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Showing posts with label Juice Nothing Article. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juice Nothing Article. Show all posts

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Worst to Best: Jarexit

Worst to Best: Jarexit, my travels across the world

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

During our great year of 2018, the Astroturf Wizard of Algoraz visited me threefold. With each appearance, he wielded his conscious spork with great vigour and smashed a chain attached to a limb, announcing a new form of liberation per every strike. First, the constraints of a fixed financial location were shattered, no longer forced to suckle at a master's teet wherever they wished to lay, for now, my professional avenue had been blessed with wings, allowing me to reap the fruits of my labour anywhere that the Wifi Gods spun the sky. The next chain to go was the alcoholic mistress and her nagging cackles placing curses upon my shoulders which not only clogged my love arteries but also raped my wallet for any which gold it may contain⁠, now lifted from any future story forever. And, finally, the bounds of a lease were eradicated, my binding signature on that lawful scroll finally expiring, meaning that, for the first time in my life, I, was, well, and, truly, free.

And so I yanked out my trusty map and then I tore it to little shreds. I flipped a three-sided Smanko coin, I scanned Skyscanner for the cheapest flights and then I fucked right off using my middle fingers as paddles. There's nothing wankier than a circle of digital nomads massaging each other's shoulders about their digitally nomadism, but that's what they started calling me and I am far too busy to argue. Instead, I somersaulted from land to land using nothing but sheer determination, the Queen's money, and aeroplanes, ultimately visiting 14 cities in 10 countries in four continents in six months (and one day). And even though I have ample documentation which proves the trip took place (all photos included are my own, btfw), this story is already fading into the back of my memory like a hazy dream which never happened. Ah yes, the poison of Serosamu's brain flaps are always flaring up around this time of year.

Hence the purpose behind this blog. To hold my memory eggs close. And to show off, look at me, look at me. But mostly the eggs thing, I think. But wait! There's more! This report can also work as a wonderful resource for you! If you so ever wish to visit one of the countries below, seek this list and you shall find anything from my ratings of local hostels to my thoughts on their pub crawls and even my main tourist recommendations slapped at the end. Oh, and on the off-chance that our adventure paths crossed swords along this road, then don't be surprised if you find your name lurking within these lines. Although then again, there's also a huge chance I completely forgot about you, in which case, I bow my head and apologise without any idea who you are, sozlul. Get in touch and you shall magically appear.

You know, I was planning to write a brief intro and now look what you made me do. Here's the Worst to Best of Jarexit:


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 10. Cape Town, South Africa

10. Cape Town, South Africa


Dates: 17 Feb 19 - 23 March 19
Accomodation: Family [N/A]

Talk about an unfair positioning, Cape Town came into the game with a slew of crippling speedbumps, far too disadvantaged to compete in the same weight group as every other stop on the Jarexit tour.

The primary problem is that I know Cape Town like the back of my hand because the back of my hand has spent over a decade living in the area, meaning that there isn't too much of this place that I haven't seen already. My mind has conversed with various other minds about this curious problem, and many agree that the anticipated welcoming sense of finally coming home isn't necessarily a given, and instead, the extended absence can actually work against its flavour. Regions generally don't change as fast as people do, and when people stay in the same place for too long, their pace tends to stagnate and mimic their immediate environment. Which is to say that while my last 10 years have been exposed to so many scary edges of the world, Cape Town has stayed largely the same except for less water (there has been a severe drought plaguing the city for the last few years with Day Zero threatening the headlines on numerous occasions), less electricity (some days we experienced six hours with no power which is impossible for someone who works from home), and more violent crime (we're currently 15th highest in the world!). To make it even worse, Capetonians are so chilled that they just keep on smiling, shrugging, "That's Africa for you!" while my soft pale British centre is screaming in panic, "Can't you see how fucked this is?!".

Shit gets worse on a personal level. You see, when I moved to London, I could forget my previous life and become a fresh me because nobody knew who I once was. Fake it 'til you make it, yeah? And eventually, I became the guy I wanted to be simply because I was no longer burdened by the mistakes of adolescence that we all carry (especially because those tumultuous years predated the infinite recordings of social media). But in Cape Town? People remember that version of me and then I look into their eyes and I remember it too. Oh no, it's you! I begin to shrink into a shell I thought I'd shed and I revert back to that beta Jared I despise, pining over ex-girlfriends who haunt every corner of this miserable metropolitan while I cry to my mommy and my daddy for help. Wash my stuff! Buy me clothes! Give me a lift! Feeeeed meeeeee! And as we go on, these dusty grooves are carved out stronger, the ailment only worsening over time, which isn't great when I ended up staying here for a month and a week. The longest Jarexit stay of them all! Too long!

Of course, at the end of the day, forget everything I just said, I actually had an excellent time. You'd struggle to find a city as gorgeous as this one and the fact that nobody but my sister knew I was coming provided us with some very unique footage. Speaking of which, my whole family went above and beyond to show me a good time, and that they did, with plenty of healthy hikes among the beauty of Cape Town's endless nature, and plenty of unhealthy car crashes following at the pub. One of the most testing aspects of solo travelling is the loneliness, and there was none of that here (unfortunately no shout-out list this round, there are too many of you!). Another one of the most testing aspects of solo travelling Europe specifically is the lack of vitamin D, of which there was no problem here, the sun was fucking cooking! And, finally, due to the free accommodation, the dinners provided by parentals, and the general depth of the rand, this stay proved to be an essential buffering period for the finances, providing me with a full house of rejuvenation, ready to march on with stamina in my step and a belly full of Pronutro. Did I mention I saw The Cure live here? I did!

Top Five Recommended Sights
Top of Table Mountain, The Bo-Kaap, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Top of Lion's Head (sunrise hike!), Boulders Beach.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2 (Table Mountain exclusive) | Set 3


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 09. Da Nang, Vietnam

09. Da Nang, Vietnam


Dates: 23 Apr 19 - 4 May 19
Accomodation: Motel Alex [7.9/10]

This tale begins with a Facebook friend I'd never met named Danny who, upon witnessing my adventures online, enjoyed regularly commenting that I better come visit him in Da Nang, "Or else!" (he didn't actually say that, but he was fairly adamant). I often explained how unlikely this turn would be, as I was trying to touchdown in capital cities for the most part and also, what the fuck is in Da Nang?

Then Thailand happened and my bank account was in tears which was when I noticed that Da Nang was not only a super cheap flight away but it was also a super cheap place to go in general. And that was enough reasoning for me! Let's go to Da Nang!

A lot of people that I've spoken to who have visited this city tell me they weren't impressed with it, but I am here to stand by Da Nang's worth and emphasise that this low positioning on my list has very little to do with the region itself. There are a surprising amount of sights to see, most of which combine natural wonders with man-made elements so harmoniously that I'm not sure I've seen such an impressive execution like this before. What's more, there is a fantastic community vibe wherever you go, everyone relatively friendly, albeit unable to communicate due to the language barrier and often staring at your hair because you're the first white person they've seen in weeks (although my nosering may have played a role). Even more cool stuff includes the Wifi which was strong and abundant (better than most first world countries), the currency which is called dong, and the exchange rate which translated deliciously in my favour. I was a fucking millionaire!

But shit went wrong. A lot of shit, all at once. I suffered from heat exhaustion which is way more intense than people give it credit for. I got into various large online arguments about spoilers. I broke my luggage wheel beyond usability. And I smashed my MacBook's screen beyond visibility (which, btw, I managed to get fixed within hours on a Sunday so props to those ninjas!). Couple this with the fact that I often spent hours in anxious tears trying to locate any vegetarian food whatsoever, resorting to cheese on bread more than I'd like to admit, and it's kinda easy to see why I fell into the darkest pit of my entire travels, a five-day uninterrupted onslaught of depression, feeling so alone (no pub crawls exist here!) and praying to just go back home to London. However, as I have noted before, who's to say this wouldn't have happened anywhere else in the world anyway? My depression is like clockwork. So predictable. Certainly hormonal.

Oh, and I did meet Danny in the end. Nice guy, which is always a relief.

Top Five Recommended Sights
The Dragon Bridge, My Khe Beach, Bà Nà Hills, Am Phu Cave, Sơn Trà Mountain.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 08. Berlin, Germany

08. Berlin, Germany


Dates: 22 Dec 18 - 5 Jan 19
Accomodation: Happy Go Lucky Hotel + Hostel [6.3/10]

Much like Cape Town, the odds were shamefully stacked against Berlin. For, you see, this narrative truly begins in 2016 for my birthday, where myself and like 10 of my bestest mates visited the area for the first time and we were all awestruck by what we found. That's a different story entirely, but let it be known that when I left, I was announcing to the world that Berlin this was the greatest city in the whole wide world wide web, hence why I was soooo excited to go back despite my acute awareness that it had impossibly stretched stockings to fill.

In what I thought was a clever attempt to recapture that magic, I booked myself into a super sociable hostel, claiming one single bed in an eight-person dorm. As this was over the Christmas and New Years period, I had visions of making brand new lifelong friends and exploring Berlin's endless party scene with them until I fell in love with someone and got married and never left, sorted.

What happened instead was an endless revolving door of revolting people coming and going, zero connections made while a choir of snores extended my bedtime and frequent early morning arguments woke me up at ungodly hours with a frown. The streets were also explosively loud as one would imagine considering the time of year. What's worse is that this hostel had no kitchen, only one tiny designated fridge space per person (for a price) and an extortionate breakfast buffet if you needed sustenance. I had resorted to stashing bread rolls beneath my bed and slapping some cheese on them until they went stale, then replacing them to start the cycle again. Even decent restaurants and grocery stores were hard to come by because everyone was on holiday while almost NOWHERE accepts cards, it's ridiculous. So if you do the maths, my sleeping cycle was shot, my diet was void of any nutritional value, and while I was out and about, it also rained constantly, leaving my general arsenal fairly depleted throughout.

This journey of hiccups came to a grand climax when, on the 2nd of January 2019, some asshole stole my iPhone from right next to my sleeping head. Talk about a painful comedown, I woke up with a sinking feeling of violation and then I had to go to the fucking cop station to make a report, cowering beneath two scary officers who spoke a very rudimentary form of English. It was agonising.

But with low lows come high highs, right? Right! And if we can ignore the hostel, Berlin itself still delivered as a city shouting with culture and awkward historical landmarks which changed the world. What's more, the (anti-)pub crawl I embarked on was loads of fun until we went to that absinthe bar and I lost everyone moments before I vanished off the face of the planet into a blank sea of green. Even better, New Years was off the fucking hook! My solid mate Brothers magically appeared out of nowhere and invited me to a small yet deborturous house party where I met Tim, Anne, and Martin, all of whom are legends and, by the end of everything, are now solid mates too. We watched the 360 fireworks from their rooftop which was about as insane as my racing heart could handle and then we spent the next day winding down at a giant spa where I saw roughly a thousand people naked (and spent roughly a thousand euros). That was one for the books.

I left Berlin battered and humbled, swiftly reminded that I was a little boy in a big world and life would fuck me up at any time if it so chose to. Alright, you win! Peace! Peace!!!

Top Five Recommended Sights
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, The Brandenburg Gate, The East Side Gallery, Nico's Grave, Alter St-Matthäus-Kirchhof cemetery.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2


Definitely Not a Cry For Help, Chapter Three: Berlin
This episode is out! Click here to watch it right now!


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 07. Athens, Greece

07. Athens, Greece


Dates: 2 Feb 19 - 16 Feb 19
Accomodation: Athens Private Room [9.6/10]

You may start to notice a pattern when it comes to the lower section of my Jarexit catalogue, and that is this: if I've visited the country before, it tends to score lower. This is for obvious reasons. The sucker-punch of brand new sights and unique cultures is softened by memory foam, the overall wow-ness diluted as one retraces their steps rather than gazing at the world with a fresh batch of dribble decorating the chin. Athens had this problem, as I'd previously visited the region in 2012 with my then-girlfriend. This was her hometown which made it even worse because everything reminded me of her, yuck! Haha just kidding, hi, Lizzie.

With that out of the way, there was nothing not to love about this city and everything actually went smashingly well. Certainly, there weren't that many things to look at (I had to limit my sightseeing to one location per day just to stretch my time out) but the main attractions are so undeniably monumental that they do rise above pretty much anywhere else in the world in that "historic value" type of plain. It's impossible to avoid some sort of a funny feeling when you see shit like that. There were also plenty of other little spices which I adore about this location, for example, how the city is slowly crumbling all around you, how the abundance of street cats watch you from their peripheral vision, how Greek people do not give a fuck about anything AT ALL, how basically the first sunshine of 2019 hit my face here, and how the pub crawl I went on was a ton of fun (hello to everyone I met from that event, namely Hesam, Shabnam, and especially Jessica and Kathi who were kind enough to have drinks with me the next day. An extra happy point to Maria, thanks for showing us around!). And yet... somehow, above even all of these highlights, was my accommodation itself, as undoubtedly the most comfortable room of my entire trip. I felt like I was at home right away and I rated it higher on Booking.com than anywhere else. I could live there, easy. Also, this is the perfect junction to say hello to Max. Hello, Max.

Athens always had the impossible task of following up Rome, which nothing had the power to conquer. But, by the end, it had won over a very special place in the greater puzzle of my tour. I owe a lot of this to my intended slower pace which made for a much calmer experience and, weirdly, the time flew by way fast, concluding with an element of sadness, apprehensive to leave, which was a first by this point.

Top Five Recommended Sights
The Acropolis of Athens obvz, Gazi (for nightlife), Mount Lycabettus, First Cemetery of Athens, Pittaki Street (and the surrounding areas).

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2 | Cribs video


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 06. Copenhagen, Denmark

06. Copenhagen, Denmark


Dates: 8 Dec 18 - 22 Dec 18
Accomodation: Guesthouse Copenhagen [6.7/10]

Copenhagen has set up a special little hut in my guts as the very first stop on my Jarexit journey. I feel like I was but a small child at this point, uncertain if my plan was even going to work, fumbling through life with my palms stretched out and a bottle hanging from my teeth, eager to step forward but also anticipating a face-first tumble, knocking the dominoes as I did so until they all fall down.

Thankfully, this city was a massive success and worked to stack upon my confidence while setting the fun-bar nice and high. I mean, I could have done without the expensiveness of this place, but it truly felt like a "you get what you pay for" type of scenario, where there was a certain type of magic here that even money couldn't buy (especially because Christmas was just around the corner, and their associated holiday markets are world renowned!). The sharp bites from the freezing air further added to this festive experience, keeping your mind on high alert as the surrounding visuals radiated with vibrant colours, granting ample breathing room due to the vast serene water landscapes which surround everything, with hardly any litter or poverty to block your fantasy skip. A-grade statue game too! I dunno, it just seemed that the quality of life here was super easy. Everyone was happy. Nobody was apprehensive to speak (a first-language level of) English to me. There was a lot of smiling shared between me and strangers, and it didn't even freak me out.

Considering that this was a big step towards the ultimate independence, it's surprising that some of my main highlights were actually of a social nature. On my first night, I met up with some old workmates who had no idea I was coming, and I then later attended the best pub crawl from the whole journey. I developed three particularly potent friendships during that event (namely Athena, Michelle, and Tristen, hi!) and these dudes were legends! Very friendly, welcoming me into their circle of trust, then inviting me to spend the whole next day with them, exploring this pretty city while comparing our hangovers. With a bit of luck, friends for life! Oh, and hey Katie!

I want to end with the Danish word called "hygge". I'm unsure how to pronounce it, but it means "quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being". There is no direct English equivalent of this word because its very definition is unique to this country's lifestyle. It's something I wouldn't have understood unless I had experienced it myself, but I have, and I do. Ok, but here's an English word for you: "Go!". As in, "Go to Copenhagen, it's rad".

Top Five Recommended Sights
Superkilen, Nyhavn, Freetown Christiania, the top of The Rundetaarn, The Little Mermaid statue.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2


Definitely Not a Cry For Help, Chapter Two: Copenhagen
This episode is out! Click here to watch it right now!


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 05. Melbourne, Australia

05. Melbourne, Australia


Dates: 18 May 19 - 1 Jun 19 (9 Jun Aus extended)
Accomodation: Hub Hostel (8.8/10)
Gold Coast Acc: Ash's House (N/A)

Australia was placed in a precarious position before I'd even washed up on their shores, purely because it was specifically chosen to be the grand finale of my six-month tour. And as it sits here, slap-in-the-middle of my lineup, it doesn't take a genie to calculate that it delivered on some fronts, yet fell short on others.

My main complaint about Melbourne (and Australia as a whole) is that it's lacking a certain historical flavour and ingrained culture which my tummy craves. I mean, there are pubs in England which are a hundred years older than this entire city. Hence why, due to this newborn freshness, it does feel a little characterless, and my brain tended to completely switch off during my explorations, not a threatening thought to be found. I can't even count the number of occasions I awoke, standing on the side of the road, waiting endlessly for the man to turn green, and I'd ask myself... wait, where the fuck am I? This place looks like literally anywhere! I have no idea what country I'm in right now! This happened a lot. What's more, it was their winter, and I was suddenly cold for the first time in over four months. Badly timed.

However, these are insignificant complaints when you consider this as a nation who are undeniably the most chilled out people that I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a space with. Everything functions, there is a lot to see (and I saw a lot!), and the overall quality of existence is so pleasurable that's it's kinda ridiculous that the British sent the convicts here. They should have come themselves! Leave the convicts in the snow! Too late now. Anyway, the vein of social activity also pulsated particularly strong in this region as I met up with old friends (all the love in the world to Soph and Hannah, you mah girls!!!), met up with new friends I'd never met before (shout-out to Greg and Cam, Pencilmation represent!) and my hostel was buzzing with life as one of the coolest accommodations I'd ever stayed in. The pub crawl was also decent even though I didn't chat to anyone except for Hannah. Furthermore (and this might sound a bit gross and Western-y), but after the lengthy South East Asia excursion, it was a relief to converse in English to literally everyone! And drinking water directly from the tap? What a treat!

Admittedly, Melbourne should actually be a bit lower on this list, but it was bumped up due to its sneaky little side step where I slid off to visit my top-shelf mate (and fellow Funpowder Plotter) Ash in the Gold Coast. And this place was waaaaay superior! It was like LA with its endless beaches and plastic people and sunshiny weather. In fact, it was still winter over there yet it was miles warmer than London's average summer, hence why I laughed as I went for a run in the heat whilst the locals freaked out about how it was "the coldest June on record". Furthermore, my last day was an ending so perfect that I couldn't have written it myself, as we hiked through a rain forest near Kez's place followed by some surfing then a meal with another long-lost mate, Al. Such a great send-off to conclude my entire Jarexit tale, my one and only regret being that I didn't stay longer. Too easy, mate! Toooooo easy.

Top Five Recommended Sights
Melbourne Museum, State Library Victoria, the fruit bats of Yarra Bend Park (go at dusk!), The National Gallery of Victoria, AC/DC Lane.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 3 | Set 4 (Gold Coast exclusive)


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 04. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

04. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Dates: 04 May 19 - 18 May 19
Accomodation: i-Heritage [6.7/10]

The very fact that I was going to Kuala Lumpur showed little more than the reflection of a man who had given up completely. As the second-to-last country on my journey, I no longer cared where I was going because (after Vietnam) I simply wanted to get this over with and go home and curl into a ball and die in front of Mother Netflix. Literally, the only reason I chose KL was that the final destination of Australia became closer, meaning cheaper flights. That. Was. It. I remember even thinking to myself, "Ok, this is going to suck, it's going to be a tough two weeks, but if we can just get through it, then we'll be in Australia and everything will be ok again".

