Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Kid from Gremlins Follows Me! etc.

Hey look, Zach Galligan, Billy from Gremlins, follows me on Twitter. Amazeballs.

I went to Banyan in the Corn Exchange twice this week, Friday and Saturday night. It was a coincidence that two unrelated groups of people organised this and sat at the exact same table. Great traditional British food. A little pricey for what it was, and no January deal unfortunately. I also forgot to check the price of Glenmorangie Signet, and was £20 down by the time they served it.

Will I ever learn?

On Saturday, after the meal, we dropped into new Northern Quarter bar The Honey Trap Club, a Berlin-inspired bar. I've been to Berlin but I can't say if it was a good reflection of Das Kapital's nightlife scene as we were denied entry from most of these places for being Brexiteering bastard tourists.

HTC was certainly unique, with underplayed 80's hip hop, very basic d├ęcor, exposed breeze-block walls, chip board, vintage props, beret-wearing girls and bearded 18-year-old hipster blokes. I'd go back.

These have been my first nights out since New Year, during which time I've watched a lot of Netflix and read a lot. I picked up a free issue of Swordquest at Golden Orbit's Comic and Film Fair, and have read it this week. A short, interesting tale of an ageing computer nerd going back to his Atari roots.

Today I read Predator: Kindred, a graphic novel about an intergalactic trophy hunter dropping in on a sleepy town, which has already been rocked by the controversial transportation of a serial killer through their locale, and a historical bloody murder. The culprit might have returned...

An entertainingly violent story, but fairly routine for the Predator franchise.

Looking forward to reading the rest of my purchases, plus now January is coming to a close hopefully the nightlife / Meetup scene might rejuvenate...

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Food in Menagerie, Comic Fair, etc

Dropped into Menagerie in Spinningfields with my mum to take advantage of the January food deals. I've had a few of their cocktails and have been waiting for this month to try the food.

You have 11 days left to take advantage of the deal!

Saturday morning: I dropped into Sachas Hotel in the Northern Quarter for their Comic and Film Fair, ran by Golden Orbit. I spent more than I expected to.

They're back in Manchester 2nd March.

In other news, I get a retweet from Love Island's Hanna Eliza.  Go me.

I also finished York Notes Advanced: As You Like It, Robin Sowerby's guide to the William Shakespeare play. It's possibly one of Shakespeare's dullest plays. It's a well-explained guide and everything, but the story completely failed to hold my interest.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

How to be Human: Meeting Ruby Wax

“I'm on Medication,” says Illinois-born TV presenter and comedienne Ruby Wax OBE. “Ask me anything, I don't care!”

I plan to hold her to that.

It's Thursday, 17th January and we're nestled in the history section of Waterstones on Deansgate. Ms Wax is introducing her new book, How to be Human: The Manual. She's written the guide with assistance from a neuroscientist and a monk (the latter of whom 'matches her sofa'), each offering their respective scientific and spiritual input. During the talk, Ms Wax tells us not only of how the book was put together- how her time with the monk led him to be picked as the face of the Lufthansa airline (and taught mindfulness on the planes), among other things- but describes her own challenges with mental health.

“We all have a higher brain and a reptile brain,” she explains. “You're smart, but you still want to screw the plumber. We're built to be in small tribes of 50-150 max. Whichever direction we walked in, that made us out to be bigots.” Ms Wax describes the differences in pigmentation, and from that we've developed to the stage of creating reality TV shows, in which we worship people with no talent.

I've written a lot on PIASOM about instincts, something Ms Wax details better than I could: your thoughts are computed 200milliseconds after your feelings. That's why you should trust your gut.

“Imagine your thoughts are manufactured by a queen bee in your brain. She has all these worker bees around her. Let's say the queen wants a cup of coffee. Some bees start to make an image of coffee, nasal bees make the smell, others do other jobs, but they all put together her desire for coffee.” This explanation, Ms Wax claims, has gone down well in the scientific community. “Neuroscientists are amazed!” she sarcastically claims.

