Mc ‘Ream – I dream of burgers!

Have you ever had a Mc ‘ream? Mc’reams are dreams experienced by those who have worked in Mc Donalds, mainly in the past. I personally was employed by the burger flipping overlords between about 1997 and 2002 part time between school and uni. Sometimes I have dreams I am working in the same store, sometimes a new one. I thought I was going mad until one day I posted on Facebook to find that I was not alone. There were more ‘remers out there as well.

I could not find much information about this phenomenon on the interest but one dream dictionary said:

A dream of McDonald’s may refer to the entire idea of fast. You might be speeding through life too fast. Alternatively, you might be having problems with your diet. A dream of fast food may indicate that you are worried about not getting proper nutrition.

I doubt there is much truth in this and the only way to find out is to try asking them myself and compose a letter without sounding like a lunatic…could be difficult!

If you are still haunted by your days at McDonalds let me know!

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Hardwell Belfast gig – EPIC FAIL!

mums

So, upon getting up yesterday morning I checked the msn news page as I usually do and was surprised to see that a ‘rave’ in Belfast had turned into tragedy with 100 young people being treated for (mainly) alcohol abuse.

*Before I continue … it was Hardwell’s show (billed as a ‘concert’) … he is no 1 in the DJ Top 100 Poll …. never heard of him in my LIFE’*

Of course the media have been all over this in a rash – (Party! Drink! Drugs!) and the news went live shortly after midnight causing mammies and daddies flocked outside to see if their youngsters were okay. Out of 10,000 people attending, over 100 were treated, 40 outside, 68 inside and 18 were taken to hospital.

Anyone that knows Belfast will know that the Odyssey is a reputable venue where most big acts, bands and musicals come to when visiting the city. A wee bar man on the radio said they were on top of their game when it comes to serving underage punters and thoroughly checked for ID and many were turned away at the door. The Tiesto gig at the end of last year went completely smoothly.

Well, word on the street (my roving reporter SK) is that most of these youngsters were off their chops before even getting to the concert … 2 coaches worth of kids never even made it inside and ambulances were called right away causing scenes of panic outside. If all this chaos had happened in the arena SURELY the concert would have stopped. The people inside were having a great time.

Edinburgh gig has now been cancelled due to these kids and their stupidity letting thousands of fans down :-( DANCE MUSIC – GOOD! MEDIA – BAD! Surely there are more important things for the news to report on – Shame on you UTV!

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Psychopath Test

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So, last Saturday was Psychopath night on Channel 4. Experts in the field including trained officers from the FBI reveal their traits, how to spot one and a top 10 of movie psychos. Can all psychopaths be described as ruthless people who lie, manipulate and sometimes murder, with no hint of conscience of remorse? Personally, if I was one of these individuals (estimated as 1% of the population) if would probably find the documentary’s approach to be quite blasé, glamourising the Hollywood perception…movie psychos mentioned included obvious ones like Hannibal Lecter and Batman’s The Joker to less obvious characters like James Bond or Blade Runner’s Replicants.

Key features can be: Lack of Empathy, Superficial Charm, Manipulative, Callous, Fearless, Grandiose. It also briefly touched on the advantages on having psychopathic buddies.

Find out how you compare on the scale: http://psychopath.channel4.com/quizzes.html

Coming it at 12%, channel 4 tells me: “You are warm and empathic with a heightened awareness of social responsibility and a strong sense of conscience. You like to carefully weigh up the pros and cons of a situation before you act and are generally averse to taking risks. You are very much a ‘people person’ and dislike conflict. ‘Do unto others…’ are your watchwords. But, although you avoid hurting others, those residing at the higher end of the psychopathic spectrum might not be as considerate, so stay vigilant to avoid being hurt unnecessarily.”

Some famous people that come in high ranking include:
Charles Dickens – 73%
Hitler – 69%
Church Hill – 66%
Oscar Wilde – 71%
Freddie Mercury – 48%
Shakespeare – 46%
Isaac Newton – 61%
Maggie Thatcher – 53%

Well worth a watch – catch it on 4OD http://www.channel4.com/programmes/psychopath-night/4od

Cushendun Landscape

So, a wee while ago now, I good friend of mine requested a wee commission of Cushendun beach down the road. I’d never done a landscape before but anyway, accepted the challenge not really knowing how it would turn out! I did it in acrylic, gel pen and coloring pencil. I tried to put my own stamp on it, a little Gustav Klimt, and was pretty pleased with how it turned and the feedback on Facebook was quite overwhelming. I may have found my niche! I have another piece  to do after Christmas but would ideally like to build up a small collection to exhibit. Easier said than done though, I am a very slow worker. At least i have something to fall back on when I am an old woman and no one wants logos or flyers designed! Here’s the painting and the image i took it from:

Painting:
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Photo:
cushendun landscape

Daniel and Kj get Mangafied!