In the end, it was these very fatigued preconceptions which worked massively in this city's favour as I was caught staggering off guard by its proper city city vibes, so much so that it reminded me of London in various obscure aspects. So many different cultures and religions were mixed up together yet everyone speaks English because they learn it in school by law (a clever government tactic to encourage tourism growth). Plus the place simply works, I even managed to get my luggage wheel fixed here for free! In that same consumerism type of way, a visit like this is less about fancy landmarks you've heard of or sightseeing touristy adventures for the whole family, but rather more about the living breathing city itself, vibrating from an indescribable feeling while hiding little gems in every crevice, enough to keep me busy right until I boarded that plane again. Even the weather was absolutely fascinating with frequent explosions of downpouring thunderstorms despite the temperature never dropping below 30 degrees. I have it on good authority that it's like this all year round, and I loved it.

Side note: I watched the noise pop band Deerhoof here and then I met them afterwards SO THAT WAS NICE. Big fan, I totally groupied out too, yet another point to KL!

It's worth noting that I intentionally focused much of my time here trying to fix the gaping holes in my psyche which I punctured during Vietnam. I attacked my every fibre with all of the positive warfare I could muster, including a strict balance of exercise (I ran 33.55km over the two weeks, which is decent) and a healthy diet (I followed my self-penned Good Mood Food guide almost exclusively), which defragged my brain and filled up my stoked-pockets right to the brim again. Oh, I remember me now! I'm alright!

Finally, an extra special mention must be circled around the cute local emo girl I matched with on Tinder. We chatted, we met, we got drunk, we ate food, we fucked forever and then we stayed by each other's side for close to 24 hours following. It felt like we were in a real relationship for this brief flash of time and then we said goodbye, which was actually kinda sore. I would fly back just to see her again.

So, Kuala Lumpur then, any complaints? Sure. The drink prices are extortionate. The porn laws are ridiculous. The pub crawl was dead (hey, Ryan, how are you?). My hostel's internet connection made me want to kill myself. But other than those, this is one underrated location and more people should be talking about here all of the time. It's criminal that people don't.

Top Five Recommended Sights
The Petronas Towers from KLCC Park, KL Forest Eco Park, Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park, Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Museum Of Illusions.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 3 (Deerhoof exclusive)


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 03. Budapest, Hungary

03. Budapest, Hungary


Dates: 05 Jan 19 - 19 Jan 19
Accomodation: The Point Guesthouse [8.3/10]

Man, I struggled to articulate what it is I loved about Budapest, but I guess... everything? It was cheap cheap cheap, the land seemed very clean, the locals were happy to help, the atmosphere was laid back, there were plenty of beautiful historic landmarks to check out, the tidy architecture tickled my intestines, and the thick snow was a masterful touch to the slow beauty already in place. Plus, my insurance kicked in and my new iPhone arrived to replace the stolen Berlin one, so yeah! Everything! It all just went right!

In fact, my friends Tanya and Simon were visiting too, and it kinda became a running joke between us that nothing ever goes wrong in Budapest. No matter what we wanted at whatever time, it always seemed to fall in our laps around whichever corner and then we laughed as we explored these Hungarian landscapes while building snowmen and dranking drinks and ateing eats everywhere we went, costing us next to no pounds at all. Flawless! Perfection! The pub crawl was a ton of fun too and I even went on my first Tinder date ever here, so I mean... everything!

Ok, of course, I do have one complaint, and it was the guesthouse I stayed in. I mean, the private room was nice enough (and an absolute godsend after the eight-person dorm hell of Berlin), but the live-in manager was a total douche. We butted heads a few times, the most notable of which when I accidentally left a tiny piece of pasta on the kitchen counter. I was out drinking on a Saturday night when I received a very passive-aggressive text from the guy, condescendingly moaning at me for my oversight. Naturally, I apologised profusely and took extra care going forward, but when the time came to review this accommodation, I decided to mention this parental incident as part of my conclusion. This fucker then responded by calling me the messiest guest he's ever had, which is something I have never been accused of in my life! Which is why I was strangely proud of the honour. Little old me, all the way up at number 1! Imagine!

Anyways, of every place I visited, I feel like Budapest would be the one I'd most likely recommend to just about anyone because it ticks the most boxes and I feel even you could find what you're looking for here. It was pure therapy for me.

Top Five Recommended Sights
The Buda Castle, The Hungarian Parliament Building, The iron shoes on Danube Bank, The Citadella at the top of Gellért Hill, The Garden of Philosophy.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2


Definitely Not a Cry For Help, Chapter Four: Budapest
This episode is out! Click here to watch it right now!


Worst to Best: Jarexit: 02. Rome, Italy

02. Rome, Italy


Dates: 19 Jan 19 - 2 Feb 19
Accomodation: Legend R.G. [8.8/10]

The fact that Rome isn't number one on this list is daylight robbery because no city on Earth has ever moved me more than all of this right over here. I wrestled with this ranking for a while and, ultimately, this is how the cards fell. But let it be known that Rome is still my go-to answer when people ask me what my favourite stop was, hence why I'd like everyone to rather value this point as a tied first-place because that's what it is.

Oh Rome, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Three. There were three ways. As follows:

ONE: As with everything, practice makes perfect, and this applies to travel too. Rome marks my fourth Jarexit stop and, by this point, I had proven that my system worked. My footing was moving fast, my hours were being utilised to their maximum potential, and all of my previous apprehensions had evaporated into the mist, leaving me to flap my arms and make bird noises, finally free from everything. Italy's capital was the first city I truly dived into head first and, my God, I did not expect what I found. I only came here for the cheap flights, man!

TWO: In terms of historical monuments, Rome's unique slabs of recorded magic are unmatched. Any given turn and you find yourself in the middle of what felt like a film set, exactly how you imagine ancient Rome to look, perfectly preserved except twice the fucking size of what your mind could possibly illustrate alone. These seemingly endless sights tower above you, brimming with woah, a necessary distraction from the trashy streets below. It overwhelmed me with its monstrous presence and I had to eat so much pizza just to keep myself grounded. It was unhealthy.

THREE: My hostel was a social goldmine, cleverly designed to fan the fires of newfound friendships by offering free communal breakfast in the morning, and free communal wine in the evenings. And I met what felt like hundreds of people here, levelling up with at least one decent friend per each night, and usually a ton more. It was so good that even though the pub crawl was alright enough, I just wanted to come back and hang with these dudes. The number of times my heart broke saying goodbye in this hostel was enough to make a grown man cry.

There were too many of these soldiers to name, but I must give respect to the A-Team: Maelle, Lucie, Rodrigo, Sua, and especially Ahmed who was there from Day 1 until Day 14. The second-wave also deserves some love, so here it is: Gwyn, Emily, Curt, Noah, and Roshiwow. Oh, and of course, Luuk and Kaiting. And Elizabeth. Owen. Gabriel. Thiago. Dmitry. I've forgotten someone for sure.

So yeah, the thing is that there were multiple moments in Rome where the emotions rose above the vocabulary. I remember walking down the road a few times, happily chatting away with people I've only known for a few hours, off to find a pub, and then suddenly stepping out of myself, thinking... this is it. This is what travelling is all about. This means something. And then when I strolled into St. Peter's Basilica and nearly fell over, a profound spiritual experience took place within me, not exactly enough to convert my agnosticism to any solidified belief system, but a definite realisation of what Jesus meant on a conceptual basis. In one quick second, I understood the value of religious figures, not in terms of some imaginary relationship or debatable scripture or historical mumbles, but as an unachievable benchmark which I and you and everyone else could utilise to become better people. It was the closest example of a fundamental shift I've felt in over a decade and I nearly burst into tears on the spot. I was uber hungover though, so take that as you will.

Near the end, I fell quite ill, pinned to my pillow by sweat, hallucinating, the works. Perhaps this was my pores trying to reject Jesus? Whatever. The point is that this didn't taint my experience, but it did create a craving for a little privacy away from this shared space and I was ready to leave when I left. Except now I was armed with a new lease on life. I had a deeper connection with "God". And I no longer cared about trying to find something or myself on this mission because, whatever that was... whatever that was... I found it in Rome.

Top Five Recommended Sights
The Vatican City/Vatican Museums/St. Peter's Basilica, The Colosseum, The Forum, The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius, Trevi Fountain.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2 (St. Peter's Basilica exclusive) | Set 3


Definitely Not a Cry For Help, Chapter Five: Rome
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Worst to Best: Jarexit: 01. Bangkok, Thailand

01. Bangkok, Thailand


Dates: 24 Mar 19 - 06 Apr 19 (23 Apr Thai extended)
Accomodation: Yaks House Hostel [8.8/10]
Koh Tao Acc: Summer Guesthouse and Hostel (7.9/10)
Koh Phangan Acc: Wan's Garden (7.5/10)

What's fascinating about Bangkok is that pretty much everyone I know who has been here told me that they hated it, and what's more, I would certainly hate it too. They informed me that a few short days were more than enough and I was insane to attempt to endure this city for two weeks. Of course, as you've worked out by now, this was not my experience. Not in the slightest.

What people get wrong about Bangkok is that it takes at least four days just to remotely get your head around the place. You've got to hang on tight otherwise it will overwhelm you until you freak out and run away like a little baby. I mean, after two weeks I had only just about got the hang of it, and even then I wasn't too sure. Although this may all depend on your appreciation for crazy cities because Bangkok is a fucking crazy city. I love crazy cities, by the way. It may also be worth mentioning that I had two of the greatest guides anyone could ask for, Angela and Henry, who showed me the ropes, took me to see Jimmy Carr, then set me free to play. Thanks, guys! Everyone needs an Angela and Henry in their lives.

Ok, so what's the big deal? Well, as with any all-encompassing-sensory-overload, it's difficult to dumb down a soul-shaping experience by using the limited space between the boundaries of language, but I'll start by relaying that it felt like my finger was stuck on the fast-forward button. This sentiment rings particularly potent when screaming down the busy intersections on the back of a Grab taxi scooter facing oncoming traffic. I could taste the backdrop of my adrenaline gland. Not to mention that the sex industry here is far more intense than Amsterdam and I spent many nights drinking in bright neon malls which were actually a collection of bars which were actually a collection of strip joints which were actually a collection of fancy brothels, enjoying the stream of 10/10 Thai models who were trying to fuck me for money while the ladyboys waved their little willies in my face. I may have felt quite powerful if I didn't actually feel as if the entire surface area of my skin has been covered with filth. Although that may have been the sweat because FUCK ME the weather was HOT. I don't think I actually breathed oxygen once while I was there.

A lot can be said for chaos, I'm all about it, but this alone is not enough to dominate all of my travels ever. Instead, the key to Bangkok was the absurd juxtaposition of it all; the disorderly seediness balanced out by the polar opposite spiritual essence, the exact point on earth where the sinful meets the holy, a loud vibration of turbulence worn like a coat upon a deeply calm centre. Buddhism, man. It's so chill, so humble, so welcoming. Just how they treat tourists with such respect is unlike anywhere else on my trip, and any exchange came with a mutual understanding that we were both helping each other out in our own ways. So yeah, take this religious stillness fucked with perverse indulgence, and you pretty much have Jared in a nutshell.

My main testament to the power of Thailand was that I quickly realised that my already-booked flight to Singapore was simply not going to cut it and I promptly skipped that part, opting to explore the country a bit further via their infamous island lifestyles. One Facebook vote later, and my friends sent me along my way to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. You may think that this subplot has unfairly manipulated the score to prop Bangkok up on this pedestal and, yeah, you're probably right. However, arguably not as much as one would assume, as these two locations somewhat cancelled each other out.

On the one hand, Koh Tao was a paradise on earth which could easily suck you in forever (I met some of its victims). It's basically a long casual festival vibe bursting from young people who chill on the beaches and hike through the mountains while popping the over-the-counter Valiums—just a real holiday feeling which I used to eat and exercise myself back into health and cleanliness. Oh, and that pub crawl? Massive. Excessively so. The biggest in Asia. About 130 people. Insane.

On the flip side, I spent my time in Koh Phangan pretty much just running away from vicious dogs trying to eat me alive, so that wasn't as great. The Full Moon Party was definitely as epic as everyone said it would be, but I am decidedly too old for that shit, and also, seriously, that dog thing still haunts me today.

All in all, I went far too hard, my accommodation was always above par, I met many cool people (hey Keyaria, hey Tobi, hey Doina, and especially hey you, Eve), and I ultimately loved it so much that I overstayed my visa by one day, my passport now proudly sporting the Thai stamp of naughtiness forever. Worth it!

Hope to see ya'll next time around!

Top Five Recommended Sights
The Grand Palace, Nana Plaza, Top of the King Power MahaNakhon, The Ratchada Night Market, Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan.

Instagram Snaps
Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 3 | Set 4 (Koh Tao exclusive) | Set 5 (Koh Phangan exclusive)





Sunday, 30 December 2018

Dear 2018,


Dear 2018
I hope this letter finds you well.

This written communication is intended as one of recognition, as I bestow my gratitude upon you on behalf of the entire human race. Thank you so very much for your participation in our lives over the past 12 months, you did a splendid job of getting us from January to December without ending the world, a threat which has been looming on our minds since the dawn of time. Naturally, it goes without saying that any accurate general consensus of your overall performance is near-impossible to evaluate, as many different people have had many different reactions to how you chose to run the show. Such an indeterminable conclusion is the unfortunate (and highly annoying) curse of being human, a species forever plagued by varied ideas and experiences, in perpetual conflict with one another about absolutely everything at once. However, I can report with all honesty that everyone was appreciative for your existence. Otherwise, what would have come after 2017? Straight to 2019? That wouldn't have made any sense. We rely on uninterrupted logical sequencing. Such a jump would feel uneasy, to say the least.

Every year the responsibility of writing a letter addressed to these designated time periods seems to fall on me for some reason. My only guess as to why, is that the rest of the world are too busy out there having fun, enjoying their time off in the gap between Christmas and New Years, eating an excess of home-cooked calories, tearing colourful wrapping off of material wants, informing one another about the love they share between their hearts. As for me, I thankfully have no such distractions and can devote my free time in a stressful panic, ensuring that you get the respect you deserve just before you vanish into the ether of history, and just before I have to go back to work. No holiday for me, never ever.

So let's get to it then, and if I had to sum you up in one sentence, 2018, it would be the following: The contestants of Love Island dress up like Marvel characters then dance the floss to that Baby Shark song, except the baby shark itself is choking to death on a plastic straw which anyone can watch directly from their Facebook feed as it steals their data, all the while Trump Trump Trump Brexit Brexit Brexit Trump Brexit Trump Trump STILL. Sound about right? Although, then again, that hardly seems fair, does it? Such a brief sentence does not do you any true justice. You were so much more than that, 2018. Not only in terms of global news stories but also in terms of the people and your role in our individual lives. You meant something unique to everyone, no matter what that may be.

Which brings us to the real reason for this reflection, what some may call the "meat of the matter" but not me because meat is murder. As after this very introduction, I will be spending the next 2,621 pages celebrating your lifespan, one fucking day at a time. I will be breaking down each significant event independently so that you and I and every reader can gradually digest your little nuts and bolts until the greater picture develops of what made you so special. Even more important than this, however, is how I will be cunningly using this platform as a guise, pretending to give a fuck about anything else except for myself, focusing a notable portion of this text on my own life, ensuring that anyone who reads this piece is forced to learn about me. It's all essentially one massive sneaky manoeuvre, alluring people in with the promise of a yearly summary and then covertly shoving my face into their face with my tongue sticking out. I've done this for 10 years now, and I've got away with it every single time.

2018! Your moment is here as you near your final breath. I salute you as I give you absolutely everything I've got, rushed without care, quantity rather than quality, content rather than contentment, please only remember me for the good times. This is you:

Use the following key to find what you are looking for much quicker:

ICON DESCRIPTION
Personal stuff that relates to me.
Notable people who died.
General news, often of a political nature.
Some big event.
Disasters, mostly natural.
Internet related news.
Music related news.
Film/TV related news.
Science/Technology related news.
Award ceremonies.
Gigs I went to.
Trips I went on.
Books I read.
Articles I wrote/Juice Nothing related news.
Scripts I wrote for Pencilmation.
Music I was involved with.
The Funpowder Plot related news.
Paintings/Art I did all by myself.
Money I won.
The King/Queen of 2018.
Mental Health Checkup.
My social media posts which I am the most proud of.



Dear 2018, January: I start my year in sunny Cape Town, Black Panther smashes everything, the lead singer from the Cranberries dies, Logan Paul films a suicide, Ugandan Knuckles knows the wey

01 Jan
2018 started. I was in some apartment in Cape Town (my home town, South Africa) which I'd never been in before, getting up to all sorts of mischief with friends I hadn't seen for many many years. Some of them had changed. Some had not. It was lovely. For the most part.
Regardless, when I was crying in the arms of my mate Ash because it was the first time we'd spoken since Bowie had died, I was acutely aware that I was in the middle of a magical moment which I will treasure forever.
You know Knuckles from Sonic? Now meet Ugandan Knuckles, an avatar created by YouTuber Gregzilla for the multiplayer game VRChat. Despite their trademark saying "do you know the wey" existing since 2016, it was today when it all exploded due to some video evidence. There is a lot more to this, but all you need to know is that it was the first funny internet thing of the year, blasting out right as the doors opened, and it's fucking great.
On the final day of 2017, YouTuber Logan Paul uploaded that video of a dead man who had hung himself in the "suicide forest" in Aokigahara, Japan. It gained 6.3 million views in one day and people were not happy due to the vlogger's insensitivity. Petitions were signed, Paul removed the clip, Paul apologised, and YouTube suspended him from monetising his videos for a while. In my opinion, it became a bigger deal than it should have. The guy was doing his job, and he's obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed, cut him some slack? Or don't, I care so little.

04 Jan
Raymond Thomas was the founding member of The Moody Blues. According to wiki, his flute solo on "Nights in White Satin" is some sort of a prog rock God moment. He died today at 76 for no reason, apparently.

05 Jan
Mikio Fujioka or "Ko-Gami" was the awesome guitarist for the awesome BABYMETAL band. He fell from a high observation deck while stargazing on December 30th, 2017. He died today at age 36 from those injuries :(

07 Jan
75th Golden Globe Awards. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won four (including Best Motion Picture, Drama), making it the heighest earner (which I am very happy about!). The Shape of Water and Lady Bird each won two too 2.
Garon Tsuchiya was a Japanese manga writer best known for the classic Old Boy. He died today at age 70, dno y.
Christopher Andrew Tsangarides was a producer. He was so good that he was nominated for Grammys, even. He had worked with Judas Priest, Anvil, Depeche Mode, Tom Jones, Ozzy, and Killing Joke. Today, he died from pneumonia and heart failure, aged 61.

10 Jan
The last surviving member of Motörhead's classic lineup, guitarist Eddie Clarke, died today at age 67 from pneumonia.

12 Jan
Despite existing since December 2017, it was around here that the Tide POD Challenge really took off, encouraging kids to bite into laundry detergent pods and resulting in various cases of poisoned children. It became so popular that YouTube and Facebook even started removing videos. So this is where we are then.
During negotiations about the Obama-era DACA program which protected undocumented child immigrants, President Trump reportedly asked “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” in reference to people from Haiti, El Salvador, and African lands. According to Mr Trump, I am from a shithole country, but I loved how we got to hear a swear word on the news night after night. Say what you will about Trump, he's kinda fun!

13 Jan
One of the best moments of my Cape Town trip by far happened this morning as we climbed Lion's Head and watched the sunrise. It filled me with such serenity and appreciation for forces larger than me. Truly one of the most beautiful sights my eyes have reported. You could never capture such a thing inside of an iPhone, but I gave it a go.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally sent out a false alarm which warned the entire state of a ballistic missile attack. Pure panic spread for no reason, really funny, I love a happy ending.

14 Jan
Barbara “The Butter Queen” Cope was a groupie who earned her name from using Land O'Lakes butter during sex, yum! Claiming to have fucked around 2,000 musicians, her services have been immortalised in the song Rip This Joint by The Rolling Stones. Sadly, she died today at age 67 from a fire in her home.

15 Jan
First real biggie of 2018: Dolores O'Riordan, singer of The Cranberries, died today at age 46. The cause was an accidental bathtub drowning thanks to alcohol intoxication. Heartbreaking stuff.

