24 hours a Londoner

Hello!


I've moved to London now. Over 200 miles from home to a city I love filled with ten million people, of which I know about 15 in total. One of the most expensive cities on Earth whilst working an entry level job. It's going to be fun, interesting, scary all at the same time.

That's also the reason there's been a bit of a silence on my blog, I've been busy moving and it's also been Christmas too. A very busy week if I've ever had one.

I want to start a series with a post every now and then collating my thoughts on feelings as I learn to live in this city, starting with my first 24 hours here:

  • Everything is expensive and I fear for its price
  • The snap filters are the local ones instead of the 'London' ones and I care about this far too much
  • God, drinks are expensive here. So is food. Why does being in the capital mean that your food costs more???
  • An hour and a half to get across the city? Normal. You can get from central Liverpool to central Manchester way quicker.
  • Buses are so convenient. Tap your Oyster/card and be done with it.
  • There's plague victim burial sites still about. I don't know how I feel about that.
  • If Google Maps says the supermarket is a superstore, prepare for it to be tiny because it's London and there's no room for supermarkets everywhere.
  • Unless they put them on plague burial sites, or is that unhygienic?
  • The Tube is so convenient, being able to leave the house without checking train times and working around them?! Revolutionary.
  • This city is so full of culture and history, yet I sit here playing Pokemon Go.
  • A famous actor/scriptwriter once owned the house I live in, may he rest in peace, but please don't haunt me here.
  • This city is expensive, I've spent so much today just travelling around. But then again I did go to zone 6 for the first time ever.
  • I wonder if I'll ever not be completely giddy when I see One Canada Square and the Shard.
There's my first 24 hours, well more like 30 hours, of thoughts summed up in one neat bundle. I don't know when the next post will be, but it will assuredly be soon.

Oslo Part 4 - Bygdøy peninsula



Welcome to the viking museum on the Bygdøy peninsula.

We utilised the sightseeing bus as a mode of transport to get here, it's not really very walkable from central Oslo. 

The building picture above is the famed Viking Ship Museum. Entry is 80 NOK, we recieved a discount thanks to our sightseeing bus passes.

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Oslo Part 3 - Holmenkollen

Welcome to part 3, here's parts 1 and 2.


Today we head to the Holmenkollbakken!

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

The first in the Star Wars Anthology series has finally hit the big screen, and after years of scrutiny and doubt, we can finally pass our own judgement.


This movie was great. There's this review in four words. Here's it in five: This movie was fucking great.

Prepare yourself for minor spoilers. No plot is given away, however those wishing to go in blind probably shouldn't read this.

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Oslo Part 2 - The Royal Palace and Vigeland Park

Catch up on Part 1 here.


Oslo's Royal Palace. A large amount of the buildings in this city seemed to painted in various shades of yellow. Almost neutral, but bright enough to give the city such life.

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Top 10 Albums of 2016

The year is coming to a close, so it's time to look back at some of the amazing albums we were blessed with this year. 2016 was a cracking year in music, here are 10 of my favourite albums that were released this year. These are in no particular order, don't make me choose a favourite. Don't be that cruel.


Christine and the Queens - Chaleur Humaine

This was originally released in France in 2014, but didn't make it's way over the English channel, or onto my Spotify, until this year.

Chaleur Humaine is a strong album, lacking any filler, with lyrics intertwining two languages, heavy beats and soft flows. Chaleur Humaine feels appropriate for all times of day, for all moods. I could dance to 'Tilted' in a club, listen to 'Science Fiction' in the gym, but most of all I jam out to it in the house.

Lead single: Tilted.


Stream on Spotify.
Buy on iTunes.

More after the jump.


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20 Fenchurch Street's Sky Garden



Posts on London are about to become more frequent with me moving there in two weeks time, so let's kick these off with a post on an amazing attraction, the Sky Garden.

