30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

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Camelot 3000

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Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

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All Star Superman 

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Preacher: Gone To Texas

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The Crow

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Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

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Marvel 1602

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Saga: Volume 1

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 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man

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Ronin 

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Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

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The Infinity Gauntlet 

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Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

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Promethea Book 1 

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

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Multiversity 

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Son Of Superman 

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Hellblazer: Original Sins 

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The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

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Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  

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JSA The Liberty Files 

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Alice In Sunderland 

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Daredevil Yellow

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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

Congratulations Mr Trump (2)

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

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Gentleman’s Agreement

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From Here to Eternity

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Gone With The Wind

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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West Side Story

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Lawrence of Arabia

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

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Funny Girl

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Fiddler On The Roof

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All The Presidents Men

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Milk

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Kramer Vs Kramer

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Terms of Endearment 

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The Cider House Rules

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An Education

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Moonrise Kingdom

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Saving Private Ryan

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Going In Style 

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Wall Street

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King Ralph

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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The Monuments Men

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Good Will Hunting

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Good Morning Vietnam 

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This Is Spinal Tap

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

Postnatal Depression In Men

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Postnatal depression is something that affects as much as 10% of new mothers out there, however what they don’t tell you is that it doesn’t only effect women, it can effect men just as badly. It may be difficult to tell if you are suffering from Postnatal depression because some of the symptoms are just symptomatic of life, especially when you’ve just had a child. symptoms such as tiredness, trouble sleeping at night and feeling tired during the day seem like par for the course when a new baby comes along, and this would go hand in hand with problems concentrating, making decisions and a lack of energy and feeling all the time seems like it would again be part of the lack of sleep. The common symptoms of PND (postnatal depression) in men are:

  • a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
  • lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
  • lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
  • difficulty bonding with your baby
  • withdrawing from contact with other people
  • problems concentrating and making decisions
  • frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby

What causes postnatal depression in men is not entirely clear from a sociological and an anthropological standpoint factors could include

  • a history of mental health problems, particularly depression, earlier in life
  • having no close family or friends to support you
  • a poor relationship with your partner
  • recent stressful life events, such as a bereavement or job loss
  • financial difficulties

however from a biochemical standpoint however childbirth does some pretty crazy things to men’s heads studies in animals and people show that new fathers experience an increase in the hormones estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin and glucocorticoids, according to a recent review of studies by psychologist Elizabeth Gould and colleagues from Princeton University.

The research shows that contact with the mother and children seem to induce certain hormonal changes in fathers. In humans, fathers who show more affection toward their children also tend to have higher levels of oxytocin (the hormone responsible for bonding with children), the effects of this change in the chemical soup that makes up a human being could lead to hormonal imbalances that in turn could lead to depression.

If you do feel that you are suffering from postnatal depression as a dad there are many things you can do about it.

If you want someone to talk to anonymously you can call the Samaritans free on 0117 983 1000 from any UK mobile or landline.

Alternatively you can speak to your doctor who will recommend various forms of treatment for you such as antidepressants or counselling based on your needs. Most importantly you should talk to your partner, tell them what you are going through, they may be feeling the same and you can act as a little two person support group for each other, or by simply unburdening yourself to them they be able to help a little bit while you try to get your shit together. It is hard work and I speak from experience, I suffered through the sleepless nights and lethargic days (to the point where I had to have a sit down half way through washing the dishes), I suffered the mood swings, the obsessive behaviour and the constant tiredness. It got to the point where I barely recognised who I was as person anymore, and then finally it hit me, that moment of clarity, that I needed help, I went to my doctor and asked for a big pile of antidepressants, I started taking my daughter out more and more, seeing friends and just doing small things until now over the last few months (bearing in mind my daughter will be two next month) I have finally started to feel like myself again. I give a shit about how I look again, I care that my house is a mess, I do occasionally go out and have fun with my friends. And a big part of that is because I asked for help.

