, then he is expected to pay for, well, a lot, and I will not argue against this assumption. If you are asking someone out, you are asking for their time and their commitment and so you should fork out the money to enjoy their company. You are asking them to accompany you to places and to spend time with your friends. If you were not a part of their life they would be spending their time doing other things, and so, if you ask me, the man should put up most, if not all the money for the time that he is lucky to be spending with a living, breathing human being that they like.

However, if you do not have the money to accommodate for this, then I am unsure whether the man has the right to even ask the woman that he fancies out. I believe it would be plain rude for a man to ask for a woman to spend her time with him, only to say after a decent night’s meal at a fancy restaurant ‘oh, I don’t think I can entirely afford this, do you mind paying for half the bill?’
A woman may have agreed to go out with the man, but I cannot imagine her ever agreeing to pay for the meal that the man wanted her to have with him, nor would I even want her to. Maybe I’m strange, but I feel a man would have quite the nerve to ever do that to a woman. I’m not saying a woman could not afford it, not at all; I’m saying that she probaly would not have attended this restaurant if the man had not asked her there, so why ask this certain lady to put her hard earned cash into the equation when it was the man who asked her to be there in the first place?

Adjunctively, what if a woman left her former partner to have a relationship with a man who had recently captivated her attention, only to discover that he was not as economically stable as the partner she recently left? Would she not feel horribly cheated?

The reason I am asking these questions right now is as follows – if a man does not believe he can afford to take a woman out for the period of longevity that he would like the relationship to last, should he simply not bother to ask a woman out at all?
This may seem like an easy decision to make when written on paper, or in this case, a blog, but I would argue against that therom.

I believe that as soon as we humans in general agree to have a romantic relationship with another person, that we give up the ignorance we were originally born with, that ‘ignorance’ being our unknowing of how it feels to be in love. The moment we welcome someone into our heart, I believe that we become accustomed to that feeling, and thus, cannot live without it. I’m not saying that dating is like oxygen, and is thus a mandatory part of life, but I am arguing that if that first person we date were to leave us, it leaves a hole, and every time anyone leaves from that moment on, the hole returns.
Before dating we had no idea of the pain felt when someone leaves. We also had no idea of the loneliness felt when we do not have a paramour in our lives. True, if a person has friends and family they are not essentially ‘alone’ per se, but there is a difference between the hole left from not having family, and the hole left from not having a love interest.

I can’t really believe I am going to admit to this (however I will because it will strengthen my argument), but I myself have not been in a relationship for over a couple of years, and I can assure you dear reader if you do not already know, that what I noted in the previous paragraph is true, at least for me. Although I have friends and family, they cannot fill the hole that is now meant for a paramour, and it does become quite brutal every so often when I realise how many a night is the same – dinner for one, dessert for one, wine for twelve (maybe I’m kidding about the wine, or am I?).
It would just be nice to have someone in my life that I could love because, well, isn’t it nice to love someone and to be loved back? I’m sure there is not a single person out there who will disagree.

Now, unless I’m destined to spend the rest of my existence alone, and I would hate for that to come to fruition, I would like to think there is still hope for me, which comes all the way back to my original question – do I have the right to ask a woman I like out if I cannot fathom I will be able to always afford the ability to take her out?
Of course, there is more to dating than going to fancy restaurants, clubs and theaters, and I am sure continuously having a woman over at my place for dinner, or cooking at hers; or making every date night a movie night, will inevitably become quite boring.
Besides, if you like someone, there is the expectation that one must shower them with gifts every so often. The argument ‘I will always love you’ in my opinion has not been enough for some time, and unless you can show a woman your affection through jewellery, clothes and other like accessories, I do not think that the four letter word in the three word sentence will always remain believable.

