2015 Why Don’t You Just Kick Me In the Nuts And Be Done With It

I know I mostly talk shallow nonsense on this blog, as is my want, but currently I have a profound desire to vent a little. Be warned this post is likely going to get a bit ranty. I just need to get some crap off my chest. Feel free to disregard what comes next entirely if you wish. I promise I won’t be offended.

Now the eagle eyed amongst you my have noticed that I’ve not written a single personal blog post so far this year. Why? Well the quick answer is mostly because, so far at least, 2015 has been an almost continuous pile of shit.

In January I had another epileptic type incident. Once again I woke in the middle of the night to find herself telling me that everything was going to be alright and she had called the emergency services.  Prior to that moment I was 100% oblivious to what was going on. Its frightening when you realise it is possible to be entirely absent from your own life. There is nothing in my frame of reference I can compare this to. I’ve been drunk many times in my life but I’ve never blacked out. Since that night I have had no further incidents but I am still talking with specialists regarding what happens next. The human brain is a miracle alright. Sadly my brain is slightly less of a miracle than some others.

February was quiet but in March my other half had some health issues of her own. I’m not going into the details, primarily because that is her business, suffice to say the problems she had were pretty fucking terrifying. Two serious illnesses in the space of two weeks is damned scary. I think I may have aged about twenty years in the space of a single month. We’ve both seen more than enough hospitals in the last few months thanks very much.

Now that things have calmed down a little, most of our hospital appointments/consultancy visits are done and dusted, I have finally reached the point where I think I can view things with a slightly more objective eye. The single silver lining in all this bloody trauma is that it has made me realise just how extremely lucky I actually am. I’m not the most demonstrative chap in the world and I know I don’t say it often enough but I’ll say it now for the record – My other half is the love of my life. She is the better part of me and I would be completely and utterly lost without her. She makes me want to be a better person. The last few months have driven home the message (that I’m sure many of you already know) – Life is precious and ephemeral and needs to be grabbed firmly with both hands and held onto tightly. I fully intend to do much more of this now.

So what next? Hopefully something resembling normal. Recently I have come to the conclusion that good times are best viewed as the absence of bad things. I’d like to get back to that. I was good at that.

Thank for the opportunity to get that out of my system. I feel better already.

Normal slightly fuzzy, mildly shambolic service will be resumed as soon as possible

Later you ‘orrible lot. I’m away to live a little.

Love and overly long hugs

Senor Cheesecake

2014: A Cheesecake in Review

Another year nearly done and dusted. Once again 12 months have just flown by in a flurry of semi coherent moments. I am, as ever, thankful for my family and friends.

With the exception of books, which I’ll waffle a bit about soon over on The Eloquent Page, there have been bucket loads of great entertainment this year. Here are just a few of my personal highlights*

Music

I have what can best be described as eclectic tastes when it comes to tunes. I listen to a ton of soundtracks but love bands as well. My top five for 2014?

Royal Blood – What a RAWK-tastically awesome self-titled debut album. 32 minutes and not a duff second among them.

Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag by Brian Tyler – There are some fantastic game soundtracks out there. I love that the same level of detail that is spent on things like game play and graphics is being spent on the music that accompanies it.

Gloryhammer – Tales From The Kingdom of Fife – Mad as a bag of hammers and all the better for it. The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee is sublime lunacy. In order to pull off daft you have to do it well and these guys know it. I’m mightily impressed.

The Last of Us by Gustavo Santaolalla – Another game soundtrack. I hold this entirely responsible for me actually buying a PS4 and the game. Hauntingly evocative stuff. Just blissfully good.

TV

The Flash – A perfect companion show to Arrow. I love how Barry revels in his abilities. I was discussing it with MadNad and she prefers Arrow, she likes things a bit darker than me. She did agree however that Flash is entertaining. The Man in the Yellow Suit in particular was a stonking episode. The crossover episodes with Arrow were great fun as well.

The Walking Dead – The end of the world just keeps getting darker and darker. Cannibals, corrupt cops and some nice morally dubious decisions. Great stuff. I’ve noticed every week MadNad taking copious notes. I’m sure she’ll be prepared when the inevitable zom-poc arrives.

