I am once again humbled and honoured to receive a nomination for the ABC – Awesome Blog Content award from fellow anime fan and blogger Medieval Otaku. Please visit his site for a different take on anime and its many connotations and influences that may not be so obvious to you.
As ever these awards work on a kind of Round Robin basis with rules that nominees are required to be adhered to which are:
1. Download the award logo and add it to your acceptance post.
2. Nominate a few fellow bloggers and share the award.
3. Since the award is ABC, take each letter of the alphabet and use it to tell something about yourself.
Here are my nominees:
Now to my alphabetised biography.
As you may have noticed my site is primarily about reviews which only reveal my personal tastes and opinions on films, anime and wrestling. Since most people use blogs to share personal information about themselves when writing or venting on certain issues their readers already have a pretty fair idea of the blogger themselves, making something like this a supplementary confessional. Therefore for me, this is the first time that much of this information about me has been shared and I have taken this opportunity to give you all an idea of the person behind MIB, hence the rather lengthy responses. I apologise for this but once I started I couldn’t stop, although I hope you will understand why once you read it.
So, here we go with twenty six personal revelations about ol’ MIB:
A – Autism. In October 2013 I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, putting me on the Autistic Spectrum, ending many years of worry, confusion and concern about my intellect, lack of personal interaction and social skills and other issues that have blighted my life. This is a huge turning point for me. I feel as though the reset button has been pressed on my life and now I have to undergo a new journey of discovery and adapting to and accommodating the changes that come with it. An uncertain and nerve wracking time for me but I hope it helps explain my behaviour and occasional odd comments for others, and lack of articulation and depth in my writing.
B – Blackmore, Ritchie.
My favourite guitarist. He may by a moody bugger but you can’t deny he is one of a kind and knows his way round a fret board, creating a style and sound that has influenced many guitarists including Yngwie Malmsteen, Chris Impelliteri, John Norum, Crispian Mills, Lita Ford and Janick Gers. And me. Sort of…
C – Chicken. My favourite food. Sorry veggies but roast, southern fried, sweet and sour, breast, drumstick, burger, kebab, breaded, dippers, nuggets, whatever – slap it on a plate and I’m happy as Larry. Although Larry will have to get his own!
D – Depression. Another unfortunate part of my life which will stay with me until my last breath although it is under control for now. I have since discovered that it’s partly related to my Asperger’s but it has been running silently within me from at least my teens. Two minor breakdowns were the results and while a real struggle to deal with I got through it and have been able to help a few other people with theirs which is oddly gratifying when you can share such a traumatic experience and save someone from the depths you have once seen.
E – Eggs. Don’t like them! Never have, never will. Unless they are chocolate.
F – Foreign language Films. An obvious choice but I had to specify this as I feel culturally and personally more enlightened and satisfied having embraced world cinema. If I hadn’t expanded my horizons in my film watching from beyond Hollywood, (with which I was becoming increasingly unsatisfied and unfulfilled) I wouldn’t have discovered many auxiliary interests such as anime, nor would I have begun writing film reviews for the benefit of other people curious about World Cinema, leading to this site, and indeed I wouldn’t have met so many great people on the Interwebz with similar interest. Finally, I wouldn’t be attempting to be a filmmaker myself had I not been inspired by casting my viewing net across wider waters.
G – Guitars. In case my earlier entry of Richie Blackmore wasn’t enough of a clue, I do like the old six-string (or seven strings and yes even the four string) beast. Fender, Gretsch, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Martin, Ibanez, Charvel, Jackson, Guild – oh yes! I’ve tried playing myself (I own three guitars – two electrics and one acoustic) and was even briefly in a rock band but I was the least accomplished player and could never really improve despite years of lessons and trying different styles. Over the years I’ve since drifted away from playing myself but I still enjoy watching guitar players of all styles and musical genres and they and their music will remain a huge part of my life.
H – Hair. My hair never goes the way I want it to. I know, we chaps shouldn’t be so concerned about such trivialities but as a self conscious person, I am always mortified when my hair looks silly. When it was long (many moons ago) it would get messy quickly and now it is short it sticks up at one side for some reason and gel just makes it worse. Maybe I should go bald but then people really would laugh at me.
I – Iron Maiden.
The greatest heavy metal band of all time and they’re British! One of the most consistent and best live acts I have ever seen (I was at Donington in ’88!!) and their songs (or at least guitar riffs) were among the first I learned to play on the guitar! Keep rocking guys!
J – Just Joking. Humour can be a very subjective thing but it is largely universal. However some jokes sometimes lose themselves in translation be it through cultural differences or due to their subtleties. I myself have grown up with irreverent and ironic humour so things like satire appeal hugely to me and have shaped my own sense of humour. Unfortunately – as I learned when I was being diagnosed for Asperger’s – I can’t always tell when others are joking and often take them personally. Conversely and rather ironically, my humour often goes over the heads of others and I am left looking like a fool. Still, you have to laugh, don’t you?
