Insert Witty Blog Name Here

Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own, imagination is a force that can manifest reality

Try something new every week: Weeks 1 & 2 April 18, 2010

Week 1: Bungee jump!

So after signing up to do this in August 2009, ymiss doing one to Dubai and my dad inconveniently having a heart attack, this finally happened. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to rope in ymiss and buttons (such a cute name!) into this but I did. When the day dawned I received an unfortunate text from buttons pulling out due to her monthly regular occurrences (ahem). However despite this and ymiss missing the exit for Salford because she was trying to show us her crappy Micra could do 90 on a motorway, an additional 12 miles to the journey saw us pull up in Salford Quays. To this.

Gulp. Ymiss started mumbling she didn’t want to do it but I ignored her. I didn’t want to think about it because I knew I’d get scared, I just wanted to get on and do it. And an hour after we signed in we did.

The wait, watching people jump, hearing their screams and seeing their flushed faces wasn’t too bad, I was still (sort of) looking forward to it. But when it came to getting kitted up with the harnessess that’s when the nerves kicked in. The original plan was for ShuShu to film and either me or ymiss (depending on who was jumping) to take pics however I was so nervous I couldn’t figure out ShuShu’s camera and decided to leave it, I wasn’t in any state to take pictures. The staff at UK Bungee were really friendly, I pitied them for having to have the same inane conversation with everyone and acting happy when you told them you worked with statistics for a living and enjoyed it whilst they tied the rope that could either save your life or kill you to your ankles, but I have to say, hands up to them! When it came to hopping into the crane the man inside could see I was terrified and interrogated me on whether or not I would do it, after asking me a good few times and telling me I could only do this if I was 100% committed he seemed appeased and started cranking it up. I was scared he wouldn’t let me jump, I was shaking but I knew I’d do it, I didn’t want him to stop me, not after coming all this way. When we reached the top I was told to pick a point on the horizon, stare straight at it, not look down and jump head first into the abyss. After confirming it was HEAD FIRST and not feet first we were ready. Had I picked my point? Yes. Was I ready to jump feet first? Yes. Here we go. I counted/shouted with him:

3

2

1

BUNGEE!

Did I look at my point?

Did I jump head first?

No.

I stared at the murky water of Salford Quays, let my sweaty palms go and jumped with my feet first whilst screaming my backside off. A million things went through my head yet at the same time it felt like time slowed down. One thing I do remember is thinking oh no, something’s wrong. The reason: I heard a collective gasp/mumbling from the crowd below. (After reviewing the video the reason for this is simple, my scream. It was rather high). I thought that I wasn’t tied properly, that I had jumped too far out and wouldn’t boing. Damn, what if I had an accident? Nobody at home knew I was even doing this. Time definitely slowed down, was I connected?

Booiinnngggg

Yup I was. The relief! After that I loved it, I felt so free, I could barely feel the harness around my waist and ankles that had previously felt reassuringly tight. I stopped screaming and started laughing, it just suddenly felt like the funniest thing. I wanted to scream I’m Spiderman or something but I was too embarrassed and didn’t. When I finally touched down to Earth I was still laughing away and ran to look at my picture. Urgh it was so unflattering. My thighs looked Amazonian and my face was struck with fear. I coughed up anyway because there’s a sense of just letting go around it. (This me below in a still from the vid)

After being told my screaming was impressive by an onlooker I felt a bit cock of the playground. Shouldn’t have bothered. One of the talents ymiss has is stealing your thunder. No matter what groundbreaking news you have or Everest conquering feat you have achieved, she will find a way of trumping you and walking away with glory. This day was no exception. We heard quite possibly the most dramatic, ear splitting scream ever produced by a homosapien. After continuing to shriek away, pleading with everybody to help her defy the laws of gravity (or at least speed it up), questioning why she hadn’t stopped, losing her shoe to the Quays and almost headbutting 2 birds, ymiss touched ground after what felt like the longest but funniest jump ever undertaken. Turned out she had been pushed off the crane (maybe the guy has to figure out whether or not he has to push you when he interrogates you?) and so fell to the ground with more force than someone who jumped. Ymiss sodden shoe was finally retrieved and returned and we left the arena with a huge sense of accomplishment. Or rather I did, ymiss just gulped and whimpered for the rest of the evening. Good times. Right, 300ft jump next, who’s with me?!