16 Jan
Landed back in London after a lovely little trip to my Cape Town original home. Highlights included: drinking far too much with Jaclyn, chilling with friends I hadn't seen for YEARS, getting laid, catching up with Wilmie, bonding with my mama at Kirstenbosch Gardens, having dinner with four generations of my family, my dad, walking through forests with Chantelle, walking through forests with Canny, playing frisbee on the beach with brother (and, at times, my brother-in-law), art galleries, and simply playing the lone tourist in my own city. I may have forgotten someone or something, is this you? Get in touch, I'll edit. That's the beauty of the digital world. We can turn back time. Here are some photos.
It was nice to be back in London though, as I'd recently quit my frontend web job to become a full-time writer, and seriously needed to sort that out before I starved to death. Plus I was still living with my best mate Ammr in my favourite London house ever, so life outside of my mind was looking very promising indeed :)

17 Jan
I created this vector for people who are celebrating a birthday but also like violence.
Simon Shelton played Tinky Winky in the Teletubbies, 1997 - 2001. He died today at age 52 from alcohol and hypothermia.

19 Jan
And today was the day when I had the bright idea of turning my already brilliant one-liner social media updates into rough illustrations, meaning I could now introduce my genius/stupidity to the world of Instagram. It all started with this guy, and from here I will be picking out my favourites which you can spot by the lego icon to the left as well as the fake hashtag which reads #Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018.

20 Jan
After a dispute over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation, the U.S. government shutdown happened on the first anniversary of Donald Trump taking office, ending two days later.
Bass guitarist for The Kinks (1978 - 1996) was a guy named Jim Rodford. He was also part of Zombies. He died today at age 76 after a fall.
I snuck out a little rant on this blog about Tinder without announcement. I really enjoyed writing it.

21 Jan
Connie Sawyer was an actress dubbed "The Clown Princess of Comedy", often known for her elderly lady roles in films such as Pineapple Express, Dumb and Dumber, and When Harry Met Sally. She died today after a good run of 105 years from a heart attack. At the time of her death, she was the oldest working actress in Hollywood, as well as the oldest member of the Screen Actors Guild.

23 Jan
Attended an immersive musical about Neverland with Hannah. Nearly had about a thousand panic attacks.
Finished reading Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson. I know it sounds lame, but honestly, it did some good, definitely the best "self help" publication I've read on the topic. Check out my full review on Goodreads here.
Ever hear of The Pizza Underground? American comedy band? Who covered Velvet Underground songs but changed the lyrics to be all about pizza? Who handed out free pizzas at performances? Macaulay Culkin was a member? Anyway, they disbanded around this date.

24 Jan
Chinese scientists report that they have created the first monkey clones using somatic cell nuclear transfer. They named them Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua.
Mark E. Smith was the singer and only constant member of post-punk band The Fall, who made music for 42 years. This ended when Mark died from a lengthy fight against lung and kidney cancer, at age 60, today.

26 Jan
We Shall Overcome was a key protest gospel song during the Civil Rights Movement first published in 1900. This means that it should have fallen into the public domain around 1976, but The Richmond Organization claimed they still owned it. A lawsuit in 2017 pushed the company to agree that it did not actually own anything. Obviously, I'm summarising here, go read more if you're curious.
Back to work, and after The Clever folded, their sister site The Richest was quick to snap me up, thanks! It was far more celebrity focused, which I was fine with. Here was my first (boring!) article: Drake’s Pick 6ix Is Overrated (And So Are These 15 Other Celeb Restaurants).
Sundance: A Quick History Lesson was published on Flick Fans. Despite promises of a much higher payment, working on my weekend, and countless email exhanges, FLICK FANS NEVER PAID ME FOR THIS ARTICLE. I was pissed off, really considered leading some social media attack, but then remembered that I'm trying to be a better person. It's not worth it my chi. But fuck them, truly. Our professional ties were severed immediately, and you won't hear me utter their name again unless I suddenly change my mind and wage war. Ugly stuff.
UPDATE: Just before publishing this article, I noticed the site is down hence why the previous link is a dead one. Looks like they were more fucked for cash than I imagined, lol!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (1/50): It's easy to be funny when your life is one big fucking joke.

28 Jan
60th Annual Grammy Awards! James Corden hosted. Bruno Mars was nominated for six awards and won ALL OF THEM. For these reasons (probably), it was viewed by less people than the entire show's history, with a 24% drop from last year. At least Jay-Z was nominated for 8, yeah?

29 Jan
Had sex with a pretty girl and caught a bad case of the flu which I couldn't shake for fucking weeks. Single life is overrated.
Black Panther world premier. Went on to gross over $1 billion worldwide, now ranked as the 9th highest-grossing film of all time. Meanwhile, the Marvel Cinematic Universe became the first film franchise to profit over $14 billion, with five billion-dollar films under its belt now.

30 Jan
After Mark Wayne Salling (from Glee) was caught with child pornography in 2015, his life kinda spiralled, and he hung himself dead today at age 35. People had plenty of opinions about this.

31 Jan
Finished reading Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Does this say anything about my mental state at the time? My mom was super worried. Anyways, I enjoyed it, read my full review on Goodreads here.
Getting ready for Valentine's Day, I made this adorable vector, awww.
First legit Juice Nothing article of 2018, namely The 10 Worst Beatles Songs. Kind of a throwaway which I wrote for another publication and got rejected. Still, in a world of Beatles salivation (including my own), it's refreshing to hate on them for a minute.
The Moon really went all out today. Total lunar eclipse. Supermoon. First blue moon eclipse of 2018. Officially known as the Super Blue Blood Moon. Fucking do the thing, mate!

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: December 2017 was really tough, but it was during this January month of our 2018 that I slowly got back to my feet and started to fight again (I even spoke to a doctor for some advice). By the end of said month, I had found some happiness again, thank God.

Dear 2018, February: Zuma resigns under pressure, Elon Musk and SpaceX launch a car into space, Marjory Stoneman Douglas shoots up his high school, it snows like mad in the UK, KFC runs out of chicken

01 Feb
I knew nothing about John David Battaglia Jr. until I was researching for this very article but his story hit me hard enough to include it. He was a man who shot and killed his two daughters (aged 6 and 9) in 2001 while he was speaking to his ex-wife on the phone as an act of "ultimate revenge" against her. John was executed today in Texas by lethal injection. He was 62. He was yuck.
Dennis Edwards Jr. was the frontman for The Temptations. He died today at age 74 after fighting meningitis.
First film review video of the year as well as the first for roughly four months! Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which was obviously a fucking brilliant flick. Other cool thing to note: all 2018 video reviews came with funky thumbnails which I created! LOOK AT THEM. LOOK AT THEM ALL.
Richest Article: Beyonce's Baby Bump And 15 Other Stylish Pregnant Mothers Who Broke Instagram. I'm not exactly proud of this.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (2/50): People say that there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but thanks to unsustainable consumerism, that’s not true anymore.

03 Feb
In order to fight fake news and government-run propaganda, YouTube began to label "state-sponsored" content, starting today.
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler was one crazy drummer man! You ever heard the song Billie Jean by Michael Jackson? That's him. He was all over Thriller. Anyway, prostate cancer took him away from us today at age 65.

04 Feb
Super Bowl LII, where P!nk performed The Star-Spangled Banner, Timberlake performed the halftime, and the Philadelphia Eagles won.
Best known as Frasier's dad in Frasier, actor Charles John Mahoney died today at age 77 due to complications from throat cancer.
Richest Article: 50 Cent's Accidental $7 Million Bitcoin Investment And 15 Other Surprise Celeb Riches.

05 Feb
When I was but a humble web designer at Dennis Publishing, it was always a dream of mine to one day write a piece for our coolest site, Den of Geek. Today, that dream came true, with The History Behind 10 Cartoon Catchphrases piece. There was a time that this would have meant the world to me, but of course, it changed nothing.

06 Feb
Elon Musk and his SpaceX buddies successfully blast their most powerful rocket yet, the Falcon Heavy. Part of this was the dummy payload Tesla Roadster, a car, which is now forever orbiting our planet, with David Bowie’s Life on Mars playing on loop. I mean, it's hard to hate that really.
Muhiyidin El Amin Moye (aka Muhiyidin D'baha) was a leading Black Lives Matter activist, famous for crossing police tape to snatch a Confederate flag from a demonstrator on TV. For reasons certainly related, Moye was shot dead today at age 32. No one knows who did it.

07 Feb
Today The 2018 Winter Olympics begins in South Korea until the 25th of Feb. Norway won 39 medals, Germany won 31 and Canada won 29. Germany and Norway tied for most gold, with 14. Hosts South Korea won 17, their highest ever (including five gold).
Here's a weird one. Jill Laura Sobel Messick was a film producer, known for her work on She's All That, Mean Girls, and others. She was also Rose McGowan's manager back in 1997, which was around the same year that Rose McGowan claims Harvey Weinstein raped her. In 2017, after the allegations went public, certain private emails sent from Messick were used by Weinstein's lawyer to contradict McGowan's claims. Because of this, an onslaught of cyberbullying fell upon Messick. Despite supporting the #MeToo movement, Jill became a victim of it, and as a result, she killed herself today at age 50. Her family released a potent statement which blamed the media, Weinstein, and McGowan, going on to say, "Our new culture of unlimited information sharing and a willingness to accept the statement as fact. The speed of disseminating information has carried mistruths about Jill as a person, which she was unable and unwilling to challenge. She became collateral damage in an already horrific story."
Richest Article: Justin Timberlake's New Rustic Look And 15 Other Celeb Styles We Don't Get. Sounds shit, but I actually got to analyse some cool celebs in this one.

09 Feb
The Logan Paul saga continues, as YouTube finally take action and suspend his ability to advertise on his content, costing him a reported $1 million a month.
Reginald Eurias Cathey was an actor best known for his roles in The Wire, Oz, and the 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four. He was also in House of Cards, for which he earned three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor, of which he won one. After reportedly battling lung cancer for a bit, he died at age 59.
John Gavin was not only an actor (perfoming in Imitation of Life, Spartacus, and Psycho) but he was also once the United States Ambassador to Mexico and the President of the Screen Actors Guild. He died today at age 86 from pneumonia complications.
Richest Article: Jay-Z And Bey's $1.16 B Fortune And 15 Other Couples Who Belong To The 1%.

11 Feb
Shortly after take-off, Saratov Airlines Flight 703 crashes in Moscow, killing the 71 people on board.

12 Feb
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (3/50): Jesus, take the wheel. Get behind me Satan, and push.

13 Feb
Went and watched Kendrick Lamar and James Blake live at the O2 Arena. The venue sucks, the beer was overpriced, and we were a million years away from the stage. At the same time, James Blake was emotional and Kendrick controlled that massive crowd like the true master he is. Honestly review though? I was so drunk it literally could have been anyone over there.

14 Feb
After nine years in power, Jacob Zuma resigns as President of South Africa which was nine years too late but still a huge celebratory moment for the country. Cyril Ramaphosa took over the duties.
Another mass American high school shooting today, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Florida. Seventeed dead, seventeed injured, making it up there with the worst. 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz confessed. Various long-standing warning signs were discussed. Gun control came up in conversation again. The world forgot about it shortly following.
For Valentine's Day, I watched Black Panther with Ammr because that's what my life has come to. Which is to say, totally excellent!

15 Feb
After lengthy rumours, The Smashing Pumpkins officially announce that original members, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, are back in the group. D'arcy Wretzky was not. They then went on to later release the worst album of thier career.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (4/50): Spare Likes please.

16 Feb
Richest Article: 15 Trust Fund Celebs Who Got Famous Because Of Their Rich Parents.

18 Feb
Another flight tragedy, this time Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704, flying from Tehran to Yasuj, crashing into Zagros Mountains, killing all 65 passengers.

20 Feb
Round about here: due to a newly-contracted distributor (DHL) fuckup failing to deliver on its chicken promises, KFC ran out of chicken, temporarily closing 575 of its 900 UK shops. It's the first time that both vegetarians and meat eaters alike cursed at their name.

21 Feb
The 2018 Brit Awards. Jack Whitehall hosted. Dua Lipa and Stormzy won two each. I think this might be the last year I include this rubbish on my precious blog, it deserves better.
Richest Article: 20 Advantages Of Being Born Under The Billionaire Ruler Of Dubai.

22 Feb
New Video Review: Black Panther.

23 Feb
Richest Article: 15 Random Things Michael Jackson Spent His Millions On.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (5/50): Polyamory is great until one person gets the flu.

24 Feb
Starting here was the "Beast from the East", a cold wave which smacked the UK and Ireland, bringing fuckloads of awesome snowfall and vicious frozen bites of pain. Couple this with the windstorm season (Storm Emma) and we had much chaos including landfall and 16 fatalaities a week or so later.
William Everett "Bud" Luckey did many things, including the designing of characters for Pixar including certain peeps featured in every Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. He also voiced Eeyore in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh film. He died today, and at the age 83, it was naturally natural.

27 Feb
Today the South African parliment passed the motion which allowed for land reform without compensation, due to the white farmers stealing the land from the black natives in the first place. When asked if this didn't echo the disasterous plan of Zimbabwe not so long ago, the government said "no, this is different".
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (6/50): The first step in solving all of the world’s problems is for everyone to admit that they might be wrong.

28 Feb
Another vector creation! This time a shark, raawrr chomp chomp eat your children in a bloody mess lol.
Today I released my Worst to Best: Aerosmith article. I mean, like, finally, amirite??

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: This month I focused on getting my career on a stronger path and I think I made some quite decent progress. I was still a little wobbly, but I was marching forward and there was a definite improvement throughout Feb. This is important because you can only stare the devil down his urethral meatus for so long before you die.

Dear 2018, March: Stephen Hawking dies :(, my first Pencilmation cartoon comes out, #DeleteFacebook is briefly a thing, Stormy Daniels talks about how she had sex with Trump, American Chopper Argument holds strong.

01 March
Today, Pencilmation doubled my hours, which meant I could quit my more tiresome clients and make money doing something I actually loved. When I linger on that thought for even a moment, I struggle to breath beneath my gratitude.

02 March
Billy Herrington (aka Aniki) was a gay porno star who became an internet meme known as "Gachimuchi", particulary popular in Japan. These were basically mash-ups of his videos used to troll people. ANYWAY, he died today in a car accident at the age of 48.

03 March
The 38th Golden Raspberry Awards (or Razzies, as they're known in the right crowd) honoured the worst 2017 films tonight. The Emoji Movie became the first animated picture to win the Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screen Combo, and Worst Screenplay. Congrats? I didn't hate the film tbf.
Richest Article: 15 Celebs Who Made Multi-Millions (And Then Lost It All In A Second).

04 March
Former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent in England, nearly dying. The UK said that Russia did this. 28 other countries agree. Russia said nuh-uh, it wasn't them, the UK did it. By the end, 153 Russian diplomats were expelled from countries around the world.
The 90th Academy Awards. Jimmy Kimmel hosted. The Shape of Water won four, including Best Picture and Best Director. Dunkirk three. Blade Runner 2049, Coco, Darkest Hour, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri = two each. With 26.5 million American viewers, it was the least-watched in the show's history.
Richest Article: 15 Priceless Items Celebs Auctioned Off (To Pay The Bills).

06 March
Today, pornographic actress Stormy Daniels filed a lawsuit against her President Trumpo, stating that she and Donald fucked in 2016 (shortly before the election) and she was paid $130,000 to keep quiet. Apparently there was a nondisclosure agreement which Stormy had been threatened to sign, but she claims Trump never signed it, so it was void. Fun times for all.
BIG STUFF! After months and months of writing scripts for the YouTube cartoon show Pencilmation, my first one finally came out! It was called Phoney Baloney and from this point, there will be so many more, each one watched by millions upon millions of kiddies around the world. Best job ever!

07 March
Sad day for music journalism: NME announce that their publication will not longer be printed, ending a solid run since 1952. The fact that they went free 2015 was a pretty obvious indication of dire times though, so I can't say I was too surprised myself.
Gary Burden was a pioneer of conceptual album cover art, including pieces for Joni Mitchell (Blue!), The Doors, The Eagles, and 35 years worth of Neil Young work. He won a Grammy once. He also died today at age 84.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (7/50): Fuck me now and avoid the rush.

09 March
Remember Martin Shkreli? That asshole who raised the price of Daraprim from US$13.5 to US$750 per pill? And who bought that Wutang album which only had one copy in all of existence? Well, pharma karma came swinging on this day, as he was convicted of fraud-related crimes and sentenced to seven years in prison along with $7.4 million in fines. I'm sure the cash thing doesn't bother him, but the jail time? That's the real moneyshot.
XII Winter Paralympics started today. The U.S. topped the scores with 36 medals, 13 of which were golden.
Pencilmation Script: Chopsticky Situation.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (8/50): I believe the world is round because people told me it was.

11 March
iHeartRadio Music Awards. The most interesting thing that happened was when Ed Sheeran won four awards. That. Bad.

12 March
US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 crashed and burst into flames. 51 people died, 20 survived. It's the deadliest Bangladeshi airline disaster ever.
Nole Floyd "Nokie" Edwards was best know as the guitarist for The Ventures (earning a slot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and an actor on Deadwood. He died after hip surgery didn't go so well. He was 82.
New Video Review: Shape of Water.

14 March
The biggest death of 2018 could be argued as that of Stephen William Hawking. His work on gravitational singularity theorems, black holes, and quantum mechanics are so vast and complex that I won't even begin to sum them up because I can't. His collection of achievements, however, were insane including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, ranked as one of the Greatest Britons Ever, and remaining on the British Sunday Times best-seller for 237 weeks for his book A Brief History of Time (which broke some record, I believe). He died today at age 76 due to complications with a slow-progressing motor neurone disease which left him unable to communcite without a speech-generating device. This in itself was probably the most amazing success of the man's life, as he was told that he would die before he turned 23. Off to the stars you go!
To prove I'd been a busy boy, I wrote a blog piece to summarise my journey into freelance writing and show-off the various pieces I'd been shitting around the internet. I poetically called it the Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part i)
New Video Review: I, Tonya.

17 March
Who doesn't remember the day when at least 87 million Facebook users were shown to have had data collected from then by Cambridge Analytica. Said data may or may not have been used to sway voters in the direction of the higest paying politicians. Facebook apologied profusely, stock fell, and the #DeleteFacebook campaign followed. I think one of my Friends actually left too.
Richest Article: 20 Actresses Who Were Not Happy Being The Muse On Set. And this concludes my work with The Richest, forever.

18 March
Russian presidential election, and Vladimir Putin wins for a fourth term with approximately 75% of the vote.
Cannibal Corpse! I saw them live! The Black Dahlia Murder opened! It was so fucking cool! Very angry! Best pit I've been in for years! Kill people! Eat them!

19 March
Sudan was the world's last surviving male northern white rhino, and he died today. Now there are only two females left (his daughter and granddaughter), meaning that we would need some crazy IVF shit to keep this species running :(

20 March
Pencilmation Script: No Pain, No Game.

21 March
I wrote an article for a company called Bolde today, which is a relationship publication focused on millenial girls. Go figure. It was called Things Guys Want From You More Than Sex and I continued to lend my words to this site for a while to come.

22 March
Stockholm! Sweden! For the first time in my life, I went to a country I had never been before all by myself without anyone to meet me there. I had the time of my life! It was freezing cold but I just ran around the quiet snow, looking at the exceptionally beautiful women, visiting their incredible train stations ("the longest art gallery in the world"), visiting the ABBA museum, embarking on two walking tours, checking out the building where Stockholm Sydrome was coined, and drinking their extortionately priced beer. Seriously taught me the life lesson that I didn't need anyone else. I came back to London four days later. Here are some photos.

23 March
Redouane Lakdim shot two people in a car, Carcassonne, southern France. He then took the car and shot at four cops, wounding one. He then drove to Trèbes where he ran into a Super U supermarket, killed two people, wounded some more, and took one hostage. He then demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving terrorist responsible for the 2015 Paris attacks. Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame traded places with the hostage and was killed. Police ran in and then finally killed Lakdim. It was an Islamist terrorist incident.
According to GlobalData, around 70% of the world's population is now reducing or removing meat from their diet.
Pencilmation Script: Button Rogue.