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My Year in Music

It's time for all of that year end type stuff, and I'm kicking off with a short post on the music I've listened to this year. This isn't my favourite, or what I consider the best, these are the stats Spotify e-mailed to me on my music consumption throughout the year.

Last year I made a post on my Spotify Year in Music, sadly they axed this featured for 2016. Everyone has been given a customised playlist (Spotify Wrapped), although today everyone should be receiving an e-mail containing some more stats! This seems to be in response to many, including myself, complaining about this year end feature compared to last's.

This e-mail of stats isn't much, but I'll take it.


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Oslo Part 1



Oslo, Norway.

September 2016.

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Twin Peaks Season 1

Season 1 of Twin Peaks aired 26 years ago in 1990, so obviously I'm going to discuss my thoughts and feelings on a show that's half a decade older than myself, on a website that's just a baby compared to Twin Peaks.



Set in the aptly named mountaneous town of Twin Peaks, located within sleepy North Washington, we follow the lives of a whole host of characters in the days and weeks leading on from the mysterious murder of beloved high school student Laura Palmer.


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Moving to London

I'm moving to London soon, probably by the end of the month, to work in social media and online content for a charity.

It doesn't feel very real even though I've been working towards moving to London for a social media role since I graduated University a few months ago, as I've been volunteering in online content creation, working alongside companies and bloggers as well as interviewing for roles in London, as that's truly where the best opportunities for these types of jobs are!

I'm mega excited, and I'll be even more excited once I've got a place to live sorted. That's my major stress right now, however I'm down in London for a couple days next week, so I'll hopefully leave with a place to live. I'm still not sure on which area I want to live in, though I'm increasingly leaning towards south London for some reason.

It's going to be a massive change, but the last few months have been about adjusting to life back at home, and now it'll be about adjusting to life elsewhere. I've questioned myself a million times over about why I want to be moving to somewhere so busy, expensive and far away, but every time I still want to go. I want to challenge myself by living so far from the North West where I've spent my entire life, I want to try something completely new and submerge myself in a completely different life and environment for a little bit. I love London, I'm beginning to know it pretty well, and I loved nothing more than living in a city. I miss living with friends and people my own age. Living at home is fine, I like seeing my family a lot, it's a hell of a lot cheaper, but it's not something you can easily go back to after living independently. 

I'm going to miss my home life  a great deal, I'll miss seeing my friends regularly, seeing my family all the time, and I'll just generally miss Liverpool. However, if I don't do this now I never will, right now I'm not arsed about living in a shoebox sharing with people I don't know, I don't have many commitments nor ties here, and a bunch of my friends are scattered all over the country now university is over, so I'm already getting used to people important to me being far away. For about four years I've been toying with the idea of living in London, and it's probably only been in the last two that I have taken it as a serious idea. It's something I know I have to do or will regret for the rest of my life.

Maybe I'll absolutely hate it and want to move home, maybe I'll love it more than I've loved anything in my entire life! By choosing to move out, and to somewhere so expensive, I'm choosing to give up a lot of disposable income, and by that I mean travelling. Travelling is sort of my main aim in life, but this is something I need to do now and will be putting that on hold for a while. I've had a good couple of years, I've seen a fair bit of Europe and spent a month in Japan! Plus I'm sure I can still make some short trips happen somehow. Maybe. Who knows. 

I'm grateful to have started this blog, I can't wait to document the next step on here, the good and the bad. There's a series I've had in mind for a long time that I can finally start soon. I'm glad I'll be able to look back and follow my life from mid-2014 to whenever I stop doing this, hopefully never.

It's surprisingly how much our opinions and aims change, I remember as telling a friend at 13/14 that I'd be happy to stay in our hometown forever, but I left at 19 for university and hated coming back to it. At 16 my aim was to become a physicist and do shit with space, I dunno what, I realised I'm not great at science and it all left my head. A teacher at school wrote in my leaver's book that even though she thought I could excel at a career involving English/writing that I'd probably go down the science path.