On this note, image is just as important as affection, which is often where economics comes into this, for money does pertain to a person’s lifestyle. Now, I am not an expert on women (who is?), but I think it is a fact (and if it’s not then I beg the forgiveness of every woman on the planet) that women like men who are: good looking, older than they are, mature, confident, economically comfortable and suitable to the lifestyle the woman enjoys, have their own place of accommodation (basically, they are not a kipper and still sleep over at mum’s house when they are nearly thirty years of age), own a car of their own (and can drive it, although I think ownership usually implies driving capability), are in a professional occupation, and on top of that, have the ability to keep a job for a period of longevity.

Although I can admit to having some of these qualities, I would be lying if I did not openly admit that all of these do not necessarily describe the man I am today. Again, this leads to the question, do I have the right to ask a woman out if I am not economically stable?

Additionally, does a man have the right to ask a woman out if he is still in is twenties and lives with his parents?
Does a man have the right to ask a woman out if he does not own a car?
Does a man have the right to ask a woman out if he is not incredibly popular and really good looking?

I’m not saying those three above questions pertain to me, but they do fall into the same category as the primary question that I had begun this post with. I think I am getting ahead of myself here, but I do believe all of these questions can be asked.

Now, perhaps these ideologies are simply those generated by a mind that is lacking confidence in the area of dating? Maybe so, but the fact remains the same that money is unequivocally an important factor in a relationship. According to research statistics recovered online, it costs between 2-4 thousand dollars a year to maintain a stereotypical relationship, and if one does not believe they can afford this kind of money, should he attempt to orchestrate a relationship with a woman in the first place?

I realise I keep asking the same question time and time again, and that will be the last time I do so.
This here is just my opinion. Any other opinions on the subject will be very welcome in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading, and I bid all of you a good day.

Getting slapped in the face by the many pages of thy many books

Recently, the beautiful PM wrote an interesting post on a meme concerning books, and after inviting me to partake in a post of my own, well, who am I to say ‘no’? PM’s interesting little nugget can be found here peeps…http://prinsesamusang.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/walking-through-the-cemetery-of-my-not-so-forgotten-books/

So, without further ado, time to answer some questions it would seem…

Author you’ve read the most books from: Andrew Daddo, JK Rowling, John Whitman, John Saul, William Shakespeare (although technically these were plays and poetry collections rather than actual books)

Best Sequel Ever: I’ll probably steal PM’s answer and say one of the Harry Potter texts – The Goblet of Fire no doubt.

Currently Reading: Floundering, Romy Ash

Drink of choice while reading – I normally don’t drink from fear of spilling it, but if I had to say, either coffee, water or wine

E-reader or physical book: I’m an old dinosaur (not really) and will always go with the physical version. I have tried e-readers and I have never truly adapted to them. I like to feel an actual text – the moving of the pages as I turn them over – being able to close the text and open it again, as though I am temporarily locking the characters up to reveal them again and give them life at a later date.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school – Difficult to say, but I will note this, when I was younger and was reading Animorphs, I had a thing for Cassie. Since high school, my taste in women has not changed much, and although I can think of many intelligent women from books, I also have a thing for women with tattoos and piercings, and none of them spring to mind when remembering any books…

Glad you gave this book a chance – the Book of Lies by James Moloney. My mother bought this for me in high school because when I was  a lot younger I used to tell lots of lies and she said she saw this book and immediately thought of me. Glad she did, because this was a really interesting fantasy adventure!

Hidden gem book:  Perhaps Andrew Daddo’s Dacked – his short story collections were so relatable when I was a teenager from the voice of the character to the life experiences, and although they were meant to be funny, I never really laughed that much, but I was certainly entertained, and it was because of this man’s short stories that I began to write a few of my own.

Important Moment in your reading life – perhaps the above mentioned book, because, like I said, this assisted me in taking my own writing endeavors more seriously.

Just finished – Foster, Claire Keegan

Kind of books you won’t read – I once began 50 Shades of Grey for an assignment at university. I was at least 15 pages into it before I slammed my face into my desk in an attempt to end my horrific torment. Since then, I can officially say, that erotic romance is not my thing, and neither is romance in general – unless its poetry – I just darn well love me some romantuic poetry.

