The Start of A Beautiful Friendship

I know it’s been something approaching forever since my last blog post (actually, it’s been three weeks, but these days anything longer than about four days can effectively be written off without having to quantify it). However, anyone who is unfortunate enough to know me in real life – away from the anonymous cocoon of the internetz – knows that the past three weeks have been a bit of busy time for me.

For those that don’t, let me fill you in. After three months of ‘freelancing’ (the journalist’s conversational euphemism for ‘unemployment’) I recently started a new job in London, requiring me to pack up my entire life in Bristol and move cities in just five days. If anyone ever asks you to do this, I don’t recommend it. It was pretty stressful. Since that point I have been practicing the Charlie Sheen school of living, oscillating between perpetual states of adrenaline-fuelled GO and total physical exhaustion. As you might imagine, neither offers much scope for finding pictures of Cake.

Nevertheless, in amongst this period of frenzied activity you have never been far from my mind, and as each day slipped away in a mess of blog-free stress and confusion I began to wonder more and more how I might return to you. Then someone suggested I document the events of the past few months in my life for others to read about, given their somewhat topical nature. It seemed suitably narcissistic.

So, over the coming – err, I want to say days, but I’m not quite sure I’m ready to commit myself to that level of posting just yet – I’ll be writing up some of the experiences I’ve been through recently, in the hope that it might actually have some relevance to those of you faced with similar situations. If that all sounds a bit fucking boring and serious, don’t worry. I promise I’ll take every opportunity to ridicule myself, vainly attempt humour and poke fun at Kanye West where possible.

I’ll also break up the posts with other far more interesting stuff, like this:

Look at him. He really fucking loves leaves.

We can still be friends, yeah?

BearGwills

P.s. I give you my word that Cake Day will return this Friday.

Fresh New Development

By far the most exciting news niblet to dribble its way out of the internet and into my face this morning is the announcement that the greatest sitcom ever made (possibly the greatest program ever to grace television) is to be resurrected, five years after it was so unfairly killed off by the ratings-chasing know-nothing executives at Fox.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlehomies, Arrested Development is back. And not just any kind of back. Back for a new season AND a full feature film. We all dreamed this day would one day come, but as the years slipped away the chances of it happening seemed ever-more distant. Like a candle slowly melting away to a gnarled stump of disappointment and loathing. It’s OK. Go ahead, you can cry.

While fans of the series attempt to scrape themselves up from the pool of raw, liquid emotion they surely now find themselves in, let me take this moment to address those of you who have no idea what we’re on about. Firstly, shame on you. If you have never seen Arrested Development then you have wasted your life and everything you have achieved is arguably null and void. This can be rectified, however, if you go out and buy all three seasons on DVD and watch them back to back NOW. And it has to be on DVD, because 90% of Arrested Development’s appeal is derived from the way it rewards those who have kept up with it since the start. Jokes that were first imagined in the opening few episodes find themselves re-lived in the second or even third seasons – like an in-joke among friends – and each character’s personality traits become so familiar you begin to feel as if they were, in fact, part of your own family.

In short, it will make all other sitcoms you have ever seen look like an evening of stand-up with Lembit Opik.

So paint your whole body blue, stick on The Final Countdown and get ready to make a huge mistake all over again, as shooting on the new season starts next summer.

Read the full story, courtesy of that bastion of on-the-button news coverage Radio 1 Newsbeat, here.

BearGwills

Are You Cakeing The Piece Out Of Me?

This Friday’s Cake Day is brought to you by unseasonable sunshine, marzipan and full-time employment…

Yup, when I said I was busy doing important life stuff, I wasn’t only talking about finishing my ‘Biscuithenge’ project or learning how to play the Saved By The Bell theme tune on the recorder (although that was time well spent). No, it turns out someone out there actually wants to pay me to do Facebook for a living. Which is absolutely fine by me. I do that quite a lot already, so I guess you could call it playing to my strengths.

The fact that there actually exists a job that consists largely of doing Facebook shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when you appreciate that we live in a world where this is deemed an appropriate birthday cake:

Is there really any other image that so fully expresses the joy and excitement of a birthday than the Facebook welcome page?

I guess I should say ‘Like’, or something…

BearGwills

P.s. If I ever get to the stage where a Facebook birthday cake is deemed appropriate, it had better come with a buttercream and cyanide filling.

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Stranger

I know what you’re thinking. It’s been three days without a post, something must be wrong. He must be ill – dead maybe. Or, still worse. He must be off gallivanting with another, younger, sprightlier blog. One whose links are still all in the right places and who doesn’t Tweet about it when he leaves the seat up. They’ll be off somewhere, skipping through long fields of internet while he whispers sweet witticisms in her ear and they both laugh over content that’s funnier than anything you’ve ever seen. They might even stop for a romantic meal at that cookery website you’ve always dreamed about.

