Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Size matters!

It's been a 'while' since my last update. I'd like to say it's because I've been busy, but to be honest I just haven't seemed to get round to it. Anyway, here goes one!

Life is alright really. Not great, but I am getting used to that fact again, and hey, no point dwelling on ones problems when they aren't really that great. I again have been thinking about the future. Being involved recently in a fair deal of public observing work with the Uni, I have had my interest reignited. Having spoken to a lecturer today about an old observatory of the Uni's I also think I have found something I can maybe work on. I really do enjoy the instrumentation and physical problems of telescopes, shame I need to wade through all this theory crap to get there. Still, this gives me a reason to I suppose, the prospect of working on a 20" fully manual scope must be worth something.

I heard a recent conversation on the radio, about what songs to play at your funeral. There was some good suggestions, a few of which I would like to share (and possibly have played at mine). The Road to Hell, and Wake me up Before you Go Go were funny and clever. Who Wants to Live Forever is quite a good song, with a decent sentiment, which wins points for sure. My favorite though was the suggestion of what to carry my coffin in to. The Cha-Cha Slide! Now having 6 pal-bearers carrying me in doing the Cha-Cha Slide, that's my kinda idea of a FUNeral! To those who might complain about my posts being a bit too somber or funeral based, I think this is quite funny and entertaining, so there :-P.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Here lies Martin Black

I was reading over old posts the other night, and realised I said I might post plans for my own funeral. So far I've had 3 bottles of Becks, 1 can of Fosters, and on my second can of Strongbow. If there is a better time to plan ones own Funeral, I am yet to think of it, so here goes!

First and foremost, it has to be a humanist service. I don't want any religious stuff. If people want to think of me going to some higher power to be judged, fair enough. That is their choice though, and I wish for my final celebration of life to be exactly that, a celebration of a life. I also want honesty at my funeral. When people speak of who I was, I don't want it to be a sugar coated version. I am a git, to my soul I can be a real bastard, and that's part of who I am. I want that said. It might sound crazy, but I rather people remember me for being me, not some kind of idealised version of me.

I'd like a cremation, or maybe one of these new fangeled freeze drying and shattering jobs. Having been to a burial, it's am almost horrific experience, and one I would wish on no one. A little red curtain (and it always seems to be red) closing over the wooden box is far more tolerable.

I hope that when I die I will leave at least some money behind. Most of this will go to my children, or more likely nieces and nephews. What remains is to be spent on the funeral. More precisely, on the party after it! I would like to be remembered as a man who through a truly awesome party. The catering is to be handled by Kubla Kahn. I want kangaroo, crocodile, wild boar, and shark to adorn the plate of those who cared enough to attend my final farewell. These things are the essence of what I wish to instill on the world. Try things, experience them, you will only benefit from this, and never regret trying something. Even if you don't like it, at least you can say you tried.

I want my final farewell to my friends and family to be remembered fondly. Speak of me, and of my life, do not be sad that it has ended, rather celebrate what it was. Each person gets a drink of their choice, after all I did too enjoy a good drink! I want everyone to be there. Those that are bound by blood, those that are bound by friendship, even those that are bound be hatred of me, come, speak, and celebrate who I was. I am not much, I am merely a man, but that is all any of us can ever be. Celebrate that fact. Enjoy life, and be glad of what experience you have, be they good, or be they bad.

From this anyone who needs to plan, or influence the planning of my funeral, whenever it comes, can see what I wish. Please honour these sentiments, and remember me as I wish. As narcissistic as all this is, hey, it's my funeral, it's not me you get to complain to!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Good Vibrations

Time for a change me thinks! Time to break away from constant moaning and complaining on this thing, and time to also start updating this regularly (someones been complaining about that!). I have a lot of long rants in my head about the world. These monologues, and dialogues, tend to go unsaid and unwritten. On that basis, lets start putting them down on 'paper' for the world to see. So, here goes:

This is something that I am sure has been covered by thousands of people over the world, be it in blogs, vlogs, PhD, books, TV, or pub rants, but here is my shot at it. Music must be one of the most bizarre things in the universe. Sound is nothing more than areas of varying pressure and rarefactions in the air. These are then interpreted by a fairly insensitive and flimsy mechanism in our body, turned into electrical impulses and sent to our brains. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. So why is it, that in specific orders, these electrical impulses cause such odd effects.

I'd like to think we all have those songs that cause our body to move in time to these pressure waves (some call it dancing), and others that remind you or people, moments, or events. I have a number of these, and each means a lot to me. In fact i do recall the music of one Barry White making me spin on the way up to a bar in the middle of the afternoon one day.

I'm a bass player. I started to play double bass 8 years ago, and am classically trained. Now I do have an appreciation for classical music, and do like some, but I was always the 'black sheep' of my orchestra's bass section. I am, in my 'soul', a blues and jazz man. I hated doing a lot of the stuff I was asked to, and eventually ended up only playing what I choose with my teacher. I think she enjoyed this actually, I brought in all sorts of stuff (including Deep Purple), and I think we both had fun playing these new and unusual pieces. Side note, some proper rock pieces sound great on double bass! I appreciate classical music, but am a rock, blues, jazz, and such fan.