A couple of weeks ago I was giving my room a good clear out and discovered some of my old Manga Manias and Manga sketches I did at school. I was very big into it, though my art teacher did not see things the same way and I was strongly discouraged from continuing in this style as drawing in comic book style is seen as a bit of a jobless dead end. This particularly annoyed my graphics tutor in my foundation art graphic design class who deemed it was not for me! (How things change!)

manga mania

sketch bookI used to be pretty good at anime drawing and even did portraits for people in my space time. I posted a couple of bits on Facebook and my friend Danial Evans liked them a lot! To set myself a wee challenge to Mangafy himself and his partner the lovely Kj. Started when I was bored in Heathrow airport and finished in Ballymena, here are this results!

Before:

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After:

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My Trip to the the Neurology Hospital London

I’ve had a lot of family and friends asking how I got on at the Neurology hospital in London so i thought I would write a bit about it here. For those of you that don’t know I suffer from a condition called tardive dystonia – It is a movement disorder characterised by involuntary muscle contractions caused primarily by reactions to particular prescription drugs. It started in 2011 and has gradually been getting worse and worse. Imagine someone pulling your head back and hips forward and trying to walk!

Despite having no reaction to medication to counteract this and even trying botox it was decided that neurology could be the way forward. The neurologist was really nice and said what we thought he would suggest – a treatment called Deep Brain Stimulation, Mainly used for Parkinson’s Disease it can also be used to treat OCD, depression, tourettes as well as dystonia. The operation (lasting 4-5 hours) involves inserting two fine electrodes into the brain. They are connected to a subcutaneous power source which delivers a constant, painless, signal which blocks the signals that cause the disabling symptoms. Although it sounds scary, the doctor was very positive that I would have good results and has treated 6 patients with this rare condition before. I will have to stay about 10 days altogether and thankfully won’t have to shave all my hair off!

Unfortunately they is a bit of a wait until spring but at least hope is in sight. I will have to go across for 3 days before that to get a brain scan, speak to the physiologist, do a memory test and meet the surgeon but that probably won’t be until after Christmas.

I try not to let it hold me back but activities like dancing and gigging are off the cards as i can’t stand up for very long…. sitting in a pub though is doable and there shall be plenty of that over Christmas. Thanks to everyone for their support.

dbs

Depeche Mode @ The Odyssey, Belfast

After hearing loads of amazing reports about the DM tour in England & Dublin, I was VERY excited when I heard they were doing a date in Belfast. I had the feeling it would be something special and I wasn’t wrong. I had only been to the The Odyssey arena once before and that was for ‘We Will Rock You’ which was shite and half empty so i was hoping for better things for the Mode!! Slowly but surely, 6000 people filled the place to what was nearly a sell out night.

I was half excepting it to be full of aging rockers with their guy liner on but i was surprised to find a real broad range of people from teenagers to OAPs. I guess with DM they have never really stopped from the eighties to the nineties to the noughties gaining new fans along the way… no other band I can think of has really done that.

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Despite being in their 50s, Dave Gahan rocked the stage with his top off like some kind of gothic, strutting, peacock, booty shaking like Beyoncee! Also to note: not gay! They really don’t make front men like this any more … what can I say…he owned it! Martin Gore’s solo performances broke up the evening nicely and were particularly moving (he’s the one who writes all the songs – I didn’t know that until the man beside me informed me). Highlights for me include Black Celebration, Martin singing ‘Home’ and of course the special version of ‘Personal Jesus’.

Although not one of my favorites ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ was the one that made the already rocking crowd go mental. Everyone was on their feet jumping and the building felt like it was shaking – absolutely phenomenal. The city hasn’t been on their tour schedule for almost 30 years but hopefully after such an amazing gig they will be back next summer. Depeche Mode  – Belfast loves you!!

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Summer Spectacular 2013!

I have been doing a bit of reminiscing on my Summer today and what a Summer it was! Here are my favorite moments. Thanks to everyone that partied, helped me around and generally were allround superstars :-)

1. Wickerman Fesitval
For those of you that don’t know, Wickerman is a festival in Scotland and this year I had the honor of playing there. If being asked to spin beats at it wasn’t enough, I was sharing a tent with two of my heros – Elite Force and Meat Katie (a big tent that is, not a small one!). Upon arrival I was chauffeured to the disabled parking area on a quad where the Lincoln boys awaited all branded up in ‘fifties crew’ t-shirts – I was delighted! Highlight of the weekend apart from playing was Chic. They definitively stole the show. Quote of the weekend ‘he’s hung like a budgies tongue!’ (in a very Scottish accent)! Many thanks to Simon Jackson for having us and making us so welcome.

