Category: Round-Up

The October Round-Up!

The October Round-Up!

I’m trying to be a little more positive in these blog posts, but y’know what I hate? I hate the cliché that getting broadband sorted is always a hassle.

I hate it more when that cliché ultimately proves true.

Your brand and spanking new broadband will be ready to go on the first of November, they said. My surprise when my lovely new router still glared at me with a red light at 23:59 on this date was minimal.

Second of November, while I’m out, a gentleman showed up at the door and said he was there to take a look at it. We expected no visit. The gentleman knew this. The gentleman was sent out because EE alerted him that our broadband hadn’t turned on and was sent out to investigate the fibre in the area. If anything, he was being a good sport by coming to the door to check out the source, but still, a phone call wouldn’t have killed.

Later that day, I came home to find that the reason it wasn’t working is that it wasn’t plugged into the central phone line hub or whatever. No worries. Sadly, the central phone line hub (or whatever) is in the back room of the flat. A room, given the density of the ancient walls in my home, I affectionately refer to as THE DEAD ZONE. No signal makes it in or out of that room, and the bloody router doesn’t work when set-up in any other room.

I upgraded my broadband. In one room, my internet is furiously quick, but the rest of the flat has actually suffered a downgrade.

So that’s why the blog is late today.

insta

October review time! Gonna try out a hundred-word format to keep my activities digestible. Grab a coffee and…

Grim Celebration!

Those of you who took a gander at the acknowledgement pages of Grim (my book, which exists here, just FYI…) might remember I only wanted to make enough money to take Simone for Mexican tapas. Well I got paid, baby! We got our tapas, cocktails and left with change to buy a ridiculous toy I won’t apologise for. You’ll see it on this blog soon. Thanks to everyone who bought Grim – you helped me become a PAID WRITER, and I owe you big time! (Though technically, I gave you a book… so I owe you nothing.) Check me out:

IMG_20171006_192038

Grim for Free!

In other Grim news – holy shit people really like free shit. I don’t know why this shocks me. FREE is the only word most street vendors of Stylist, Shortlist or NME bother to say as they thrust a magazine into your hands. For four days I gave away Grim for free and trampled all over the total sold copies. I’ve tripled my readership. Any of you brought here as a result of this free purchase, HEY! Did you enjoy Grim? Leave me a review! Help a brother out. Oh, and stick around here for nonsense every single Friday – people love it.

Club Noir

Club Noir is a strange beast. I mean… it’s a bit mental. It’s a burlesque show, a variety performance, a nightclub, and an all-inclusive carnival of the most creative people in Glasgow. I saw genderbends of Harley Quinn, Negan, and Rick and Morty. I saw the most convincing Miss Trunchbull this side of Matilda – he was terrifying. Legit: a witch cast a spell on a businessman, put him in a cauldron and cooked him until he burst out in a rainbow-clad, spectacularly camp performance of Little Mix’s Black Magic. The witch got naked. I went as a clown.

Stranger Things Season 2

*Not too spoilery, but proceed at your peril*

Pretty much perfect. Obviously. Hopper and Dustin stole the show (even if Dustin was THE DUMBEST BOY at one crucial point – you’ll know it), though most-improved definitely goes to Steve. Steve is the man. I’m rooting for Nancy to get back with him. I’m fickle, what can I say? The story was thrilling – DUH. Effects got the big-budget overhaul the show needed, pulling the whole production up a gear. The downer? Sigh. Eleven went fairly underused. Her subplot did the whole ‘send Luke off to learn from Yoda’ shit. Not cool. Aside from that? Yeah, pretty much perfect.

Thor: Ragnarok

I saw a tweet which sums up the new Thor film, it said: “They liked Guardians of the Galaxy, right? Let’s just turn that up to 11.” It’s pretty spot-on. It will make you laugh – loads. It’s the funniest Marvel flick since GotG. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its touchy-feely moments, just like GotG. I walked away from it wondering if the Thor in this film and the one in his prequels were even the same guy – the tone shift is that drastic. Absolutely BRILLIANT, though. DC have their work cut out for them next month…

Low Volume 4: Outer Aspects of Inner Attitudes

This comic is set in the distant future, where humanity is forced to live underwater because the sun has expanded and irradiated the surface. Bleak, but absolutely gorgeous. The story treads water (pun very intended) though. It ignores the cliffhanger from the last volume (fuck comics), but kept my attention with an arc about a girl getting her hope back. It’s a solid addition to the Low saga. If you’re into it, it’s going to keep you there. If not, don’t start here. You won’t have a clue what’s happening. I barely did, and I’ve read the last three.

