Travel Blog 18; Just Think!

We’re living in a time where a lot of folks booze
Whether sitting in a bar or sitting in their front rooms
Some say its made for profit some say for fun
Some say its even made to keep the population dumb
It can loosen you up when your out with your friends
So you can finally approach that girl from your ends
Have a dance, lock lips, fall under the spell
Then wake up in the morning with a story to tell
It should come as no surprise I was a fan of the drink
Used to go through Whiskey till my nose turned pink
Jaeger Bombs by the tonnes, puking up in the bogs
Waking up without a clue how we got home from the clubs
Now don’t get me wrong it was all good fun
Cos we stayed smart enough not to leave in handcuffs
I know you’ve heard this and it sounds like a gimmick
But it always pays off just to know your limits
When your crowds buying rounds things get out of control
But try to keep your Ps and Qs try to balance your tone
If she just wont respond she just ain’t feeling you
Don’t persist don’t let the gesture get misconstrued
If your out and about and lose one of your friends
Take a second just to call them or a drop them a text
If your mixing your drinks your gonna get a sore skull
Morning after’s not for studying or visiting Mum
And if you see a sign of trouble don’t try to get involved
Don’t try to be the hero cos its not your job
You may think your the answer when you’ve got no hope
Plus the Bouncers get paid to stop fights you don’t
Wont bother saying don’t get drunk; you will
But try to keep below the point you turn violent and kill
Don’t try to walk home if its way too far
And for God Sake don’t try to jump in your car JUST THINK!

Most kids try drugs ‘cos they’re all the rage
I reckon most people have who are round my age
There’s nothing wrong with some weed once or twice a week
Laugh at jokes, eat Pizza, get deep, fall asleep
But you really need to think when your out in the street
When your looking for your MDMA and your Speed
Listen these things kill if you take them every day
But then again so does Macca’s, KFC and Subway
I’m not going to tell you don’t do drugs
But I’ll tell you to do them round people you trust
Like the type of friends you had since you were kids
‘Cos if you have a bad trip you’ll be thankful you did
If you don’t know what it is don’t put it in your mouth
Don’t snort it up your nose if you don’t know what its about
If your sniffing off a surface use a surface that’s clean
Don’t buy off a dealer that you’ve never ever seen
Don’t try to sneak the stuff inside of a bar
‘Cos if you get caught your leaving in the back of a car
Don’t take it at your job just to get through the day
If you cant go without then its time to walk away
to you its just a boost just to help you maintain
but I guarantee your boss wont see it that way
Have a good time and if its drugs your feeling
Do them at the right time do them for the right reasons
If your thinking that dropping will improve your night
Then why not drop something every once in a while
Nothing wrong with some dropping if your hitting the floors
Its just a problem when your dropping just to get out the door
Enjoy the rise but just consider the fall
Cos I can tell you coming down’s not pleasant at all
Don’t fall into the trap of doing drugs when your bored
And for God Sake only buy what you can afford JUST THINK!

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

 

 

Travel Blog 17; 5 Signs That You’re Growing Up

I turned 27 a couple of weeks ago.

Just had to let that opener sink in for a few minutes, I don’t quite know how it happened but I cant quite shake the feeling that this is all somehow Theresa May’s fault. I don’t know, seems like everything else going on at the moment is. This is not a political post though so I digress.

As a guy who lives in a hostel in Sydney in a dorm with 7 other beds, drinks beer and Goon most nights with Germans, South Americans and French people, smokes…Things. Listens to Hip Hop and proudly wears t-shirts emblazoned with Star Wars, Marvel, Super Mario and John Cena imagery its hard to admit that TECHNICALLY in the eyes of most civilisations I am growing up! As a guy who, in all honesty, fled my motherland with the full intention of prolonging this process its even harder to admit that its happening faster than I could have imagined and the signs are showing.