Vikings – Oh Ragnar Lodbrok you just want it all don’t you? Lets see if you cant get it. Well played History channel, well played.

The Musketeers – Cheesy I know but I adore a bit of cheese. Second season is imminent. I look forward to it buckling my swash. It is the facial hair, I am ALL of the jealous…and the hats.

I want a hat with a feather in it. Dammit!

I want a hat with a feather in it. Dammit!

Dr Who – I was never in any doubt. Capaldi is a perfect fit. The Tardis is in safe hands.

Film

We’ve managed to devour over 135 films this year. Most have been pretty damn good and there have been a couple of real standouts.

The Imitation Game – This was MadNad’s choice and I’ll admit that I had zero expectations when we went to see this at the cinema. I was more than pleasantly surprised, I loved it.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Marvel know exactly which buttons to press when it comes to summer blockbusters. Damn them and their pelvic sorcery!

GotG

Nightcrawler – Jake Gyllenhaal being all sleazy and shit. Dark as hell and all the better for it.

Interstellar – Christopher Nolan appears to be quite a divisive figure in many circles. Personally I’m a fan. I’ve liked all of his films and this was no exception. I suspect this is the sort of movie that will require multiple viewings. I’ve only seen it once so far but have no doubt I’ll watch it again. Nolan’s like a cinematic onion (honestly, that is a compliment)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – More Marvel, more explosions. Nuff’ said.

So there you have it some of my entertainment highlights for 2014, the year I turned forty (please note my mental age is still roughly fifteen. I dont expect that will ever change).

I reckon 2015 is already shaping up to be interesting. There are various plans afoot in the Cheesecake household that are bound to create a certain amount of chaos. I’m always game for a bit of mayhem. In other, entirely unrelated, news I think I have made a decision regarding my fitness challenge for 2015. More on that soon.

Hope you’re all having an utterly splendid festive season.

See you next year

* Yes, I’m well aware some of the things mentioned in this post have been around longer than the last 12 months but this is my blog and so I can do whatever I like :)

I Can’t Do It Captain…I Don’t Have The Power!

I promised myself I would start updating my personal blog more regularly so here it is,  a quick Sunday night update.

Every since I had the problems with my thyroid diagnosed I have been suffering from a bloody annoying secondary condition. I’ve feel like I am running on  75% power. It’s the weirdest thing. It doesn’t happen all the time but more often than not by around 8pm I am utterly exhausted. I fall asleep at the drop of a hat. The only thing I can do to combat this appears to be is coffee. I’ve even managed to fall asleep during the day on a few occasions. (Sorry if you were sat in that panel at Edge Lit. I was the one who was snoring. I still feel bad about that now.)

Herself has been very understanding but I’ve realised that I need to do something about this and I need to do it now. I’ve started doing some research but was wondering if anyone out there has any suggestions? I’ll try anything, within reason, to increase my energy levels.

Any ideas? I want to avoid further instances of this…

Sleepy

Of Beards, Salsa and Other Random Gibberish

Currently my other half is somewhere across the other side of the Atlantic having a right proper American adventure. Seeing as I’ve got no one to chat to I thought it was about time I posted a new personal blog. That’ll two non book related blog posts this year, that must be some sort of record.

As usual its chock full of stuff and nonsense.

A Dedicated Un-Follower of Fashion

Those of you who know me will already appreciate that I have my own unique brand of style. What you may not know is that a change has been in the air for a while now. I’ve reached the point where I’m getting bored with dyeing  my hair bright red. Don’t get me wrong, its been great fun but the winter plumage is starting to make itself known and I feel the urge to embrace it and move on. I’ve always quite fancied growing my hair out a bit and having a full beard. I’ve seen pictures of my dad from the late 1970s and he looked like Cousin It from The Addams Family. I think I might give it a shot myself.

Honestly I’m hoping for something along these lines…

Rollo

I fear however that particular ship may have sailed some time ago. I suspect I’ll get…

Hagrid

I’ll make sure and keep you all updated. I’m sure you’re all curious how my latest adventure in facial hair will pan out.