24 March
March for Our Lives was a demonstration from students who supported tighter gun control laws in Washington, D.C. There were also around 800 separate events all over the world. Somewhere between 1.2 to 2 million people marched in the US alone, making it one of the biggest in the country's history.
Mason Ramsey decided to yodel in a Walmart today, performing his rendition of Hank Williams doing Lovesick Blues, and Walmart Yodel Boy was born. He was later interviewed on Ellen and even perfomed at Coahchella.
Lys Assia was the first ever Eurovision Song Contest winner (1956). At age 94, she died.

25 March
Easy come, easy go, back in London now.
Mike Harrison was the lead singer of Spooky Tooth and he died today at age 72. My dad loved Spooky Tooth.

27 March
Today it was announced that ABBA had recorded two new songs after 35 years of not recording songs. And allow me to say OMFG!
This is so funny: During an interview, Tiffany Haddish claimed that an unamed actress was on drugs and then bit Beyoncé’s face at a party. The internet burst into a flurry, hypothesising who this may be, forcing various actresses to come forward and proclaim their innocnce including Jennifer Aniston, Julie Andrews, Kathy Bates, and Shirley MacLaine. Some time later, it was confirmed to be Sanaa Lathan.
Pencilmation Script: Easter Egg-scapade. This was a game changer as far as pushing the evelope went for me. Over 23 million views at the time of writing this too.

28 March
In a truly historic moment, North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss a diplomatic future partnership between the two countries. They have met several times since then. This is a good thing! Kim Jong-un definitely seems like an improvement to his father, tbf.
Roseanne Barr tweets some racist shit about government official Valerie Jarrett. Her show Roseanne was canceled as a result.
Another day, another Worst to Best Juice Nothing article. This one was for Radiohead, but despite working very hard on it and using clever wording and dedicating a lot of energy to the lead image, it was probably the least read of all of my Worst to Bests in history.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (9/50): Imagine dying and the only person you can talk to is John Edward.

29 March
Bolde Article: 9 Questions You’ve Always Had About Penises Answered By A Guy, hahahaha, I got paid to write about my dick.

30 March
Probably my best vector yet was the one I created to celebrate Easter. I was so happy with it, in fact, that I stopped making vectors for the rest of the year.
Pencilmation Script: Couch Surfing.

Misc.
One of the biggest and funniest memes of 2018 really shot into the sky during this month, which you will remember fondly. It's the American Chopper Argument.
Have you seen that gif of the cute little anime girl getting her skin ripped off? It's been around since 2012, but it made a mini-comeback this month. Fukouna Shoujo 03 is the name. It's well animated, regardless of any mixed feelings I may have.
Mental Health Checkup: This month was amazing. I was running around a lot, eating a very healthy diet, and this all reflected on the best mood month I'd had this whole year. Look at my sexy body which took almost 40 minutes to photograph.

Dear 2018, April: Mark Zuckerberg is asked some serious questions, Is this a pigeon? meme idk, Ghiblie legend Isao Takahata passes, Bill Cosby is a guilty, Jaclyn Sister comes to visit

01 April
April Fools Day! And as per usual, companies could not keep it in their pants. Amazon promised to deliver authors to your doorstep. Lego advertised a vacuum cleaner specifically to suck up their product and then re-order the pieces by colour. Netflix claimed full ownership of Seth Rogen. Google Maps added a Where's Waldo game. PornHub became HornHub featuring videos of women blowing horns. Burger King announced a chocolate Whopper. Heinz announced chocolate mayonnaise. Coca-cola announced avocado, sourdough, and charcoal flavours. The EU poked fun at Britain's post-Brexit passports, claiming their new documents would become dark blue too, tarnishing some sort of traditional symbolism or something equally nauseating. I slept through all of this.

03 April
Today Nasim Najafi Aghdam opened fire in the YouTube headquarters in California because she was upset how the website kept removing and demonetising her videos. She wounded three people and then killed herself. It's one of the rarest of rare examples of when a sole female has attempted something like this, and she did a terrible job of it.
Around here Rwanda announce that they will become the first low-income country to provide free eye care for everyone, within five years or so. Interestingly enough, only 19.8% of the population have electricity.
Bolde Article: 9 Things Guys Would Kill For A Woman To Do For Us—Would You?, I did not make up that title, but I am sorry for it.
Pencilmation Script: Haunted Mouse.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (10/50): You don’t have to separate your colours when you’re a goth.

05 April
Isao Takahata co-founded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki in 1985, and together, they made magical history for all of us. Takahata directed one of the greatest Ghibli films ever made (and the greatest that wasn't a Miyazaki) called Grave of the Fireflies, as well as other notables such as Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and the wonderful Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Sadly, he passed today at age 82 from lung cancer.

08 April
Bolde Article: First Date Conversations Us Guys Secretly Hate (I am the male authority).

09 April
Announced today that Lindsey Buckingham had been fired from Fleetwood Mac due to a tour disagreement. You want to know my opinion? Fuck Fleetwood Mac without Buckingham. It's not Fleetwood Mac, do not lie to yourselves. Boycott!
FBI agents raided the office and home of President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. They were sniffing around for some evidence about two affairs which Trump apparently silenced. Proof of payments were found.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (11/50): The fact that little kids seem to naturally love dinosaurs is just about the happiest thing I can think of.

10 April
Mark Zuckerberg begins testifying before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. This was a result of that Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data breach we discussed earlier. Zuckerberg took full responsibility, publicly apologising about it. Do I beleive a word Zuck says? Maybe! Did it lead to some awesome memeage? Absolutely!
Pencilmation Script: Caught Off Cards.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (12/50): I want to become famous so that my suicide upsets more people.

11 April
An Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Algeria. 257 people on board were killed, which was all of them. This is the deadliest air crash in Algerian history.
Sometimes the internet gets really weird, for example, Lord Farquaad / Markiplier E. It goes something like this: someone photoshopped the face of video blogger, Markiplier, onto Lord Farquaad's (the main antagonist from Shrek) rest of body. At some point, someone "deep fried" (so filtered that its fucked basically) the image and then slapped the letter "E" in impact font on top. Round about here, people took it a bit further to incorperate this meme as part of Zuckerberg's testimony (see yesterday) and that's when it really spread hard. This is about as dank as I go, thanks.
After my regular health-writing job rejected my article called 10 Lesser-Known Side Effects of Quitting Smoking, I said "fuck you!" and put it on my blog instead.

12 April
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (13/50): Premature #ejaculation gives you more time to do other things with your day.

13 April
I include Jan Tomáš "Miloš" Forman mainly because he directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which is obviously one of the best films ever made, point proven as the second film ever to win all five of the biggie Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor in Leading Role, Best Actress in Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Screenplay). It Happened One Night in 1934 was the first. It took 16 years for that to happen again, with The Silence of the Lambs. The People vs. Larry Flynt is another one of his brilliant films. Anyway, he died suddenly today, at the age of 86.
Pencilmation Script: One Man's Trash is Another Man.

14 April
Due to a sarin attack on civilians in Ghouta that the Bashar al-Assad regime were allegedly responsible for, the United States, the United Kingdom and France all got together and bombed the fuck out of Syrian military bases. There was no UK vote on this, which pissed a lot of people off, but we forgot about it really quickly because everything else was fucked too.

15 April
Oooh lookie, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have some new members! As follows: Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, Moody Blues, Nina Simone, Nina Simone, Nina Simone, and Nina Simone!!!!!
Ronald Lee Ermey was best known as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket. He got a Golden Globe Award nomination for that. He died today at age 74, related to pneumonia.
Announced on this date: I started my own Red Bubble clothing line. I lost interest pretty quickly, especially because no one bought anything.

16 April
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (14/50): Phone wallets are great for people who like to lose everything they own all at once.

17 April
Barbara Bush was once the First Lady of the United States (1989 - 1993) because of George H. W. Bush. She gave birth to George W. Bush and then she died today at age 92 for reportedly more than one reason.
Pencilmation Script: The Tell Tale Art.
Finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. For some sort of a supposed classic, I thought it was a disjointed pile of meh. Check out my full review on Goodreads.

18 April
Cinemas open in Saudi Arabia for the first time since 1983. The film? Black Panther, obviously.

19 April
Walter Leroy Moody Jr. once sent a letter bomb to federal judge Robert S. Vance, and it killed him. As a result, Moody was sentenced to death and got injected with a dose of lethal on this date. Why am I telling you this? Because Walter was, in fact, the oldest death row inmate execution in modern US history, at the age of 83.

20 April
This one is weird, I'm not sure how to sum it all up really, but here goes: Allison Christin Mack was an actress best known for her roles on Smallville and Wilfred. Today, she was arrested due to her involvement in a group known as NXIVM. Said group had earned the reputation for being somewhat of a cult, with Allison herself being charged with blackmailing people, sex trafficking, and branding her initials on various women's pubic regions. She's facing 15 years last time I checked.
Avicii was a DJ/record producer who was a big part of taking electronic music to the mainstream. His physical and mental health was fucked from excessive alcohol abuse, and he reportedly took his own life today at age 28.

21 April
Nabi Tajima was a Japanese supercentenarian born in 1900, the last living certified person born in the nineteenth century, obviously making her the oldest person in the world up until this point. She's the oldest living Asian person and the third oldest person ever recorded by modern validation methods. She was 117 years, 260 days old when she died today.
Verne Jay Troyer was an actor best known as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise. At 2 ft 8 in, he was also one of the shortest men in the world due to his cartilage–hair hypoplasia. He died today at age 49 due to intentional alcohol poisioning. Suicide by booze. Boozicide.
Oh, what's that sound? Only my squeaky clean results from an STI test, that's what! This game of Russian Roulette has gotta end somewhere.
Pencilmation Script: Hole in None.

22 April
After Keziah Daum posted pictures of her traditional Chinese prom dress, she was attacked as a cultural appropriator from all angles. One specific notable reaction came from Jeremy Lam who Tweeted "My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress". The internet then decided that this response was way more interesting than the dress itself, and the parodies exploded into life. Funny stuff, keep up the good work, internet!

23 April
Avengers: Infinity War was released, becoming the 4th film to gross $2 billion worldwide ever (and the first superhero film to do it). Obviously this makes it the highest-grossing film of 2018, and honestly, I liked it.
Today in Toronto, a van drove through the North York City Centre business district in an attempt to kill as many pedestrians as possible. 10 was the final fatality count, with 16 injured. Alek Minassian was arrested and although he has not been proven guitly, he's pretty much accepted to be the guy. This horrible incident is the deadliest vehicle-ramming attack in Canada's history.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (15/50): The only reason why I’m single is because I don't think you ready for this jelly, my body too bootylicious for ya, babe.

24 April
New Video Review: Isle of Dogs.
Pencilmation Script: Bedtime Blues.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (16/50): As long as nobody ever finds out what I’m really like, I’ll be fine.

25 April
Finally, the blog piece no one ever asked for, the Worst to Best: Red Hot Chili Peppers. Honestly, I had such a wonderful time writing this.

26 April
Fucking Bill Cosby, man. Today he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, sentenced to three to ten years in state prison, along with $25,000 in fines plus the $43,611 cost of the prosecution. An appeal is apparently on the cards but.
Bolde Article: The 9 Most Common Sexual Fetishes & Why Guys Want Them.

27 April
Moon Jae-in (President of South Korea) and Kim Jong-un (Supreme Leader of North Korea) meet up at the inter-Korean summit. The focus was to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Good stuff!
Pencilmation Script: Well Off.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (17/50): I’m sorry, if I knew you had a boyfriend, I would have stopped talking to you ages ago.

28 April
My little sistah Jaclyn arrives in Lundun for a visit! We have a wonderful time, drinking a lot, visiting the worst fun fair in London, patting creatures at the animal farm, and even once going to a single party together which was weird. Lots of fun!

29 April
While enjoying a beverage on Brick Lane, my sister and I were surprised to see Russell Brand walking down the road. Being the celeb-groupie I am, I naturally chased him down until I caught up and said hello. I shook his hand and requested a photo, to which he politely refused, stating, "Nah, I'm actually in the middle of sumfing". I backed away immediately.
Turns out, he actually was in the middle of something, as the next day's news reported how his mother had been in a car accident and that was obviously what he was currently dealing with. Considering the weight of such an event, he was exceptionally polite to me. And yet, my heart broke, I felt like a complete nuisance who had disturbed the day of a celebrity I really respect, and it took me many months to normalise after the fact. I've tried to explain this to many people, and nobody understood what I mean by it. It really bothered me!
Anyway, here's an Insta photo of me stalking him regardless.

30 April
EU votes to ban all bee-harming pesticides.

Misc.
Good meme is as good meme does, this month was when the "Is this a pigeon?" quote and all of its variations fluttered into existence. I upvote!
The Windrush scandal was big British political news this month, where many people were wrongly detained and even deported due to a mistake by the Home Office. This mainly affected people from the Caribbean who arrived before 1973, known as the Windrush generation. Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned as a result. Just another sad indication of how ludicrous UK policies have become for this to happen. Hey, Theresa May, whatsup?
Hugely awesome news this month was that I worked super hard and somehow made as much money as I did when I was a fulltime web developer! Granted, I worked a ton of overtime and the total was adjusted for travel and lack of pension, but still! I initially gave myself 12 self-employed months to reach this point, but I did it in six. Pow pow!
Mental Health Checkup: It was a good month where I did some further research on myself and kinda just set my gears to cruise control. Nothing to report! No news is good news!

Dear 2018, May: There was a royal wedding, GDPR kicks in and our mailboxes go crazy, Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit kills himself, Ireland repeal the abortion law, Donald Glover has a good year

01 May
Kanye West surprises TMZ Live by joining their show, and then surprises the whole world as he further details his support for Trump as well his theory that slavery was "a choice". People were super pissed off, which makes sense.
Gibson Guitars file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which is the legal term for some stuff that I don't understand. Liquidate something or other? Whatever. The point is that they will continue to make guitars and that's all that matters.
Pencilmation Script: Nutty by Nature.

02 May
Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) are classicfied as a terrorist organasation responsible for the deaths of 829 people between 1968 and 2010 in Spain and France. Today, a letter was made public which stated that the group had ended their run. SO THAT'S AN IMPROVEMENT.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (18/50): And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like “*you’re”.

03 May
The 2018 lower Puna eruption was an eruption on Hawaiʻi which forced 2,000 residents to evacuate. It went on like this until August, and it is now "paused" whatever that means. Doesn't sound good anyway. Anyway, it's the most destructive volcanic thing since St. Helens eruption in 1980.
London local elections. I voted Labour just like pretty much everyone under the age of 60. Because of people like me, the party won 44% of the vote, earning its best score in 45 years. Torys lost 92 seats, fuck you, get out.
During my lunch break (after voting and petting some dogs), my sister and I went to the top of the landmark London eyesore known as the Arcelor Mittal Orbit. It was super high, I could literally see my house from there, because I actually live really close. We then slid to the bottom using the tallest and longest tunnel slide in the world (178 meters). What a wonderful world.

04 May
Little Jaclyn left London today and I got on with my work.
Pencilmation Script: Lord of the Fries. With over 66 million views at the time of writing this, it is the most successful script I've written thus far. I designed the thumbnail too!

05 May
Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover drops his video for This Is America and I consider it absolutely the best video and one of the best songs I've heard all year. 450,000,000+ views would indicate that I'm not alone.

08 May
Once upon a time (2015), there was this lovely agreement called "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" where the UN, the EU, and Iran all made a deal about how to handle the nuclear program of Iran. Today, Trump was like, "Nah, fuck you," and he withdrew America.
I saw Iceage which was just, ugh, so good I can't even explain. Like, top three shows of the year. Top 10 ever even? Man, this band is something special.
Bolde Article: The First 10 Things Guys Notice About You, According to A Guy.
Pencilmation Script: Panic! at the Window.

09 May
The Pakatan Harapan coalition takes over Malaysian Parliament majority, putting an end to the 61-year rule of the Barisan Nasional.
Delphine Gibson was the oldest living person in the United States at age 114 years, 265 days. Dead today.
Man, isn't it weird when legit big dreams come true? Have you ever imagined that you had an IMDB account? I have, plenty. Today, I discovered someone had made one for me due to all of my Pencilmation work. It's always 100% up to date too, like twice a week updates. Who is doing this? Whoever it is, on the off-chance you are reading my words, thank you thank you thank you!!!!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (19/50): Babies are like Tamagotchis except with real-life consequences.

10 May
Scott Hutchison was the main guy (singer, guitarist, songwriter) from Frightened Rabbit. He disappeared the day before today, and his body was found today on the banks of Firth of Forth. It's generally accepted as a suicide. He was 36.

11 May
Bessie Camm was the oldest living person in the United Kingdom, at age 113 years, 325 days. Not anymore!
Pencilmation Script: In a Pickle.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (20/50): I’m afraid of mansplaining, so instead, I just watched you do the wrong thing for half an hour.

12 May
"Toy" by Israeli artist Netta won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 today. Well done!

13 May
Margot Kidder was an actress that most people remember as Lois Lane in the Superman series with Christopher Reeve. She died today for unknown reasons at the age of 69.
Finished reading Nick Cave: Mercy on Me by Reinhard Kleist. As the first ever graphic novel I've ever experienced, I was so blown away, especially because Kleist is a very imaginative artist, and his subject matter slotted perfectly in with my obsession at that point in time. Read my full review on Goodreads here.

14 May
Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr. was a famous journalist and author, known for his New Journalism style, his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and his other book The Right Stuff which was made into the film of the same name. He died from an infection today at age 88.
Today our boiler broke and I didn't shower for four days. I smelt like food, it was liberating.
Also today, I stopped using all social media platforms and even looking at my phone for a while. I'll explain later...

15 May
Pencilmation Script: Love Burps.

18 May
Shortly after take-off, Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 crashes in Havana, Cuba. 112 of 113 passengers died. This is the 2nd deadliest Cuban aircraft accident ever.
Pencilmation hits 3 million subscribers.

19 May
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry today, and the royal family grows bigger as their blue blood waters down.
Robert Indiana was an artist best known for his LOVE print and sculpture, which featured on some American postal stamps in 1973. Google it, you'll recognise it. Anyway, he died today at age 89 from respiratory failure.

20 May
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards were stupid, with Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran nominated 15 times, Sheeran and Lamar winning six each. Predictable.
William Gold designed thousands of recognisable films posters, including those for Casablanca, A Clockwork Orange, and The Exorcist. Today was his last day, as Alzheimer's disease complicated his 97 years of runtime.

22 May
Pencilmation Script: Rocks, Paper, Scissors, Oh My!.

23 May
After a nine day intermission, I return to social media. I'll explain later...

24 May
Today the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became enforceable. It was an EU regluation which gave users more control over their personal data. This meant that every website in the world emailed their client list begging them to continue the exchange. I don't think I confirmed a single one.
In an act to chill regional tensions, North Korea destroy tunnels in their Punggye-ri nuclear test site, according to foreign journalists.
Jerry Maren was the last surviving Munchkin from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. He died today at age 98 from cardiopulmonary failure, cachexia, and dementia.
Thank you for your patience. The reasons as to why I temporarily vacated Facebook and such are all addressed in the following blog, called 10 Things I Learned When I Quit Social Media for 213.5 Hours.

25 May
Ireland have a referendum on whether or not to repeal the ban on abortion. With 66.4% to 33.6%, the repeal won. Another victory for the better side! The side I'm on!
With Pusha T's album Daytona, the Wyoming Sessions from Kanye West had begun, eventually consisting of five albums released in five weeks, including a Kanye solo album, a collaborative album with Kid Cudi (Kids See Ghosts), a new Nas album, and Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E. Two of these five ended up on my Top 50, go seek them out.
OMFG I saw The Rolling Stones tonight! I got so wasted but I definitely saw them! I remember bits! Dream come true! What a huge bucket list tick! Biggest band in the world! Florence + The Machine opened! Even cooler, the gig was at the London Stadium! That's like a 15 minute walk to my house! Hence why a million people came home with me! Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!
Pencilmation Script: Climb and Punishment.