The mother of my child would joke that our roles were reversed after the pregnancy. I was the one who had the baby brain and the sleepless nights, I could drive a tractor through that bedroom and I wouldn’t have woken Jessica up, whereas Marianna farting in her bedroom will often wake me up to this day (even if I fall asleep on the sofa). But this made me think that if I were going through this sort of thing how many other men were out there, going through the exact same thing and not getting the help that they needed?  Men and mental health issues can be tricky minefield to navigate at the best of times, because by admitting that we need help, we are wired to believe that we fail as men, that we should be the strong silent type, but this sort of thing is not healthy, yes I know that there is a stigma around mental health, but there shouldn’t be, especially at a time when we as men really are at out most vulnerable. If you need help get it, if you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t leave it untreated (at least not for longer than it takes to sober up), if you had cancer you would get chemo, if you caught the clap you would take some penicillin, if you were stupid enough to mess around with power tools while under the influence, you would go to the emergency room. So why on earth wouldn’t you take the necessary treatments to combat depression and make your self well again? If not for your sake then for your child’s. They deserve a father, not just the shell of one.

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Guy (On Being In Love)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being In Love 

Have you ever seen someone and known that they would be a terrible distraction to your life. That was how I would describe it, that feeling of knowing that this person is going to really change your life. That knowledge that this is going to be massively inconvenient.

That’s how it all begins then you slip into it, the early days are all wine and dinner and flowers and dancing, but then comes the big pants and netflix, the cups of tea, the farting and the lack of make up, if you can get through that, that is true love. The enduring real world version of the thing.

Foreigner wanted to know what love is, well its two people who have decided to just give up and settle with each other because they find the other person somewhat less detestable than the rest of humanity, that my friends is love.

This is the second in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.

 

The Lazy Ramblings of A Lazy Guy (On Being Idle)

 

The Man Down My Local (1).pngI was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being Idle

Laziness is both a blessing and a curse, there is nothing more satisfying than spending a day lazing about on the sofa, especially when you know that there are plenty of more important things that you could be doing, and therein lies the curse. Having to put aside that bliss, can prove difficult and indeed a real hardship and can even lead to outright resentment. Or at least this is how I feel. I’ve now reached the point where I actually hate to have to do things. When people interrupt my doing nothing I really do get a little bit angry about the whole thing.

Since the advent of the internet the whole staying in thing really has taken off, with the world of online streaming services and takeaway foods that you don’t even have to speak to people to get, the world of insular laziness has actually become more and more of a easy thing to achieve.

Laziness and indeed idleness itself is a state of mind, its where you sacrifice any sort of social life just to achieve the pleasure that comes from doing nothing. It’s hard to get into the head space required to want to do nothing but watch Game of Thrones in your pants while eating cereal straight from the box.

There are some people who couldn’t be lazy if their lives depended on it. They just lack that lack of drive. They have too much motivation, too much determination to just get things done. The world would stop without those people, without them we wouldn’t have anything. But thanks to those people the rest of us, those lazy fellows can enjoy the things those great enablers have given us. Thanks to them we can vegetate until we fuse to with our sofas, until bed sores set in and until we have to wash ourselves with rags on sticks.

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The world takes a dim view of laziness, but to those who say this is say to you…meh I’ll tell you later.

 

This is the first in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man. 

Breastfeeding Bestfeeding, A Man’s Point Of View

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Hands up at the beginning of this post. Yes I am a man. However as the primary caregiver of my little girl I do have many many opinions on the subject of breastfeeding.

Firstly I’m going to dispel the usual thing that pops up when it comes to men talking about breastfeeding. I really don’t give a rats backside about breastfeeding in public, anymore than I care about someone having an apple or a cup of coffee in a public place.

Now, on to the main issue of this piece, I’m sick to death of this whole idea that you are a terrible parent if you give your child anything but breast milk. This whole idea that because its natural it must be better. In the UK this view is so prevalent that its actually illegal to advertise stage one baby formula and has been illegal since 1995 as part of the Infant Formula and Follow-On Formula Regulations 1995.  There is even a watchdog dedicated to making sure that baby formula is not promoted above breast milk, the group Baby Milk Action is actually dedicated to the protection of breastfeeding over formula.