Week 2: Samsi in Spinningfields

Wanted to eat here for a while. There are 2 branches, the original on Whitworth St and the new branch in Spinningfields. As we were watching a play at the Opera House (and I left my million vouchers for other places at work), we decided to go here. Good choice! The service was a bit slow but the food and price made up for it. I had a crab & avocado hand roll (you get 2 for £3!) and seafood Yakisoba Noodles (egg fried noodles in sweet & sour sauce). With orange juice and free water this came to £10.45. Marvellous. I had a bit of a dicky tummy for the next few days but it was worth it.

 

Challenge: Try something new every week April 5, 2010

Filed under: Ramblings — mishymoshy @ 5:06 pm

On a whim I went to Hollingworth Lake with Buttons and Ribbons (previously known as Just A Temporary Measure) today. As we scrambled, climbed and casually trespassed over other peoples land she told me of a really interesting challenge she’d come across on the Net. Try something new every week. It doesn’t have to be huge, it could just be something small. It does however have to be something you have never done before. It sounds like a most excellent idea. I am going to create a new page and update it every week (I hope) as the year goes on. As BR/JTM quite rightly pointed out, this is an excellent week to start as we have the bungee jump this weekend, yay! Quite an exciting way to start methinks.

This spring/summer I also want to do a lot more outdoorsy type things. We discussed places we wanted to see and go to and decided the best thing to do would be to make a  list and add to it/update it as the year goes on. A Bucket type List if you will (only not so ambitious!). That is also going to be another page. Please add to it and I’ll update it.

Wasn’t really in the mood for taking pics today, in fact we only stopped once. See my half hearted attempt below.

Wish I’d taken a pic of that tree now. Would have been nice to show the change 😦

 

Fighting fit…or should that be fat? April 3, 2010

Filed under: Ramblings — mishymoshy @ 8:57 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve always struggled with my weight and been known as the tubby one (Hometree has nothing on my thighs) but never really been too bothered by it. I knew I should make a conscious effort to get fit and sometimes the comments did hurt but I still never quite mustered up the energy for it. I had a couple of attempts, I bought an exercise DVD, downloaded a couple of things off the net, tried to take up jogging but I always gave up. Maybe it was because I never saw results instantly, maybe it was because I love and enjoy food too much to go on a diet. This Jan however saw all that change. My dad had a heart attack.

Mum had one a few years ago and that was scary, but this was different. Dad is old but he’s incredibly active and never been ill. I suppose it was just a matter of time before something happened. There were other events around the attack which probably contributed as well but it was still a shock. And I know it’s selfish but every time I saw him at hospital I couldn’t help but think “That is never going to be me”.

From my past experiences with exercise/diet I knew what did and didn’t work for me (as well as a lack of determination obviously). I knew starting an intense detox/exercise regime the day after would not work. If I was to lose weight and become more healthy, not just to hit my ideal weight, I would have to make some changes to my lifestyle. Namely food. I love junk. Love it love it love it. All of it. Crisps, chocolate, biscuits, cupcakes, muffins, doughnuts, burgers, chips you name it I love it. I could eat a packet of Jaffa Cakes in one go, easy.

No more. This would have to change and this was where I started. I cut out snacks. At home this isn’t really an issue, I just had to stay away from the biscuit cupboard but at work this was a nightmare. My office is pure glutton. I always have junk in my drawers and so do others. The chocolate tin is amazing, especially if you work late and are the last one there…We work opposite a Greggs, a newsagents and there is a Tesco nearby too. Also because I have somebody in my office who always raids my drawers I have to make sure I double stock. You know, just in case there isn’t enough for me when that 4:45 twinge kicks in on a Thursday.

And that was it. Step 1. Sounds simple but changing a habit is really hard. After about 4 weeks I felt like my cravings for junk were no longer an  issue. Although I cut out all junk completely (with the odd exception) there was one thing I couldn’t leave behind. Chocolate. Me and chocolate have a special relationship and go a long way back. As a sort of compromise I have a small piece of Hotel Chocolat chocolate at 9:30pm sort of every other day. I know that sounds weak but I can’t leave it out completely. I just can’t.

When I felt like I had achieved this goal it was time for step 2. Hello Davina DVD, time to blow the dust off and try again. Approx 3 times a week for the past 4 weeks I have used this. I’ve found alternating between High Energy Five and Davina Fit is more interesting than just the one (luckily my sis came on board the DVD wagon and offered to buy another DVD so we could switch. She hasn’t paid me for it yet tho…hmm). The first time I did my legs I couldn’t walk for 3 days but after that I’ve been fine. I’m not sure if it’s making me fitter but it’s got to be better than no exercise at  all right?