Jokes on you Mrs Cassin, English is probably the most relevant subject we studied to my career goals and personal interests!! Or the jokes on me there, as I spent a while thinking I could do science, I'm proving now that I can't 'do science' by using the phrasing 'do science'.

Anyway, to sum up I'm moving to the big smoke, I'm probably gonna be tired, poor, and grumbly all the time, but it's gonna be wicked.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

The long-awaited Harry Potter spin off is here! Many, including myself, weren't too excited by the prospect of more Harry Potter, for me it was as we already have an incredible story from that universe. Not only that, it was a complete and cohesive story, and after The Cursed Child (my thoughts on which you can watch here) I wasn't feeling too optimistic. Nor was I enthused by the announcement of there being 5 films in this series, and I'm still not sure how I feel about that.




As a warning, there will be SPOILERS!!

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Tokyo Skytree


The final post. 

Well, sort of. The next post will be a collection of photographs from my phone that don't really fit anywhere.

*Lady Gaga A-YO voice* Here we go!

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Asakusa Sensoji Temple + the road to the Skytree



Today we head off to Tokyo's Sensoji Temple. 

Sensoji is not only one of the premiere tourist spots in Tokyo, it is actually the oldest temple in the city, dating back to the year 645. 

The gate you can see above is known as the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), and is the first gate you enter on your journey to Sensoji's main grounds.

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Ueno Park, Harajuku's Owl Cafe and Shibuya's Movie Bar


Back in Tokyo, and after 26 posts, we are nearing the end of these finally!

On one of my final days I met up with my friend Eggy, we've known each other on Twitter for a really long time, so it was amazing to finally meet her! She came all the way down from Sendai, because she's the true MVP! I also met Eggy's friend Ayu, who was really lovely also!


I passed this shrine whilst on my way to meet Eggy in Shinjuku, I'm just throwing it in here as all torii gates are pretty.

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Back to Tokyo! An intro to Asakusa and Conveyor Belt Sushi


Welcome back to Tokyo! The final leg of our trip to Japan.

After visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima, we came back to Tokyo for a few days before our flight.

We started in the Asakusa area of Tokyo, and we booked a hotel this time! The hotel was bloody incredible, it wasn't expensive, but it housed a mall, and hosted weddings whilst we stayed.

This was the view from our room!

THIS!

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Miyajima Island Part 2

Back on Miyajima Island! Catch Part 1 here.


I feel like I'm in Ecruteak City. There are a few pagodas dotted about the island, but none as large and majestic as this one! Similar to the torii gate, you can post this pagoda from all over the island.

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Miyajima Island Part 1

In today's post we head off to Miyajima Island, an island that is only around an hour's journey from Hiroshima. 

You may have heard of Miyajima for it's famous floating torii gate, which is listed as one of the top three sights in all of Japan!


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Relying + Documenting

My phone recently broke, and my life fell into immediate turmoil.

It's a bit mad how addicted we all are to our phones isn't it? I've always justified it to myself as being a person who intends to form a career in social media, and so it's only natural I'm glued to my phone more than most right? Maybe so, but I think I need to take a step back.

I've caught myself multiple times on my phone whilst brushing my teeth, drying my hair, hoovering up, during countless other tasks which really do not require me to be on my phone. I'm not reading anything of any substance, and it's not as if I can't reply to a message in 5 minutes when I'm done. The tweets will still be there waiting, the videos won't have stopped existing.

It's not just that though, we all rely so heavily on our phones. My phone is well, my actual phone, the way I communicate with literally anyone, the way I keep up to date on social media, the way I watch YouTube videos, the device I use to listen to music, the device I play games on, my calculator, my GPS, my access to the internet, my camera, my wallet, my watch, my calendar, my to-do list...it goes on. So when my phone began to break, I realised how much I couldn't do, how was I supposed to get a cab into town? How was I to message my family to let them know why I'm not replying to messages? What was to be my alarm in the morning? Last year my phone broke and I had to spend £2 on an Animal Crossing alarm clock app on my 3DS. I had no other way of ensuring I'd be up in the morning.