Longest book you read – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix certainly felt that way the first time I read it. Then when I went back to it later I thought ‘eh, you ain’t that big!’

Major book hangover because of:  perhaps Terrible Times by Eddie Dickens. This was in I do believe 2003 mind you, but when I started reading this, I simply could not stop!

Number of bookcases you own – 2, both the same height as I, and I am one tall drink of water!

Book you have read multiple times – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, sometimes called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, depending on what country you live in.

Preferred place to read – my couch and my floor – I like being all spread out, funnily enough I have never truly become accustomed to reading in bed though…

Quote that inspires you – Yeah, don’t have one, sorry guys! No, scratch that, I do! ‘so long as men can breathe or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee.’ William Shakespeare wrote this in his fifteenth sonnet ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ which emphasises immortalising a beautiful young woman forever in the art of writing, and to this day I have kept this in mind – when writing about someone I love, my goal is to immortalise them inside a textual piece for all of time so other people may love her too!

Reading Regret – can’t remember the title, it was an Australian book about a football player who was hired by a PR company for an ad that went terribly wrong and his career ended up on the line. It was supposed to be hilarious, and although there were a couple of laughs at the start, most of the book left me shaking my head in disbelief – me and football never did become very well acquainted anyway. Technically that’s not entirely true – during a game at primary school, the soccer ball was kicked by the goal keeper and landed right on top of my head. Not funny!
Additionally, and no offence to the man’s memory, but John Forbes and his Collected Poems – eh, sheesh! Not going to read you again my friend!

Series you started and need to finish – don’t have one yet…

Three of your all time favourite books – Dacked by Andrew Daddo, probably a Harry Potter book and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I have never been too good at valuing which is my all time favorite books because I often find them to be equal if I enjoyed them.

Unapologetic Fanboy of:  William Shakespeare, John Donne, Andrew Marvell, Tara Mokhtari

Very excited for the release more of – I have been thinking of George R.R Martin and his fantasy series since I am a major fan of the TV show Game of Thrones, and if I start his book collection, I will have to see it through…

Worst book habit – if someone borrows my books and they do anything, I mean anything to them – break the spine, curl a corner of the page, spill something on it – then that person had better run, else my wrath will reign down upon them – basically, my worst book habit is that I am a book Nazi – do not hurt my books or I will hurt you!

X marks the spot (start from the top left of a bookshelf and go along to the 27th book what is it?) Looks like our winner is Muddle Earth from Paul Stewart and Chris Riddle

Latest Book Purchase – it was, funnily enough, a reader for one of my university subjects called Text Time and Space – truly a riveting read (by the way I am being sarcastic)

ZZZ -snatcher book (last book that kept you up all hours of the night) Hasn’t happened in a while, but it might have been Stephen King’s Misery, but this was a few years ago. I try to do my reading during the day as to not be consumed by it come nightfall. I have some kind of insomnia (don’t ask me which, I ain’t no doctor) and if my mind is too active when I go to bed, that sure ain’t going to help matters either.

Well, thank you to PM for telling me about this meme. Quite a fun exercise ma’am!

Derek Childs parades through the streets, searching for a darn good book

15bzx2Title: Puppet Parade
Author: Zeinab Alayann
(
http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/)
Genre: Fantasy,
Young Adult/Tween Fiction

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4

Summary: An entertaining magical
adventure that is both satisfyingly
unique and character driven with
moments of emotional greatness,
intellect and excitement.

Perhaps I’m being presumptuous, but every child believes they can make a wish and have it come to fruition. The sad truth is that such can never be. Author Zeinab Alayan however intelligently uses this as the initial force to cause her text to vibrantly come to life.

