Monthly Archives: January 2012

Top 5 Leeds Rhinos matches (I have seen)

The new rugby league superleague season is now only 4 sleeps away, it will be my first season as a season ticket holder. As a 19 years old, I am not going to lie or think I’ve seen the best matches Leeds Rhinos and of course all those years before the name rhinos. But I think I’ve seen a few good matches over the short years.

5) Leeds V Bradford Bulls 2007 Millennium Magic

Sure it was technically not a fair win, sure Bradford should have won! But they didn’t,  mostly due to the referee. However, when you win such circumstances against your rival (then, now they are a little bit shit to be called our rival(joke)) make for a memorable match.

Not seen it? or want to relive the match? Watch the video below….

4. Leeds V St. Helens 2011 Grand Final

This years Grand final, and it was a good one. Two amazing tries, one scored and one made by Rob Burrow. Leeds looked out after 60 mins, but showed what they was made of and came back to win and be officially called champions of 2011.

3.  Warrington Wolves V Leeds 2011 Play off Semi Final

A great match that went to-and-fro. One of the most exciting matches I have ever watched. It was made sweeter by the fact most people gave us no chance of winning it.
Watch the highlight from  below.

2. Leeds V Melbourn Storm 2008 WCC

I might be a little biased about this game. Everything went good for me on this day. While there might have been Storm hanging over leeds (literally there was really bad weather that day, I’m not trying to make a bad pun) I had very good day. It was a Friday, and I was in the last lesson of my day at school, it was always a bad lesson for me. But I got taken out the lesson and told to wait at the schools reception. They did not tell me what was happening, and as you do I worried a lot. But, I soon found out that I’d been picked (due to a letter I wrote) to go on the trip to china, to represent the school and country at the youth science and technology expo. Later that day Leeds played Melbourn in leeds, and Leeds won and was crowned the best club in the world. I remember the rain pouring down and getting soaked in the trip back to the car, I remember it was tough and close game. Wish I could see it again; good day.

1. Leeds V Bradford 2004 Grand Final

The first championship win in 32 years, I might have only been 12 at the time, but I still felt how big of achievement it was and I’m very glad I got to be there to see it live. I think this experience probably cemented my love of rugby league and my love of the Leeds Rhinos.

The big society – A review

The Big Society is a musical being show at the city Varieties in Leeds, it is Britain’s longest-running music hall, built in 1865. It got a £9.2m refurbishment a few of months ago. The show is also set at the Varieties just 100 years ago, though it often breaks the periods with mention to the present. The show stars Phill Jupitus, from Never Mind The Buzzcocks. The show follows the going on at a variety show, showing both the backstage and the show itself. Like the variety show 100 years ago, there was number of acts, a magician called Barry, an escapology, lots of songs and dance, a ventriloquist  and the headline act a invisible monkey called Marcel.

The show is being  produce by the old  anarchist band Chumbawamba, who also provide the music to the show.

It was a jaunty affair, with big musical tunes, modern political parallels and very very funny. The parallels to politics nowadays while obvious are not to in your face. The ventriloquist Dave with his dummy little Nick was the only clever political joke in the whole play. There is not much of a story to the whole show, with a little story about romance and a little story a newspaper journalist going to shut the company down. But these story’s are quickly dealt with, and the show goes back into another musical number. Phill Jupitus is excellent in it and surprisingly good voice. You can forgive the lack of a story because of how funny and enjoyable the show is. If you viewed the show as piece on modern politics then it probaly falls flat on its face, but as a entertainment it is successes the songs are catchy, and it very funny.

4 out 5 stars

Big Society is on until the 4th of February at Leeds City Varieties (buy tickets at www.cityvarieties.co.uk/

Canine Oral Melanoma – Update

You may or not remember the blog I did last year (http://wp.me/psL0a-73) , my dog went through an invasive operation to get rid of a cancerous lump in his mouth. I said I would update people on the situation if anything changes from, just to try and help people whose  pets might be going through the same problem. If you are bothered, make sure you read that blog before reading the update, or else this won’t make any sense.
I probably should have done the update sooner, but I always find it hard writing anything personal… anyway, the cancer came back. The cancer has repapered (like the vet thought it probably would) above the place where he had part of his jaw taken out. The first sign was a tiny lump, which soon grew. After taken him to the vets (in October, about 6 months after the operation) the only options for us that would not have hampered his life quality further, would be chemotherapy drug Leukeran. But the even the optimistic predictions from the vet would mean, my lovely dog would not be here now. Yet, like the fighter he is, Buster lives still. He still enjoys food, walks, and has a good quality of life. Last week, he went out in the countryside and chased ducks like a dog 10 years younger. But still the time is nearing when his quality of life will fall below, that level, which means we couldn’t allow him any more suffering.
I’d just like to say even though the cancer did come back, I would not change giving my dog the invasive operation back at the end of march. We still have nearly got a year of extra life from him,  and I think that is more than worth it.

I shall leave you with a photo of Buster, before his operation, two Christmas's ago :D

A 2011 interview with me

Since I know no one interesting or famous enough (not that they would agree to do one either) to warrant an interview. So like the arrogant fucker I am, I thought i’d put my 2011 memories in the form of an interview.