26 May
Alan LaVern Bean did lots of stuff, including walking on the moon, fourth person to do so. He's the last living crew member from Apollo 12. He became ill very suddenly a couple of weeks previous and died today at age 86.

27 May
About a 15-minute walk from my house in the other direction is Victoria Park and I went there today to visit the All Points East festival. It was lots of fun! I saw Django Django and Father John Misty, but most importantly of all, was Björk! I'd never seen her before, but there she was, in all her foresty weirdness. She played mostly new stuff so it wasn't exactly as earth-shattering as I'd imagined for the last two decades, but still... Björk!
It's also worth mentioning that today I finally met a long-standing Facebook friend for the first time. Her name is Giulia and one day we're going to be boyfriend and girlfriend.

29 May
Pencilmation Script: A Knight to Remember (Part 1).

30 May
Oh yeahhh, time for my annual Worst to Best film edition! This year, it's Christopher Nolan, take a bow, good sir!

31 May
Michael Dickins Ford was an art director who worked on a few little films you may of heard of, like, oh I don't know, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, or THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, or RETURN OF THE JEDI, or TITANIC, or SOME JAMES BOND FILMS that I'm too lazy to type out. He won two Oscars and then died today at age 90.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (21/50): I love you so much! My suicide note would definitely be addressed to you!

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: I spent the majority of May focused on the house, which included completely revamping our balcony, astroturf and fairy lights included! You may think that this would only progress my mental health into further realms of brightness, but noooo. Even if I was by no means depressed during this May period, there were slight indications of wobbling matchsticks as I marched forward ignoring all red lights. It's a pity because it was all going so well!

Dear 2018, June: Children were kept in cages, Jack and Dani eventually win Love Island, Slaps Roof of Car was a funny internet thingie, XXXTentacion was murdered by bullets, I was there when a guy killed himself on the tube and my life changed

01 June
Pencilmation Script: A Knight to Remember (Part 2).

02 June
The Cape Town metal club, Gandalfs, officially shuts its doors. I spent roughly 26% of my entire young adult life in those dark corners, as it frequently educated me and destroyed me at the same time. Absolute end of an era. Antonio, I salute you.

03 June
Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala erupts, killing 109 people as the deadliest the country has seen for more than a century.
A free ticket to today's All Points East fell on my lap, thanks Brothers! I witnessed a smidgen of St Vincent, a whole load of Patti Smith, and Nick Cave for my third time. Also soooo worth mentioning that fucking Kylie Minogue came on the stage and played Where the Wild Roses Grow together with Nick!!! How many people have seen such a thing before? I nearly fainted but that may have been the gigantic spliff that was being passed around, *swoon*.
Today I posted my 100th #legobiscuit. Hooray for me!

04 June
Arguably the worst thing that happened to me this whole year: Love Island season 4 launches today. It was by far the most popular season for the series, with many victims falling helplessly into its trap. I am ashamed to admit that for a long period of time, I was one of them. I wish I could articulate some clever justification, but the truth is, I watched the first episode out of arrogant curiosity due to its popularity, and it swallowed me up as it was designed to do. I did find it was an interesting case study on the social interaction between attractive heterosexual individuals and their opposite genders, but no excuses, my brain slowly rot away and I became legitimately depressed from it, no word of a lie. I did wake up halfway through or so and quit cold turkey, thank God. In the end, Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham won, who were obviously the deserving couple from the very beginning.
Finished reading the classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill for the 2nd time. It felt so out of date that any value I may have found was left with a sour aftertaste. Read my full review on Goodreads here.

05 June
Off I go to Porto solo!
On the one hand, it wasn't great. It rained. My hostel was annoying. And everywhere I went reminded me of the year before, where I was with a solid crew of explorers, their presence notably absent. And finally, I only drank one glass of port the whole time! IDIOT!
On the other hand, it definitely had its perks. I met some cool people on a pub crawl and I ate like a king due to the cheapness of the area. And, of course, I did attend Primavera Festival, where I had the pleasure of watching: Fatboy Slim (so impressive); Waxahatchee; Starcrawler (insane!); Rhye; Father John Misty (I cried); Lorde (highlight); Tyler, the Creator; Idles (probably the best band); Zeal & Ardor; Breeders; Ibeyi; Shellac; Grizzly Bear; Vince Staples(!!!); Thundercat (I had a borderline panic attack here, so annoying); Fever Ray; War on Drugs; and Nils Frahm (omfggggg).
I also saw Nick Cave. I got right to the front. I. Touched. Him. It's on video, click the linkie. Now, even though Nick is my God, this marked an important moment where I blew a Cave fuse. For the last two years (and with this blog as my witness), my musical priority was this man. I couldn't pick a higher personality on my list of breathing people. But it all came to such a potent peak right here, that I guess I pushed the sky away and fell back down. As if our skin making contact was all I wanted all along, my Cave adoration promptly deflated and now I hardly think of him at all. Kinda sad, in a way.
Aaaanyways, photos, photos, photos!
Along with 157 other new emojis, the redhead people finally appear. It's actually fucking weird that this only happened now, if we're all being honest. What have gingers been doing all this time? How have they been accurately portraying their emotions without the proper digital representation? It's 2018, Emoji! 4fuxake!
Pencilmation Script: All That Litters is Not Gold.

06 June
Ralph Santolla was the guitarist for many heavy metal bands, including Deicide, Death, Iced Earth, and the Sebastian Bach band. He'd recently had a big heart attack, fell into a coma, and was taken off life support today at age 51.

07 June
A while before this, Ammr and I sat down and filmed three fucking movie reviews in a row. It was intense, but they came out quite well, I think. We then released them over three consecutive days, starting from today, with Ready Player One.

08 June
Daniel David Kirwan played guitar for Fleetwood Mac, 1968 - 1972, and that's enough for me. Due to a long pneumonia battle, he died today at age 68.
Eunice Gayson is known as the first-ever Bond Girl, having played James' love interest in his first two films (Dr. No and From Russia with Love). At age 90, she passed today.
Movie review for the second day in a row, this time, Avengers Infinity War.

09 June
And for the third day in a row, here is a movie review again. Come get your Deadpool 2 you fucks.
So all those Bolde articles I was writing for millenial females? Well, another website called Tips for Dave came along to work with the brand, excpet it was more focused on the male audience of this world. Naturally, I requested a transfer, and naturally, it was approved. Today my first piece for them came out, called Sex Positions To Help You Last Longer. Classic topic.
Pencilmation Script: Alarmed and Dangerous.

10 June
Back in London, hello.

11 June
After the intense gig-heavy month gone by, I made a conscious decision to take a long break from live shows. No such luck, as 24-hours previous to this date, Dead Cross (a supergroup featuring members of The Locust, Slayer, AND MIKE FUCKING PATTON) announced a surprise tiny show at the Underworld. Obviously I went, and thank fuck I did! It was the best show of 2018 for me. What's more, I touched Mike Patton!!!! This is like a week after I touched Nick Cave so idk what is life. And unlike the Cave experience, I fell in a much deeper love with the man who single-handedly changed my vocal approach for the better. He changed everyone's vocal approach who were paying attention. Watch the fucking video here.

12 June
I think it was about here when it became big news that children were being separated from their parents and kept in cages under Trump's immigration policies by US border patrol. An image known as "John Moore photograph of Honduran child" went viral as the kinda summary shot of the painful atrocity.
On the flip side of Trump being a heartless douche, was when Trump met with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, marking the first ever summit between a US Presendent and a North Korean leader. They signed an agreement of peace. Good.
For 27 years, Greece argued with the Republic of Macedonia about their name. Today, they agreed it was fine for Macedonia to be called the Republic of North Macedonia.
Pencilmation Script: UFO...Uh-oh!.

13 June
Dominic Joseph Fontana was the drummer for Elvis Presley for 14 years including over 460 of The King's recordings, so yeah. He died today at age 87.

14 June
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off today in Russia, and everything went fucking mental.

15 June
This was a cool evening! Thanks to my immense success in Sectlinefor, I was interviewed on a stage in front of an audience for a night called "Concept and Soundtrack". Following that, an improv acting crew put on some comedy skits loosely based on my answers. It was hilarious and embarassing but also a total trip. I used to dream of such things, but look at me now, ma! Seriously killer event idea though, check them out whenever you can!
Some leftover Bolde article got published despite having already left the company. As follows: 10 Signs He’s Lost Interest In You, According To A Guy.

16 June
During a London Stadium concert LITERALLY A 10 MINUTE WALK FROM MY HOUSE WHICH I COULD HEAR FROM MY BALCONY, Beyoncé and Jay-Z (aka The Carters) announce their new album and drop it at the exact same time. It wasn't that great of a record, but still, I was almost breathing in the air of that release.
The 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, anyone? Anyone at all? Black Panther and Stranger Things both won four times, from seven nominations each.
Pencilmation Script: Mathterpeice Theatre.

17 June
Just finished reading Patti Smith's autobiography thing called Just Kids. One of the best books I've ever had the pleasure. Might as well read my full review on Goodreads.

18 June
Trump announces the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces, namely... Space Force! This is blatantly his way of telling us that there are aliens about to invade, am I the only person who realises this????????
XXXTentacion was a rapper who I didn't really know because I guess I'm old now? Anyway, he became super famous today when he was shot dead. He was 20 years old, and even if his murder propelled his single Sad! to #1 of the Billboard Hot 100 (the first artist to do so posthumously since The Notorious B.I.G. in 1997), many people were bleak, including some of my cooler mates.
Leon Allen White was a legendary wrestler better known as Vader. After a month-long pneumonia run, he died today at age 63.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (22/50): I’m an exceptionally tolerant person. Whether you’re an ethnic minority, a homosexual, a lactose product, or a gluten product, I look forward to your involvement in my life.

19 June
The US continues its awesomeness by announcing a withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is a group who want nothing more than to protect human rights around the world.
Meanwhile, Canada is chilled and decide that weed should be legal for recreational use. The bill was signed to take effect on October the 17th.
Koko was a gorilla known for her ability to express many English words via the use of sign language. Apparently she understood more than 2,000 words and 1,000 signs, so that's pretty impressive. Sadly, she passed today in her sleep at age 46.
Today, we start recording the vocals for Sectlinefor's second album. Oh yes.
Pencilmation Script: Heap of Trouble.

22 June
Someone did something really nice for me and gave me free tickets to see Taylor Swift at Wembley Stadium tonight wheeee! Me and my bestie Tanya went and it was perfect. So many moments, but how the entire audience wore matching bracelets which lit up in a syncronised patterns was UNLIKE ANYTYHING I'VE SEEN BEFORE. We also watched Camila Cabello, which means a lot. Whew! In love!
Vinnie Paul was the drummer for Pantera as well as Damageplan, both of which co-founded with his younger brother, the legendary Dimebag Darrell. He had a heart attack today and he was gone, at age 54.

23 June
I'm sure everyone remembers when that junior football team were trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave, Thailand. The rescue operation was intense and included more than 10,000 people featuring 100 divers, 900 cops, 2,000 soldiers, and ten police helicopters. More than a billion litres of water was pumped out of the caves during this time. It took 17 days, but they were eventually rescued with only one fatality: a former Thai Navy SEAL who died after delivering oxygen to the boys. Naturally, a film is already being discussed.
This is kinda stupid but I listened to Foo Fighters playing at the London Stadium while I stood on my balcony this evening. I captured video evidence too.

24 June
Saudi Arabia says it's finally ok for women to drive.

25 June
Big 2018 meme in the house now! Known as Slaps Roof of Car, the template features a car salesman saying the phrase "this bad boy can fit so much X in it" in some way, the X being something funny. You had to be there. Funny side fact, it was actually first created in 2014! Slow internet connection!
Anthony Michael Bourdain was a famous chef who loved to travel about and explore different cultures and their foods. People loved Bourdain, but sadly, Bourdain did not love Bourdain as much as everyone else loved Bourdain. He committed suicide today by hanging himself in a French hotel. He was 61 years old.
For my own records: today marked one month since I saw The Rolling Stones. From that date (and including that date), I saw a total of 29 bands live, some of which are the biggest in the world. It was intense!

26 June
After being on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger since 2009, today Belize’s barrier reef was removed due the end of oil exploration and laws protecting many of the species.
Pencilmation Script: For Crying Out Cloud.

27 June
Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson was the daddy of the Jackson family, which includes the Jackson 5, which included Michael Jackson, which didn't include Janet Jackson, but he was her daddy too. He was known for being a dick who forced his kids into superstardom, but it fucking worked, and we all owe him a lot. Anyway, pancreatic cancer got him less than a month before his 90th birthday.
Arguably my most enjoyable annual blog is this one: My Favourite Albums That I've Never Reviewed (Part 2).

28 June
Today was pretty huge, as I was at Bow Underground Station, and a man on my platform jumped in front of a train to kill himself. I didn't see it (mostly because I refused to look), but the station was quickly evacuated and it kinda disturbed me for many days to come.
It got even worse. A few of my friends used this event as their chance to run their mouths off, ranting about the selfishness of train jumpers. Even though I didn't necessarily disagree with the sentiment, I was quick to point out the insensitive nature of their comments, most likely because I was still really shaken up. The conversation spiralled so fiercely and lasted for such a long time with various things said that could never be unsaid, until... I had an epiphany: why was I living in London again?
Dramatic response, I know, but the truth is that I couldn't answer that question. No reason was coming to me. And that was the first seed planted. I decided I was going to escape and travel the world. And I started to make those exact plans from this day forward. Known as The Great Escape and/or Jarexit, this became the biggest part of my personal 2018 journey. I would have fucked off right then and there if it hadn't been for the lease on my place, glueing me to the spot until December, but it did give me a good amount of breathing space to prepare myself to the point of relative invincibility. Come with!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (23/50): ME: Hmmm, I wonder what I should have for dinner?
MY BRAIN: I bet your ex is fucking that guy she was seeing before you.
ME: Pasta sounds nice.
The above #legobiscuit was additionally special because it was a homage to Filthyratbag as part of my Webcomic Groupie Week. The lady herself Liked my photo on Instagram, and that is why we do what we do here.

29 June
Drake releases his fifth studio album, Scorpion. Spotify was particularly eager, as they flooded the homepage with playlists using Drake's face as their covers, even if Drake wasn't in the playlist itself. Some people were pissed, but it obviously worked, as the album broke Spotify's record for one-day count, with 132.45 million streams. This was 50 million more than Post Malone's record set two months previous. Apple Music's similar record was also shattered, with 170 million streams. Of the year's Billboard Hot 100 number 1 hits, this album owned 2018 too with 29 weeks from four singles, which is the new record for any solo artist ever.
Stephen J. Ditko was a comic book artist and writer who co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Stan Lee. He was found dead today at age 90, even though police estimate that he had been dead for two days. The cause of death appears to be a myocardial infarction.

30 June
To address (and probably deal with) my feelings surrounding the whole train jumping thing, I wrote the following piece: Suicide on the Underground.
Pencilmation Script: Children of the Popcorn.

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: My plan during June was to be a better person and really concentrate on the external world rather than the one in my own mind. It backfired, because I actually fell into a place of vulnerability and uncertainty which slowly eroded away at my spirit and left me wide open to damage. I was losing my pedastal below me! What was going on??

Dear 2018, July: So much football, I joined Tough Mudder again, Kiki Challenge is the best, eclipsie wipsie stuff, scary Momo kills people

02 July
Cardi B scores her second number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female rapper to do so.

03 July
Pencilmation Script: Belly Idol. Pushing the boundaries over here!

04 July
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (24/50): I believe in God because I find it much easier to strike a deal with the Universal Laws when you personify them.

05 July
The 2018 North American heat wave makes a name for itself by killing 33 people in Quebec, Canada.
The I Want You To Hurt Me joke format was born today, showing how to actually hurt someone during the act of sex. I found them to be amusing.

06 July
Trump places tariffs on $34bn of Chinese produces, claiming it could reach up to $550bn. China called this the "largest trade war in economic history" and announced that they will be fighting back with tariffs of their own.
I won the lottery! £7.60 to be exact! Yiphee!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (25/50): I’m too busy to know whether I have serious mental health issues or not.

07 July
Pencilmation Script: Lump in the Night.

08 July
Some friendly faces including my own took part in the Tough Mudder half today. It was so much fun! We got very drunk afterwards!

09 July
After 20 years of conflict, Eritrea and Ethiopia decide to be cool with one another.

10 July
Pencilmation Script: Keep Clam and Carry on Part 1.

11 July
After the streets echoed from perpetual promises that England were "bringing it home!", we lost to Croatia. Hearts audibly broke across the country, and then life settled back to its regular depressing old self, Brexit topic resuming with full force.

12 July
Pencilmation hits 4 million subscribers.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (26/50): Believe me, the last thing I ever wanted to do was offend your over-sensitive religious fat fucking feminist face.

13 July
Due to all the football mania, the song Three Lions by The Lightning Seeds hits the UK #1 for the fourth time. This is the only song to do so with the same musician lineup. Of course, once everything went to shit, it fell to 97, setting the record for the fastest top chart fall ever in history.
While the true roots of it all is debatable, today @Pandamoanimum posted a Brain: Don't Say It tweet, and it snowballed. I saw so many pathetic attempts at humour using this format that my brain actually said it. 90% garbage, 10% worth it.
Today I finished watching everything Twin Peaks, including the film, all of it, done, saved to memory, go. I gained a new found respect for Lynch even if season 2 sucked balls big time. Season 3 was up there with the best TV I've ever witnessed though.

14 July
Pencilmation Script: Keep Clam and Carry on Part 2.

15 July
France win the World Cup. Well done, France.
Dave Dave was an artist best known as the subject for the movie David, mainly because his father tried to kill him by setting him on fire when the poor boy was only six years old. He died today at age 42 from pneumonia.

17 July
The EU and Japan sign a piece of paper which opens the largest bilateral free trade zone ever, almost covering a third of the WORLD.
Pencilmation Script: Pain in the Mutt.

18 July
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (27/50): I’m agnostic because it’s difficult to argue with a shrug.

19 July
An ancient sarcophagus in Egypt is opened today to reveal a mummified family of three, soaking in a foul-smelling red liquid. The next day, Innes McKendrick created a change.org petition which was called "let people drink the red liquid from the dark sarcophagus". As it gained well over 30,000 signatures, the Egypt's Antiquities Ministry was forced to issue a statement saying that the liquid was "neither 'juice for mummies that contains an elixir of life' nor is it red mercury but only sewage water".
Pencilmation Script: Pasta Point of No Return.

20 July
Weird Flex But Ok.
Tips for Dave article: 10 Steps to Snapping that Perfect Abs Selfie.
I won the lottery! You're looking at a £3.10 richer man over here.

21 July
Pencilmation Script: Fall by Myself Part 1.

23 July
Elbert Howard AKA Big Man was one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party. He died today at age 80.

24 July
Pencilmation Script: Fall by Myself Part 2.

25 July
1.5km below Mars' southern polar ice cap, a subglacial lake is discovered. This is the first time water has been found on another planet.
Reported here was that the endangered mountain gorillas are now 1,000+ in numbers, which is a 25% increase since 2010.
A guy named Austin Clay smashes Trump's Hollywood star with a pick axe. Due to this action and the otherwise perpetual vandalism anyway, the West Hollywood City Council vote to have the star removed. Apparently it's not up to them though, and the star remains, now fixed, still scribbled upon daily.
Momo! That's the name of a fucking strange sculpture which eventually turned into a urban legend stating that people were receiving WhatsApp messages from the fucking thing. Apparently it told you to kill yourself, and some people did, leading to the birth of the "Momo suicide challenge". Obviously I'm summarising, click here if you're curious.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (28/50): The worst part about quitting smoking is that I’m probably gonna live even longer now.