Sophie, a young woman who has been locked up inside her own room since she was very young (think Hitler’s Daughter by Jackie French), wishes upon a falling star to be released. All her life, Sophie has been told that a sickness which engulfed her body turned her hideously ugly and over the course of the text she is often found wearing a mask to shield the world from looking upon her supposedly wretched face. Ms. Alayan does such an efficacious job at articulating this particular part of Sophie’s character that the readership is unable to imagine Sophie has anything but an internally beautiful young woman. At worse, Sophie does seem to represent characteristics that could make her appear like a prima donna, but she is so genuinely sweet, intelligent, thoughtful, kind and courageous that you cannot help but greatly enjoy her character for the amazing young woman that she is.

Adjunctively, Sophie’s want to not let anyone see her face seems reminiscent of the character Tali Zurah from the Mass Effect Franchise. Tali was a Quarian, a member of a race who were forced to wear suits and masks due to the lacking properties of their immune systems, without which would cause inevitable and almost instant death. Tali was a highly intelligent, resourceful and well trained operative who was also unbelievably sweet, kind and very charming and Sophie’s attitude, not to mention her mask, seem reflective of this completely.

On another note, at the beginning, it is difficult to discern Sophie’s age. For this particular reader, I only realised how old she was not long after she formed a friendship with Oliver, the other protagonist in the story. At this point, before Sophie’s age was unveiled to me, to say that the relationship between Oliver, who had been described as a young man in his early twenties and Sophie, who I believed was younger than she was eventually revealed to be, seemed a little odd.

At the same time, Oliver, a puppet master who creates his own wooden creations wishes for his inanimate objects to be bestowed with life upon noticing the same falling star that Sophie wishes on. One thing I would note however is that Oliver’s voice does not always seem entirely masculine. His character has a very gentle demeanour, along with a formalised attitude that does not always seem to fit the stereotypical male.

Both Sophie and Oliver’s dreams shortly after come true, which inevitably cause them to stumble upon one another that same night after Oliver’s puppets, now very much alive, decide to flee to experience the great wide world. Oliver’s quest to reacquire his escaped puppets is the driving force of the story, with Sophie quickly deciding to join in on the adventure.

The banter between the characters is incredibly entertaining, with Sophie and Oliver’s friendship being reminiscent of ‘will they or won’t they commit to a romanticised relationship’, which is reflective of Bo and Lauren in Lost Girl and Richard Castle and Kate Becket in the self-titled Castle. On top of this, the author additionally articulates feelings the likes of jealousy and attraction which the lead characters do not properly understand as they feel them, yet the readership does. This technique is especially well orchestrated and allows the reader to know things even when the characters do not, emboldening the reader with a great deal of information. This is further exacerbated with the use of the puppets, who, although are wooden creations mind you, provide the text with more humanity, each one embodying a certain character trait, whether that be politeness, religious values, crude humour, violence, et al. Additional emotions the puppets display, from hugging their master, to feeling legitimate fear, loathing, anger or happiness is additionally well executed.

The lead characters, Sophie and Oliver, and the relationship they share, has been very well articulated. Over the course of their adventure, their friendship grows stronger and stronger as they reveal more to one another. Much like in a conversation when a person gasps and giggles in all the right places, the same is done here, Ms. Alayan beautifully conceiving the conversations and revealing hidden truths at all the right moments.

At the same time however, the characters themselves are flawed in their behaviour, which does not seem real at all. On many occasions the characters become shocked by supposedly obscene crude humour and sexual references, which I did not find at all offensive; in fact, they were unbelievably tame and the idea that one could possibly take offense at such sentences is utter folly. This is quite possibly where the text is perhaps at its weakest.

The author appears to have some very loyal views and values and appears unable to be rude or blatantly sexual in her textual nature, instead being considerably polite, sweet and well mannered. This is very admirable; however, in a text where some of the characters are indeed supposed to be sexually rude, this is not furthered with the use of their vocabulary, which maintains a strict PG tone. In a time when texts are more often than not paved with four letter words and often sexual expletives, the fact this one does not require such profanity is indeed a welcome relief, however, at the same time, it is unfortunate that a reader such as myself has become quite accustomed to the indecent swearing found within literature today.