1) Best place you visited?
In between my large period of being a hermit writer, I have managed to see some very nice places, I went to London twice. I saw Wembley stadium for the second time but this time with my team leeds rhinos playing. But the best place has to be when I spent the week in Rome, a place I have always wanted to visit. We spent a exhausting 5 days making sure we saw all the sites.

See more of my photos of Rome from my 5 days there here (https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/extras-rome-photos/)

2. Best book you read?
According my goodsreads account, I read 25 new book last year (plus 2 re reads of books). Not a huge amount, but I managed to fit in a number very good books in there. I managed to finally read all 3 of the Lord of the rings books. The new John Scalzi novel Fuzzy Nation was a great book, I read the 4th dune book. Other book I really enjoyed was flashfoward and the forever series of books.  I read number of other sci-fi, post apocalyptic, fantasy and the odd thriller book in the year. But my favourite would probably have to be Neil Gaiman American Gods, different to anything else I read this year and it is partly the inspiration for the story (more credit should be given to lord of light however) I am currently writing.

3. Best film?
For me it has been a pretty poor year for films, and I would have really struggled coming up with my best film year before last week. I ordered Rise of the planet of apes on sky box office. I really enjoyed the prequel/remake, perhaps I have seen a better a film, but I really can’t think of any off the top of my head.

4. Best TV show?
There has been a few contender’s for this, starting with the last ever episodes of Stargate Universe and in turn the Stargate franchise. However, that is tinged with so much sadness I can’t put it as my best TV show of last year. Walking Dead season 2 (part 1) also aired which carried on from an excellent first series. There was Game of thrones which pretty amazing and the Borgias which I enjoyed as well. The show I enjoyed the most would be the first series of Sherlock, the second series just recently started and it reminded me just how good the show is, and how great those first episode were.

5. Best Game?
Mass effects 2 (see http://wp.me/psL0a-jo)

6. Best Album?
Another thing that I really haven’t kept up with all that much. I got the new Foo Fighters album, along with the long awaited (for me) new Kaiser Chiefs album which I thought was great. However, I found a new group that I really like The Dresden Dolls, and while none of their albums were released this year. I found all their albums were available on the website, for a pay-what-you-like price. So I manage to get 3 albums and a live album for a cheekily cheap sum. The songs have been played over and over again on my I pod and computer so one of their album would probably be the best.

7. Best Moment?
Without a doubt seeing Leeds Rhinos win their 5th grand final in 8 years, from the fifth position.Which was the lowest ever position for a team to win it from, they shocked almost everyone (including me) by winning it, and showed the world that they are true team of champions. I have been lucky enough to see all 5 of those grand finals they won, in them I have seen some magnificent tries. But the two tries that Rob Burrow scored and made were pretty amazing, and will stick in my memory for a long time to come, like the Scot Donald try in 2007.

Best moment

8. Best Gig?
I’ve seen a few good bands this year, Hurts in February was amazing and so was seeing Muse for the second time at Leeds Festival. Though the best gig I went to was seeing Arcade fire for the second time too. They are a interesting band to watch, because they are so many of them. Your eyes move all around, not being sure what to look at next. I give credit to my sister for getting me into them, they have a unique style. And they put on great show.

9. Most important thing that happen you in 2011?
I guess having an almost full time job, while it was only for a little over 6 months, it was an interesting experience living life of almost full time working. It was not my ideal job, and not at all stimulating, but then again I did say I got the experience of a full time job, so what did I expect? Hopefully, a new job will rear its head soon in 2012.

10. What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Quite a few things, there might be a holiday to American in the making which would be very, very good. I will be going to Italy to see my sister, who is now living there for next 6 months. But most of all I look forward to reading plenty more books, playing more games and getting a lot more writing done this year, a lot more than I did last year. Oh and the new Keane album and tour!

Done.

The return of how you found my blog

Last year I did a blog on some strange searches that found my blog (https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/how-you-found-my-blog/).  After having a quick look on my stats from this year, I’ve found another lot of odd and scary searches.
Sadly many of these terms tend to be more sexual, giving credence to the accepted theory that most online are on for porn. And a disturbing amount of this ends up in the homosexual end of the spectrum. Which is strange because I can’t remember blogging too much on that.
But lets star with the most searched terms, that I could call ‘normal’. These have mostly been Stargate related, and a few variations on E.T. “Jurassic park” also turned up over 200 hits.

Things get more strange with 9 searches for “Sean bean pulled apart by horses” and “joel hopkins, the last gamer” with 4. Someone seems to think I was a member of the rock band ‘arcade fire’ as somebody searched “Joel Hopkins a member of arcade fire”. While that flattered me, this did not “mr joel Blog gay”. 20 people have been looking for homosexual aliens as well, with 15 hits for “Gay aliens” and 5 hits for “lesbian aliens”. Watch out “Rich gay men in leeds” people have been searching for you. There was “Skyrim Gay porn” which also found me, but that is enough of the gay searches… because I really  could say more.

There seems to be a lot of wishful thinking with this search “Hitler molested in hell” and “Hitler’s bum hole”  perhaps this photo did generated these.

I am pleased some people have searched for “Barry the pool king” they can find what they are looking for here (https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/short-story-barry-origins-the-birth-of-the-pool-king/). But those looking for “Barry’s bum” will be disappointed.

I will leave you with this gem “photo of fat man with gas mask on” .