I find this to be a terrible situation. This law persecutes so many people. It persecutes against women that can’t breastfeed, because some kids won’t take to the breast, some women are unable to express milk, and sometimes circumstances conspire so that babies and their mothers are unable to be together in the early stages. When Marianna was born, it was a nightmare, I almost lost both her and her mother that morning, luckily when Marianna was safely delivered and washed (a story for another time). The various nurses, doctors and midwives, after much convincing that I had previously discussed this with her mother, finally, and with a great deal of reluctance consented to bottle feed Marianna with formula, while her mother was still undergoing surgery.

Due to the circumstances of her birth and a seizure soon after, Marianna spent three weeks in the neonatal unit at our local hospital, breastfeeding would have been an impossibility. So Marianna stayed on formula.

The second reason she stayed on formula is because her mother returned to work after three months of maternity leave. So staying home with the baby, it was a lot less challenging knowing I could knock up a bottle, as an when they were needed (I found that feeding every four hours is a mugs game, and leads to a hellish life of broken sleep and a sort of living death, zombie like existence). But I found that there is still a stigma about buying baby formula. I’ve actually had people say to me in the supermarket that “[you] shouldn’t be giving your child that stuff “. To which I replied that what I give my child is between me and my child and as long as she isn’t hungry, what’s the problem?

Lastly I feel that this sort of legislation is rather discriminatory to adoptive parents, and that they would be made to feel as though they are already starting at a disadvantage as parents, because they don’t have the natural equipment (especially gay couples) .

This is why I would like to see a change in the law, regarding the advertisement of stage one baby formula. I know that scientific studies show that breast milk may be more beneficial to a child’s development and the development of their immune system, and I’m not denying this, I’m a firm believer in the power of science, but that doesn’t change the fact that many people for whatever reason, are unable to breastfeed. These people should not be discriminated against, especially when it comes to the health and well being of their children.

Why I Don’t Want More Children

Why I Don't Want.pngI love my daughter, but I never actually wanted to have children. You know as an adult you aren’t actually to say that. Its right up there s one of the most offensive things you can say. It seems to get right up the nose of so many people. They take it really personally, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with them. Its as though, by not wanting to follow their life choices you are opposing them.

The reason I didn’t want children is fairly simple, I was selfish. I liked drinking with my friends, staying out late, and spending all my money on absolutely pointless crap. I was a hedonist, I would think nothing of staying out until 5 am on a school night and spending a weeks pay on beer and cigarettes.

Then boom and unplanned pregnancy hits and I step up as a man. My girlfriend and I move in together and then I’m a dad. And away goes the constant hedonism and out comes fatherhood mode. Fatherhood mode for me consisted of a sleep regime that was akin to the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, sleep deprivation is actually a legitimate torture method after all. Then came the depression, I was actually really depressed, to the point where I was exhausted just washing the dishes, I ended up on anti depressants. I missed my friends and I missed having a life. I admit it was a pretty shallow and wasted life, but I think that’s what made it worse, the fact that I felt as though I wasted my life, and that really threw me towards despair.

Then it hit me I may have spent my late teens and early twenties in a drunken haze, surrounded by a cloud of smoke but what was stopping me doing something with the rest of my life. well as it turns out trying to balance being a full time dad with the career path that I wanted is a pretty hard thing to manage, and this is why I really don’t want more children. I’m willing to put my life on hold for my daughters sake, but not indefinitely, I have dreams that I really want to pursue and balancing that pursuit with a young child is something I’m not capable of. I owe it to my daughter to postpone it, but I owe it to myself to pursue them too.  Having more children would rob me of that I feel.

But you can’t say any of this to people, because they say things like: “it’s selfish” or “Marianna will be lonely” or “you’ll change your mind in a few years”. Because apparently I don’t know my own mind, and now that I’ve procreated once I’m going to want to put myself through the hell that it was more than once, with the added hell of an older child to resent the crap out of and torture the new one. But saying any of this seems to make you the devil.

Is it worng that I’m putting my life before that of a hypothetical child, probably, but guess what. Its my life, I can do what I want with it. As long as I try my hardest to do a good job with Marianna, child that I already have, surely that’s me meeting all obligations as a parent.