On that note, although the decency of the text works really well, at times I could not properly assimilate into such a world because I had been corrupted by prior texts where that particular author was, on occasion, unable to write a single paragraph without coating every line with vulgarities. Now, I may sometimes argue that a number of these words in texts are unnecessary. Growing up in a country the likes of Australia, where on average, at age three you already know every foul word in the English vernacular and from that moment onwards frequently use such expletives in everyday speech, I have unfortunately become accustomed to having my pieces paved with profanity.

Perhaps in the author’s part of the world swear words do not play such a mandatory role in conversational ideologies and if that be the case, then that is quite honourable and respectful. At the same time, the reason why this text may be self published and not published by a major publishing house is because many an audience outside of the author’s home country may not have been able to thoroughly enjoy the text as much as they should due to its overall genuinely nice nature. If that’s the case, then such is a rather sad conclusion for a text deserving of attention.

The puppet characters too are just as effective in their lines, but at the same time just as courteous. Harold the Hare and Boris the Brutal Bear for instance don’t quite sound the way one might typically believe. I imagined both of their characters having these thick, almost unintelligible accents and yet after conceding this view, the characters began to show other traits; like grinning and smiling, which seemed ill-apparent in the original postulation of such characters.

Adjunctively, on occasion the narrative becomes rather stereotypical of other texts generated today. There often seems to be this implied stigma in texts where women require men to protect them, which seems rather misogynistic as it degrades the female characters and prevents them from becoming the individuals they ultimately should. A number of times the character Oliver unnecessarily reasserts his masculinity by saying how he will protect Sophie’s character, when in fact it is revealed on many an occasion that she can take care of herself. This is reminiscent of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, where the character Katniss is shown to be an incredibly strong willed and capable young woman. Peeta however is seen to hold her back with his borderline chauvinistic attitude when he later emphasises his need to protect her, or, as it so often seems, dominate her. Heroes very rarely need another individual to rescue them, so why is it in texts that often a heroine needs a man to come to her rescue? Women are just as capable as being heroic as men and ought to be able to express their powers of strength and intellect without being overshadowed by dominating men, and at times I thought it would be great for Sophie to venture out from the protective shell that Oliver unnecessarily casts upon her.

Moreover, there are a number of incredibly powerful moments in the text that Ms. Alayan wondrously orchestrates. The few action scenes are well paced and keep your interest from beginning to end, preventing you from stopping even for a fraction of a second. The violence that takes place during these particular scenes is often incredibly blood thirsty and, if anything over-exaggerated to the extent that younger readers should probably be barred from experiencing such content until a more suitable adolescent age. This seems almost ironically contradictory. It feels at times as though the author can barely bring herself to write the word ‘crap’ in her text, but Ms. Alayan has no problem with articulating blood thirsty scenes with rampant violent fighting. This is adjunctively heightened, for instance, in a region dedicated solely to violence, when she meticulously articulates the weaponry used in one particularly gruesome scene, adjunctively using accurate terminology to describe what takes place, all of which is very effectively promulgated.

Moving on, the story begins in the town of Silver Lakeshore, a fictitious community which could be internationally unanimous across a wide number of countries for it is universally symbolic of the stereotypical residential environment. This is a great tactic by the author for anyone in the world can read the text and immediately feel at one with the original textual location before the adventure begins. The story sees the two central characters move from one fantastical realm to another, each land comprised of a central community, dedicated either to religion, scholarly intellect, magic, violence, et al, each one coming equipped with their own unique laws and regulations. These particular lands seem reminiscent of the worlds in Enid Blyton’s the Far Away Tree franchise, each filled with suspense and magical mystery.

Of course, all of this is shrouded by a menacing force located in a desolate region of the fantastical lands. To avoid giving away any plot twists, this reviewer will simply state that the antagonistic force is represented as having powers of persuasive indoctrination, reminiscent of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatches.’ The author does such a great job at developing this evil realm over the course of the storyline with a significant build up of suspense, that Ms. Alayan becomes a victim of her own success, because from this moment on I was hooked, wanting to know more and more about this evil dimension, the information about such a land often being relatively slow coming from its original unveiling.