Bizarre isn't it? I owned nothing else with an alarm feature built in, except for a games console.

The way social media and technology has developed means that we document so much. I can scroll through my camera roll and find out what I ate at a specific date and time, who I was with and what we were wearing. Isn't that weird as fuck? 

I bloody love it though. I have a pretty poor memory for some things, so much of high school is a blur to me, the same with college. The latter I only finished three and a half years ago. To me that's pretty scary, so I love the ability to have a photograph of something and be taken back to that time in my life, it's so amazing. Although, I still hate being that dickhead who takes a picture of his food before he eats it.

I take pride in my online 'image'. As in, I love to design and cultivate content for various platforms. When I say image, I'm not referring to the person I want people to think I am, I like to think that the me online is the same as the me in real life, although I'm always wearing pyjama pants on one side of the screen. The me I present online is the same as the me in real life, but I don't tend to document the crappy times. I don't photograph the days I feel totally down about my future, or my appearance. I've sometimes documented these on my blog and my YouTube channel, however I'm far more likely to be documenting the good times. You want to remember the best times, you don't want to remember the dark. It's that simple. But does it paint a false narrative of our own lives? Or is it just generally assumed that we all have invisible struggles? I believe the latter should be case, and people should be free to document as much or as little of their life as possible, without other's passing judgment on how easy or hard they have it, as really we have no clue. 

I've posted twice on Instagram today; a post on a concert I went to last night, and another of my trip to Norway a few weeks back. From that there is no way to infer what internal struggles I may be having, or what challenges and hurdles I'm overcoming right now. Conversely, it does not showcase any amazing news or successes I may have going on. 

I think I want to either document all the times, or tone down how much I document. I want to live more experiences for the sheer joy of just doing them. It doesn't always need to be posted about, life doesn't revolve around the 'gram. I don't think I have much of an issue with this truly, my issue is how easy I find it to just sit and scroll through Twitter for ages.

I enjoy taking photographs, I love using my DSLR whilst on travelling, I love to piece together days via these snapshots, and I love that I can then post them on here and relive the trip forever, it's enshrined somewhere online for as long as the internet lasts.

So what was the real point in this post? I'm documenting a discussion on how much I documented and capture moments online. There's some irony in there I'm sure, but cards on the table, I've never had a full grip on irony. When you spend your life online, when you are building a career that relies so heavily on the online world, you run the risk of living your life behind screens instead of enjoying the pure experience. I think I've walked this line a couple of times now, and I find it very interesting to think about.

I think it's time to end this incoherent babble. I'd love to go back to this one day, and instead of writing it out as it comes to mind, it would be nice to structure this into some sort of critical essay. Until right now I didn't realise how much I've missed writing analytical essays since finishing my degree.

Anyway, cheers if you stuck around to the bottom.

The last few months in music

Hello!

The last few months have been bloody good for me in music terms. Let's go through some of the music that I've been loving.



Banks - The Altar

Banks' ethereal voice coupled with stellar lyrics and brilliant beats makes for an incredible album.

My top tracks include:


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Reading, Read and To Read #4


Hello everyone!

It's time for me to write my favourite blogpost of the month, I absolutely love writing these!! To set the scene, I'm sat on my bed watching the Kardashians as I type this. The Kardashians has become my ultimate guilty pleasure, and watching them in Thailand is making me want to travel so bad.

If you haven't read one of these posts before, I talk about the books I have recently read, or that I am currently reading, or books to read, that list never seems to change, as I buy new books and read them first!



This month, we have no reading category- what a shock twist. I finished the book I was reading last night and haven't started a new one yet! To me this was controversial, probably because I've aged 2,000 years recently. Earlier this evening, I pointed out how I loved the packaging of some korma sauce. 
I've become lame. 