Now relax people we are going to have some fun here! I don’t have any grey hairs yet and I still find farts funny. Its just that as I sit here in a surprisingly comfortable bath robe that they gave me at a nightclub a few weeks back, for some reason, I cannot help but acknowledge the fact that I’m growing up. So what follows is a personal countdown of the 5 signs of maturity/growing up that I have recently encountered. Buckle up people and get ready for some references that if your younger than 23 you just might have to jump up and catch.

1. Beer Belly/Dad Bod

I swear to God when I was a kid I was the envy of every adult and adolescent in my circle. Even my teachers wanted to kill me, for other reasons aside from this but mainly because I could eat anything I wanted and wouldn’t gain an ounce. When I was in the swim team the instructor used to bring a pack of Polo mints to class and tell me they were for in-case I started drowning and this one time this tall kid 4 years above me put me through a low-level basketball hoop! I actually came out unscathed mainly because I slid straight through it like a needle through a thread.

The reason for the envy though was because although I had a body like a Timon I had a diet like Pumbaa! The trend of non-consequential eating continued until about 3 months ago when I stumbled out of bed to the bathroom, took one look in the mirror and was greeted by a very real voice in my head saying a very real thing; “Bozz you look terrible!” He was right as well. With my bald head, sticking out belly and less definition than an empty dictionary I looked like a white Skin from Skunk Anansie going into labour.

Gone is the care free diet. Don’t get me wrong I drink and smoke whenever the feeling comes over me (pay day, when I have to talk to girls, Sundays etc) but I’m trying to limit the amount of red meat, sugar and fast-food in my diet and although I slip and slip hard its starting to pay dividends.

2. Nightclubs Suck!

They probably have done for a while, particularly in Australia, but I’m just really not feeling the scene these days. I cant be arsed dressing up too much, the drinks are overpriced, the bouncers operate an ‘If Your Happy and You Know It Your Too Drunk’ policy and the music…Well that’s something else.

I haven’t heard any of it before! Hell, I didn’t even know what ‘Dabbing’ was until somebody in WWE started doing it during their ring entrance and its probably outdated by now as well. The other night me and a friend were standing around in a Sydney Nightclub as the DJ played, what sounded like 20 straight minutes of Lil Kendrick Dolla Sign until he randomly threw in one of my personal guilty pleasures; Right Thurr by Chingy. I hit the dancefloor like a Whale to a paddling pool and the shapes came out. Problem is that out of everybody in this place 50% of them might not have even been alive let alone listening in 2003 and after one run of the chorus instead of being told how he “Likes the way she looks in them pants” it was back to the Swag-Pack. This definitely never used to happen but the truth is musically my finger hasn’t been on the pulse for so long that I’m not even sure its still beating!

*And the music’s so bloody loud!……Jokes….*

3. Hangovers

Most people go travelling in search of life-changing experiences. This starry-eyed wonder is no exception but on the way I also went and found some life-changing hangovers. Up until about 5 months ago week-long benders were not uncommon. Yet its like something fell out of place inside me as now I find myself in a place where every time I choose to get on it I need to take into account the very realistic possibility that the next day will be a complete right-off. Do not schedule any work appointments, dates, sporting activities or social interactions of any merit the day after a sesh and for God-sake keep the route between you and the toilet bowl clear…

4. Less Tolerant

I actually don’t see this one as a bad thing. By less tolerant I by no means mean less accepting of any colour, race, gender, orientation, political or religious belief. I hate you all and I always have.

What I mean is less tolerance towards b*lls*it. Once upon a time I was the type of person that would run my mouth until it started sweating and losing weight trying to force conversation with people when I met them. The type of person that would hold my tongue tighter than a pair of tweezers when a person downright besmirched me for the sake of a quiet life and to not offend. The type of person that would become infatuated with members of the fairer sex and chase them blindly ignoring the way that they treated me like something that they stepped in, displayed insufferable personality traits or just downright weren’t interested.