Exercise incorporated, onto step 3. Diet. Ach the word is painful. I really do like food. Good food. However a lot of diets look like hard work. They involve cooking and buying stuff you’ve never bought before. It means either asking Mum to make me something separate or to do it myself. Forget that. I decided to go for the Special K diet, Special K twice a day and then whatever mums made at night. OK that’s slightly adapted but hey ho. Now the thing is the Special K thing says you have to have a BMI over 25 to do it. Mine isn’t. I think this is why people probably see results and ‘drop a jeans size’. To have a BMI significantly over 25 you have to be a heifer which means if you cut eating a whale out for breakfast & lunch and replace with some cereal you’re bound to see huge results. Ok that isn’t based on anything scientific and maybe I’m being bitter but I haven’t seen results equivalent to dropping a size  at all (I also only have it for lunch as I kind of miss breakfast, does a cereal bar in the car count as breakfast? If it does then I don’t miss it!). I have however lost some weight. 7 pounds. I know its not huge considering the timescale but I don’t care. I don’t have a deadline, I don’t want to have a body ready for the beach. I want a new me and I don’t care how long it takes to make it stable. However it has been a while and unfortunately all the weight I have lost is from my stomach/waist. That’s not where I want to lose it from! Who’s going to see my stomach? You can’t even tell I’ve lost weight as my bum & thighs are still killer! But I suppose its better than nothing  and it probably is healthier as it’s closer to my heart eh? It does actually feel quite nice having a flatter stomach. I don’t feel like I’ve lost a huge amount as I can’t see a reduction in my legs and I know I’m being silly. I’m sure if I continue it will one day happen. However it’s time for the next step.

Step 4. Herbalife. It’s basically slim-fast. I know someone who has used it and lost a lot of weight. He’s also jogging and eating healthily but I can do those too (well not jog I hate it, not only can I not do it, it’s really hard jogging all hijab-ed up. I’d rather be able to wear a vest but that’s never going to happen, not even at home with the DVD!). I started on Monday and it’s now Saturday. I will weigh myself again on Mon to tally up the change. Although I haven’t stuck to it completely (I forgot it was Easter weekend and I’ve also eaten out fairly luxuriously twice this week…oops) I do sort of feel a bit lighter and think I might actually fit into trousers a size below what I was as my work ones feel quite big. Ohhhh I’m dreading that shopping trip. Anyhoo I hope this works. If not I’m going to step the exercise up as I really can’t see myself making any other diet changes.

 

Photo Shoto April 2, 2010

I got my camera back in Dec but only really started to use it recently. Like most things I’m late on the scene but…I love it! (Still not getting into facebook although the thought does cross my mind every now and then, certainly more than it did at Uni). Here’s a few pics I’ve taken that I rather like. Click to see them full size.

Love the clouds in this, total fluke. Looks biblical.

Look at those roots. They remind me of War of the Worlds…except without all the blood.

Awesome name!

I love trees (especially branches) but I just can’t seem to capture what I want. I’m hoping practice (and the right tree) will result in success. This is still cool though.

Maybe this is what it’s like being an ant under a dandelion. Or maybe not. Either way I felt very small.


I’ve also discovered the macro feature, possibly the best feature ever.

Think I was a bit over ambitious here. I love the detail of those small flowers you get as filler in bouquets (baby’s breath maybe?) but I just couldn’t focus on them. Either I was doing something wrong or my camera isn’t good enough for such small detail. Any ideas/tips?

This was a find and a half. Snail stuck to the garage! I poked it with my key and it was rock hard and didn’t budge. I opened and shut the door and it didn’t flinch. Good job I took a pic of it because mum decided to chuck it in the garden.

I’m only just getting into this but will experiment more and look out for stuff to photo. Hopefully my shakey-hand-itis will improve and I’ll get better!

I’ll put up some personal ones too in a protected post this weekend, text or email me for the password when it goes up.

 

Review: Kick Ass March 28, 2010

Managed to get one ticket to see this. One. How completely and utterly lame. However after experiencing the set up of the Karate Kid and seeing a few films by myself, I thought it would be quite easy to sneak into this without looking like a complete loser. Plus it was the same day as Project Hell (see below) so I thought it would be a nice way to end the day.

Imagine my surprise when I rocked up to the Printworks (after discovering the coat I had my eye on for almost 2 months didn’t suit me) to see a red carpet complete with photographers laid out. Great.

No one was really sure what was happening and some kind of queue had formed which I joined, calling a friend whilst I did so so that I didn’t look a complete billy as everybody seemed to be there with friends or at least one other person. Then cameras started flashing. I didn’t know who it was because I suffer from short arse-itis which was aggravated by being in the presence of genetically modified tall freaks. Probably some lame local celebs or WAGs. After a while we were let in, I don’t think I’ve ever run so quickly into a cinema in my life, it was awful. There was a red cordon and everything and when my name was checked off the woman even confirmed “just you yeah?”. The horror, the horror.