I grew up around a lot of this, thanks to my dad, but my mum played a lot of country and pop, which I am not nearly as partial to. Why is it that although rock makes me feel good, other music doesn't. In a scientific sense, it' an almost identical thing. Although I do enjoy the odd country track, and hey who doesn't, certain music really doesn't appeal to me! Dance and trance music really repels me, and at time, makes me feel very unwell, to the extent of paining me! Why is this, it really makes no sence!?

I have looked into the technical side of dance music, how to mix tracks etc, and I can appreciate a good mix when I hear one. It takes a lot of skill, and there's a lot of people who really enjoy it. That said, I can't stand the stuff for any length of time! What is it that makes me feel a very specific way to one series of pressure waves, and totally different to a slightly different set!

Music also seems to be a very basic human instinct. African tribes, Aztecs, Scandinavians, all these early civilisations have some form of music. It tends to being with drums, then simple wind instruments, voices, and so on. What is it that compels us to make these noises, in that order, in that style? Why is it that it appeals to some, but not to all? This is a mystery that is lost to the ages I suppose, and thinking about it bares no use to me, you, or anyone else. Still, it's an oddity, and one that I is a good representation how I plan to continue this blog. If one person is made to question, think, and consider any topic, then I am happy that I have done something good.

P.S. I realise the title is very corny, cheesy, and something I should really be punished for, but hey, it was funny in my head!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


That's it, I've racked up the big 10! Sadly this in not in anything fun, or exciting, but rather in Funerals. Yes, in my 20 years on this Earth, I have been to 10 funerals. Today was the hardest one though, it was for me ex-girlfriend. After battling cancer last year, she died last week. Like most people I suppose, I don't really know how to react. People keep asking if I'm okay, and trying to look after me, which is lovely, but I am really okay. I wonder if it hasn't really sunk in yet, but having seen her coffin lowered into the grave, you would think it would. Am I just not that emotional anymore? Yes, we had drifted, and yes we were together over a year ago, but still, I really cared about her. I have been upset, very upset at times, but I don't know why. Was it over her, or was it because I'm not sure if I can really feel that strongly any more?

This has made me think a lot. During the service and all the events today, and a particularly fun walk home last night next to, and across, the river. I am not a religious man, quite the opposite infact, and death is something that really does scare me. Not my own, but that of those I care about. I do have to consider that if I go first, maybe it be easier than going last.

Having been to that many funerals, it does make me think about my own. Listening to what was said at today's service, I began to wonder what would be said at mine. Firstly it's a humanist funeral, so no religious talk please. People always say how great the person was during a eulogy. This makes seance of course, you don't want to be standing infront of all these peoples family and friends telling them what a git they were. Alot of today's was about her uni work, and drive for life. What would mine be? Would people be honest and tell the gathering what I was really like, or just say what is expected of them. I'd want them to be honest, and say what they feel, good or bad. I say gathering as if there would be alot of people, but I really don't know. I have met alot of people, and would call many my friends, but I do wonder who would be there.

I suppose I should really plan this out, and leave instructions for someone. Should write a will to really. I have planned to do both these things for a long time, and should really get on it. You never really know when someone might need them. Be warned, that might just be the next blog post!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

When the going gets tough, what do I do?

Yet again another month has passed and I've not used this. I suppose I haven't needed to as much. This is in a way my pressure release valve. I keep a lot of stuff inside, and am getting a bit worried that without some sort of safety valve I might explode like a pressure cooker full of soup! Which, for those who haven't see it, is pretty horrific, and a bitch to clean up. So, let the steam jet begin...

Things have been on the up, I'm in a happy relationship, and got some really great friends. Uni is a bit shit because it's exam times, but hey, that's Uni. Work is good if I'm honest, in a climate where people are loosing jobs left right and centre, I'm in a cushy one really. The main problem I'm having at the moment raises from my own inability to, I suppose, detach myself from certain people.

I've always tried to be there to help people, and although this has been alright in the past a couple of recent cases are starting to really drain me. One I'm just giving up on, telling him my honest opinion with regards to everything, and not sure if I care if it helps or not.

The other case is considerably more complicated. To call her my wife isn't an exaggeration, and I really care about her more than just about anyone else. I know she is having a tough time at the moment, and has been for a while. I can only try to understand how things are for her, and have really tried to do all I can. I'm not saying I'm perfect, I've fucked up many times, but all in all I'd like to think I've been pretty good. Sadly it's getting to the point now where I seriously am loosing the energy to do anything else. I feel like I am always doing everything around the place. Fair enough I'm probably not doing as much as I think I am, but at times I really feel like I'm a carer not a flat mate. I try to cut her as much slack as I can, but I really don't know what else I can do, short of becoming a surrogate parent.

