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May in Review

It doesn't feel like two minutes since I typed up my last Monthly Review post yet here we are, it's the end of May and the sun has still struggled to show its face for more that 3 straight days (I'm still rooting for you, summer). This month has been a tiring one - I haven't done an awful lot but I have been working non-stop. I'm coming towards the end of my teacher training which is both terrifying and a sigh of relief - I'm terrified because I haven't been a "proper adult" for the last few years due to being at uni, but I'm also relieved as I can say goodbye to the most stressful, tiring year of my life and say hello to still doing something I very much enjoy but on a lot less of a stressful scale. So aside from working, what have I been up to?

The Personal
This month was super exciting for me for two main reasons - Busted were on tour and it was Matt's birthday. Busted were one of, if not my most, favourite band when I was younger and after seeing them 3 times (once on their first tour and twice on their second) I thought it would be a common thing that I would go and see them every time they toured. Then the broke up. Then I weeped for all eternity. Then I lost my shit back in November 2015 when they announced they were getting back together. I had signed up to a gig ticket site so I could buy tickets the day before their official release date (super keen I know) and almost forgot about the gig since then. Then before I knew it, it was time to see them live again. My inner 12 year old just couldn't contain the excitement. I dug out my old merch and wore it proudly to their Newcastle gig. I had the most excellent time with my mam watching them and it was funny - we had almost exactly the same seats as we did 12 years ago when I last saw them. They were amazing. Such a nostalgia trip, the atmosphere in the arena was so alive and their new songs sounded great too. Only problem? The gig was on a Sunday evening. I had work the next day. I had work the next day back down in Hampshire, over 300 miles away. I ended up having a wonderful friend drive all the way to Newcastle just to pick me up and drive me all the way back to Winchester, overnight, so I could go to work the next day like nothing so eventful had happened at the weekend. It's fair to say I was t.i.r.e.d that week as a result - so worth it though.

The other significant event that happened this month was my man turned the big three-oh. He's been so worried about it because I guess 30 is an age that has so many connotations and expectations linked to it. He was feeling under the weather about not accomplishing and having all the things he thought he would by now but growing up just doesn't happen like that. It's a fair statement to make that your young adult years are a time when you're just scrambling to survive day-to-day and that is okay. The only person who's high expectations you might not be meeting is yourself and that's healthy - that means you have goals and achievements in mind. I love buying Matt gifts. He's the first and only person who I've been in a relationship with who makes me look forward to birthdays and Christmas because we are so similar in our interests and know what each other like and love that the gift buying and receiving is just ace. I had all of his presents ordered and ready to go by the start of the month and I psyched myself up for him opening them, hoping he'd like what he received. Aaand he did - success! We went out to a local French restaurant that night and I had the nicest dessert I've ever had - freshly prepared, made to order, Pistachio soufflé. I pretty much died and went to heaven with each and every mouthful.

I've watched quite a few movies this month; some we re-watchers and others were first seeners. I re-watched Bridesmaids because well, its hilarious, and Bad Neighbours because Matt had never seen it before and I knew he would love it because Seth Rogen. Need I say more. I watched a mix of new films though ranging from fantasy triller, to comedy, to downright bizarre. The ultimate disappointment was Red Riding Hood. I had wanted to see this since it was in the cinema in 2011, but I honestly just thought it was a bit naff. I don't rate Amanda Seyfried as an actress - she's great in Mean Girls but a more serious role? I just don't think she can pull it off. The best thing about it was Gary Oldman (naturally) but even he couldn't keep my attention. It's all shot in one village too which is fine if enough suspense is created hell, Ryan Reynolds had me hooked for like two hours in just a box in Buried, but the set of this movie just looked like a drama school production and I couldn't buy into it. For someone who really loves anything to do with folklore, fairytales, Brother's Grimm etc. I just found this really disappointing which was a shame.

Matt and I also watched Paul. It was funny in places but nowhere near as good as Shaun of the Dead - I don't think those guys are ever going to top that. It is basically about two stereotypically geeky, nerdy British men who go to America for a convention then decide to drive across America, checking out all the alien hotspots and low and behold, they bump into one. It has a great comedy cast but again it just didn't grip my attention. But now, now let me tell you about the movie I really shouldn't have liked but I really kind of did. Splice is something I've wanted to watch for ages because my best friend said it was one of the strangest movies she had ever seen. So Matt & I found it on Amazon Prime and decided to give it a go. Splice is described as a horror sci-fi but I wouldn't really say it was a horror at all. It's not scary but it is bizarre. It stars Adrien Brody who plays a genetic engineer. Himself and his fellow genetic engineer girlfriend work for a company who are splicing together different animal DNA in the hopes of creating a new super hybrid species they can use to gain funding for the company. Without spoiling the story, you can imagine what "animals" they decide to splice together and well, something odd happens when they do. Now, the idea of this movie isn't *that* bizarre; I found it interesting because the whole film had Alien vibes from start to finish, but some parts of the movie just made you say "what the fuck" under your breath. I'm not going to spoil it by saying any more about it, but check it out if weird and sci-fi is what floats your boat.