Well put those paranoid thoughts out of your mind and take the car exhaust pipe out of your mouth. I’m not dead. I’m not cheating on you. I’ve just been very busy with important life stuff. But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten you or that I’ve become jaded with our relationship. I’m still putting fingers to keyboard to keep you entertained. I’m still out there trying to find interesting things for you to waste your precious time looking at. I’m still thinking up fresh and interesting ways to make fun of Kanye West. All for you guys. Because I love you.

In the future it’ll be different, you’ll see. We’ll go to that fancy cookery website, we’ll sit by the homepage and you can order anything you like. Then maybe we’ll stroll over to YouTube and catch a show, before checking in for a night at HolidayInn.com (not too expensive, but nicer than a Travelodge). Everything will be fine, and we can go back to how it was – each of us toiling away at the  grindstone of our everyday existence, slowly working ourselves towards death, one post at a time…

As a present to you for my recent neglect, I’ve brought you the incredible work of graphic artist Tim McDonagh:

Check out all of his work here, then go and read an interview with him over at Dear Damn Diary here.

BearGwills

Stickin’ It To The Man

First off, I make absolutely no apologies for stealing this off the wall of a Facebook acquaintance. The world is full of thieves. I stole this hat I’m wearing from a dog who was asleep. It’s OK. He doesn’t need it. Dogs don’t get to have hats. Just dog food and rabies. I’m sure he’ll get over it.

Anyhow, another thing the world is full of is quirky, flash-based timewasting devices. Well, here’s another one, only this one I actually thought was pretty cool. Cleverly titled DrawAStickMan.com, it lets you draw a stick man and then watch as he comes to life and becomes embroiled in an increasingly hilarious tale of happiness and woe, with all manner of thrills and spills along the way in what is already being made into a series of Hollywood blockbuster movies starring Ryan Reynolds and the fat girl from Glee (I’m presuming there is a fat girl in Glee?). Fun for all the family.

FYI, I drew a penis every time. Obviously.

Create your own stick-drama here.

Cake A Chance, Cake A Chance

I wonder how long I can keep finding  material for Cake-related puns each week? Don’t worry, I think I’ve got a few more in me before it starts to get really tenuous. Then the fun starts.

I’m going to keep this Friday’s Cake Day post brief, because I’m a busy man (lies) and I’ve got important stuff to do today (more lies) and Cake isn’t the central thing in my universe (so many lies).

Don’t worry, I’ll be back to post something more meaningful before the day is out.

In the meantime, enjoy this:

And this:

 

Then go eat Cake.

BearGwills

Super Best Friends

Ever since the ’60s music has been plagued by the spectre of that most double-edged phenomenon – the Supergroup.

On paper, the idea of cherry-picking band members from a pool of already successful musicians should be a guaranteed recipe for success. Who wouldn’t want a band with Hendrix on guitar, James Brown on vocals, Ron Burgundy on yazz flute and Animal on drums? But, for every slice of tasty music-pie this concept serves up, there is a turd sandwich waiting in the wings. For every Foo Fighters or Crosby, Stills & Nash, there is a Journey. Actually, there are probably about 20 Journeys, all waiting to crap in your mouth and ears with their limp, dad rock power-ballads and embarrassingly overblown sense of self-worth.

To illustrate this point, we have three perfect new examples poised to release albums before the end of this year. On the one hand we have Exhibit A: Atoms For Peace.

This highly anticipated new project from perpetually gyrating Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke features Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Flea on bass and sometime R.E.M./Smashing Pumpkins collaborator Joey Waronker on drums, which is guaranteed to be worth a look, whatever your opinions of the band-members’ past work.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have exhibits B and C: Lulu and SuperHeavy.

Lulu, to start with, is the bizarre union of Lou Reed and Metallica, and comes off rather like your dad narrating his way through an evening of heavy metal karaoke while someone plays Guitar Hero in the background (listen here). SuperHeavy, meanwhile, is a whole new level of self-indulgent ego-trip, made up of – wait for it – Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and Academy Award-winning film composer A.R Rahman. While that may sound like the kind of abomination only the most terminally stoned of bedroom musicians would ever come up with, this band actually exists. And yes, it is every bit as confused, incongruous and terrible as it sounds.

If you’ve found anyone you particularly hate recently, why not play them this:

And hope they never cross your path again.

You will doubtless be pleased to hear the full album was released on Monday. If you must, you can get it on iTunes. Probably. I’m not about to go and check.

BearGwills