26 July
Once upon a time, in 1984, I was born. In other news, a Japanese doomsday cult named Aleph was formed, and they did some horrible stuff, including a Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995 as well as some other smaller similar attacks that year. After countless appeals and without ever confessing, the sentenced cult members were slowly executed, of which the last remaining six were killed off today.
Heavy wildfires in Greece kill 87 with over a hundred buildings destroyed.
Facebook's share price drops by just under 20%, the biggest single day loss in corporate history. We're talking about $109bn worth of market value here.
To rectify my long absence from any musical endeavours, I decided to learn how to play John Lennon's song Mother on guitar and then film it to maximise embarrassment. I can't watch it but I also have no regrets.
Pencilmation Script: All Helium Breaks Loose.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (29/50): “Life's not a competition,” is something that losers say.

27 July
A bunch of space stuff goes on today as the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century takes place, all the while Mars comes closer to Earth than it has since 2003. And, I tell you what, my horoscope went nuts.
Spice Girls announce thier reunion without Victoria Beckham. Which makes about as much sense as a Fleetwood Mac tour without Lindsey Buckingham. NO DEAL.

28 July
Pencilmation Script: Page Fright.

29 July
Sam Mehran was the co-founder of Test Icicles, a punk band that the underground adored and the overground completely overlooked. Shamefully, this includes me, as I can't say I am well-versed with their content. Regardless, many people were upset when he was found to have killed himself today at age 31. I make note to explore later, remind me.
Today I cooked a pizza so badly that it looked like chicken. Proof.

31 July
Vocal recordings for Sectlinefor's second album are finished today. We ended up doing a few more bits at a later date, but today was the day we drank the shots anyway.
Pencilmation Script: Shoe La La.
If there ever was an overdue blog article, the Worst to Best: The Beatles might be it.

Misc.
Somewhere during this month the "In My Feelings" Challenge (aka #DoTheShiggy and #KekeChallenge) took off, where participants would dance next to a moving car while Drake's song In My Feelings played out. There were big warnings from law enforcement against it, but I'm proud to say that I filmed one myself at a later date. Arguably my favourite internetty thing of 2018, but that might be my raging Drake hard-on.
Mental Health Checkup: My awesome depression continues to plummet over July, hitting an all-time low since perhaps early January. I honestly blame Love Island for rubbing my lack of romance into my face, with those beautiful women and their beautiful feet and those beautiful men with their beautiful six-pack abs. Once I quit the show, I did start to improve near the end, so let's just say that was it. In good news, I also earned more writing money this month than any other before and since! I'm a survivor (what?), I'm not gon' give up (what?), I'm not gon' stop (what?), I'm gon' work harder (what?).

Dear 2018, August: Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, dies, 10 years in London as I announce my plans to leave, Zombie Boy dies for some reason, Apple makes $1tril, India floods the fuck

01 Aug
Rick Genest was better known as Zombie Boy, a model with a face you would never forget due to his insanely extensive tattoo work. He died today from a balcony fall at age 32. Police said it was a suicide. Friends said it was an accident. His body showed no trace of drugs nor was there a note, so...?
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (30/50): Jesus had a bit of a god complex though, didn’t he?

02 Aug
For the first time ever, a public company achieves a market capitalisation of $1 trillion. That company, of course, was Apple Inc.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (31/50): “Just be yourself!” says the person who obviously has no idea who I really am.

04 Aug
Pencilmation Script: Click Flick.

07 Aug
After noticing a mole of mine had changed shape a bit, I freaked. I went to the doctor. They freaked. They sent me to dermatologist specialist. They said I was totally fine, relax.
Tips for Dave Article: 10 Warning Signs That You May Be A Workaholic.
Pencilmation Script: Nib and Tuck.

08 Aug
One of the earliest known examples of the Falling Stars Challenge came out today which slowly spread like a virus of awesomeness. The basic idea is to look like a rich person who has just fallen over and all of your rich person stuff has spilled everywhere. Super hilarious.
10 years in London today! 10 fucking years! Which was as good time as any to announce to my social medias that I had decided to leave the UK. Response was positive. As in people said they didn't want me to leave. I enjoyed the attention but it made no difference, I had to go. I just had to!

09 Aug
Pencilmation Script: Sir Dance-a-Lot.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (32/50): Let us celebrate this thing by drinking an expensive toxin which is guaranteed to make us feel miserable tomorrow morning! Cheers!

10 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (33/50): I hate leaving the house but I look too nice not to.

11 Aug
Witnessed Mensvreters live again in South End. They ripped my guts out for the millionth time. It was great. Check this shot.
Tips for Dave Article: 10 Questions About Vaginas You’re Too Afraid to Ask. I feel like work doesn't get any better than this.
Pencilmation Script: Icing on the Skate.

12 Aug
The NASA robotic spacecraft named Parker Solar Probe was shot away from Earth today, expected to reach speeds of up to 687.6 km/h. And where is it off to in such a hurry? To investigate the outer corona of the Sun!

13 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (34/50): The first step in reducing illegal downloads is to stop calling us pirates because pirates are fucking rad.

14 Aug
Pencilmation Script: Dark Side of the Balloon.

15 Aug
Due to super high rainfall, massive flooding starts today around Kerala, India. It's the worst flooding in the area for almost 100 years, over 480 people were killed, and around a million were exacuated.

16 Aug
Hard to imagine a death much bigger than that of Aretha Louise Franklin, known as "The Queen of Soul" for a good reason. She recorded 112 Billboard hitting songs, making her the most charted female artist EVER. She was the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She won 18 Grammys and sold 75+ million records worldwide. Rolling Stone called her the greatest singer of all time in 2008. There is more stuff too. Anyway, she died today at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer. RIP.

17 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (35/50): Cure your fear of flying simply by wanting to die.

18 Aug
Saw Glassjaw tonight! Damn, I was sooooo drunk, but I had such a good time, jumping around the moshpit and trying to remember these songs which were once so intertwined throughout my life. There's a video someone took here, you can often catch me zipping past.
Pencilmation Script: What Lurks in the Shadow Puppets.

19 Aug
As I prepared to Jarexit the UK, I went through some old hardrives kicking about where I discovered 194 fully-recorded songs of mine, dating from roughly 2002 - 2008. I picked the 40 best ones (nothing before 2004, I may add) and uploaded them to Soundcloud here, under the monikor Potato Milk, as they were always known.

20 Aug
2018 MTV Video Music Awards, where Cardi B was nominated 10 times, only to equal Childish Gambino as they both won three. The ratings continue to drop each year, because it's shit.
Speaking of Childish Gambino/Donald Glover, you sir, are the winner of my 2018 King Crown. Reasons are due to his unmatched This is America masterpiece composition, the second season of Atlanta which was fucking perfect (so says the Golden Globe Awards, People's Choice Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards etc), his role in the Star Wars franchise this year, and his voice being bought for The Lion King live-action remake due in 2019. Take a bow, Danny Boy, I always knew it was going to be you.

21 Aug
In standard Jared fashion, I decided I should explain my whole leaving plan to the world using this very blog platform. I called it the Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part ii) because I also included a list of all my freelance writing gigs just like the original.
Pencilmation Script: Drip Off the Old Block.

22 Aug
Edward Calhoun King was the guitarist/bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 to 1975 and from 1987 to 1996. He co-wrote Sweet Home Alabama, it's his voice that counts the song in and his fingers which play that insanely famous riff. Cancer took him away from us today, at age 68.
In another move that people called "the type of thing only you would do, Jared", I went and stayed at the cheapest backpackers in London (London Backpackers Youth Hostel) for a night. The reason was to see if I could work in those conditions to prep for my Great Escape. Good news, everybody! I could! It was actually a lot of fun, a whole load of tourists were super excited to be in my city and I pretended I too was but a simple traveller, infiltrating their community without having to explain my silly missions to anyone. Good reviews all around!

25 Aug
John Sidney McCain III was a United States Senator from 1987 until today when he died at age 81 due to brain cancer.
Lindsay Keith Kemp was best known as a dancer who mentored many artists. One such artist was Kate Bush, who wrote the song Moving for him. Another such artist would be David Bowie, who used to fuck him. Obviously that's the only real reason why I included him here. Today he died at age 80.
Today I painted In Odie We Trust, arguably my acrylic masterpiece. If nothing else, it was 32x40” in size, which is by far my largest.
Pencilmation Script: A Whole Newton World.

26 Aug
It was on this evening that I attended a strange vegan dinner thing I saw posted online, where I sat in a room full of strangers and ate a bunch of interesting vegan food with them. The idea was to go all primal and only use our hands and feed one another and just get fucking messy with it. It was so much fun and there is video evidence coming soon, I believe. I also accidentally fell madly for the girl who put the whole thing together but don't tell her.

27 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (36/50): Pro adult tip: refer to your tax returns as a TAXY WAXY because it makes that shit way more bearable.

29 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (37/50): Don’t say “no” to drugs! Say “no thank you” to drugs. It’s more polite.

30 Aug
One of my August goals was to run 100km in total, which I fucking did, you know.
Pencilmation Script: Stop the Presses.

31 Aug
Another big focus of mine during August was to use food to tackle my depression. I found many fascinting bits of information, and put it all together in a piece called Good Mood Food: A 24-Hour Meal Program to Eat Your Way Out of Depression. I still swear by this!

Misc.
I DON'T KNOW THE BEST PLACE TO PUT THIS BUT CAN I JUST SAY THAT IN MY 10 YEARS OF LIVING IN LONDON, 2018 WAS THE GREATEST SUMMER I HAD EVER EXPERIENCED AND MOST PEOPLE I KNOW AGREED.
Mental Health Checkup: Finally, the sunshine starts to peek through the crack in my brain! I'm convinced that this break had almost everything to do with my health, as I exercised more and ate much better this month than many of those which came before. I also experimented with being more open about my depression by delivering it with humour via my social media posts, and that kinda helped lighten the load. I guess the fact that I had the big trip coming up must have helped too? It doesn't really matter though, does it? The point is that something was working! Maybe I'll make it after all!

Dear 2018, September: Brett Kavanaugh cries in front of everyone, Adventure Time ends, Nike hire Colin Kaepernick just to cause trouble, Mac Miller passes, Pornhub have their first award show

01 Sep
My mate Henry turned 30 years young, so a bunch of us stayed a few days in Bristol for him. There was a boat party, there was a lot of trouble, and there was a bird which shat on my head in front of a group of hot girls.
Tips for Dave article: The 10 Worst Mistakes That Porn Is Teaching Us In Bed. Tips For Dave kinda folded after this, I think. We just kinda... stopped emailing each other. FINE BY ME, SEE IF I CARE.
Pencilmation Script: No Rest Room for the Wicked.

02 Sep
Conway Victor Savage was best known as the piano player/backing vocalist for Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds from 1990 - 2016. He died today at age 58 from brain tumour related problems.

03 Sep
Eight years and 283 episodes later, and Adventure Time comes to an end :(

04 Sep
Round about here: Nike announces American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick as their new face for an advertising campaign. Due to Kaepernick's kneeling during the US national anthem, it was a controversial (albeit very calculated) decision, which provoked many to set fire to their Nike clothing. Others praised the "bold move" even though it's all promotional tactics at the end of the day, Nike are not some fucking heroes or anything. Their stock price fell 2.2% but their online orders rose 27%, and who could forget those glorious memes?
This whole year was one of stop-start-stop-start smoking for me, forever quitting and then picking up again. After smoking a particularly excessive amount in Bristol, I tried once again to curb the habit. For reasons unknown to me, this time it actually stuck, and I haven't had a cigarette since somehow. I guess I just got good at quitting? I'm still dying for one though.
Pencilmation Script: Pie Hard.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (38/50): I’ve made some pretty big mistakes in my life but at least I never got married.

06 Sep
The first ever Pornhub Awards, yay! Kanye West was creative director and he debuted his hilariously fun music video for I Love It with Lil Pump. Riley Reid won Most Popular Female Performer which makes sense on my hits alone. I came away with a great new list of girls to spend some alone times with.
The Supreme Court of India declares that homosexuality is no longer a crime.
Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. was a potent 2018 death having starred in many big name films such as Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, and Boogie Nights (for which he was Oscar nominated). He was 82. It was a heart attack.
Pencilmation Script: A Hard Act to Swallow.

07 Sep
Malcolm James McCormick AKA Mac Miller was a rapper/singer who died today at age 26 from an accidental fentanyl/cocaine/alcohol overdose. I wasn't a huge fan, but it's still heartbreaking stuff. The whole music world seemed really moved by the guy.

08 Sep
Pencilmation Script: Mermaid of Honor.

09 Sep
Today, John Legend becomes an EGOT, which is someone who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award. There are only 15 people who have achieved this so far. At age 39, Legend is the youngest. He's also the only black man to do so.
Finished reading Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. It was actually really good! I still keep a lot of it in my mind at all times. Read my full Goodreads review here.

10 Sep
Today I received an email which broke my heart, it did. It's hard to explain without exposing other people's business, but basically, I'm an asshole. A few weeks previous, during one of my regular depression-loneliness bouts, I texted a super super good friend of mine who also happens to be a girl. I informed her that she could totally sleep with me if she was ever so inclined. She laughed it off, as she should have. My intentions were obviously pervy-male orientated (as always), but my delivery was one of humour, as nothing I ever say is meant to be taken completely seriously. I've sent a similar message to many friends before and never really thought much of it. I usually just get rejected with a chuckle and everyone goes on their way.
Unbeknownst to me, this time it actually really bothered the person. Due to reasons beyond this, she had decided to leave London to go far far away. I asked her why she never said goodbye, and today was when the truth came out. I'd ruined our friendship because she no longer felt comfortable with me. This was a MASSIVE wake up call, and something I will be referring to as INCIDENT #1 from now on. It's a moment which forced me to rethink myself as a human being, of which there were more moments to come...
(I'm sorry)

11 Sep
London fashion week announces that they will no longer accept animal fur for use in their shows.
Pencilmation Script: Bride and Gloom.

12 Sep
Apple announce the Apple Watch Series 4, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR.

13 Sep
Pencilmation Script: Fight Flub.

15 Sep
Pencilmation Script: Lawn and Order (this was co-written).

18 Sep
My home country of South Africa legalise the private use of marijuana. I don't smoke but I stand by this desicion as a clear step of positive progress, especially in regards to criminal convictions. Proud of ya, SA!
Pencilmation Script: A Midsummer Nightmare.

19 Sep
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (39/50): You must love and respect your parents even though they forced you into this world for their own selfish reasons without your consent and then expected oh-so-very-much of you.

20 Sep
Wolf Alice's second album Visions of a Life win the 2018 Mercury Prize. I'm semi-ok with that. I think their first album was far superior though BUT WHAT DO I KNOW, I ONLY LISTEN TO EVERY ALBUM EVER.
During a mission between the Ukerewe and Ukara islands of Lake Victoria, the MV Nyerere capsizes, killing 228 people.
I know John Arthur Cunliffe as the man who created Postman Pat. He died today at age 85 from heart failiure.
Pencilmation Script: In Plane Sight.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (40/50): I believe that life is too short for me to hate anyone and yet here you are.

21 Sep
For the second time in my life, I met Lily Allen. I went to a book signing, bought her book and got it signed, as you do. I asked if she remembered me. She reluctantly admitted that she did. I ran away as fast as possible, I hated the whole exchange. Enough meeting celebrities now. Time to become a celebrity.
Today a Redditor named lbcacm posted a video of a giant moth trapped in his house. And suddenly, moths exploded. For a short time, Moth Lamp memes were basically the only thing on the internet.

22 Sep
In a peculiar development to yesterday's Lily Allen story, The Daily Mail tried to use my Instagram post as a weapon in their endless attack against the star. They pasted my text word-for-word, which included an in-joke and personal references that literally no one reading it would understand. Journalism at its fucking finest right here.
Pencilmation Script: Setting the Bar Low.

23 Sep
One lesser-known rad fact about me is that my step-mom's ex-brother-in-law is Mark Lesisohm. If you don't know who he is, then you probably haven't spent too much time obsessing over The Beatles, as this guy is the leading Beatles expert in the world. Today I met him for the first time, chatting about the Fab Four over a cup of tea and then I bought him a beer. It was such an honour, I can't even explain. If you want some proof as well as a read where I gush all over his achievements, it's all here on this Insta photo. YAY.

25 Sep
As is the world we live in, the Facebook group Women Who Eat on Tubes fianlly buckles under pressure, and changes its name to People Who Eat on Tubes. I don't fully support the desicion, I felt part of its magic was in the creepy specifics, but I understand this is where we are now and there are bigger things.
Pencilmation Script: My Little Phony.

26 Sep
Today Tumblr user popokko posted Surprised Pikachu reaction image, and it grew and grew and grew.
My annual religious text update here! It took me all year, but I finally finished reading the first Scientology book a few days ago and then released a blog about it called I Read Dianetics (Scientology Book One) So You Don't Have To. tl;dr: I actually got a fuckton of value from it and developed a mini-obsession about the whole misunderstood religion as a result. And this is not the last you'll hear of my strange tale concerning me and the organisation...

27 Sep
There were a few notable dates connected to this miserable story, but I chose today to tell all of it. I'm sure you remember this all too well: Brett Kavanaugh is a high-up lawyer and jurist who Donald Trump absolutely loved, probably because they were so alike in many ways (direct quote: "Brett Kavanaugh is one of the finest human beings you will ever have the privilege of knowing or meeting"). Trump wanted Kavanaugh to serve in the Supreme Court. However, this plan came under serious threat when, earlier in the year, a University Professor of Psychology named Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Other ladies came forward with similar stories following this too. Kavanaugh denied everything and today was the hearing. Kavanaugh cried and raged and worshipped beer throughout his testimony, and the whole internet felt a bit sick albeit somewhat humoured by this adult tantrum. In the end, they couldn't prove anything even after an FBI investigation. A vote then took place on October the 6th, Kavanaugh won 50–48, and he was sworn into the Supreme Court later that day, just like Trump had always envisioned. Shameless, really. Our highest profile figures are just about the worst examples of role models imaginable.
Marty Balin was best known as a lead singer, songwriter, and founder of Jefferson Airplane. After various lengthy health issues, he died at age 76 today.

28 Sep
Magnitude 7.5 earthquake smacks Sulawesi in Indonesia, which leads to a tsunami killing at least 2,256 people. It's the deadliest earthquake of the year.
I won the lottery! £6.20 alright! That brings my yearly winnings to the grand total of £16.19, which is roughly the same cost as playing the lotto for five weeks.

29 Sep
Pencilmation Script: The Head Bang Theory.

30 Sep
Due to an atrocious comedown, I foolishly texted two exes in a row, asking them to run away with me on my travels. It went about as well as you'd imagine. Not long before this, my sister observed that I had "trouble controlling my emotions" which combined with this painful occurence to create INCIDENT #2. It's where I had this wave of realisation that I certainly have some sort of a mental problem, and this was yet another step in the process towards picking my personality apart and attempting to rebuld it. More to come.

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: While it wasn't the worst month, a series of documented external blows did force me to sit down a couple of times. But sitting down is good. When you sit down, you can catch your breath, take a moment to make a plan, and then strike from a smarter angle. I feel like September was important in terms of making desicions towards stronger development, and I'm a better man for it now.

