Monday, 27 July 2015

Prospective Mondays

I'm getting a new phone tomorrow! I've gone for a Lumia 640 which should fulfill a lot of my blogging needs. Expect sharper pics and videos on the site. Most importantly, it has a battery with a realistic charge, so I can get back into proper blogging and my life will be in order again.

If you fancy checking out some trendy new Northern Quarter bars this Friday and meet some new people while you're at it, try Young Professionals in Manchester.

I'll be testing out the new phone on Saturday when Danny Tenaglia plays at the Albert Hall in Manchester. Facebook event is here. Let's see how the new phone's camera handles strobe lights.

Then I'm tearing my ass out of bed way too early to meet the After Works Drinks people at Castlefield's spacious Dukes 92 pub. There are still spaces, so don't be shy.

Any events for next week? Hit me up.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Phone is still shot. Recommendations?

Need a good phone for blogging. Going into a store to speak to my mate who I'm sure will get me a good deal and get me out of this horrendous contract I'm in. Three allowed me to extend my contract to a further 12 months on the same handset, which was dirty of them as they knew damned well the phone wouldn't hold up that long. A local shop tells me that even thought he battery life is quick to fade, it's the motherboard that's taken a beating so external batteries won't help. Even as I charge it, the battery level is going fucking down.

I'm going into Bury tomorrow to get this new deal: If you have any advice on phones for blogging at £27 a month or under, tweet me ASAP!

I'm avoiding any social engagements until this shit is sorted out. Can't cope!

Moving on: I've found a brilliant blog about how the mind works. It features cutting edge news on the latest psychological findings from the top labs and universities in the world. Check out Psypost. I'm keen to check out any new developments as I'm always looking for ways of working with memory difficulties, something I've had my whole life. The scans I uploaded have once again been reviewed and labelled “normal”. There is more work to do regarding this, especially seeing as people at the VA Boston Healthcare System have proven that we can now examine the patterns of brain connections. This may also explain my shaky-at-best experiences with women and my very negative memories of dealing with girls growing up.

Well, let's not be negative. New things on the horizon. Good things. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Prospective Tuesdays

What's happening? Well, if you're the sleep-when-you're-dead type, like I pretend to be, you might want to go for some After Work Drinks on Thursday night. It's out at the Dockyard pub in Mediacity, Salford. Although it's a weeknight, the early-doors meetup already has 70+ people on the attendee list. I might go.

If you're into rock tribute bands, Festwich- a festival in Prestwich- might be your thing. If you've no-one to go with, Manchester Social Scene will help you out. 

Manchester Comic Con drops this Saturday and Sunday!  It's the North-West's prime opportunity to dress up in a ridiculous outfit and buy t-shirts and comics. In attendance: Robert Lwellyn, or Kryten from Red Dwarf. He's the only name I know.

Dance Music event fiesta The Warehouse Project have released their calendar of events.  I MUST see MK eventually: The opening night may be that opportunity. A few choice videos of his:

There are many other big names I'm tempted to go see- it might take a chunk out of my account though but again keep your eye on Manchester Social Group if you want to get involved- I may upload a trip there soon.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Power is...

...Sadly lacking from my phone. It's nearly 3 years old: I extended my contract with 3 on the same handset and now the battery is shot to shit. It won't even accept a charge from the mains or external batteries. I'm now stuck with this Xperia until October, unless someone- presumably at 3 or elsewhere maybe- offers me a deal on a new handset.

I'm a bit annoyed at 3 that they didn't tell me, “Don't extend your contract a full year: your handset won't survive that long”. Surely they must know? It's not like I've been smashing it against a wall or anything.

I NEED it for blogging, though, and as a result of it not working, this week's roundup will be short. Today I've found a local repair shop that say they can replace the battery for £25. Fingers crossed.

Saturday night: a night with Manchester Posh Bars, a great but sporadic meetup group for those who want to visit the classier places Manchester has to offer. Meeting in the bar area of Peter St's classy Japanese restaurant Sakana, the group swelled into double figures. Posh Bars may not upload often but when they do the attendee list packs out immediately, so we had a busy crowd of familiar meetup people. Moving on to celeb haunt LIV on Peter St, we lost one person at the door due to dress code.

Whether you're in a Meetup or not, if you're going to a club in a city you can gauge the dress code by checking the venue's Facebook and looking through their albums. You obviously have your own style, but check that it'll match the club's.

We'd booked guest list in advance, so entry was free for us. On the way in I was frisked by security. The doorman confiscated a ballpoint pen, because “I could stab someone with it,” but he didn't mind- or maybe spot- the small Swiss army knife attached to my keys. Bizarre. So I had nothing to make notes with, and my phone's battery- including with the use of an external charger- wouldn't allow me to make notes there either. Also I had no way of taking pictures or videos. I didn't bother mentioning to the doorman my memory difficulties and that pen being a requirement for me, but whatever. From memory...

Drinks were competitively dear, no more so than the likes of Milton Club or Spinningfields bars. Contemporary RnB blasted out onto the packed dance floor, which was populated mostly by incredibly good-looking people. There was SO much silicone on display.