Now if you are a reader who is also a Dyspraxic with their feet planted firmly within ‘The Spectrum’ then you will fully appreciate how exhausting the above can be. If your not just take my word for it; it f*cking is! People take the p*ss. Sometimes you do, sometimes I do, sometimes we don’t realise we’re doing it and sometimes we downright do. Sometimes people click and are meant to share good times and sometimes they just aren’t and this is fine.

Nowadays I make my mind up on whether to pursue a conversation with a person within the first 2 minutes and base it on a few things; eye contact, tone of voice, returning of questions and faith in my own judgement of character. If they don’t want it I’ll stop giving it after those 120 seconds. If a person moves my stuff, steals my food, wakes me up when I’ve got work or insults me personally they will know about it. Woman doesn’t want to know? She’s not going to and I don’t break my back trying to force a stone to bleed blood.

I suppose the long and short of it is I’ve KIND OF stopped giving a f*ck. Don’t get me wrong I still endeavour to be polite (no, seriously), endeavour to be kind and helpful (NO, SERIOUSLY!) and treat people with respect. I just expect it back and if you find the way that I strut around singing the music from my headphones enthusiastically, drape my Welsh flag across my bed in hostels when I’m on bottom bunks and how every now and then I just flat out do not want to be around other living things to be problematic then I don’t know what I can do for you buddy.

5. You’re not Proposing Are You!?

Yeah, my friends back home are moving on up like M People. Now I wasn’t one of those chumps who really believed he could go away for more than a year and everything would pause like an episode of Bernard’s Watch until I came home but this is scary!
Since leaving 2 of my besties have decided to tie the knot. I’m over the moon for them not least of all because they’ve chosen to do it with exceptional people who couldn’t have been more made for them and the stag doo’s will be heavy (better write off the next two days after those!). However as I tuck into my noodles and tuna and pour myself a glass of white wine that came out of a cardboard box with a bag inside this information does set the voice off again. This time with a statement along the lines of “S*it dude where’s your lady? Where’s your career? Where’s your Car and seriously do you really hand-wash your Draws!?”

Truth is this guy isn’t too hard to drown out but it doesn’t mean he isn’t there and it doesn’t mean that he isn’t a sign of the times. In the eyes of a lot of people me and my cohorts live a lifestyle that’s unorthodox. Believe me explaining it to the average 21-30 year old lady in Sydney is as much of a turn-off as handing her a handkerchief and asking her what it smells like. So I just tell them I’m an Astronaut and they don’t respond to that either. WHAT DO YOU WOMEN WANT!? Most job openings finish with a statement along the lines of ‘No Backpackers’ and like any of us could ever afford a car or regular use of the laundry machines!

Seriously though this last one is probably the biggest sign of growing up and it does hammer home the reality that nothing lasts for ever and at some point I will be forced to live a somewhat normal life. Hoping this doesn’t end things on a downer because on the whole my life at the moment is a blast, has been for some time and I don’t intend it to stop anytime soon its just that…27 man! Twenty-F*cking-Seven!

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

How did it take-off!?

While walking through an isle of a clothing shop full of garments that I wouldn’t be able to afford if my work hours doubled, my rap career took off, I sold my freedom into slavery and my body to chemical testing I was greeted by a ridiculous item that like Revenge on E4 is sadly catching on; the onesie. What’s even sadder is that the shop in question was only Primark and I still felt like I was punching above my weight like Manny Pacquiao climbing into the ring with Nickolai Valuev in the budget department but I digress, why are people wearing onesies on the street in broad daylight? They were originally advertised as comfort clothing to be warn at night but to be honest when told to wear one in the bar I work at for a themed night I pulled the tighter than tight garment over my body, pulled the zip up and felt what I can only describe as the clothing equivalent of being in a prison cell. I’m a skinny individual and as a result I barely touch the sides of most of my clothes so this was a shock to the system. Due to the ‘strapped in’ nature of the item I was sweating to the point that most punters could probably see their faces in mine and the tightness of it was causing my movements to resemble those of C3-PO.