The ending of the text is something that the reader will in all likelihood not see coming, with a number of very convincing twists that continuously keep one’s attention. At the same time though, there was at least one answer I was longing to acquire that did not seem to be adequately provided.

However, even with this said, by the end of the text I was very satisfied to have had the opportunity to read this unique fantasy novel and to share in the many adventures with the characters. Clearly Ms. Alayan is an author worth looking out for in the future.

My Christmas Post

 

I’m not religious – nor am I truly into the whole Christmas spirit. With that said however, that does not mean that I do not celebrate such an event. Just because I no longer put up a beautiful sparkling tree and other decorations about my residence does not mean that I do not choose to celebrate such an event. I mean, Christmas? It’s an excuse to be a spend thrift. For some reason I often acquire more pleasure from buying gifts for others than I do from buying presents for myself. Additionally, the act of acquiring gifts is quite fun for often you are given presents that you may not purchase yourself due to a potentially excessive price. Then there is the excuse to eat something quite deliciously bad for your health, and the additional excuse to consume large amounts of alcohol. Long story short – it is in my best interest to celebrate such an event even if my Christmas spirit has, over the past few years, dwindled.

I think Christmas is mainly for the children. Personally, I believe that I am too adult and mature to fully appreciate what Christmas once meant for me when I was a child. It was so exciting to such an extent that on several occasions I was unable to eat my own breakfast because of the anxiety I felt in regards to imagining what gifts I would receive that day. Now that I have experienced this same event a good number of times, I basically know what is going to happen because I have enjoyed it before, and even though it is Christmas, it is still repetitive.

I do however believe that Christmas is about spending time with family and friends, and thanking them for being a part of your life by showering them with gifts. This year I spent Christmas with family; namely my mum and dad. In the past I have had friends and even prior partners that I have enjoyed the event with, but this year – not so much.

That however does not make the act of receiving gifts any less enjoyable.

My pile of presents

My pile of presents

My mother's presents that I purchased for her

My mother’s presents that I purchased for her

...and the gifts I bought my father. If you can't alreday tekll - that gold parcel - real bastard to wrap that thing was

…and the gifts I bought my father. If you can’t already tell – that gold parcel – real bastard to wrap that thing was

In my view, the act of wrapping up the presents that you buy is as important as purchasing them. This opinion is one that I have always held. In my view, wrapping up a present is an act of love, for you are taking time out from your busy schedule to wrap that which will most likely not want to be wrapped, and will no doubt fight you tooth and nail to not be tucked away beneath an endless amount of wrapping paper. However, over the past couple of years I have noticed many individuals making their way to stalls within supermarkets to have their presents wrapped for them by others. In my opinion, this contradicts an essential part of what Christmas stands for. Do you have an opinion on this?

As I mentioned earlier in this post, Christmas is an excuse to indulge in that which you normally wouldn’t. Safe to say my exercise routine has been severely compromised from such a feast.

yummy?

yummy?

...on closer inspection. And yes, I made Christmas dinner this year. Also, that gravey - probably has more calories than the entire meal combined

…on closer inspection. And yes, I made Christmas dinner this year. Also, that gravy – probably has more calories than the entire meal combined

Dessert - the Pavlova.

Dessert – the Pavlova.

I really love my cappuccino

I really love my cappuccino

After dinner, I was as stuffed as this guy. I kid you not - I looked like the side of a house

After dinner, I was as stuffed as this guy. I kid you not – I looked like the side of a house

I know that many cooks often hate that which they make (or so I have been told) but I have to say I think I did a not half bad job. On the plus side my mother was glad to be out of the kitchen, for Christmas dinner is often a long drawn out process.

One thing I have always enjoyed, although I cannot entirely explain why, are the bon bons. This year however, they were surprisingly worse than usual. Only two of them contained jokes, so I was ripped off on four separate occasions (not that the jokes are ever really funny – I mean ‘why did the germ move across the microscope? To get to the other side!’ – that ain’t even Christmasy. Nor it is funny). You may have noticed a bottle opener in one of my above photos – yeah – you just know where that came from. If it can actually open a bottle, I would be deeply surprised.