Rat Queens Volume 4: High Fantasies

Here’s the fun shit. If you’re a fan of high-fantasy questing, dragons, beasties and taverns built on ale, or sassy humour and characters you know, even after a few pages, then Rat Queens is your jam. The Queens, a team of bad-ass multi-species bounty hunters, head out on an epic quest to… pretty much pay the rent… get a few drinks… pay for some cake… Girls gotta eat, y’know? It’s got dungeons, massive sky snakes, riddling goblins and a sprinkling of family drama. Rat Queens is good for fans and newbies alike.

Lord of the Flies

There’s been some… mild controversy surrounding this book recently. I (shamefully) had never read it, and I wanted in. Could this book be done with girls? Turns out of course it fucking can’t. Girls would act entirely differently (I’m not gonna say better or worse), so the plot would be different, wouldn’t it? Not really Lord of the Flies, is it?? And Jesus Christ WHY ARE MEN WRITING THIS? AM I TAKING CRAZY PILLS, HOLLYWOOD?? FOR FUCKS’ SAKE.

The book itself is a masterpiece though, no doubt about it. Fully deserves its place in history. Five stars. Woo.

And that was my October – what did you get up to? Any thoughts on Thor, Stranger Things? THE BASTARDING LORD OF THE FLIES NONSENSE? Let me know on Twitter, Facebook or in a caption underneath a photo of your dog on Instagram… or in the comments section below if you’re into that.

Also, while I have you, I snuck in an extra update earlier in the week about an awful experience I had with a pot noodle, check that out by clicking HERE.

Aaaaaand last week I gave some really, just excellent advice on how best to be an adult. If you missed that, correct that HERE.

Catch you next week, for another story time edition!

It’s Gavin

The September Round-Up!

The September Round-Up!

It’s October already. Fucking hell. Because it’s the first week in October, it’s time for Gav’s September round-up! What are you talking about, loyal reader? I do round-ups all the time. You sound mad. Speak to someone about this.

September is the best month, or so my BUSTEE LADEEZ calender tells me (this calendar does not exist)

I’ve had a bit of a lucky month. It’s pretty cool. It started with a night out after work, where a friend of mine who’s partial to a (insert a cool reference to gambling here) on the horses. He took me under his wing and showed me that even on a Friday night horses are running somewhere. I put a bet on at 4/1, and then said friend handed me a £20 note. That was very cool. He suggested that I reinvest my winnings, but I went and bought alcohol instead.

The following Friday, just like I do every Friday, I entered Where the Monkey Sleeps weekly Kurgan competition. Where Monkey Sleeps is a pair of hipster lunch shops in Glasgow and every week they put on a bloody ridiculous sandwich that usually melts my eyes. Every week I enter a competition to win one, and on this Friday, I did! It was fucking delicious. Friday’s get better with free food. Nothing is better than free food.

The following Friday, at another alcohol-themed evening with my work colleagues where they were already giving away four drinks per head, I won a random draw for six extra beverages! Sambuca happened. I regret everything.

And finally, I entered the Glasgow Urban Market £50 draw. Actually, it was Simone; I just tagged her back and came away with the win.

It’s been a sweet month… just wanted to say.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to in September.

September Out-and-Abouts

Glasgow Urban Market

So yeah, I won fifty quid for the Glasgow Urban Market. It runs the first and third Sunday of every month, and is well worth the visit if you live in town. There’s definitely something for everyone every time. I’m not too into stationery, arts and crafts, but I’m definitely into whisky and hot sauce. On the first Sunday of September, I wandered down to the Drygate Brewery, collected my £50 vouchers and came away with the following items:

A lovely plant named Edgar, a pair of excellent whisky glasses, and a couple of hot sauces.