What’s even more shocking is that in some shops these hideous and ridiculously uncomfortable items, by the way the zip-lines on them rub so bad that you would think they were made of barbed wire, cost upwards of £50! I’m going to Wembley for an FA Trophy final next weekend and that only cost me £60, this all leads me to ask the simple question of how did it take off?

There are many items that have led me to ask the very same question and as I often do with things that annoy me I have decided to put them into a list and have a good old fashioned rant. You may like some of these items and I could be completely off the mark but guess what, it’s my post and I’ll cry if I want to.

The Tamagotchi – This item was originally sold in Japan by Bandai in 1996 and the concept was at the time quite ground breaking. The Tamagotchi was a small egg-shaped computer with a few buttons attached and a baby animal, monster or even dinosaur living inside the screen, depending on which version you bought. Once you activated the computer your job was to keep the creature alive by feeding it, playing with it, getting it to sleep at a reasonable time and even teaching it tricks. The problem is that if you didn’t actually own one I don’t think you would possibly understand how fitting the word ‘job’ is when describing the process of keeping these little buggers alive. In a way the creators of these digital devils deserve some credit for crafting an experience that is probably very much like raising a real adolescent. The creature slept for hours on end, threw strops when you didn’t give it any attention, ate like a pig after a hunger strike and if you missed one item on its list of demands it would pack its bags and threaten to leave. All it needed was bad acne, wet dreams and absolutely no chance with the opposite sex and they would’ve gotten full marks.

However, even with full marks the truth still remains that these digital monstrosities lacked a serious fun-factor. They were ridiculously time consuming, they would always get you into trouble in school when they went off every 10 minutes demanding food, the games were automated so involved no challenge or interaction at all and if I’m honest the black and white sprites were hideous and had all the charm of the Emperor breaking the news to you that he’s just turned your puppy to the dark-side of the force. Alas by 2010 over 76 million of the things had been sold worldwide, how and why are two things I may never know the answer to.

Structured Reality Television – You can probably already see where I’m going with this one. I would like you to say the phrase ‘Structured Reality Television’ 3 times, aloud or in your head.

I know right!? The phrase doesn’t make any sense. How can something be called ‘Reality Television’ but then still bend to the will of a structure and therefore a script? The answer is quite simple, it can’t and that is why I can’t for the life of me understand how these shows have managed to do so well.

On one hand you have a show like Geordie Shore that centres on a group of girls, in which only one of them is actually worth a spot in the bank, and a group of guys who would probably tell you that a Quarter-Back was a refund. This group of rowdy and obnoxious Newcastle natives are basically paid to get as drunk as they can in the city centre and then argue with each other. That really is pretty much all they do, none of them seem to have any background or other hobbies and it’s almost as if they were grown in test tubes somewhere in the MTV headquarters and then released into the wild to draw revenue, a bit like Britney Spears really.

Then on the other hand you have a show like Made in Chelsea which is of course set in the disgustingly fortunate district that it’s named after. This show also features an ensemble of male and female characters but unlike their Geordie rivals these characters are more content to experiment with hairstyles that would get you a firm beating in any other part of the UK, swan about throwing their Daddy’s money around like its water and speak with the sort of tone that would lead you to believe that at some point in their lives they actually suffered a fall so bad that it broke their accents. They try hard to convince us that ‘rich people have problems to’ but the only problem is that it’s so contrived that it becomes hard to buy into and we all know that rich people don’t have problems anyway.

These two main culprits may seem very different at face value but you’ll soon find their similar in almost every way and the characters are equally as big a bunch of twats as each other; it’s just a different shade of twat. One may smell a little better and the other may be a bit better to have around when it all kicks off but rest assured their both the type of people I would get my phone out to avoid and I simply don’t get why people tune in every week. Rest assured they do though, the ratings for these two shows and there other rivals have often been very high. It’s just hard to understand why when there is no talent of any kind on display and it all plays out in such a way that shows that it’s so obviously scripted.