Literally ran up and into the screen. We were asked to turn our phones off (but whyyyyy they only exist so you can pretend to look busy. I shall thwart your plans Mr Huge Scary Bouncer and keep my phone on silent) and then it came. The moment where you have to choose your seat. By yourself. With what seems like the whole theatre watching you and judging you, screaming at you with their eyes “don’t sit near me freak, I have friends”. All this whilst some tosser was booming “don’t leave gaps fill the gaps!”. I decided to go for it, I sat in what I deemed to be the best row. Which also happened to be empty. Yes that’s right. Just me. Slap bang in the middle of a row. I even had to suffer the indignity of somebody sitting next to me after asking “are you saving this?” to which I gave a pitiful shake of the head. This film had better be worth this humiliation I silently screamed.

Once everybody was seated we were asked again to turn our phones completely off as they could interfere with the mic system. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many phones whipped out and turned off. We were then told that this was the Manchester première of Kick Ass (thus explaining the half-hearted red carpet attempt) and two of its stars, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson were present. They received a lukewarm applause whilst I sat there transfixed. McLovin! Augie Farks! This guy has met Paul Rudd! They were asked a couple of questions by someone from Key 103 (nooo idea). Mintz-Plasse was really confident and funny whereas the other guy just shuffled around a bit and mumbled into his microphone. Not sure if he was nervous, pretending to be all cool or if that’s just the way he is. Then the film finally started. With a bang.

I love The Prodigy and this was the perfect song choice to kick off with. We are introduced to Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson). He is your typical teenager. He is you. Geeky, goofy, nothing special and no talents to speak of whatsoever. He simply is. One day he questions why nobody ever tries to become a superhero and as he fails to see his friends logic he orders a scuba diving suit and sets off on his quest to saving the (NEW YORK!) city. After getting his arse kicked and becoming ‘indestructible’ after a wolverine like metal-bone fusion treatment, his next attempt is much more successful and as it is recorded by a crowd on their phones, he ends up becoming an internet sensation. Enter Big Daddy and Hit Girl. A father-daughter vigilante duo whose mission it is to take down Frank D’Amico, the films mobster bad guy. They see Kick Ass’s video and attempt to recruit him. However Kick Ass has realised he’s in way over his head and besides, at this point he’s bagged the girl of his dreams, why bother? Of course he becomes involved and blah blah I’m sure you know the rest.

Looking at that synopsis of sorts it’s hard to explain why you should see this film. It all seems clichéd, the premise of film has been done before, geeky kid in costume saves the city. Hardly new is it? In fact it feels a whole lot like Spiderman meets Kill Bill meets Watchmen. But trust me, you should see this film. It’s got everything. Comedy, love, action, some of the best fight scenes you’ve seen in a while, a gorgeous soundtrack, witty lines, a jet pack and Hit Girl. Hit Girl. Star of the show. Never has a child swearing and fighting her way through goons been so entertaining. Everything she does is gold. You will either hate her or love her. Actually, she goes a long way to explaining why this film is good and why the recycled storyline works. Everything she does is hyper. To the point where it becomes hilarious. Think Tarantino. His films are hyper violent but you aren’t really disgusted by it. Guy gets his ear cut off. Hilarious! He’s dancing to Stuck in the Middle with You whilst doing it! The Bride kills the Crazy 88. Bloodbath. Hilarious! Look at all that blood! Hitler goes down in a house of flames. Preposterous! Hand me that tissue I’m crying with laughter. You need to watch this with the same frame of mind you would a Tarantino film because his influence is all over this. And that’s a good thing.

One scene which really stood out for me was the warehouse sequence where Big Daddy and Kick Ass are kidnapped. The music was perfect. At the time I thought it was Surface of the Sun in Sunshine (absolutely epic bit of music, check out In the House In A Heartbeat too, I’m sure a variation of this was also used), however after re-listening to it I don’t think it is, very similar though. Some people have said they found it off-putting but I thought it was perfect, I was transfixed throughout, the first person style shooter aspect (in night vision nonetheless) was stunning, the emotion heartfelt and the pace seat gripping. I actually watched that sequence with my mouth open and found myself leaning forward like a lemon at the end of it. I would actually pay full price to watch this again just for this scene.

I love stylish hyper-violence.

I’ve mentioned before that I hate Screen 11 in the Printworks, maybe it was just a bad print of Avatar I saw because this was also in Screen 11 yet looked stunning. The overviews of New York were droolworthy. Maybe its just because I love New York. Sigh.