Dear 2018, October: I go to Hollyoowd baby!, Sectlinefor release our second album, the people of London march against Brexit, right-wing scary man Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazilian presidency, I flirt with Scientology eek

01 Oct
Sectlinefor (the band I happily sing in) release our sophomore album (our second in two years) called Don't Make This About You. The more I listen to it, the more I love it, it's really a great record that I am proud to be a part of. Seriously, check it out, it might just be your type of weird. I also designed the artwork btw btw btw.
As promised, the Scientology saga continues! In spite of my better judgement and the warnings from many friends, I decided to pay a bit of money and attend a few sessions of Dianetic auditing. Truth be told, the book had a relatively profound effect on my thought patterns, and the promises it presented were so alluring that I simply had to explore more. And starting from today, I cautiously walked in through the Scientology doors to attend my first of three sessions, over the course of three consecutive days.
The Scientologists were extremely welcoming people and I was surprised that they were often younger than me (and some of the girls were really hot). That helped. But the sessions were... not quite as impressive. Ridiculous even. Granted, the first session actually made me feel something, but the rest of it was nothing more than mental wankery. The core practice of Dianetic (which makes sense) is to recall a traumatic memory and run it over in your mind repeatedly until it loses its pain. Fair enough, I'm game. My auditor, however, was far more interested in getting me to "remember" (read: completely fabricate) the moment of my birth (and before!) while forcing me into "past lives" and even once SENDING ME TO THE FUCKING MOON?? Well, needless to say, I left there shaking my head in confusion as to how this establishment has managed to snag so many lost lives into its net of fantasy. It actually broke my heart. There were hot girls in there, man!
That said, it's not all bad. I was in a vulnerable state and was wide open, ripe for the plucking. If they'd only just grounded their practices a little bit for a new comer, I'm pretty sure they could have had my name in blood by now. But they fucked it, which in hindsight, is probably for the best. Gives me time to start my own cult, you know? I'm also super proud of myself for doing this. I legitimately don't know many people who would have the balls to be shut in a tiny room while a Scientologist poked around in their brains. It was such a trip.
Finally, there was actually one massive benefit to all of this. You see, not long before this date, I had started to uncover certain parts of my mind which needed addressing. I thought Scientology would come along and pop those engrams like pimples, but it failed. However, once I realised what it was I was looking for, it didn't matter if someone else couldn't fix it for me. I believed I could now fix it myself. And that was INCIDENT #3. From here onwards, I decided to study my brain and my thoughts like I was a mental patient. I attended weekly therapy sessions with myself (always listening to Frank Zappa) where I studied different personality disorders and subconscious manifestations of traumatic events, until I slowly started to work out why I was the way I was especially when it comes to relationships, with all the psychobabble umbrella terms included. This is an eternal project which will last for as long as I'm alive, but it's already made a huge difference in my day-to-day contemplations. I'm catching those freak-outs at their brain stage before they spill over into actions. So, thanks L. Ron, I guess?
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (41/50): I don’t oppose anybody’s beliefs, which I used to think made me a liberal. Turns out it was just apathy.

02 Oct
Geoffrey E. Emerick was a sound engineer best know for his Beatles work. Projects include the biggest of the big, such as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road, as well as McCartney's Band on the Run. Today he was 72 and then he was no more, killed by his own heart.

03 Oct
Westlife reform! Praise be to the gods!
Pencilmation Script: A Date Worse Than Death.

05 Oct
Saw one of my favourite bands in the world tonight. Deafheaven. And I kind of fucked up the experience for myself. The venue (University of London Union) wasn't great and I drank far too much to even remember much of it. What a waste! But I do remember one thing: I had great time! I think.

06 Oct
Pencilmation Script: Doggie Baggage.

07 Oct
Formed today was Hurricane Michael smacking around various areas of the United States (Florida especially). 60 people were killed and $15 billion in damages were reported. It's the third strongest storm in the country's history.

08 Oct
Talk about disaster, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" are required immediately to limit glocal warming from surpassing 1.5 °C. I have a feeling we'll fail for now.

09 Oct
The 46th Annual American Music Awards. Cardi B and Drake were nominated eight times each. Taylor Swift and Camila Cabello won four. Nothing of any interest took place.
Pencilmation Script: Pencilmatrix.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (42/50): Makeup is weird. Of course you look more attractive. You’ve literally just painted a superior face on top of your face.

10 Oct
If you don't know Andie Airfix by name, you'll know him by his artwork as the album cover designer for various artists such as Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Metallica, the Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, Paul McCartney, and David Bowie. He died today at age 72 for reasons unknown.

11 Oct
The Music Modernization Act was signed into US law today. It means a lot of stuff, but essentially what it results in is that artists get paid more compensation and have more rights over their music. Which sounds like a good thing and I saw many artists celebrating on Insta, so yay!

12 Oct
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (43/50): For every hardcore rapper, there’s an elderly relative wondering why they have to swear so much.

13 Oct
Motherfucker, today was the day I got on a plane and flew all the way to LA, baby! First time in America too and I stayed in a hostel which was dead center Hollywood Boulevard. I mean, like, COME ON! My boi Ammr was there too and together we had a wonderful time, drinking fuckloads, feasting on unreasonably large food portions, taking photos of stars on the pavement, dodging the endless Scientology locations, scouting out the Hollywood sign in the hot sun, and laughing at the overall excess of the whole show. Never before have I felt such a celebrity culture overload, which is everything, really. More details coming over the next few days, hang on...
Pencilmation Script: Don't Shoot the Massager.

15 Oct
Pakistan pledge to plant one billion trees to combat deforestation.
I went to Disneyland today! Hahaha! It was actually a bit of a mindfuck, there were far too many kids as well as adults dressed up as characters, pretending to be happy. But deep down, I could see the pain in their eyes. They were as depressed as all of us. I could smell the ugly corporation cogs turning. I saw through it all. But it was still pretty out there, unlike anything I'd ever experienced really.
Sadly, at some point during this day, my knee fucked out really badly, and it only started to get better way later at the end of the year. This sucked because my running routine was obviously not an option. But at the same time, if you're going to hurt yourself, I reckon Disneyland is the place to do it.
Paul Gardner Allen was best known for co-founding Microsoft in 1975 with Bill Gates, estimated to be the 44th-wealthiest person in the world at the time of his death. Which was today. He died. Age 65. Cancer-related.

16 Oct
About five months previous to this date, I had a nap and dreamt that I was basically in the Gorillaz video for Humility on my 34th birthday, skating around Venice Beach in LA. When I woke up, I booked my flights immediately.
AND TODAY WAS MY MOTHERFUCKING BIRTHDAY. So... did I do it? Obviously. The rent-a-skate place didn't even charge me because of the whole getting older thing. It was truly a magical occasion as well as a glorious reflection of the world we live in. Make plans and then fucking do it. Make your dreams come true even if they were during an afternoon nap.
Ammr also hired a Mercedes convertible for the day, so we rode around the LA streets, top down, blasting hip hop, feeling like this was pretty much it. Ammr forever! The Hollywood strip club following wasn't quite as great though.
Canada completely legalises the sale of marijuana. On my birthday too! Only Uruguay have done this before.
Tesco announce that they will be scrapping best before dates on their fruit and veg in hopes of reducing food waste.
Pencilmation Script: A Good Tan is Hard to Find.

17 Oct
I missed 5 million, but who cares? Pencilmation hits 6 million subscribers. I've got some dirt on my shoulder, do you mind?

19 Oct
Punjab, India, and some people were stupid enough to be standing on train tracks while watching the celebrations of the Hindu festival of Dussehra. A train came along and killed 59 people, injuring 100 others.
BepiColombo is a European-Japanese spacecraft, launched today, set on a seven year journey to Mercury. Go, BepiColombo, go!
Landed back in London, happy to be home, but still dreaming of Hollywood to this day. I wanna be in LA. Here are some photos.
Less a video thing, more a book thing, but today was the day when fellow Funpowder Plotter Dion had his launch party for The Freewheelin Troubadour's Book of Faith in conjunction with his God Knows EP. Contact the boy if you wanna copy, it's excellent. Annoyingly I couldn't attent due to my late flight and bum knee, but I hear it was messy.

20 Oct
An estimated 700,000 marched in London for a People's Vote, asking for a second referedum against the Brexit monster. This was the 2nd biggest protest in the UK of the 21st century (behind only the anti-Iraq War march in 2003). Theresa ignored it.
Trumpy Wumpy at it again, announcing that he wishes to withrawl the US from a treaty between his country and the Soviet Union. It's called the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. What could possibly go wrong?
Pencilmation Script: Mate in the Moon.

21 Oct
Earl Elmer Bakken was an engineer best known for inventing the pacemaker in 1957. He died today at age 94.
Finished reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. I had strong expectations, but it was even better than that, really inspiring my art as well as a general love for the community of it all. Totally recommend for anyone, read my full review here.

22 Oct
Starting here: Sixteen letter bombs were sent out to Trump critics, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Robert De Niro. None of them exploded. Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr. was the man ultimately arrested for the stunt. Trump condemned the actions but deep down he was probably a little flattered.
Thanks to long rides on recent planes, I finished another book today, namely My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen. To be fair, her complainy words annoyed me a bit. Her honesty may be second to none but I don't think she came off all that likeable in the end. Read my full review on Goodreads.

23 Oct
Chinese President Xi Jinping opens the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge. At 55km, it's the longest sea crossing bridge in the world now.
Around here, Initiative Q exploded and I joined. For those who don't know, it's a movement attempting to create a brand new currency. Pretty cool idea created by a guy who worked for PayPal. I have my doubts that it will work, but on the off chance it does and you haven't signed up yet, use this link. Two million people from 180 counties apparently already have.
Pencilmation Script: Tragic Wand.

24 Oct
Shortly before this date, a man was shown on video footage to be stealing a bunch of beer from a Blackpool establishment. The police turned to the internet for identification help, and the internet returned the information that it was undeniably David Schwimmer. David quickly responded today with the following video proclaiming his innocence.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (44/50): Of all the narcissists in the world, I reckon I’m probably the best one.

25 Oct
Today was my one year writing health articles for an online company who sold fitness gear. The boss sent me a message which started by thanking me for all my hard work, and I was like, aw, so sweet! However, the message quickly spiralled into a sob story of how they've lost all of their customers and money, and basically, I was fired. Kinda funny? Honestly, it was for the best. I felt much less stress when this work ceased to exist, and even if 20% of my salary disappeared with them, it gave me the space to concentrate on perhaps turning my own ideas into financial gains. Who knows if it will work, but I'm sure to find out real soon.

26 Oct
Adi Shankar announces that the popular Simpsons chracter Apu Nahasapeemapetilon would be retired from the show following the negative backlash from racist accusations put forward primarily by the documentrary called The Problem with Apu. Simpsons executive producer, Al Jean, said that Shankar was a liar though, so maybe it's no time to panic just yet.

27 Oct
The deadliest attack on the US Jewish community happened today as Robert Gregory Bowers shot and killed 11 people at the Tree of Life (L'Simcha Congregationat) synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
As a fan of Dresden Dolls since their first album (I first heard it in 2004, which was before you) I finally got to see them tonight! It was a very intimate three-hour warm-up show with a crowd of 500 people or so, which made it feel all the more special to me. Certainly, I was fucking drunk, but I kept getting these flashes of phrases about how art was going to save the world and how it was all about the community (basically the stuff Amanda has been saying for years except it was coming from my brain now). Brian Viglione is also an incredible drummer. Anyway, I met lady Palmer after the show, so that's another cool thing, especially because I'd just finished reading her book. After this point, I did need a Palmer break though.
Pencilmation Script: You Had Me at Halloween.

28 Oct
Today, Jair Bolsonaro was elected as the president of Brazil with a 55% win. Known as "The Brazilian Trump" he is a far right champion, vocally against same-sex marriage, abortion, and drug liberalization. I thought we'd been through this already? It's a bad idea!

29 Oct
Indonesia's Lion Air Flight 610 crashes, killing all 189 people on board, plus one other guy who died trying to rescue them. This is the first major accident for a Boeing 737 MAX, the deadliest from any 737 aircraft, and the worst in Lion Air's 18 year history.
Daughters release their You Won't Get What You Want album and I shit myself profusely. I go on to call this the greatest album of the year without even needing to think about it, seriously, WOW.

30 Oct
Launched in 2009, Kepler was a space observatory intended to discover new planets over the course of three years. Nine years, 530,506 stars, and 2,662 planets deteced later, and the Kepler ran out of fuel, it's adventure finally over. Good job!
My final painting of the year (and perhaps ever) was the one for Mensvreters. I could not have chosen a better subject.
The annual music blogs kick off today, how exciting! The 20 Best Music Titles of 2018, take it away!
Pencilmation Script: Seize the Doomsday.

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: The upside of my Great Escape deadline looming was that the attention of my mind was completely diverted away from the darkness and rather hurtled straight towards a blind panic which looked suspiciously like an extensive to-do list.
That said, please note that my mental spelunking as my own therapist may have had something to do with my progress. Or perhaps that nice little break I had in LA? Whatever. The point stands that October was a wonderful month where my happy juices got back on board and stayed on board until the year's end. Which means a lot considering how last year's October was when all of this trouble started.

Dear 2018, November: Stan Lee flies away, Iceland capatalise on their palm oil advert ban, fires destroy California, Spongebob creator dies, they did surgery on a grape

01 Nov
Dawn was the first spacecraft to orbit extraterrestrial objects, as well as the first to visit Vesta or Ceres or any dwarf planet ever. After 11 years of service, it ran out of fuel today, thus ending its mission.

02 Nov
The sixth and final season of House of Cards is released to Netflix. Due to his kiddie-fiddling nonsense, Kevin Spacey was not invited to star in the show which he had lead for so many years. Yet surprisingly, it actually got some pretty decent reviews.

03 Nov
Pencilmation Script: Stark Raving Dad.

04 Nov
New Caledonia hold a referendum to claim independence from France. 56.4% voted to say put.
Bunker Magazine gives my band's latest record a 9/10. Seems a bit low.

06 Nov
The 2018 United States midterm elections were held today. "Democrats take control of the House, Republicans continue Senate majority" is something I copy and pasted from elsewhere. Some people said this was very bad for Trump. Others compared the midterm results to former presidents (including Obama) showing it was actually a win for Trump relatively speaking. I would have put more effort into this paragraph if I actually lived in America. I only included it because my Twitter feed was going nuts for it. It does feel like perhaps the beginning of the end for the man though?
Four years vegetarian today and I've never felt better about anything in my whole life.
Pencilmation Script: Things that Go Bump in the Night.

07 Nov
On and on goes my annual musical blog series. Look, here's The 20 Best Lyrics of 2018.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (45/50): People say that I’m a competitive person but I don’t see any fucking competition around here.

08 Nov
Chinese twins, Lulu and Nana, are born today as the first germline genetically edited babies, healthy and reportedly highly resistant to the HIV virus. This was all thanks to the hands of biophysics researcher He Jiankui, who was widely critisised for his antics, and later suspended from all future research.

09 Nov
Iceland took Green Peace's video about the dangers of palm oil and turned it into an advert, basically a sly way of boasting how the company are so morally superior due to their "no more palm oil policy". I see through it, but I also fully support it. Anyway, the advert was banned for reasons of being "too political" which worked in its favour, as the clip went super viral following for the same reason.
Worth it for the lols: around here it came to light that Jered Threatin and his band Threatin had bought thousands of Likes and views around the internet, and then used that as leverage to put together a "sold-out" tour where no one had actually purchased any tickets either, all Threatin. It's hard to know exactly how long he wanted to keep this up, but when nobody showed to the shows, the owners got pretty pissed. Anyway, he claims it was all an art project in itself, illustrating how the system can be manipulated blah blah I love it myself.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (46/50): You can’t say Black Sabbath without ABBA.

10 Nov
Pencilmation Script: Oh My Godzilla!.

11 Nov
Douglas James Rain was an actor most notably known as the voice of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. He died today at age 90.

12 Nov
About as big as you can possibly get: Stan Lee is arguably the most recognisable comic book writer that has ever existed. He was Marvel Comics' creative leader for two decades, inventing many of the biggest characters known to man, including Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, and Daredevil. He kept working right up until his death, which was today, at age 95, from cardiac arrest. He changed all of our entertainment lives whether you wanted him to or not (I wanted him to) and even if I'm not the biggest comic book fanatic, I salute you with all five fingers, sir.

13 Nov
Pencilmation Script: Should I Play or Should I Go?.

14 Nov
Finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I could see how it might be of some use to certain people, but I learned nothing. Full review on Goodreads here.

15 Nov
"Toxic" is announced as Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year, not only for its traditional chemical usage, but also as a way to describe bad relationships or masculinity. I actually support this one. Better than a fucking emoji.
Today I finally achieved the life badge which reads "Attended a Skype Job Interview Without Wearing Any Trousers". I didn't get the job though. I wonder if they saw my Instagram account and that's why? Whatever, totally worth it! Photo ref.

17 Nov
Today was the first day of that yellow vests movement in France, where (at its peak) 287,700+ protesters were demanding lower fuel taxes, a minimum wage increase, and the resignation of Emmanuel Macron, the President. The protests continued until the end of the year, eventually exploding into fullblown riots, the country's worst civil unrest since 1968. 10 people died, a 100 cars were burned, thousands were injured, thousands were arrested, but for the most part, it kinda worked. The minimum wage was promised to increase at €100 per month and a planned tax increase for lower pensioners was scrapped. There is something important in all of this. Check some photos here, madness.
John Allen Chau was 26 when he arrived to illegally meet with the indigenous people of North Sentinel Island, India. His mission, as a missionary, was to convert them to Christ. And they killed him. Honestly, fuck him too, he deserves it, he's a fool. Pretty much everyone agreed too, saying it was his fault for trying to force his religion on people who had never seen an outside human before, and his remains remain there.
Pencilmation Script: Man's Best Fiend.

19 Nov
Fucking internet, man. In 2010, Edward Hospital used a grape to demonstrate how their surgical equipment works. Eight years later, and a person on Instagram posted a still of this procedure with the caption "They did surgery on a grape". And the meme was born, for no real good reason.
At the Drive-In announce their break-up, the third time they've done so. I'm just so happy I got to see them live on this tour before they did. Twice! Bring back Mars Volta next?

20 Nov
What's this? It's The 10 Worst Album Cover Artworks of 2018, which I wrote.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (47/50): I told you that I loved you, but in reality, I only loved the way you temporarily filled the crater of abandonment anxiety that my neglected childhood carved into the very fabric of my emotional development. Please promise that you’ll never ever leave me.

21 Nov
I'd never heard of Olivia Hooker until I was researching for this article, but she totally earns a mention. She was there during the Tulsa race riot of 1921 (arguably the worst example of racial violence in American history) but she survived and is the last known person to have done so. She then went on to join the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945, the first African-American to ever do that. She served during World War II and then went on to become a psychologist and a professor. Such a crazy life, ending today at age 103.

22 Nov
One year at Pencilmation today! Couldn't be happier, quitting web was the best decision of my life, dreams can come true, just look at me, I fucking did it.

23 Nov
Nicolas Jack Roeg was a director known for works such as Walkabout, Don't Look Now (which I only watched this year and it fast became one of my favourite films EVER), The Man Who Fell to Earth, and The Witches. Steven Soderbergh, Christopher Nolan, and Danny Boyle have all cited him as an influence. He died today at age 90.

24 Nov
Richard Jay Potash was a magician known as "perhaps the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive" who also starred in such big name movies to the likes of The Prestige, Heist, Boogie Nights, and Tomorrow Never Dies. Today his spirit vanished into thin air at the age of 72. How'd you do that?
Pencilmation Script: Clover the Top.

25 Nov
Kind of an unsung hero was the screenwriter Gloria Katz, who worked closely with George Lucas and put together the screenplays for American Graffiti, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Howard the Duck. Legend tells that she secretly edited the Star Wars scripts too as well as playing a significant part in the development of Princess Leia. Anyway, she died today at age 76 from ovarian cancer.
It took me over two years, but today I purchased Nas' Illmatic vinyl, which completed the collection of my Top 50 Favourite records (sort of). Watch me show them off in this chipmunk video here.

26 Nov
NASA's InSight proble lands on Mars, no problemo.
Stephen McDannell Hillenburg was Emmy Award winning creator, director, producer, and writer for the fifth longest-running American animated series ever, SpongeBob SquarePants. After a battle with ALS, he died at age 57. Sad.
Bernardo Bertolucci was a director who won two Academy Awards for his work on The Last Emperor. Other films under his name include The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, and Little Buddha. He died today from lung cancer, 77.
Today I posted a photo to Shit London and recieved 383 reactions. I did good!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (48/50): Let us express our happiness by exposing sharp bits of human tusk to one another.