Rihanna – Okay, maybe this last one is a bit harsh but I really do genuinely struggle to understand how this money making Barbadian cash injection has managed to become just that.

Let’s start with the fundamentals; she isn’t a particularly good singer. Granted, she sounds better than a cat getting run-over or Whitney Houston by the end but is that really worth over 25 million albums. Couple that with the fact that one of her more recent singles is just her repeating the phrase that she once found love in a really rubbish place and some meaningless shite about some yellow stones and to an impartial ear she’s really not that impressive.

It is often the case with music though that it’s more about image than actual talent, which makes Rihanna’s success even more surprising. The girl has a terrible image, back in February 2009 she took a beating from Chris Brown maybe she got the ingredients of his sandwich wrong or something? Now in 2013 she is back with him, therefore contradicting every statement she made on it at the time and on a serious note frankly setting a horrible example for her younger female fans to follow on what they should be expected to tolerate from a male partner.

Her shows have faced criticism for being provocative to the point that their unsuitable for her audiences and even border on a level of smut that isn’t particularly sexy anymore, it must be pretty bad then. A friend saw her in Manchester last year and said she was dry humping what appeared to be a 15 year old girl and barely did any singing at all.

Her acting career hasn’t exactly flourished. Her most notable role in Battleship was criticised for being bland and let’s face it how many military figures do you know who look like that? Yet despite the bad acting, smutty shows, terrible personal decisions and inconsistent musical material Rihanna continues to flourish. I don’t particularly dislike her any more than any other modern female pop singer around at the moment whose name isn’t Emeli Sandé or a few other examples but I do find her continued success and momentum nothing short of a mystery.

Have your own examples? Agree with mine? Disagree with mine? Or just have something to comment on? Please feel free to post below, many thanks for reading.Image

Money in a Zip-bag

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I recently recorded a song called ‘Money in a Zip-bag’; it was written by yours truly, produced by Deeside Beats and recorded at Aerial Studios, Wrexham. Although I have not released the song yet I decided to send it to one of my harsher critics to get his opinion. Saying that this critic, who will remain unnamed, doesn’t particularly like me would be like saying that Adolf Hitler didn’t particularly like the Jews and ironically enough I sometimes get the impression that he would love nothing more than the chance to dispose of me in an orderly fashion. Due to the fact that I don’t own a single KRS-1 CD, have a single blemish on my non-existent police record and require a layer of factor 20 just to sit in the shade for 30 minutes in April this critic believes that like a deaf person at a listening party I simply don’t belong.

The critic sent me a harsh response to the aforementioned song citing that it is ‘shallow’, ‘materialistic’ and above all else focuses too much on money when there is apparently ‘so much more to life’. Believe it or not I recognised almost instantly that he didn’t approve of the song and my previous feeling of optimism bombed faster than the ratings of my last music video, yes it has now officially been long enough that I can find it amusing. Not only was I ever-so slightly disheartened by the fact that the feedback received was the sort of harsh that’s reserved for when you deliberately stab a full volume microphone into a god-knows-how-many-watt speaker when both objects are plugged in but also by the question it raised in my mind. This question was not whether or not I should get a few tattoos, pick up some ‘street slang’ and book myself in for a 6 month stay at Hotel HMP but rather one that referred back to something said by my critic in that is their really ‘so much more to life’ than money?

I will make it clear before I continue that I am for the most part of a completely sound state of mind. I have no desire to take any dirt naps of any kind and my therapist is fully aware that I frequently don shoes with laces on both feet and she’s perfectly fine with it. The comment simply got me thinking because I believe that when the critic made it that he was eluding directly to a specific line in the song. The line is ‘I want money from the street, I want money from the bank, they say it won’t make you happy, but I bet that it helps’.