It's a hotspot for celebrity birthday bashes. You can spot the actors or actresses by following the entourage of sparklers and over-sized bottles of champagne being paraded through the club- sometimes in a glass tank, other times in a sit-in toy car- from the bar to the recipient. Promo staff are normally dressed as bunnies or Darth Vader, and they'll dish out masks of tigers and unicorns for revelers to wear while they're sipping their sparkler-accessorised Bollinger. I didn't recognise anyone in there, but it turns out, according to the Manchester Evening News,  Leigh-Anne Pinnock from pop group Little Mix was celebrating- presumably a warmup for her performance at Key 103's Summerlive the next day.

Pictures from the night are on their Facebook album

The club's clientele- guys and girls- were a friendly bunch, not as pretentious as some might think. I got chatting to random people here and there. One girl came up to me with what looked like a playing card. On the reverse of it was written, “Get a hot guy to buy you a drink.” A fantastic way of not paying for a single drink all night, in retrospect. I was flattered though, and took her to the bar. She told me what she wanted but by the time I'd got to the front of the queue I'd typically forgotten her order. I looked back for her but she was nowhere to be seen. I couldn't even remember what she looked like, and I (presumably) didn't see her again all night. Well, that was money-savingly absurd.

Fantastic venue and evening. Keep your eyes peeled on Manchester Social Group. I'll probably replicate the event over there soon.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

No More Chocolate...

Mayans liked their hot chocolate. (wiki)

Well, now that I've successfully cut myself off from fast food and I'm free from those cravings, it's time I faced a bigger nemesis: chocolate. I developed sugar cravings a decade ago at uni, and I quickly found myself binging on 400g bars of Galaxy and Dairy Milk in order to stay awake.

13-or-so years later, I'm still tempted to go for the Crazy Caramels, the peanut butter chocolate or the orange chocolate bars when I whip around Tesco (I'm too tight to buy anything other than own-brand). It's due to this that I don't currently have visible abdominal muscles. This must change.

So. To quell the urge for chocolate, I must replace glucose (sugar from chocolate etc) to fructose (sugar from fruit). If you're going to pump your body full of sugar, you might as well get a good wad of vitamin C with it. Besides, bananas help fight insomnia, yeah? (There's another affliction made worse by choco-binging.) But even fruit can put weight onto you, so it's important that I stuff a few more vegetables in there as well, and for snacks I'll eat more nuts and dried fruit. It's going to be expensive not being hungry.

I'll measure my success by the records I break in the gym, and generally how I feel in a month's time.

The only chocolate products I'll consume are drinking chocolate, required for combating insomnia- an affliction that a reduction in sugar might also quell. A couple of teaspoons a night are hardly going to turn me into Chris Farley.

I'm currently making steady progress on a planking project. I'm hoping that less sugar will aid my concentration, not just my strength and endurance, while I'm working on this.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Prospective Mondays

Wowsers. That week went quick. Well, aside from work. Okay, the weekend went quick. What about this week? What's happening in this Goddamn fantastic city?

If you're new to Meetup and live around Manchester, Check out Manchester Social Scene. This group has an event for people who've just joined, but there are only 2 spots officially available...

A few swift ones in the metropolitan regions of Castlefield and Spinningfields might be your thing. Young Professionals in Manchester will see you right. There doesn't appear to be a limit on attendees, so if you're free Friday jump in!

Boxer Anthony Crolla returns to the ring on Saturday after recovering from his assault. Taking that much time out and then jumping straight back into a WBA lightweight title match would be a serious challenge for anyone. Hope he wins though, he's got serious skill.

I'll be in swanky celeb haunt LIV with Manchester Posh Bars and Cool Clubs.  This group doesn't run events very often but when they do they're always top-notch. As you can see, there's a hefty waiting list even with a large attendee list. I may replicate the event on Manchester Social Group in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled...

What am I missing? Hit me up.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Selfie-bombing SoulIISoul

Recently the organiser of meetup group Manchester Social Group made me an administrator so I could arrange my own events through the site. The first event I uploaded was this one to The Milton Club on Friday just gone.

Soul Purpose is a monthly event featuring quality big-name acts, live singing, renowned DJs and great soul, funk and RnB music. This month saw a PA from SoulIISoul's front woman Caron Wheeler.

I arranged to meet everyone in the bar area of Sakana, a smart nearby Japanese restaurant playing chilled house music. I'd never been in before but I'd like to go back.

As I'd arranged guest list we all got in free, which was an unexpected benefit at the time of arranging. The group loved the club and the drinks. The talented and powerfully-voiced Ms Wheeler didn't disappoint.

Didn't quite get a chance for a consensual picture with the singer, but did manage this somewhat ridiculous selfie-bomb:

The night saw a great crowd- both in the meetup and in the club. The positive comments on Meetup were really encouraging. The official pictures from the night aren't online yet, but they'll no doubt appear through the week on the club's Facebook page.

I might put further meetups to Soul Purpose nights on the site, so keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Is Dave Grohl a fan of Once Upon a Time in America?