This week I have been mostly listening to…

Couldn’t get through the day with out music. (Spotify, oh how I love thee. Let me count the ways). My fav tunes at the moment? The usual eclectic mixed bag. Including the following –

  • Royal Blood’s self titled debut album. It rocks my cotton socks.
  • Assassin’s Creed IV – Black Flag by Brian Tyler. This is some serious swashing and buckling right there my friend.
  • The soundtrack to Cuban Fury. Lets be honest, where would the world be without salsa music?

And inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy (and @MadNad) I’ve finally crafted my own attempt at an Awesome Mix Tape. Fuck it, why the hell not?

The Golden Age of Geekdom Continues…

At the tail end of last year I suggested that we geeks were living in a televisual golden age. It appears the bubble hasn’t burst yet and the trend seems set to continue. Put it this way, currently we’ve been watching Under the Dome, Gotham, The Walking Dead, Defiance, Wolfblood, The Strain, The Last Ship, Agents of SHIELD, The Blacklist, Doctor Who, Sleepy Hollow, Legends, Haven, Constantine and Forever*. Add to that The Flash and Dominion which are starting this week and Arrow also returns. The only casualty so far in this TV nirvana has been The Leftovers. I’m sad to say we just weren’t feeling the love. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re diggin it then good for you. Just not one for us.

Thanks for stopping by

Right I’m off. Have a good un’. Be excellent to each other and remember just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

* Chuffing Nora, thats a lot of hyperlinks innit.

Pablo Cheesecake vs The BIG Four Oh

Been a while since I’ve written a personal blog. Why the radio silence? I suppose I’ve been going through what can best be described as a bit of an existential crisis.

I remember about a million years ago, way back when I was in high school, I used to joke about ending up in the gutter by the time I reached the BIG four oh. I’m sorry for all those who were hoping I’d achieve that lofty goal but I’m sad to report that it hasn’t happened. I turned forty a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t do it while lying in the street in a drunken heap starring up at the stars. Yes, it was a surprise to me too.

So what does forty actually mean in 2014? I’m not sure I know exactly. I’ve been pondering that very thing for the last couple of months and about all I can tell you it looks approximately like this

Cheesecake

This is 40!

Have I come to any life changing epiphanies of late? Nope. Am I still the same indecisive wish-washy liberal that I have been for years? Yes, yes I am. In all honesty I’m actually pretty happy about it. I feel grateful for everything in my life. I have a partner who fills my life with joy. I have some good friends and a job I actually enjoy. I don’t think you can hope for much more than that.  Yes, I’ll admit I used to dream about setting the world alight with just my mere presence but I really don’t think that way any more. I reckon we have single go round at this thing we call life and I just want to be happy. Now don’t get me wrong, it would be quite nice to have more money, maybe even a little fame but at the end of the day those things aren’t really that important are they? I want to be happy and I want my family and friends to be happy too.

So there you have it, after decades of working up to it, my interpretation of life, the universe and everything. Essentially it all boils down to this…

be good*

See, not tricky was it?

I promise I’ll blog again soon. Like probably even later this year at some point.

Anyway until next time…be good

* Just occurred to me that ET has got a lot to answer for :) Damn you Spielberg!

 

State of the Cheesecake Nation – 2014 Edition

Lets just skip the whole “it’s been months since your last update” thing. It has been months and I’m truly sorry. Onwards!

And the award for musical excellence goes to…

My other half knows that I am a sucker when it comes to the more unusual musical nuggets you can find on the internet. She heard this and immediately thought of me. I’ll be honest I can’t for the life of me think why?

Oh I remember now – an army of evil undead unicorns invading Dundee. Knew I’d remember eventually. The album, Tales from the Kingdom of Fife is gloriously silly but also manages to be proper RAWK at the same time. Gloryhammer are great fun. Highly recommended listening my internet chooms.