Many people claim that money is the route of all evil, I disagree, being a complete and utter tosser is the root of all evil and that’s the case whether you drive a BMW or you drive your Mother up the wall because try as you might you simply can’t afford to move out of her basement and give her back the free access to her book club meeting room. It also seems to me that the majority of the people making this ridiculous claim don’t buy their clothes from Primark, drink their bottles and spirits with a straw and think that riding the bus is ‘beneath them’. The sad reality is that there is not a whole lot more to life than money as you don’t strictly need it to be happy but I dare you to try and be happy without it.

Disagree with me? Okay, I invite you to wake up tomorrow morning, quit your job and tell your girlfriend, whose father probably hates you by the way, that money is not important and all you need is love to be happy. If you manage to survive the monstrous tirade from your girlfriend that will inevitably follow and will involve said girlfriend transforming from a creature that resembled Tiara Banks into a creature that now looks more like Phillip Banks then strap in and get all of that sweet love that you can because you are going to need it.

For the first week or so everything is great. You and your companion wake up whenever you see fit, you strut around the flat in your matching onesies, watch Jeremy Kyle all morning and spend your afternoons strolling around town with your other-half in your arms and that smug ‘don’t you wish she was yours’ look on your face. The sun is shining, the lager is cold and Wrexham FC are going to get promoted that is of course until rent day. Despite the fact that all of this warm and fuzzy love is sustaining you beautifully the landlord doesn’t quite share your optimism with regards to your current situation. Over the last week you spent all of your money on brand label onesies, I can’t believe they exist either, candle lit dinners and bags of those same green substances that you used to try and pass off as pencil shavings whenever your mum used to find them in your school bag because sometimes doing nothing can all feel like too much. The landlord puts up a notice of eviction, the lights go off and your girlfriend moves in with your best friend because she decides that without the perks mentioned above putting up with the friction burns that she gets off your facial hair, your beer gut and the way that you always leave your toe nail clippings on the bathroom floor is all too much for her to handle. You’re left in a sobbing state and you can’t even drink yourself happy because low and behold you have no money!

The point that I am trying to badly illustrate is that although money may not be the sole component needed to achieve happiness it is very hard to achieve happiness without it. I see people with no money on the street all the time, we call them ‘homeless’ and they look about as happy as a catholic priest locked in a 6×9 with 3 un-baptised homosexual couples obnoxiously ‘making-out’ in front of him while simultaneously being lectured by Richard Dawkins on the theory of Evolutionary Biology. The fact is that most of the things we do are centred on making money. I did 3 years of study at Glyndwr University so that I could get a decent job and make some good money. Granted, I went out and partied a lot but I wouldn’t have lost any points if all I did in the 3 years was eat, sleep, sh*t study and masturbate in fact if I had done just that I would probably be a lot more employable.

This post wasn’t written to make you feel sad and it sure as hell wasn’t written to plug my music, I have a Facebook page and a Twitter account full of unfortunate homo-sapiens for that which I am more than ready to flood with my obnoxious and irritating music-related statuses and tweets. The quote from my critic, who truly is the Roger Ebert to my Uwe Boll, just happened to get me thinking. All of the conventions of what truly make a person happy are unachievable without a substantial amount of money. The chances of a person marrying the person of their dreams, moving into their cosy love nest and raising 3 demanding children without money are about as high as Jordan winning next year’s World Cup, the country not the super model by the way. The person of your dreams is hardly going to want to stick around if your home is made of cardboard and your idea of a romantic evening is cuing up at the soup kitchen and handing your future kids a spear and sending them to the park whenever they get hungry may very well get you institutionalised.

In closing I will say that in my opinion happiness comes in many forms. I believe that in order to truly achieve it a person needs a number of factors to work in his favour but you would be a fool to believe that one of these factors isn’t the same one that makes you get up and go to work every morning. As a result wanting money doesn’t make you a bad person and getting happiness out of it sure as hell doesn’t either.

Completely agree? Completely Disagree? Please feel free to leave any thoughts below; all opinions are welcome and many thanks for reading.