He should be. It's one of the best films in existence. But why ask?

Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl broke his leg falling off a stage in Sweden, the BBC reports, and hence performed his Washington USA set from the comfort of a full-blown throne.

Doesn't it remind you of Max's throne in Sergio Leone's masterpiece Once Upon a Time in America?

Noodles: What is it?
Max: It's a throne. It was a gift to a pope. It cost me about 800 bucks.
Carol: It's from the 17th century.
Noodles: What are you going to do with it?
Max: I'm sitting on it.

It's quite a pivotal scene in the movie, as it reveals that Max's power has slightly gone to his head. Maybe fame is having the same effect as Mr. Grohl. Quite whether Grohl will end up faking his own death, as Max did, remains to be seen.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Prospective Mondays

If you fancy some fine dining on Wednesday night, get yourself involved in the Manchester House Meetup with Manchester High Life. Let me know how it goes; this classy restaurant is on my to-do list.

Manchester International Festival, a collection of entertainment events running across the city, is already under way. Between the 2nd and 19th of this month there will be plenty of vibrant performance art and fiction readings for children and adults.

If you're a fan of 90's music, you should try and work your way into The Milton Club on Friday for Soul Purpose, the monthly event featuring big-name DJs and live performances. I'm hosting a meetup there to see Caron Wheeler from Soul II Soul, who will be singing her hits Keep On Movin' and Back to Life. My event is full, but if you can find a member who can take you, or perhaps join this week...

I'll possibly be running a meetup to each Soul Purpose event, so keep your eye on Manchester Social Group.

Saturday Night is fight night. Walking Saville Row advert Conor McGregor, the Irish lightweight champion, will be defending his belt against Chad Mendes. The Californian has stepped in as a replacement after Jose Aldo Jr pulled out due to a confirmed broken rib. I'll probably be watching this at my mate's house. I've not seen many bars or clubs actively advertising that they are showing it...

If you want your event listed here tweet me! Free advertising guys, get on it...

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Drinking at three meetups in one day is hard work.

Saturday was packed to the rafters with meetups- I joined Manchester High Life for Cocktails at The Alchemist in Spinnningfields. As it was an afternoon meetup I let myself off driving duties and got on their brilliant cocktails. I recommend their Pornstar Martini and Bubblegum Mohito.

Moving on to Elixir, we all chipped in for a Birdcage, a wire contraption holding many shots for a group. Great drinks and chocolates, uniquely presented. My whisky cocktail came with a hip flask and a stress ball.

Most of us were ravenous by this point, so we checked out Spinningfields' Thai restaurant Thaikun. Dreadful mistake. Badly organised and designed, the venue gave us problems from the moment we sat down. The waitress (who I'm pretty sure was transsexual, but that's a side point) gave a service that could have been streamlined more effectively, the food wasn't amazing (mine was a little on the cold side and didn't taste great) and to top it off, the wooden benches we were sat on hadn't been varnished or even sanded. As a result one of the girls in our group found her dress had been ruined just from sitting down. Thaikun apparently agreed to pay for two new dresses for the inconvenience.

I've not been to any other Manchester Thai restaurants, although I (usually) love Thai food. I'm aware of Siam Orchid and Try Thai- have you tried them? Comment below!

Because I was steaming, and I hadn't eaten, I picked food over the 20s and 30s group happening in Missoula. Did you go? How was it? Add your thoughts...

Next up: my first event as an organiser, the reopening of Bijou with Manchester Social Group. The swanky club on the edge of the city has recently had a makeover, so I arranged a meetup, starting in nearby pub Sinclairs Oyster Bar, and heading to the club later. One of the people from the High Life meetup wanted to check out the club, and although there was a waiting list on the Bijou event page I welcomed her in. I expected there would be at least one no-show- there always is on these events.

What I didn't expect is that only one other person would actually show up. I was let down by 5 people, and there was a wait list of people who may have been more reliable. I wondered if I'd arranged the meetup too far in advance and people had forgotten, but with the site sending you email reminders, and with most people owning mobile phones that can remind them of appointments one way or another, it isn't really excusable. So at this point I'd like to thank my attendee and my tag-along for coming with me. I went to a swanky club's reopening party with practically a girl on each arm! Can't complain!

According to the Manchester Evening News, Coronation Street's Brook Vincent and Hollyoaks' Gemma Atkinson were there. I must have missed them (although I'd be damned if I'd spend more than 5 seconds watching a soap opera so I'd never have recognised them).

In Bijou: impressive plush leather and low-key lighting, with old-school R'n'B soundtrack. Complimentary Amir Khan-lookalike doorman. Good-looking clientele, mostly in 20s. Impressive range of whiskies, including this rare Aberlour a'bunadh. Stronger than the signature Aberlour at 46%, it was sweeter and sharper on the tongue, but great-tasting. I'm keen to head back there in the coming weeks, so keep your eye on Meetup.

The best part was spending time with cool people in great places. The most difficult part was trying to stay comfortably drunk, but not wasted, despite drinking for 13 hours straight when you don't normally drink at all anyway. But you know me to like a challenge!