On another note, the favourite gift I received for Christmas this year would have to be the Halo 4 Original Soundtrack, along with the additional six songs that I downloaded online. True, a soundtrack may not sound very impressive, but after playing the game a couple times over I had come to really appreciate the musical genius of the entertaining piece.

My second most favourite present would have to be Castle, seasons three and four. For reasons I cannot explain this series is always ridiculously expensive, so to have these two seasons purchased for me, is a relaxing weight off my shoulders.

The third favourite gift I received this year was a new Samsung mobile – a GT-C3520 Clam Shell. I realise that a phone in the eyes of many others would potentially be the most prized present received, but for me, it is simply a communicative device – nothing more. Additionally, I realise that Smart Phones are incredibly popular these days, but never have I come to truly appreciate them. I know they are capable of a wide variety of different things, but really – I find them a waste. True – you can watch films, surf the net, read and write documents, play music and do a whole manner of other things from playing games to no doubt eliminating Sunday drivers. In my opinion though, if you want to watch a film – buy a BluRay player. You want to read a book; buy a Kindle or other like device, or go out there and physically buy a living breathing book. Not that books live and breathe – that would be scary. If you want to surf the net or type a document – use a laptop. What happened to the days when phones were used to talk to people from long distances, or am I just old fashioned? But that’s my opinion, so please excuse my semi-rant for a moment there.

Lastly, I did enjoy my Christmas this year, and I hope everyone else did too.

Did you enjoy your Christmas this year? Did you see this holiday as an excuse to pig out? What are your thoughts and feelings about this annual holiday celebration?

Cheers!

Bailey’s Christmas Recipe

Incredibly alcoholic – little kiddies, stay away!

Ingredients:

-1 tin Condensed Milk (400 millilitres)

-5 tablespoons (80 millilitres) chocolate topping

-300 millilitres bottle cream

-250 millilitres whiskey

-2 millilitres coconut essence

Directions:

-add all ingredients to a bowl and beat on low speed with an electric mixer for 3 minutes

-then, beat on a medium speed for one minute

-taste! In regards to the chocolate topping, this is a personal choice. If you want your Bailey’s to have a more chocolate flavour, add more chocolate topping

This recipe makes approximately one bottle full. If you want more, simply double the quantity of ingredients.

Enjoy!

Photos of our Special Days – do we really need them?

 

On Wednesday the 24th of October I celebrated my birthday. So, now with another year gone, that officially makes me the big two three.

Of course, the age difference is not really what was the most exciting about such an event. What was however were the many gifts that I received from family and friends.

I had mentioned that I primarily wanted to indulge in films, TV on DVD, music, clothing, aftershave and jewellery, and long and behold a miracle – my family and friends actually listened to me for a change!

Often in the past my friends and family have bought what they thought I would want rather than that which I had asked for, so I was glad to actually receive what I was after.

This included one necklace, two shirts and a wide variety of music, film and TV shows.

Additionally, a rather sumptuously delicious cake from Michelle’s Patisserie was purchased to coincide with my birthday. Often when cakes were purchased for my birthday in the past, they were sponges procured from Coles and Safeway, so it was nice to have a specially made cake with my name on it.

Now, I know that I perhaps should have made a post about this last week when such an occasion happened, but again my life has become a little clustered with business.

Of course, this leads me to the next part of my post – the pictures.

As you may have noticed – there are none.

No matter the situation, whether it be a birthday celebration, an occasion the likes of New Year’s Eve or Christmas, or even a night out with my girlfriend, my opinion remains the same. It’s not that I don’t like taking photos, or that I am simply too lazy to do so, no – there is a completely different reason at work here. The reason is that I really do not see the point.