The plant – and more specifically, the pretty pot in which he sits – is done by Zoe Scott. She does spectacular shit with concrete. Check her out.

The hot sauce was by Hawt Soss – yep. This stuff is good, and one of the jars I picked up will likely end up in a future hot wings challenge (because you know I’m definitely doing that again). The brown jar is a delightfully autumn pumpkin spice hot sauce. Yes, that’s probably the most hipster thing you’ll hear today, and I’m not even ashamed. I ran a dab of it through some haggis earlier this week, and it changed the game. The other sauce, a ghost chilli number, is a few degrees hotter. I’ve got a charged cigarette butt for a tongue these days, so it’s probably a good bit too spicy for casual use. If you’re into hot food, you’re into this.

La La Land in Concert

La La Land was the inspiration behind that whole self-publishing thing I did (have I mentioned on here I wrote a book called Grim?) so I was always going to catch it in concert.

Jesus H. Christ it was magical.

I’ve been to a similar show with Back to the Future, where they played the film on screen with a full orchestra performing the score as and when it played on screen.

I’m still not at all sure how the fuck they do it. I mean, I suppose it’s the orchestra’s job to know how to play as and when they’re told, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular to see.

If you ever get a chance to see something like this, I can’t recommend it enough. There’s a whole new appreciation to be had when every song is followed by applause.

September Reads

I put away a couple of books this month.

The first is The Three by Sarah Lotz.

This book is about four plane crashes that happen at the exact same time across the world, and each plane had a single child survivor. The book, narratively, is fascinating in that it’s told almost entirely through interviews, newspaper clippings, book extracts, magazine features and tape recordings. It’s a smart device, and it’s efficiently used to unwind the plot, bit-by-bit as the world falls apart. These three kids are suspected to be three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, or aliens, or possessed by demons, or miraculous healers. The world freaks out, and it’s… I mean… it’s not hard to believe. The book only really lets itself down with a vague ending, shortly after it slips into a much more standard third-person perspective, following the main character around. Aside from that, though – easy to recommend.

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle

The Commitments is an outstanding film. It’s a staple in the McCallion household and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. This book… it isn’t the film. It’s more or less a script for the film, mind you. The Commitments is a rise of the band tale, following the Irish saviours of soul from formation to the brink of a record deal. Roddy Doyle’s writing style of scene hopping lends itself well to a film. The pace, springing from dialogue to dialogue is absolutely rapid, and it holds all of the films charm. Awfully short, mind you. A hundred and fifty pages or thereabouts, but it’s an easy read which falls a touch short of the film (which is startling, because usually the books throttle the films).

September Flicks

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I hate my friend, Jamie – of this ridiculous burger fame – for going to see the original Kingsman and never once telling me about it. Not once did he say ‘Gav, see Kingsman mate, it’s really good. Especially this one ridiculous fight scene where Freebird plays as brutal murder ensues. You need to see this.’ Not once did he ever say this to me, regardless of what he says on the matter.

I did eventually see the first Kingsman flick. It blew me away. It was a terrific film on its own, but it got a boost because of my low expectations. Thus, it went from very good to excellent.

I went to see the sequel in September and it wasn’t as good. It was still a good film, don’t get me wrong! It just suffered from the sequel problem. Expectations were high, there were clumsy callbacks to the original, the things everyone loved about the original were exaggerated for effect. It was just missing something.

It’s comparable to Guardians of the Galaxy. Not as good as the original and it was never going to be, but still a decent entry in the franchise.

The cast were excellent. I love everybody in that film. The plot was thin, but enjoyable once my brain turned off for a bit. The action was two big thumbs up, and every fight scene had a cool song playing over the top. This is what I like to see, and you should too.

Oh, and there was too much Elton John.

Yes. There is such a thing.

That’s me for September, I’ll see you next month. It mad that I didn’t read any comics in September. Like, at all. That’s not right, right?

Follow me on Twitter here, Facebook here, Insta here and catch-up with last week’s gluttonous mess of a blog here.

Enjoy your weekend!

It’s Gavin