The talk meanders on from one quirky analogy to another, featuring bizarre research findings (all her straight-A school friends are now 'all crack whores'), to British comedian Ken Dodd (who 'scared her out of her brain'), to compassion ('watch your thoughts, but don't get out the whip.') She advises us to fix ourselves before helping others, to stop us 'carrying a stick of dynamite.'

She touches on medication, but doesn't give away too much.

“My drug of choice is revenge,” Ms Wax claims. “You take my parking space, I'll rip your throat out.”

She describes her experience on BBC Genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?, giving us a great impersonation of her Austrian mum, who 'used to do wild Indian impressions in front of Americans' and telling us of her 'insane' great aunts. All of this spurts out of her energetically, like a burst water main, before the Waterstones compare steps in to move us on to question time.

First she swiftly moves on from a question about the film Romance on the Orient Express,  in which she featured. (“Could we not discuss that? It was pretty shit.”) Before long though, she's telling of her favourite place ('in a kayak'), of receiving her Damehood in The Priory, of support group system Frazzled Cafe running meetings in M&S, and of her favourite interviewee, Philipino First Lady Imelda Marcos. Ms Wax describes her as 'the hardest to crack' and a 'star fucker' who 'sang love songs in her wedding dress.'

A young guy a few rows back from me asks, “Hi Ruby. Do you remember me?”

Did we have sex?”

I'm the guy in the Hawaiian shirt. You signed my book saying I was mad.”

There's a silent pause.

I'm not stalking,” he says, perhaps unconvincingly, “so, please relax.”

You look familiar,” Ms Wax replies, also somewhat unconvincingly. “Sorry if I was rude.”

How do you keep your good looks? Is it the gym?”

I think it's your eyesight.”

Another audience member asks, “Is curiosity innate?”

Teachers can train kids to be curious,” Ms Wax suggests. “I practice paying attention. I'll focus. Everybody's interesting, but you have to practice."

After this we queue for the signing. Unfortunately I give my camera to the guy behind me instead of to the Waterstones rep, and the guy puts his finger in front of the lens when he takes the picture. Lesson learned: always let the assistant take the picture. They've taken hundreds. Here's the doctored image:

While she's signing, I ask her the immortal baboon vs badger question. Who would win in a fight?

I would say a baboon,” Ruby says.

Well, she did say we could ask her anything.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Fancy 40% off Food in Menagerie? Or Watching UFC?

And meeting some new people?

Swanky Spinningfields restaurant Menagerie has 40% off in its January sale when booked in advance. Well, guess what? You don't even have to book in: I've done it for you. The only catch? You're eating with me on Wednesday at 7pm. Well, what kid of catch is that? That sounds awesome if you ask me. Hence, you should check out the Meetup on Manchester Cool Bars. There are 2 of us so far.

On Saturday night / Sunday morning, UFC goes to Brooklyn for a Fight Night. Among the headliners are postergirl Paige Van Zant, and 2 champions vying for each other's belts- bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw and flyweight Henry CeJudo. Again, Manchester Cool Bars will be dropping into Manchester's Genting Casino, where there'll be plenty of screens, drinks, and food available.

ID essential for Genting.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Possibly the dullest blog post on PIASOM yet

My gossip about Chloe Khan's perspective on the timeless 'baboon vs badger' debate made it into celeb mag Popbitch.

Love Island S1 winner Cally Jane Beech and, if I'm reading this right, her mum, both liked my tweet. I'm currently hammering through the first season on Netflix now.

As a result... that's it.
Me, Chet Johnson, Cally Jane Beech

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Off Citalopram, Onto Mirtazapine

Just got back from my GP appt, where I explained that Citalopram was sending me to sleep and, weirdly, turning me into an emotional wreck. I burst into tears watching ET The Extra Terrestrial the other day, for fuck's sake.

Still, Spielberg, man.

Anyway, it turned out that I was supposed to take it at night, but I'd been taking it in the middle of the day and the morning. It was supposed to help me sleep. I'm sure it didn't say that on the packet though.