The Remake/Reboot Quandary

Lots of buzz floating around at the moment regarding various reboots and remakes. Robocop reappeared recently and immediately polarised opinion. There has also been lots of talk re new Fantastic Four movie on the horizon. When it comes to remake and reboots I tend to take each on a case by case basis. There are certain films for example where I think it would be entirely unnecessary. Your never going to better the likes of Jaws or The Godfather so frankly why bother trying. On the other hand comic book movies can be remade/reimagined and work quite successfully. Spiderman being a perfect example. I enjoyed Tobey Maguire’s take but Andrew Garfield’s version is equally valid.

Random Internet Wish Fulfilment

I read a wild rumor yesterday that Mads Mikkelsen might be being considered to possibly be in with a chance of being involved with being in the running for Dr Strange*. That has the potential to be spectacularly bonkers if by some slim, and I mean proper tiny here people, chance this turned out to be true. Imagine Hannibal Lecter as the Sorcerer Supreme. I reckon he could pull that role off with aplomb.

Mads Mikkelsen yesterday

Mads Mikkelsen yesterday

On a side note – I’ve always been a fan of Dr Strange’s huge oversized collar. I hope that makes it into the movie version when it does finally appear.

You Might Think That, I Couldn’t Possibly Comment

Started watching US version of House of Cards. The Internets were all excited about season 2 so I thought I best give season 1 a try. It’s kinda weird as I still have reasonably vivid memories of the original UK version with Ian Richardson. Don’t get me wrong I was impressed with Kevin Spacey’s performance. Frank Underwood is suitably manipulative and power hungry but I think Francis Urquhart just nudges it for me. Weirdly this article in the Telegraph sort of captures my point. I will continue watch the new version though. I am intrigued to see the differences between the two interpretations.

Urquhart

Francis has his eye on you. Run away!

Anyway, enough of this internet folderol. I’m off to go and contribute to society in some far more meaningful way. Perhaps a new book review?

Ron

Till next time brethren,

Be excellent to one another and stay frosty

Sir Francis Cheesecake

* My that was a long sentence wasn’t it? Got there in the end mind you so I think we’re all good.

Pablo Cheesecake vs 2013

Nearly the end of 2013 so I thought a little review of the last twelve months might be in order. Here is a plethora of random stuff and things that caught my eye.

Vikings, Bloody Thousands of Em’!

For reasons I’m not entirely sure of there have been quite a lot of viking related stuff in 2013. I find myself rather pleased. (I think perhaps in my more whimsical daydreams I like the idea of being a Viking myself.) 

  • I read the first Northlanders graphic novel by Brian Wood and Davide Gianfelice. It’s a superb bit of storytelling and visual striking work.
  • Swords of Good Men by Snorri Kristjansson was released and I got to meet him. Splendid chap and excellent book.
  • The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory also has a distinctly Nordic tone and a plot point that managed to catch me totally unaware, which was nice.
We're going to pick a fight!

We’re going to pick a fight!

  • Everything about the the television show The Vikings is brilliant. The soundtrack by Trevor Morris is particularly evocative. Looking forward to season two already. The History Channel really picked a winner with this one.

It’s All About The Rimming

Pacific Rim was one of my favorite films of 2013. No, I don’t care if the physics was wrong. I don’t give a single whopping fuck if the Jaegers would collapse under their own weight. Give me a break… IT WAS GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING GIANT ALIENS FOR FUCKS SAKE. It’s essentially Power Rangers with a humungous budget. Great fun, ace soundtrack and Ron Perlman wearing gold tipped boots. Doesn’t get any better than that. Consider me a certified, dyed in the wool Kaiju groupie.

Pacific RimThe other Rim this year was Skyrim. I finally caved and started playing the game on PC. Her inside the doors has been raving about it for ages now. I have to admit it is quite addictive. The game looks beautiful and stuff like this can happen.

This is going to end badly...

This is going to end badly…

 The Golden Age of Geekdom

I have this theory – If you’re a geek you’ll be pleased to know that we are now living in a golden age. Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. There has been a whole shedload of great comic book related movies this year. The best part – there are so many more still to come. Hollywood has finally cottoned on to the fact that geeks love their superhero movies (as long as they are treated with a bit of respect). Which was my favourite? Man of Steel I think. Henry Cavill worked perfectly as a the last son of Krypton. The story was epic in scope and the Hans Zimmer soundtrack is suitably anthemic to boot.