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Hiroshima - Peace Park, Memorials and Museums


Welcome to Hiroshima!

Hiroshima was the next and final stop on our grand Japanese adventure, before we returned to Tokyo for a few days.


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Fushimi Inari Shrine


Welcome to the world famous Fushimi Inari shrine!

The photograph above is taken right outside the JR Inari station - the shrine is literally opposite the station! Perfect!

Fushimi Inari shrine is famous for its thousands of read torii gates (like the above) lining Mount Inari! There are estimates of over 10,000 gates in total, it's insane.

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Lady Gaga - 'Joanne' Review

After a few long, dark years, Lady Gaga has finally released her fifth studio album: Joanne.


Joanne is named for Gaga's aunt, her father's younger sister, who passed before Gaga's birth. Gaga believes she shares a deep connection with Joanne, and now not only does Gaga's album share the name; a particularly special track from the album does too.

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Kinkaku-ji



Today we are off to Kinkaku-ji, the golden pavilion!

Kinkaku-ji, an extravagant Zen Buddhist temple, is one of Japan's premier tourists spots.

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Arashiyama


Welcome to Arashiyama!

Arashiyama is a popular tourist area on the outskirts of Kyoto, easily accessible via train services!

And when I say popular with tourists, I completely mean it! There were absolutely TONS of tourists about, including ourselves.

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Cloudy Afternoon in Kyoto

Welcome to the first of my Kyoto posts! We visited Kyoto twice whilst staying in Osaka! 

It's only a 30 minute train from Osaka to Kyoto, covered by your JR Pass! You can hop the bullet train just down the road! Amazing!

We only spent an afternoon in Kyoto, and as the weather was a bit rubbish, we just pottered about and headed to yet another Pokemon Center! Our second day was amazingly packed, so the next couple of Japan posts will be focused on all of that!

And one thing to note: Japan's public transport system is incredible and so user friendly...except for Kyoto. It was incredibly difficult, but we'll come to that in due course.


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Off the track (listing)

Hello!

The best version of a song isn't always the 'regular' version. Take the first song in this list as an example, you always heard the Lana Del Rey x Cedric Gervais remix of 'Summertime Sadness' rather than the original! Both are great, that's not to say I don't love some Lana Del Rey on her own, I well and truly do.

Anyway, let's get on with it! This list includes remixes, covers, acoustic versions, other performances, anything that isn't the regular!

Lana Del Rey + Cedric Gervais - Summertime Sadness Remix


This reminds me of being freshly 18 and going out clubbing with my friends all the time to bask in being able to drink alcohol legally. This was on all the time that summer, and I always had it on repeat, even though I would usually take a Lana solo song over anything like this.

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Dotonburi



Well I've just realised I've been calling it 'Dontonburi' for months instead of Dotonburi. Brilliant.

Dotonburi is one of the busiest areas in Osaka, it attracts tons of tourists to the Namba district. Dotonburi is a famous nightlife and shopping area, having once been renowned as a theatre lover's heaven.

It's illuminated like Times Square, making it quite literally....lit.

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A-Z of David

Inspired by my friend Jemma's recent post, I thought I would tackle the A-Z of X challenge!

I like to do a post like this every now and then, think about how satisfying/cringey it is when you find an old Facebook note (remember those?) or MySpace bulletin you saved before it automatically disappeared after 10 days. It's like uncovering a time capsule of you!

I'd like to hope I am far past the point where I look back and cringe at things I've said about myself in recent years, but I know that's a lie, TimeHop is a daily reminder of stupid things I've tweeted. But let's hope that the things I say here don't haunt me in years to come!

So let's begin with this gif I found of myself in Blogger's picture archives, there's a whole folder of gifs that either my phone or Blogger has made automatically? Weird. Especially as the pictures used are from a year ago!