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2. The Marbs Weddding
4 star all inclusive hotel in La Cala de Mijas, Marbella! The Mayos, Friests and friends get together for the wedding of my good friend Pip and fiance Dan. We had amazing scenery, we had all the lemon fanta and vodka we could drink (not to mention the cheese and ham toasties!), new friends were made and it was a great chance to hang out for fun in the sun. The bride and bride’s maids looked amazing coral red everyone scrubbed up well. Highlights – Seeing Mayo get hitched, the Irish Bar and buying trinkets from the lookie lookie man!

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3. Michael Buble at the O2 Dublin
Okay, so I am going to loose some of my street cred saying this but the Buble really was something – a showman to the end, he had the audience on his side form the moment we got on stage. Plus Buble is hot! Let’s just forget about the lingerie modelling wife for a second… Lots of swooning women and bored husbands. Poor Dad. The staging and visuals were also top notch. For some one who used to hate him … he now has +1 fans. His version of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ made the night.

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4. June London Weekend
Well, it was that time of year again – the Elite Force Boat party! The hottest day of the year in London, a group of swash bucklers boarded the vessel for a night of sweaty, sweaty partying! Although I couldn’t dance, I enjoyed catching up with a few people I don’t get to see in person very often. 2 thumbs down for the drugged up American teenager I got stuck beside on the bus talking about EDM while I tried not to be sick because it was so hot! The jerk chicken man at Jamm sorted me right out!

The next day I took the chance to hook up with Mr No Hands and the lovely Rebecca for boozy fun beer garden times plus I went to my first ever improvised music, comedy at the Udderbelly and it was hillarious! The plot involved a couple called Adam and Steve living in the garden of eden! I don’t know how the actors did it … so clever.

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5. Venice
This year, the O’Donnell clan set of to North Italy for their annual vacation! The hotel was georgeous and the food was immense (as long as you like seafood that is – otherwise you’re f**ked). Venice sure is an extraordinary city though difficult to get round if you are physically impaired. It was good to liaise with my uncle who was there with work and his workmate that took pictures of absolutely EVERYTHING. Dish of the trip was definitely the octopus on the last night. It was simply delicious!

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The Dog Squad Illustrations

These little critters were very popular on Facebook so I thought I would write a bit more about them. Rochester, Collins, Amber and Sadie are all part of the Dog Squad, a children’s story book in progress, the creation of a friend of mine. I was given the rough personality traits of each dog and this is what I came up with. An illustrator by nature (that’s what I studied at uni) I really enjoyed working on this project. It’s early days yet so who know what the next dog will be! I have had requests from people to do caricatures of their own dogs…maybe as a subdivision of Juicebox I could be a pet painter :-)

rochester blogcollins blogamber blogsadie

Notes from the Inside with Pianist James Rhodes

Aired on Channel 4 a few weeks ago, ‘Notes from the Inside’ saw brilliant, classical pianist James Rhodes take his piano into a psychiatric unit in the hope that some of the pieces would resonate with the patients. After being admitted for psychiatric treatment himself 5 years ago he only began to recover after listening to Bach on an iPod in hospital. In my hospital it was mainly ‘The Priests’. For those of you who have not heard of them, they are three Roman Catholic priests all from Northern Ireland. A popular choice with the mentally ill. I remember one girl who was CONSTANTLY  playing ‘Metallica’ on her cd player, baseball cap pulled down over her face, greying hair and big brown eyes. I was lucky enough to get my laptop on the ward (which usually isn’t allowed) in the hope that focusing on some of my illustration and design work would help my recovery. Initially, listening to my music only escalated my symptoms, but after a few weeks and a change of medication later, I decided to put together a mix. I don’t know if it sounds different from my normal stuff, but it has been very popular on Soundcloud:


So did James’s trip help transform anyone through the power of music? I know the feeling of being so drugged up you don’t feeling anything, but I think it did. Nicky, a DJ, who got sectioned 10 years ago, on the verge of being released, was particularly moved as was Krissy, a mother suffering from mood disorder with psychotic symptoms. Rhodes leaves us with the finally thoughts that everyone needs something to get them through, it’s not just the medication. Do you think music can be lifesaving? Watch the documentary for yourself below: