The Cheesecake Strikes Back…

Can you believe I haven’t written a personal blog post since May 2015. There are multiple reasons why. I wont bore you with all the details. The quick answer is that in a nutshell real life has been the top priority (more on that in second). Recently though I’ve had a ponder and I’ve decided to try and start posting again. For how long this lasts or about what topics I’ll post I have little to no idea. Please remember as with my previous attempts at personal blog posts this is stream of consciousness type stuff. There will be typos, there will be swearing. It is unlikely there will be any insights into the human condition. You get the idea.

Pablo and The Brain

After much investigation it was determined that not only do I have  a dodgy thyroid (i’ve know about that for years) but I am also epileptic. It took me awhile to actually accept this but I’ve got there now. The good news, if there is any, is that I only appear to be prone to nocturnal seizures. This is good news because when the fits do occur I tend to be in bed. Probably the safest place to have a fit if you’re going to have one. brain

Herself and I have discussed it at some length and I previously agreed that if I had another seizure I would start taking medication. Another seizure happened so meds it was. At the beginning of September I started taking a drug called Lamotrigine. It takes a couple of months to work up to a full dose, I’ll be there as of next Monday. Interestingly this wonder drug is also used to treat bi-polar disorder. The things is I’m still not entirely sure about this medication. Obviously I don’t want to ever have another fit, recovery is bloody hard work and its traumatic for both me and MadNad, but the list of potential side effects contain some real doozies. My personal favourites are increased seizures or increased symptoms of bipolar disorder. My worry is that I’m not sure I would spot a side effect if there was one. Things like a sore throat or itchiness can be relatively common indications of something completely different. Other more serious side effects like depression I think would be far tricker to pick up on. I mean everyone has a low day now and again. If I started to feel that way how would I know? Happy days eh. Time will tell I suppose.

Feel the Burn

On a far more upbeat note I have managed to improve my overall level of fitness. (Not going to let a dodgy brain slow me down). I go to the gym a couple of times a week and from time to time I go out running. I should stress I am not an Olympic athlete but I am enthusiastic. Over the list year may weight had started to creep up again so I decided to take steps. I have shifted 15lbs and I plan on loosing a bit more. I actually quite like going to the gym if I’m honest. I hate the thought of it beforehand but once I’m there I get the chance to just zone out and destress.

Its like looking in a mirror. Honestly!

Its like looking in a mirror. Honestly!

So basically after all this gym time I’m totally ripped (I’m totally not). What I actually am is healthier than I was before. You know what? that’ll do for me. On Thursday there were two separate incidents where I was told I was looking trim. I may have gone full smugface at one point. (You have to admit though Cavill looks pretty darned amazing doesn’t he? He is an impressive specimen. I remain somewhat jealous)

The Beard That Would Not Die

An admission. I grew a beard for two reasons (1) Clean shaven is not an option. I look like a mildly interesting King Edward potato (2) I am really quite lazy. Turns out reason 1 is 100% accurate, reason 2 not so much. Maintaining a beard is just as much work as bloomin’ shaving. You have to trim it regularly, oil it from time to time, keep it in direct sun light, don’t feed it after midnight, etc etc. The list is endless. I imagine the time I spend on my facial topiary is similar to the time one would spend trimming and shaping a bonsai.

Beard

“Why all the effort then Pablo?”, I hear none of you cry. It is just so damned comforting. It is like having a security blanket for your face. There is a wonderfully reassuring feeling that comes with my face fuzz. It does help that MadNad likes it as well I suppose. At some point I may even take a trip to one of those fancy barbers that are around now. I’ve heard you can get your beard professionally trimmed. Sounds jolly exciting. That said there is every chance I would be spectacularly intimidated by the whole thing and not even get passed the front door.

There, I feel better now that I have waffled on a bit. Cleared the cobwebs out of my brain. I was going to rant a bit about Trumpton, Fractured Europe et al but I might save that gem for later. Instead I’m going to go and get some soup ( Hell Yeah, I know how to live!)

Until next time (fuck knows when that will be) have a splendid existence, be kind to one another and ignore that haters.

Darth Cheesecake salutes you

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

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!

 

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

Pablo Cheesecake Wants You….

…well your ideas anyway.

Let me explain

I’ve been pondering the big four oh for a while now, weird because mentally I think I’ll always be  perpetually about fifteen but hey ho. I suppose I view reaching this age, like a lot of people, as something of a milestone. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not quite there yet (my 40th birthday isn’t actually until 24th July 2014. Feel free to mark it on your calendars NOW people!) but it has given me a bit of an idea. I’ve decided that from my thirty-ninth birthday until the big day I am going to attempt forty tasks that I’ve never done before. You know, sort of a bucket list type thingee.

This audacious plan involves me creating a new website where I’ll blog about my various adventures and maybe even get some amusing photos/videos posted. I’ve purchased the domain name pablodoes40things.co.uk (calm down, don’t go there yet just yet. I’ll let you know when it’s live.)

To begin with though I need a bit of help from you lovely virtual pixes that live in the InterTubes. I need some suggestions of things that I can try/do as part of my mission. There are only three rules to this.

  • Firstly,  I really can’t do heights AT ALL so I wont be throwing myself out of any planes or bungee jumping naked off Big Ben.
  • Secondly,  I’m not independently wealthy so cost is a factor. Please take that into consideration if you have an idea.
  • Finally – I am a delicate flower so contact sports are out. (Sad I know, pesky brain injury. I always imagined I’d be rather good a rugby.)