True, a photo does seal a memory in time forever and is a great way to remember an occurrence that transpired in one’s life. The question I am going to ask however is; how could I, or anyone else for that matter, ever honestly forget a moment in life of such significance or import?

How could I forget a Christmas with my family and friends? How could I forget a birthday? How could I forget a night out with the woman of my dreams?

All of these occurrences in my life would be so valuable, that I would not need a photograph to remind me of them – they would be forever with me – permanently imprinted within my mind. I would constantly carry these moments with me – so why would I ever need assistance in reminding myself of something that meant so much? I wouldn’t – and that is why there are no photos of my birthday.

If you have your own views on this subject, please, by all means, comment at the end of this post!

Cheers!

It’s Amazing how your Life Changes

 

One day you are involved in doing one thing – and the next you are doing something completely different. You have changed your life’s endeavors; you have adapted and evolved to life’s unexpected twist and turns; you have lost someone close to you, whether it be a broken friendship or a break up and so are forced to alter your plans for the future. So many occurrences each year alter that which we are eventually going to become.

I remember when I was thirteen and fourteen I wanted to hang out with what some might have referred to as the ‘cool crowd.’ And they accepted me – which was pretty awesome in itself. There is always a catch though. If you feel something is too good to be true it probably is. There was no way the ‘cool’ kids would accept someone that probably wasn’t quite as ‘cool’, or who wasn’t ‘cool’ at all, and yet here they were, giving me a bone. Well, the catch in this case was that it turned out they all hated my rotten guts and would sooner step on my head if they saw me drowning rather than give me a hand up, so I quickly left their little club. Instead, I found a new group of friends that actually shared the same traits and mannerisms, views and values as I. It was a perfect fit, and still to this day is – when we have the time to communicate.

Again, when I was in primary school, due to my insatiable hunger for video games, I really wanted to become involved in graphic design and the orchestration of such entertainment. Of course, this proved to be an ineffective idea because I did not have the credentials to ever become involved in such a field. I’m no good at the terrible algebra based equations and other such ridiculous mathematical ideologies; I’m not very good at graphical design, and I’m not very good at computer programs that are ridiculously difficult to utilise.
Then in high school when I was in a band, I think all of us wanted to continue to perform on a more professional level than that which we currently resided at. However, when our band broke up for reasons that up until that very moment were completely unforeseen and unfortunately unpredictable, that dream of ours came to an immediate end.

Additionally, I was interested in pursuing a career in acting, but to become involved in a course that revolves around this career at university, one needs to acquire the highest of high grades. I did acquire a few A’s and an A+, but on average I was predominantly a B student. In 2009, according to the statistics, a good few thousand people applied for the acting course at Melbourne University (apparently one of the top ten university’s in Australia) – only two were accepted. Yes, you read that right; two out of a few thousand candidates were accepted into the course. I knew that I would never be one of them and so decided to pursue my other passion; writing.

Now, with my three year undergraduate course nearly complete, I need to decide whether I will continue on with my postgraduate course, and if so, at which institution and what variant? Or will I go out and find a place in the workforce?

Another part of life that changes exponentially are the responsibilities that are placed upon your shoulders as you grow older. When young, everything is so simple, and I really envy the children of today. You can just tell that behind those innocent (?) young eyes, not one of them has a clue for the surprise they are in for when they eventually grow up. Or maybe they will grow up too fast? Sometimes I feel that happened to me – as though I did not have enough time to be young and enjoy what life hath been given to me. What are the repercussions of failing to enjoy youth to its full? When young, you run around the house and the world outside having a gay old time. You watch TV to your heart’s content and play with random plastic figurines. As you grow up, the time that you have for fun becomes minimised as the expectations of life, including giving back to society with money, hard work and effort begin to become dominating factors in influencing the choices that one develops.

Like I said – it is amazing how your life changes. On one hand, that makes the ride that is life quite interesting. On the other hand it can be disappointing and blatantly annoying.

What do others think about what I have conjured up on this subject matter? Agree, disagree? By all means, please, your opinions are welcome!

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!