I dunno.

Either way, it didn't work for me- the reactions I was having are reported in about 1 in 20 people or something. It was time to move on to something else. I'm on the lowest dose of Mirtazapine as of tonight.

If you're reading this for advice, bear in mind that everyone's reactions are different, and that this blog post is based solely on my experience. Many other people will have had similar experiences to mine on this, but always consult your doctor before you change anything. You may be different.

Let's see if I sleep better, if I can get my weight below 80kgs (I'm currently at 83.4, not the worst, not the best), and if anything happens on the woman scene. January's a quiet month for social, but it's also a great time for cut-price food deals. So who knows.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Celebs, Models, Animated TV Shows and Minimalism, Obviously


I uploaded more blog posts in 2018 than in any other year, with 194 posts in the can. But how is 2019 going?

Great, actually. I'm descending into normalcy and averageness with copious amounts of Netflix series, seeing as no-one is doing anything in terms of going out. Bojack Horseman is getting better as the season moves on- it's more than an animated comedy, and in fact an intimate depiction of regret, addiction and unrequited love. Just with animals. Pacific Heat is trying to be Archer with Aussies. It's not working. Final Space is the animated Red Dwarf. Has potential.

I should really focus on catching up with movies that I've missed, but... cartoons.

I wanted to give a shout out to my friend's new agency. Emmerald Barwise has just launched Boutique Girls UK escort agency. I only know what's on the site, before you ask!

Today I dropped into Takk in the Northern Quarter for a New Year's Brunch with Manchester Minimalists, a meetup group looking at how minimalism can benefit our lives. Nice group of people with some interesting discussion. Also, a cosy, perhaps minimalist venue was chosen, with bare brick walls, laid back indie on the speakers and copious back-issues of Vice and Wired on the shelves. Tasty food too.

In other news, porn star Abigail Mac weighs in on the baboon vs badger debate through Instagram Stories' questions function...

1.6 million followers and she chose to answer my question! Wrongly.

Also making her guess is Playboy model and star of Snog Marry Avoid, Chloe Khan. 1.5 million followers!

That's about it for now. Bloody dental surgery tomorrow morning. Charming.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

No, I did not lose weight over Christmas

I mentioned here on the 22nd that I was going to attempt to get into shape with clean eating and no alcohol, coupled with a few home workouts watching a few Netflix shows.

I have no willpower, though, and couldn't avoid the selection boxes, or the free whisky. Despite doing some hand weights and even a handful of hill sprints, I still put weight on. I was at 82.6kg; earlier this week I was at 85.2, the heaviest I've ever been in my life.


More recently I was 82.9.

I think these rain-rotting, sleep destroying antidepressants I'm on are a big factor. I've ran out of them and I'm seeing the doctor in the middle of the month (the earliest I could). Citalopram might work for some people, but it sure as shit didn't work for me. I only moved onto it from Sertraline because I felt that was doing nothing positive for me. So, although I didn't so much binge on junk food, The healthy food didn't quite counter it out.

For now, though, I'll purposefully have a short break from rigid healthy eating, and go back to it possibly in February. There are too many restaurant deals to take advantage of. I'll still eat veg at home but it won't be my best habits in action.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

New Year's Eve in Theatre Impossible Manchester

I got tickets for Theatre Impossible as suggested by one of my group. I've been there a few times and started to feel that the crazy stage shows and RnB was getting a bit repetitive, but I was happy to be with my mates regardless.

I found the customers and staff to be rude, arrogant types- ignorant, shovey, mannerless. It didn't surprise me that it kicked off a few times that night, not that I had anything to do with it.

Still, the stage shows were pretty... interesting.

So, I think I'll rule out Theatre Impossible from now on. Shame as the music had a bit of dance and a bit of garage mixed into the overplayed RnB and hip hop. That said, the group I was out with was, as always, great and I'm looking forward to more nights out with them in 2019.