A - Anime. I was massively into anime as a teenager, and I'm still really into it now! Anime definitely shaped those formative years, lead me into making some brilliant friends and lead me to loving Japan as much as I do.

B - Bastille.



I'm currently obsessed to a degree that may or may not be healthy. I'm sure my friends are sick of me going on about them, and playing their records when they're over! To be fair, I only own two records and they're BOTH Bastille!

C - Cosplay and costumes.



I've only really gotten into costumes in the last few years, but I'm made/put together a fair few now, including Star Lord, Indiana Jones, Rick Grimes, Han Solo, and my crowning glory, Obi-wan Kenobi! 

D - David. My first name! I also go by Dave, Davey, or the occasional 'DD' from a flatmate of mine. 

E - E 900. As in the Samsung E 900, that was one of my first ever phones, I loved it so much. I was going to get the D 900, but the E 900 had just come out and I wanted to be cool.

F - Five Guys. If it weren't so damn expensive, I'd eat there everyday. It actually came up on my Timehop recently that the Liverpool branch was announced a year ago, I remember texting everyone I know and dying inside. That cajun seasoning is what I want my cremated ashes to be mixed in with.

G - Game of Thrones. I bloody love it. I love the book series, I love the show. I can't get enough of it.

H - Halloween.


 My favourite holiday. I can't wait to have my own apartment again so I can decorate.

I - Indiana Jones.


I seems to be a very hard letter, so I'm just gonna go basic and go with my favourite film series. I made a blog post last January about how much I bloody love those films.

J - Juggling. My party trick is that I can juggle really well with 3 balls,  4 if I'm having a good day.

K - Ketchup. I hate it so much, I've tried to make myself like it, but it's just runny red water that's salt, sugar, and anything that isn't a tomato.

L - London. I love the city and wish to move there. My other choice is Liverpool, which I adore too. I will only live in cities beginning with L apparently.

M - Mad Men.


Another of my favourite shows, I'm nearly done with rewatching the series from the beginning! I started this in June, and now I have about 3 episodes left, and I'm going to cry as much as I did the first time!


N - Notepads. I have an insane amount, and I'm trying to put a ban on myself from buying more.

O - Orange. Orange is my favourite colour, and that may have a massive deal to do with my naturally orange hair. I know we all call it ginger, but orange sounds so much cooler.

P - Pokemon


Pokemon has had such a huge influence on my life, I can't even begin to describe the impact it's had!

Q - Quizzes. I love a good pub quiz, and I'm still convinced other teams cheated for us not to place in the top 3 for the Game of Thrones quiz my uni held.

R - Russia. I really want to take the trans siberian railway from Moscow, through Mongolia to Beijing. It's super expensive, I'm not sure if I'll ever get the chance, but it's towards the top of my travel bucket list, right behind Machu Picchu. 

S - Socks. As a kid I had a thing about my socks not being comfortable and would spend about 10-15 minutes every morning moving my socks around on my feet until they were perfect. It was a thing I did for far too long. 

T - Thomas. My surname that I don't use online for the fact that there are so many David Thomas' in the world, including my father. People often get my name backwards due to the fact it's just two names! I also get told that it's a very Welsh name, the Thomas side of my family does hail from Wales!

U - Unknown. U is a hard letter ok! I don't really have much of a fear of the unknown, I feel like I should probably be a little more afraid of it, but I dunno, it excites me instead.

V - Ventress. A severely underrated Star Wars character, she's sick.

W - Weasel. The Pottermore test gave me a weasel as a patronus. However the complete test, that has all of the questions instead of the few Pottermore selects, gave me a St.Benard! And since cartoons depict them as always having whisky on them, I think that's a bit more me, even if I do like the weasel.

X - Xylophone. I don't own one, but I'd like to.

Y - YAS. I love the word 'yas', especially accompanied by a gif.

Z - Zoolander. One of the best comedy films ever made, up there with Hot Fuzz and Bridesmaids.

Thanks for reading!