The latest addition to all this, and I fear the tipping point for me, is over Karen. I understand that she hurt me in the past, but that's the past, and things are great now. By now we are all surely old enough not to hold childish grudges and move on. It's hard when one of the people you are close with is in a relationship and your not, I know that first hand. That said, when people I've been close with have been in what they felt were happy relationships, I was pleased for them, and made every effort to help and support them. I see the way she looks at me, the way she says things to me, and the way she is around us, and I feel guilty. I genuinely feel guilty for being happy for a change! Surely that isn't fair. I don't even know if she sees herself doing it, but why should I have the fact that she's lonely taken out on me?

At times I wonder if living with someone your that close with is a good idea. At times it's great, but those times seem to becoming few and far between. I want to tell her all this, but am seriously afraid that it might just make everything worse for her. At the same time I fear that keeping all this quiet and inside might do ME harm. I'm torn over who I risk, her or me. I seriously fear I can't carry on the way things are. I don't want to abandon her, living together can be great, but at the same time, if things don't change, I'm going to loose a friend. Some people I could loose and that would be okay, one of those things. She means more to me than that, she's closer to a sister than a friend. A wife with whom I've been with for years and knows the end of my sentence after 1 word. I don't know if I can bear loosing that connection to a person who means so much to me.

Life is hard, we all know this, she does better than most. We need people we can rely on and call when we need help. This works both ways and no matter how resilient people are, if you push hard enough even the strongest will yield eventually. One one side people say I need to detach myself, look after me, and everyone else has to deal with it. With most people I could do that, but not her. I want to help, but how much damage do I let my own brain do to itself until I have to stop.

I don't know why I think this will help. Maybe things like this are easier to write down that say, but will it come across how its meant? I guess all I can do is get on with things, see how they go, and hope for the best. Lets hope it doesn't come down to choosing my friendship that means more to me than you can know, or my own happiness and ability to get on with life. This seems a little over the top, but it's pretty close to how it feels.

Well that's the steam jet out for another month with any luck. Off to get more beer now, at least that's always to hand!

P.S. I don't think there's a single spelling mistake this time! :¬P

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Ups and Downs

It's been almost a month since my last entry in this, must try not to leave it so long. I've been tempted to update quite a few times, but never quite got round to it. Life has taken a few turns up and down, but hey, that's what makes it fun! *ahem*

Uni has been pretty intense of late. Tests every week, with the normal plethora of hand ins, labs, and such alike. Its all done, and I guess I shouldn't complain, this is uni after all. Got a presentation on Tuesday, not sure how it's going to go. Let's hope well. It makes me wonder what I want to do after uni, lecturing, research, maplin manager (please no!). I guess I need to wait and see how exams go, see what courses I take next year, or maybe just relax and enjoy just now for a change.

I got angry a f=couple of weeks ago. I get annoyed a lot, but rarely properly angry. It was on a night out, and I ended up dealing with a lot of people and their problems. Normally this is fine, and I can handle it, but that night there was so many. Other things happened to, those are where the anger came from, but I don't really want to think about them again. Becky was a saving grace that night. She kept telling me to stop caring so much, everyone there was an adult, and aren't my responsibility. She's right, as hard as I find it to admit. I need to take a step back I think. My friends are adults, and despite my better judgment and protective reflexes, maybe I'm better leaving them to make their own mistakes. Hey, maybe things I think are mistakes might turn out well, you never know. I just think it's time I stopped looking after everyone all the time, and maybe looked after myself.

I'm also back in a relationship now. The previously mentioned girl who was slowly destroying my heart as it turns out. The pain I was going through not that long ago kinda makes sense now. I've never felt this way about anyone before, and I really do think this is what people call love. That's not a term I like to use, its a bit too ambiguous these days. But hey, she makes me happy when I'm around her, and she seems to feel the same way. It's a nice feeling to have someone like that again. I really hope it last a long time this time, just need to wait and see I hope.

I turn 20 in 10 days. I'm not sure what to make of this. People keep asking me what I want to do to celebrate, and the truth is I really don't know. I honestly find myself struggling to really care that much. There's a lot in the last year I'd like to forget, and not a huge amount I want to celebrate. I guess I will see what people fancy doing, rather everyone went out and just had fun, than make it something about me.

Going to be an interesting week at any rate.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

What's Going on?

I decided to write this just now, as for once, I seem to be in a good mood!

This seems odd today. I have a maths class test tomorrow that I amen't sure if I'll do well in, I'm still worried about several of my firends, my room/flat is a state, still got loads of work due next week, I found out an old friends cancer has resurfaced, and I'm still confused over a certain girl. Yet, I'm okay, infact I'm, well, good.

Fair enough, I've got a couple of things at work sorted, got a decent afternoon/evening planned for tomorrow, and a mate got his HND today (which he's deserved for a while and is now finally getting it). I also got a kiss from a pretty girl today, which always brightens things up. Despite all this (and the surprisingly good music coming out of my headphones), I wouldn't have expected me to be like this.

Meh, guess I shouldn't really question it!