27 Nov
After Russia seizes three Ukrainian ships, Ukraine fear a Russian invasion, and promptly declare martial law.
Annual music blogs stop for no man, not even me. The 10 Best Album Cover Artworks of 2018.
Pencilmation Script: A Cawtionary Tale.

28 Nov
My gig-buddy got me a ticket to see It It Anita this evening. I'd never heard of them before, but damn, they kicked ass, and I've heard of them now! Fan! Thanks, Lonnie!

29 Nov
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (49/50): “How were we supposed to know that Brexit would be such a mess?” BECAUSE EVERYONE FUCKING TOLD YOU.

30 Nov
Ariana Grande drops her video for Thank U, Next, which went on to break the YouTube record for most-watched music video within 24 hours, hitting 55.4 million in that time. She did well for herself this year in general.
George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. He also gave America their 43rd president, George W. Bush, directly from his ballsack. Surprisingly, in hindsight, neither were the worst president in recent times. Bush died today at age 94 years 171 days, meaning he was the longest-living U.S. president in history.

Misc.
In July/August, a national disaster was announced due to the wildfires in Nothern California. Strong winds in November only aggravated the issue by spreading the fire all across the state, destroying more than 18,000 structures and killing 104 people. It's the worst California wildfire on record in terms of destruction and fatalities. I was just there the month before too!
Mental Health Checkup: At this point, my life was flying past me at a blurry pacing due to the final bits of the Great Escape requiring my undivided attention. How could I be depressed when I couldn't even think? Which I guess was the secret all along. Either which way, November was great! Thanks for asking!

Dear 2018, December: Theresa May's life is a nightmare, I Jarexit the UK to travel forever, a drone shuts down Gatwick airport, Kevin Spacey somehow ups his creep level, YouTube Rewind is hated by everyone

01 Dec
Pencilmation Script: System of a Clown.

02 Dec
Today I officially move out of my room and move to... the lounge. My boi Andy took my room and I couldn't be happier with my replacement. And from this day forward, I was homeless.

03 Dec
Tumblr announce that all sexual content (including female nipples) would be banned. People were like wtf. Their stock naturally plummeted shortly following.
Arguably the hardest part of leaving the UK was deciding what to do with my acrylic babies I'd spent the last few years putting together. Store them? Sell them? Throw them away? In the end I opted to give them away to my friends, and much to my flattered surprised, they all got claimed without much mess or fuss. You can see each piece and their new owners here and here.

04 Dec
For the first time ever, the UK Government was found to be in contempt of Parliament due to the failiure of presenting any legal advice it received when it came to Brexit. The government agreed to give it up after this.
Pencilmation Script: Snow and Tell.
Super stoked about this! Today I launched basically #legobiscuits v2.0 AKA #legoloaves. It is where I take the best #legobiscuits as per voted by the social media reactions and turn them into full Photoshop beauties. Viral fame is around the corner! I blasted out the door with the first three at once, check them out.

06 Dec
Quite a confusing story was that of Cyntoia Brown who was a 16-year-old prostitute in 2004. She robbed and shot a sleeping customer named Johnny Mitchell Allen, and was sent to jail for it, sentenced to 51 years. Today, after a parole hearing, The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that she would not be eligible for parole until her 51 years were served. Many people were very angry about this (including Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Cara Delevingne), pointing out her troubled childhood as reason for a lighter sentence. If you really read about the story though, it's quite difficult to know what to think. She did a very bad thing. She wasn't exactly fit to be in society, regardless of reasons.
YouTube released their annual Rewind video, and this time, people did not stand for it so well. It went on to break the record for the most-disliked video on their own platform, currently with over 14 million downvotes of doom.
Pete Shelley was the founder, singer, and guitarist for the Buzzcocks. Yes, the show Never Mind the Buzzcocks was a reference to them. Pete died today at age 63 due to a heart attack.

07 Dec
The U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union reports that 51.2% of the world are now using the internet. Wait a minute... what the fuck are the other people doing????
OMG, talk about a forgotten dream come true, I saw the Cardigans tonight! What's more, they played my favourite album Gran Turismo in fucking full!!! AAAH! They followed this with loads of hits and it truly was an incredible experience which I consider a 2018 gig highlight despite the thick competition. What a fantastic goodbye from London I got there, I will treasure it forever, I still haven't had enough time to sufficiently digest it.
Victor Hayden was better known as The Mascara Snake, and he was the cousin of Captain Beefheart, even performing on the Trout Mask Replica masterpiece. John Frusciante once named a track after him. Unfortunately, he was struck by a truck a while ago and died from those injuried today, round about the age of 70, but nobody really knows.

08 Dec
Roger was an Australian icon, as a kangaroo with an impressively muscular physique. After suffering from arthritis, he died today from old age. Natalie Imbruglia paid her respects by saying "He always brought a smile to my face. Such a proud strong boy".
AND TODAY WAS THE DAY! Today I ran away, gone gone gone, The Great Escape itself, Jarexit in full force, no People's Vote, strong and stable, strong and stable! First stop: Copenhagen, Denmark. I landed and had a meal without ANYONE knowing where I was. Not my friends, not my family, only me. Trippy thing to do, yeah? I announced it soon enough though. I doubt anyone cared either way. I miss Lara a bit.
Pencilmation Script: Joined at the Hippie.

10 Dec
Sick and Destroy interviewed me for Sectlinefor's latest album. My top line is the one that goes "I’m off travelling for a while to discover the deeper meaning of life (or at least to eat some nice food)".

11 Dec
A Christmas market in Strasbourg, France was where terrorist man Chérif Chekatt killed five people and wounded 11 with a knife and a gun. He escaped, was found two days later, and was shot dead.
Metal Militia interviewed me for Sectlinefor's latest album. My top line is the one that goes "I would love to do a cover of Nada Surf’s classic song Popular one day. I know all the words already, it’s my favourite song in the world".
Pencilmation Script: Reaper by the Dozen. This one not only turned out great, but I also managed to sneak my name into the animation as a sly little Easter egg. See if you can spot it!

12 Dec
Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence from her own party due to the mess she made over the Brexit deal negotiation. She won (200 vs 117 votes) but that doesn't look very good for her, does it? May then confirmed that she would be stepping down as Prime Minister once Brexit was over. WHY NOT JUST FORGET THE WHOLE THING MAYBE? Shame, she is trying, I'll give her that.
Speaking of Theresa (and this may be a controversial choice) but I have chosen her as my Queen of 2018. Do I agree with her politics? No, I vote against her. Do I think she's fucking the country? Yes, I do. But what I will commend the lady for, is somehow not having a heart attack yet due to the excess of pressure on her character, suffocated by the almost universal hatred for her every move. She dominated the headlines in the most intensely scrutinised of possible ways, and I honestly respect her even if I wish she'd just go away. Congrats!
Today was a big scary day when I released the first part of my vlog fictional travel series which will eventually grow into a full movie. It's called Definitely Not a Cry for Help, and it's all about a guy who leaves London to go and kill himself. I'm fine! I swear! Here's Chapter One: London and the response so far has been more than encouraging!
My 200th #legobiscuit, can you believe it? I can. I drew them all.

13 Dec
Announced today were the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and I couldn't be happier with the choices! Radiohead! The Cure! Janet Jackson! I voted for those guys. Def Leppard, Roxy Music, and The Zombies are also included. And finally, there's Stevie Nicks, who is to become the first woman to be inducted twice (due to her solo work and Fleetwood, obvz). I'm still mad at her over that Lindsey thang tho.
100 days nicotine free.
Nancy Sue Wilson was a blues/jazz/R&B/pop/soul singer with over five decades of career under her belt, which included more than 70 albums and three Grammy Awards. She acted too. Sadly, Nancy died today at age 81 from kidney cancer.

15 Dec
200 nations at the Katowice Climate Change Conference agree to the rules set by the 2015 Paris agreement to ward off that global warming guy.
Pencilmation Script: Ghost of Christmas Presents.

17 Dec
Music World interviewed me for Sectlinefor's latest album. My top line is the one that goes "Nobody cares if you forget the words when you’re dancing around like a squid whilst wearing a pink tutu, that I promise.".
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2018 (50/50): If you’re suffering from depression, I recommend travelling. You’ll still be depressed, but at least you’ll be depressed somewhere else, you know?

18 Dec
Alfonso Ribeiro AKA Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is reportedly suing online video game Fortnite for stealing his dance moves. He's not the only one either, as is 2 Milly for his Swipe It dance, and as is Russell Horning for his Floss moves. More are expected to follow. Fuck Fortnite, truly, they knew what they were doing, I hope they lose tons of money.
Pencilmation Script: Whistle While You Housework.

19 Dec
From here until the 21st, a drone or two flew too close to Gatwick Airport, and they shut everything down hard. 110,000 passengers and 760 flights were affected. People were arrested and then let free without charge. It's the stupidest thing I've ever heard for days.
FINALLY, here is the The Top 50 Albums of 2018. Best year ever? Jeez, I dunno, it just might be!
New #legoloaf over here: It's Easy to Be Funny When Your Life Is One Big Fucking Joke.

20 Dec
Finished reading Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood. I loved it! She really wrote in a magnificent manner which captured my imagination as did her creatively original tale. Thanks, Wilmie! Read my full review on Goodreads here, and let it be known that this was the 12th book I read this year, which is always my goal! I JUST KEEP FUCKING WINNING WHAT'S GOING ON.

22 Dec
Due to a dispute over funding for the Mexico–United States wall, Trump shutsdown the government, which could end up costing the country billions of dollars. No one man should have all that power. This system is fucked. Hopefully this is just another peach stone on the trail of impeachment stones.
After the eruption and collapse of the Anak Krakatau volcano, a tsunami smacked Indonesia with fury, killing at least 430 people and injuring 1,459. Three members of the Indonesian pop-rock group, Seventeen, died in the incident.
Back on a plane and away from Denmark I go!
I must say, Copenhagen really set the bar high. Sure, it was cold and expensive, but the people were so welcoming and the English standard was super high, making my life easy! I met up with old friends at a pub, made some new friends at a pub crawl, admired the serene water landscapes, explored the many Christmas markets, appreciated their impressive statue work (including the Little Mermaid!), tripped out in Superkilen, freaked out in Christiania, marveled those colourful houses Nyhavn, climbed the Round Tower, said some words at Hans Christian Andersen's grave, and basically just learned how to survive a normal routine while moving at such a super fast pace. Good start! Some photos here and here for you.
Next stop: Berlin, Germany! Where I am right now, as I launch this very blog, hallo.
Pencilmation Script: Hail Santa!.

24 Dec
This is really fucking weird, but Kevin Spacey uploaded some twisted Xmas video where he portrays his famous House of Cards character Frank Underwood. Here, he blurs the line between reality and fiction by seemingly stating to his innocence in context of his sexual misconduct allegations? Whatever, it's well fucking creepy, and even worse, a new accusation was charged against him not long before. 7th of Jan 2019 is his court date so let's see wtf he's playing at.
Sneaky sneaky Bolde published an unreleased article of mine. Thank goodness I still check these things! Here's my invoice! This one was called Questions Your Boyfriend Is Too Afraid to Ask You, According To A Guy and a lot of Facebook feminists did not get the humour.
Pencilmation hits 7 million subscribers. Of course we did! Just to put this in some perspective, when I quit my job to become a fulltime writer, this channel was at around 1.5 million. That's 5.5 million new subs in one year. How can one not get excited about that?

25 Dec
Xmas Dey! You would think that being all alone in a foreign country would make for a lonely time, but not the case! I ran around exploring the city as I have been for a while now, and it felt like a special day all the way. While we're on the topic, Berlin highlights include: visiting Nico's grave, being impressed by the brutal statue work, looking up at the Victory Column, reading the Stand By Me tree in Tiergarten Park, feeling weird at memorials (the Soviet War one, the Sinti and Roma one, the Jewish one etc), the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, Hansa Studios (!!! Bowie recorded Low here !!!!), Alter St-Matthäus-Kirchhof cemetery which includes the Brothers Grimm graves, the East Side Gallery, the Ramones Museum, the David Hasselhoff museum, and drinking Marilyn Manson's brand of absinthe called Mansinthe. This place is too cool for me. Photos here and here.
Pencilmation Script: Sight for Dinosaur Eyes.
One thing I did throughout 2018 was to listen to an artist's full discography and put together a playlist of their best work, according to my taste exactly. By this date, I had performed this action 155 times, all of which can be accessed under the Public Playlists tab on my Spotify profile. My plan is to eventually hear every song from every album by every artist ever made. They tell me it's impossible, because they have a negative attitude.

27 Dec
Robert Charles Kerman AKA R. Bolla, was an actor known mostly for his porno career of 100+ sex films including the classic Debbie Does Dallas. The guy also managed to transfer his skills into more mainstream cinema, including Cannibal Holocaust and a tiny bit in 2002's Spiderman. He died today at age 71.
At 112 years, 230 days old, Richard Arvin Overton was the oldest verified surviving US World War II veteran, as well as the oldest man in the US altogether. Not any more, buddy!

28 Dec
Pencilmation Script: The Taming of the Stew.

30 Dec
I released this very blog and you clicked into it. And for that, I thank you.



Was this blog long enough?

When I composed the similarly owed letter to 2017, I concluded with a goal I wanted to achieve during your lifespan, 2018. If you don't remember (or never even knew about it), this is how it went:

I'd like to work on the following with [2018]: designing and developing a foolproof formulaic approach, one which systematically self-sustains itself whilst evolving, applicable to any important aspect of my life.

While this may sound like the ridiculous ramblings of a lost mind, perhaps some confusing attempt at sounding funny, it was, in truth, my full intention to pursue this very objective. In order to do so, I dedicated roughly 1 - 2 hours every 2018 working day playing with this plan like putty in my hands, kneading it, stretching it, breaking it, starting again. I wanted to prove that happiness could be treated just like anything else in this world: that with a bit of practice, the very emotional concept was something we could not only create but also control. Did I perfect the process? No, I did not. But through my tireless studies, I am happy to report that I definitely have a rough outline and I wholeheartedly believe this idea to be possible.

I refuse to waste my time dwelling on past hiccups, but it bears repeating that the end of last year was rough as fuck, and that has been well-documented. This troublesome atmosphere meant that the start of 2018 was not exactly in a position of power, rather a discarded wooden ice cream stick, floating uncontrollably in circles around some mucky drain water. I was that ice cream stick, just in case you didn't catch the analogy. But what a determined little ice cream stick I was! "NOT THIS YEAR," I probably said and then I got to work firming up some stairs using the mildew. And now, as December blows out its final candles, and I am no longer required to think or feel or even attend, I can pause the film and have a team meeting with me, myself, and Irene. What's that, Irenee? Oh my god, that's true! One year and three months ago, I was working at a job that was giving me daily panic attacks, grinding myself into a pile of sand against an industry which I had zero passion for. Excellent observation! What else? How about one year and two months ago, where I quit that same job to follow my dream of becoming a writer, essentially severing all financial stability in my life, SNIP, playing a very dangerous game indeed. And, oh yes, of course, who can forget that one year and one month ago, I was in a heartbroken mess of pieces, so severely suicidal that the only reason I am still alive, is because I was too depressed to move.

LOOK AT ME NOW, PUNK. I have found fulfilment in a job I realise I was always destined to be doing: writing scripts for a children's cartoon show. Lol, that's so Jared! What's more, I get to utilise my maximum creativity while I casually travel the world, writing these very words in a hostel in Berlin, surrounded by people who don't even speak English, my next flight already booked to Budapest, the flight after that wherever the coin may land. And may I be the first to say... wtf? This is absolutely insane. I cannot believe that this life is not only possible, but it's my life!!! Could this be the happiest I've ever been when I wrote a yearly letter conclusion? I mean, maybe! I'm in awe of my existence, is this how it is going to be from now on??

Because, here is the thing I realised: my happiness has forever been reliant on external contributions. I'd get a girlfriend, I'd be happy, I'd lose her, I'd be sad, repeat. I'd base my worth on my job or my friends or my diet or my running schedule or my house, granting each of these factors enough power to boost my personal perception or to crumble me down like an overburdened pillar of self-loathing. In 2018, I clicked that there was no one thing that could make me happy. I needed everything. And I needed it now. I needed my whole life to be running at full capacity at all times without fail. I needed everyone else's life to look repulsive to me. And I needed to be in a position where anything in my experience was immediately replaceable at a moment's notice, inhale, exhale, move forward. I will no longer bestow any factor with enough strength to disrupt my flow, and I will run straight through anything that tries like it's styrofoam. The system is perfect, and while I still have much work to do in order to get myself functioning within it just like I previously described, you must believe me when I say this: I have built something very big here. Something which is going to make me a lot of money by 2024. Something which will ultimately be my legacy.

Of course, maybe my brain will do that glitchy thing again and maybe I'll kill myself in 2019 after all, but whatevs, let me have this moment. I also realised I have tinnitus this year, so you know. Shit tends to go wrong, it's the way the game works.

ALRIGHT, every year I do this, so let's do this AGAIN. Here comes the super-cali-narcissistic-extra-Jared-dosage where I attempt to blow my own horn/penis in one bullet list for future reference. I achieved the following things in 2018 and I'm proud of them, this is my blog, you clicked the link.

I wrote 22 posts on my Juice Nothing blog, including this one. That's more than standard.
Meanwhile, I wrote 83 scripts for Pencilmation episodes that are already out, according to my IMDB profile anyway. This is my job somehow, with well over 200 million views covered altogether (probably waaaay more but I'm too lazy to work it out).
I also wrote hundreds of other articles all over the web about fitness, relationships, and celebrities, spreading my words like an STD, open wide. I am a professional writer, that happened.
I finished writing a whole book, which I guess I technically finished writing last year, but regardless, 2019, it'll be out.
My band Sectlinefor released our sophomore record Don't Make This About You, our second album in two years and definitely a step up.
Ammr and I reviewed eight movies in our special video styles. These came with the added feature of fancy Photoshop thumbnails which I created.
I started my own film/travel vlog called Definitely Not a Cry for Help, released piece by piece as I visit each country, which is perhaps the most exciting creative endeavour I've got on the go right now.
My social media posts evolved into rough illustrations called #legobiscuits, of which 205 were released over the course of the year.
These #legobiscuits then evolved into #legoloaves, which were the more praised of biscuits getting the full Photoshop treatment. Four of those came to light near the end of 2018, with big plans for 2019.
Four new vector pieces found their way onto Shutterstock early-2018, while two new acrylic pieces got added to the collection. A collection which, by the way, has been claimed by friends all over London, one piece per person, 14 in total.
I saw 38 bands live, some of which are the biggest names in the world, one of which was legit the biggest name in the world.
I visited seven countries, three of which I had never been to before (Sweden, USA, Denmark). Did I mention that I also became a full-time traveller this year? Oh, I did? Sorry.
Despite my knee fucking out near the end of the year, I ran a total of 513.6km in 2018 (according to Strava). This was 171.3km more than last year, which is a massive leap forward lol.
On the health topic, it actually looks like I may have quit smoking this round, which is a goddamn miracle.
I read 12 books, which was my goal exactly!
And finally, I had sex quite a few times which is always appreciated.

And so yeah! I guess what I am trying to say is that you did well, 2018! Very well indeed! It was an absolute pleasure working with you and I note you down as the year where I probably grew the most in my whole life (what's more, it was intentional growth too). I was once somewhere and now I am somewhere completely different, and this happened at a super fast rate all within your timeframe. Plus, I think I'm still speeding up...

Oh, and if you get a chance to pass a whisper on to 2019, please just tell her that I'm looking forward to meeting her. Very much so.

SO MANY LOVES TO YOU, I LOVE YOU, YOU WERE GREAT, I'LL TELL EVERYONE HOW GREAT YOU WERE, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING 2018, BYE!

Yours Sincerely,
Jared Woods