To give you an idea of that sort of thing I am talking about here is the list as it currently stands.

  1. Knitting
  2. Ice Skating
  3. Read ‘Catcher in The Rye’
  4. Knife and Axe Throwing
  5. Visit Stonehenge
  6. Visit Glastonbury Tor
  7. Falconry
  8. Skype someone in another country
  9. Walk a dog (I’ve been with people who have walked their dogs but I’ve never actually walked a dog myself. I know, crazy).
  10. Got to an observatory
  11. Enter a race. (They tell me that it’s the taking part that counts.)
  12. Watch the number one film from each year from 1974 onwards. For reference I’m using this site http://www.films101.com/y1974r.htm
  13. Get my back waxed (*gulps*)
  14. Climb a mountain
  15. Go to a ballet
  16. Eat a Pontefract cake
  17. Go to an opera
  18. Create a short film
  19. Attend a dance class (not sure what style yet?)
  20. Yoga

Sadly (you may have noticed) I’ve only have twenty things at the moment. You all have to help!!! and remember this is things I have never done before.

Help

If you have an idea feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line at pablocheesecake@me.com

I look forward to your nonsense with anticipation.

Pablo “does 40 things before he’s 40” Cheesecake

Brains, Books and Bananas

Once again its been ages since I’ve done an update on my blog. I apologise, I often forget that the entire internet hangs on my every word. Anyway, here is some stuff about this and that. (You know, the usual guff I normally spout.)

Pablo Cheesecake versus Subconscious Sabotage

My brain and I are currently at loggerheads, at least it seems that way to me.  On 15th December I found myself in Accident and Emergency at around 12.30am. I had experienced what the paramedics called ‘some sort of seizure’.

brain

….Fortunately things weren’t quite this bad.

The worst/scariest part of the whole thing was that, from my perspective at least, I was utterly absent when this happened. I have no memory about any of this at all.  Apparently I rolled out of bed, landing on my shoulder, I bit my lip and was doing the whole frothing at the mouth.  I’m just incredibly lucky that Mrs C managed to keep calm (I don’t know if I could have) and got an ambulance to whisk me to hospital.

A couple of weeks have passed now and I’m glad to say report that there has been no further recurrence.  I feel 100% ok. I’ve visited the local hospital and the likely prognosis is some sort of epileptic fit. There are going to be more tests but I suspect I will probably end up on meds to manage this.

Oh yes, there will be tests.

Oh yes, there will be tests.

If anything, this whole incident has made me re-evaluate a lot of things. Which brings me nicely onto my next topic of wittering.

The Eloquent Page

Last year was a pretty damn successful year for the old book blog. Over one hundred reviews, three conventions, and I got the chance to read some of the best fiction around. That can’t ever be a bad thing can it? Well, what I did come to realise is that it was taking up just a bit too much of my time. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read (I frickin adore it), but I just couldn’t keep up that pace.  Two books a week was cutting into the rest of my life way too much. I could have asked MadNad for more assistance but she already helps out whenever she can and she currently runs a couple of her own websites so. I couldn’t really expect her to give up her own projects.

The delicate balancing act continues

The delicate balancing act continues

So since January 1st I’ve cut down to just one review a week and I think this is working out much better. I can take more time over each book but still get to spend time doing something that I love. Perhaps I’ve finally figured out a balance that works for me? Time will tell.

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

Oh dear, this post seems to have taken a slightly downbeat turn doesn’t it? Can’t be having that. I’m all about the upbeat and spangly after all. In an effort to combat this existential funk lets finish on a high shall we. Look here’s a picture of a nude banana.

Gratuitous Nudity!

Gratuitous Fruit Nudity!

Till next time. (No, I don’t know when that will be either).

Be good

 

The Nature of an Obsessive Cheesecake

One Man and a List

I can get a little obsessive about stuff at times. During the week Mrs C pointed out a particularly good one. An obsession that I’ve never noticed before. (Turns out she spotted it years ago but never felt the urge to mention it before as she found it funny). It appears I have a habit of making verbal lists. Just can’t help myself. Most notably this happens when we first wake up or are on our way home from work. I feel compelled to tell MadNad exactly what I am going to do. Think a slightly more domestic version of this (with marginally less zombie killing and you’re thinking along the right lines).

Of course now that I am aware of this habit of mine it is driving me a little insane. The lists still kept forming in my head and I keep trying to stop it escaping out my mouth. Sad I know, but true. You know thinking about it I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have something to obsess about I’d more likely than not obsess about that.

A Number of Cool Things

Some cool occurrences this week

  • My collection of Lego minifigs has a new addition, The Daredevil. The comment was made that there is a passing resemblance between him and I. You know what? I’m totally ok with that.

He has his own mutherjeffing cape!

So Much TV, So Little Time

Currently Mrs C and I are watching/attempting to watch the following programmes regularly – Face Off, Continuum, Fringe, Merlin, Arrow, Last Resort, Warehouse 13, Haven, The Wire, Mad Men, Hunted, Grimm, The Almighty Johnsons, White Collar, True Blood and The Walking Dead. Next week Big Bang Theory returns as well.  All of it is pretty great tv but it is definitely getting trickier to keep on top of all this. I’m concerned that my brain is going to start bleeding out my ears.

Anyway enough of this meaningless frivolity. Tomorrow should hopefully bring Windows 8, Blood Fudge, Richard Burton and naked space vampires. I can’t really imagine that life can get much better than that can it?

Later my denizens of the Interweb

Mr Obsessive Compulsive Cheesecake