Its like looking in a mirror. Honestly!

Its like looking in a mirror. Honestly!

Kickin It Old School

I rediscovered Nemesis the Warlock this year. Purely by accident it came back into my life and I’m glad to report it is still one of the best comics I’ve ever read.

NemesisIf you’ve never read it before you really should.

Doctor What?

Fifty years and still going strong. All the anniversary shenanigans were fab.  We were lucky enough to see The Day of the Doctor at the local cinema and it was wonderful.  It left me genuinely excited for the arrival of Mr Capaldi.

SandshoesSo there you have it. Some stuff wot I liked this year. I imagine I will probably like stuff next year as well. Time will out.

 

Pablo Cheesecake and Adventures in Gentleman’s Hosiery

Once again it’s been ages since I wrote a personal blog. I’ve been busy with work and the whole book reviewing thing. To be honest I’ve not really had that much else to talk about so the personal blog has taken a bit of a hiatus. As is so often the case however almost immediately that I’m not thinking  about writing a bit of personal flimflammery an idea goes and pops right on into my head. I then feel oddly compelled to try and dig the sucker out and make some sort of sense of it all.

Anyway, down to business…

I’ve mentioned in the past that I get obsessed about things. Music, film, reading, exercising. All have  filled my head with idle thoughts at one time or another. My latest obsession?…socks. (Yes, I know, I was surprised as well.)

Historically my choice of sock has erred on the side of restraint. A simple black sock has served me well for many a long year. Recently however I have become bored with this most pedestrian of choices. So with the usual gusto I exhibit in all my other various obsessions I have begun to experiment.

Colour, characters and nonsense are to be the new order of the day. Time to have a bit of fucking fun with my feet. (Not, I should stress, in a weird foot fetishist way. Pablo don’t roll that way.)

I’ve started small but I can see this already bares the hallmarks  of what could well become “a thing”.

Pack One – The Justice League….of Socks!

The Justice League...of Socks

The JLA in sock form

I think The Flash maybe my favourite pair from the Justice League. I’ve noticed Superman looks a bit weird close up, it’s probably a Kryptonian thing. My only slight disappointment was that there are no Wonder Woman or Martian Manhunter socks included.

Pack Two – SpongeBob

SpongeBob wearing a various different fake mustaches. (I would genuinely like to shake the person who came up with this bizarreness by the hand. SpongeBob I can understand but the fake mustaches? Bonkers.)

SpongeBob SquareSocks

SpongeBob SquareSocks

The mustache Bob is sporting on the purple pair is particularly luxuriant and have become and immediate favourite.

In some non sock related news it does still appear that mentally I am around six years of age. My other purchase today perfectly illustrates this particular fact.

SpongeBob Square Sponge

SpongeBob Square Sponge

In my defence – I just couldn’t help it. I mean c’mon it’s a sponge shaped like Sponge Bob. Being a bit of a pop culture sponge myself I loves it.

I’ve been thinking about it and I’m not sure if this blog post has anything even close to resembling a point? Perhaps it just highlights the fact that I am a simple soul and it is the simplest things in life that fill me with the most pleasure. Hmmm, yes that sounds about right.

Later People of the spangly Intertubes, I’m off to have pie.

SpongePablo CheesecakePants

Oh Yeah! Did I Not Mention?…I’m The Man

How in the blue hell did that happen? Last time I looked it was June and now it’s August? Once again I have been lax in updating the old personal blog. What can I say? I’ve been out there reading, going to the cinema. Living my life. Nothing that unusual really. Here is a little update about one thing that did happen though…

Challenge 2013 Update

By the time you read this though I will have achieved this year’s goal. I will have cycled 1000 kilometres in 7 months and 3 weeks. Not bad eh? I mean considering I was aiming to do that in a year. Who would have thunk a couple of years ago I would manage such a feat. Lets add it to the list of things wot I have done…

2011 – 20000 sit-ups
2012 – Run 500 kilometres
2013 – Cycle 1000 kilometres

A side effect of all this physical nonsense activity is that I have gone from being 18st 7lbs to being 13st 10lbs (that’s going from 259lbs down to 192lbs American chums). I can categorically say that I have never been healthier. Instead of XXL I am now an L.