In last month's review post, I said I wasn't totally loving Vikings but considering I've finished all the series currently available, I would like to take back my poor judgement. It was definitely a slow burner for me but I'm eagerly waiting for the next series because it is great. Game of Thrones is also back on the TV and I'm so pumped for it. The first few episodes weren't *that* eventful but you just know everything is going to kick off big style pretty soon so I am hooked on that series once again - especially after "hold the door"... I was not emotionally ready for that shit. I also got super excited to finally watch the series Black Sails. Think Vikings, think Game of Thrones... but with pirates. What would there be not to love? Well actually, the whole first episode was just a bit 'meh'. I didn't really like any of the characters and the guy who seems to be the main guy, for a lack of a better phrase, got on my tits. Needless to say we haven't continued watching it which is a shame because I had such high hopes for the show!

Matt and I have also ploughed our way through the first and so far, the only, series of Lucifer. It is an American show based around the main character, Lucifer. Yep, the devil, he's decided to leave hell and is living amongst the American population and somehow ends up working alongside the police to investigate crimes. The guy playing Lucifer is the main reason I'm watching it - he's really funny, really charismatic, and the show seems to be getting really good just before the series ended. It has been confirmed for another season so I'll keep an eye out for that for sure. Sleepy Hollow is also a great series I've been watching - it's not your typical "Sleepy Hollow" storyline as its set in the modern day, so definitely give it a chance. And the best show this month? Has to be the pilot episode of Preacher. Preacher is one of my absolute favourite graphic novel series and I'm so incredibly excited for it being a TV show. The pilot episode was everything I was expecting and more, the characters are all perfectly played by the perfect choice actors/actresses, and if Quentin Tarantino floats your boat, its got pangs of his style throughout. Also, if sharks are your jam, there's an excellent two-part documentary about different species of shark on Netflix right now. Believe it or not, it's called, Shark.

May has been a fantastic month for new music - lots of my favourite bands have been releasing new songs and albums and I've been pretty pleased with all of them. First up I'll talk about Death Grips. Death Grips are one of those bands I would have never have dreamed I would like yet I regularly listen to their album The Money Store and I'm still desperate to see them live. They released a new album, Bottomless Pit, early May and I have mixed feelings towards it. There's some songs I absolutely love on it, but there's also some I could take or leave. I think it's definitely going to be a grower on me, but The Money Store still tops it. One of my absolute favourite bands, Spookyland, released their debut album too. Spookyland are an Aussie-based band and I'm not entirely sure how I stumbled across them via the net, but I'm so so pleased I did. Their old EP, Rock And Roll Weakling, is a firm favourite of mine and I have played each of the 4 songs a disgusting amount of times, so I'm so pleased there is now an extra 11 songs I can overplay. I mainly love this band for the lead singer's voice as it's so different and incredible. They have an almost folksy vibe, but they're quite indie, kinda remind me of the 80s, and every one of their songs could be used for a scene from a movie set in the desert or wild west... they've just got a very unique sound. Their new album Beauty Already Beautiful is available to listen to free on Spotify so definitely check them out.

There has also been some new releases and trailer teasers from Brand New and Russian Circles. Brand New's latest track, I am a Nightmare, sounds typically Brand New - I like it. They have been a favourite band since my early teens and it always pleases me that they never seem to lose or change their sound. I'm excited to hear the rest of their new album. Russian Circles are another favourite band. This purely instrumental post-metal/rock band are still one of the best bands I've ever seen live and their new teaser trailer of their album, Guidance, which is set to drop in August this year sounds great. Anticipating that one too! Another childhood favourite band, Saosin, released their new album too and it has been regularly played by both Matt & I this month so I'd definitely consider that one a hit for my household. I've also listened to a great deal of Funeral For a Friend and some of The Rocket Summer's old tunes from his first couple of albums... I guess I've just been on a, Amyleigh circa her 2005 emo phase, trip this month!

- A.
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