K – KISS.
The hottest band in the world! My favourite musical act in the world. Sticks tongue our Gene Simmons style…
L – Lillian Gish.
The greatest actress that ever set foot on earth. End of.
M – Music. I may no longer pursue it as a hobby or as a career prospect but music is still very much an important part of my life. As on oldie I am not in the least bit impressed with the effluvia that modern artists spew out with the exception of all female Japanese rock band SCANDAL. I’m strictly old school and beyond but that doesn’t mean my tastes are narrow: my 600 + CD collection includes rock, metal, thrash, pop, psychedelic, country, blues, classical, fusion jazz, AOR, nu metal, rock’n’roll, prog, folk, J-pop, J-rock, Synth pop, anime themes and more.
N – Nephew. Thanks to my sister and my brother-in-law, Kieran Benjamin Jones joined our family on April 8th 2003 and I can’t imagine life without him. From being a tiny, crying, pooping little chap to a cuddly energetic tot to the intelligent young lad he is today, Kieran is one of the few bright spots in my life that has kept from going off the rails when my depression takes hold.
O – OVFM. In 2010 I joined my local filmmaking club Orpington Video And Film Makers to further what I learned on a film making course I had just completed courtesy of the job centre. It’s been a gradual process but I have meet some cool people who have taught me a lot and helped bring some of my crazy visions to life as well as allow me to assist on their projects. I also take care of the content of the official OVFM website and I am now in the second year as a member of the club committee. For the first time in my life I have a sense of purpose and I am grateful for the good folks at OVFM for accepting me into their small community.
P – Parents. I have to say without my parents I wouldn’t be here today! They have put up with a lot from me over the years and still do, with the journey about to be extended as we explore the changes my Asperger’s brings but I will be forever grateful for their continued support.
Q – Queen II.
The second album from one of British finest rock groups is my favourite album of all time.
R – Routine. Being slightly OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) I am slave to routines in that I tend to do things at a certain time of the day, in a certain order on a daily basis or at least adapting to the situation. This can include washing and dressing myself, preparing food, eating it and so on. My parents often tease me about this but without these routines I’d never get anything done! Just makes sense to me.
S – Spiders. Hate the buggers! Ever since I was a tot and I turned over one night to find one on my pillow just inches from my face I’ve been traumatised. To this day I still have to get help when a REALLY big one enters my room – usually just before bed time and they hide behind my shelves so I never get any sleep!
T – Tee-total. I hate alcohol. Yes, hate. I can’t stand the taste of it, the smell of it and I don’t understand the whole drinks culture thing. Admittedly in the few years of my late teens when I had a social life I drank lager-shandy as it was the only thing palatable to my fussy tastebuds but it made me horribly bloated. The final straw came when so-called friends of mine turned on me, the only sober one after a night’s drinking. That’s when I realised that old T-shirt slogan of “Instant Arsehole – Just Add Alcohol” was correct. No more. Straight Edge all the way!
U – Uncle. First time I’ve had a supplementary title to my name (like boyfriend or husband) outside of the obligatory formal courtesy of “Mr” when filing informs or visiting the doctors.
V – Vaughan, Stevie Ray.
Another huge musical inspiration to me who was taken from us far too soon. He was the one who encouraged my interest in the blues to the point I listened to nothing else for a good few years. I tried to learn to play like him but there was only one SRV.
W – Writing. To be honest while I’m not as loquacious, articulate or as profound as many writers out there, it is one of the few things I think I’m good at. If I didn’t get to write my reviews, short film scripts, short stories or even Tweets I’d probably go insane, especially as I bottle so much up anyway. And if my writing is what brought some of you here to my blog and is the reason you stick around then I thank you for your continued support. It is greatly appreciated.
X – Xenophobia. Particularly towards foreign language cinema. It vexes me when I read reviews on LOVEFilm from people feeling cheated because a film *gasp* “had subtitles” or they thought it was “okay for a subtitled film”, as is films not crapped out of the arse of Hollywood are possessed by some kind of toxic properties likely to pollute or disorientate the minds of the English speaking world with their own unique take on the world. Sometimes ignorance is NOT bliss – it’s infuriating!
Y – Young, Neil.
Another musical influence whose gentle melodies, poetic lyrics and maverick attitude resonates with me. “A Man Needs A Maid” is one of the very few songs that brought a lump to my throat.
Z – Zzzzzzz. I think we all need some sleep after getting through this lot! Congratulations and thanks for reading if you made it to the end!
Thanks again to Medieval Otaku for his ABC Award nomination and of course to each an every one of you for your continued support of my humble site. Much appreciated.