I am so much happier with myself than I was a few short years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’m realistic, I know that I’m never going to be skinny. I’m 6ft 2 and I am a broad fella. I always will be (genetics and whatnot has blessed me with big fuck off shoulders). If I can manage just 5 more pounds I will have reached the personal target that I set myself. I’ll tell you one thing right now – I AIN’T EVER GOING BACK.

I think some sort of proper celebration may be in order.

celebrate

The only advice I can offer to anyone who is attempting the same. Ignore everyone else. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. You may be surprised to discover that we are not all the same. Everyone is different and different things work for different people. I found what works for me. Go out there and find what works for you…

…and remember, for fuck’s sake, be happy. Irrespective of who you are, the shape you currently inhabit, wherever your life may lead, just enjoy yourself dammit. I reckon we only get one shot and life is far to fucking short.

If I can, finally, make a change like this then anyone can.

Go, kick the world in the ass. If anyone asks you why tell them “Pablo Cheesecake said so”

Later peoples

Stuff and Nonsense

Pablo Cheesecake object of desire?

…Ha, there’s a post title I never thought I’d use

I had the weirdest experience last week. I was standing waiting for the the ever lovely MadNad to meet me after work when a car drove by and I got a wolf whistle. Stunned doesn’t even begin to described my reaction. To give you some perspective, I’m not far off being 39 years old and in all that time this has never happened to me before. My first reaction was to check behind me to make sure that there wasn’t a male model walking by and I was in his way. Just the oddest experience. What’s the standard response to this? Should I be flattered? Based on the fact it has taken nearly 39 years to get my first wolf whistle I estimate I should be due another in approximately 2052. I want to know now how I should deal with it so that I’m prepared.

C’Mon Hollywood, Give Us A Break

I saw a link on a website recently that heralded that 10th movie spot for Man of Steel. 10TH!!! Isn’t that verging on overkill. Don’t get me wrong I am jazzed to see the film but if I watch all of these then I fear that sense of excitement will soon be gone. Listen up Hollywood, here’s the deal. When your gargantuan marketing machines have a new film to promote how about you create just one trailer? All I’m looking for something that will entice me into the theatre. That’s all I need. I dont think this is an impossible task. I don’t want to see the whole fucking thing in three minute chunks spread over a six month build up. I just want one trailer, one poster and possibly a sneak listen to the soundtrack.

Actually while we’re it it. If your trailer is for a comedy probably not a great idea to include one of the funniest moments in the trailer (I’m looking at you Hangover 3). As soon as the scene started in the film I knew exactly where it was going to end. Potentially amusing scenario ruined. Bit of a shame that. Especially when the film in question was so short on laughs.

You’ll Get Square Eyes

I’m in thrall to the gogglebox. Always have been, always will be. Right now there are some absolutely splendid shows airing in the UK. I’ve become somewhat obsessed with my Saturday night fix of Scandinavian crime with Arne Dahl on BBC4. Sky Atlantic has given us and Game of Thrones and Banshee, both which are superb examples of their respective genres. Channel 4 have just started showing The Returned, which based on the first episode, is going to be a keeper. All of these shows are pretty dark but rest assured it’s not all doom and gloom. Parks and Recreation is sublime comedy that started off slow but has become a weekly ritual in our house. I only wish I could live my life like a Scottish Ron Swanson. Truly he is a Renaissance man if ever there was one.

Ron Swanson

2013 Challenge Update

Its been a while so I thought I’d finish with an update for this years fitness challenge. So far in 2013 I’ve cycled six hundred and sixty five kilometres. Only another three hundred and thirty five to go! I reckon I can probably manage that. If anyone out there is taking on their own challenge. I salute you. Go for it and stay positive. If I can do it anyone can!

I look almost exactly like this at the gym...almost.

I look almost exactly like this at the gym…almost.

Right I’m off, till next time stay frosty amigos

Oh, before I forget my Pablo Does 40 Things website will be launching soon. Be prepared to follow the zany adventures of an idiot who has successfully avoided doing lots of things in the last four decades.