To sum up, I know it’s lazy but Kick Ass does indeed Kick Ass

 

Hell Week

Filed under: Ramblings,Work — mishymoshy @ 3:15 pm
Tags: , , , ,

There is a project at work which involves 4 hospitals and approx 50 members of staff collecting data for over 1000 patients…in one day. It is not a pleasant project to co-ordinate. Guess who has the honour of doing it? Me.

There are quite a few projects at work which involve collecting large amounts of data. Usually these are limited to a few members of staff and although very stressful, aren’t the most difficult to arrange and organise. This one however requires the data to be collected over the course of one day, all the members from your department as well as a large number of clinical staff. That’s the difficult part. After an initial setback of discovering five of my colleagues would either be on annual leave or were not in the day the project was due to take place (and this despite my predecessor on the project requesting nobody take annual leave that day), I was fairly confident last Friday that the project would be a success and the most organised it had ever been. This was largely due to the fact that I had been sending e-mail after e-mail and taking frenzied phone call after frenzied phone call over the past 6 or so weeks informing people of the process (and it’s not as if this is the first time we’ve done this project), what was expected of them, where they had to be and everything else in between. Huh.

Returning to work after the weekend you are usually greeted by a dozen or so emails, some junk, some bumf and a couple of minor requests. I was worried this would not be the case as the project was due to take place on Thursday and being the last weekend before it, I was expecting a mad inbox. Luckily this wasn’t the case.

Then Wednesday happened.

Quite a while ago I mentioned in a blog how relations between myself and our sister site were somewhat strained. Things have changed. Sister site have moved onto site…sort of. They are now closer to us in that they work on the same site as us…just on the other end. And the member of staff I had a sort of altercation with has retired. I spent a week with them a month ago and this really helped us to gel. Thank god. One of the biggest problems with this project was related to senior staff in their hospital and without sister sites support I don’t think I would have made it through this. I received a phone call on Wed morning from sister site colleague informing me that the Assistant Director of Nursing had his own plans of how the day was going to run in spite of the fact he had been involved in all these e-mails confirming wards, staff members, policies etc etc. I had only spoken to the man a few days ago, why had he not told me any of this? It was only by chance that sister colleague found out. I dread to think how it would have panned out if she hadn’t.

Now to be honest, I actually didn’t care how data was collected, I may have at the start of this had notions of nobility and accuracy of data but after experiencing the palaver of organising this mad ramble I didn’t give a toss. If it was up to me, at this point I would have been happy with dissecting a goats guts and reading his innards. However my manager and the Head of Nursing who unfortunately are both much higher than me in the pecking order, had other ideas. Such is life. I did sort of contemplate confronting the AD but seeing as he earns about 3 or 4 times what I do I decided it probably wasn’t really worth the effort. Instead a lot of bitching to my colleagues and a whiny phone call to HoN took place. It was all sorted in the end (I think AD got the message after a very abrupt and concise email from HoN) but it really wound me up how AD did all this. He clearly had been planning it for a while, knew what the plan was supposed to be but why he kept me out of the loop I have no idea. Sometimes it really frustrates me how low in the scheme of things I am yet I am expected to manage large projects which really require somebody in authority to lead on if you want a response. I think that’s one of the biggest lessons I have learnt. I may have tried to do too much when really I should have e-mailed what I wanted to HoN which she simply could then forward to everybody for a response. One day. One day I shall wield such power.

I was also having my own personal problems with another hospital. There is a member of staff there who insists on having her finger in every pot. Regardless of whether or not she has anything to do with it. As a person she’s actually quite nice but as a colleague, arr somebody staple my ears please. This is the first time I have had to work closely with her and whilst everybody around me has moaned about what hard work she is, I never really got it. When she started to display some of the qualities people had mentioned, I did kind of on purpose exclude her from the day. However due to the complete ineptness of her colleagues she turned out to be one of the more useful people on the day and I ended up having to call on her. Lesson no. 2. Take whatever help you can get, even if it means having to suck it up and working with someone you really don’t want to.

Although the day ended up going quite smoothly and I received a few nice pats on the back, there is something which still irritates me. It’s been bubbling under for a while but I think Thursday really brought it to the surface. It really pains me to say it because I really enjoy working with my colleagues, they are the reason I sort of stayed so long. But it’s this: you can’t rely on those you think you can. When it comes down to it, asking someone to make that extra bit of effort, very few people will come through for you. I thought I had 5 or 6 that would but it turns out I only have 3 or 4. And 2 of those weren’t even on the other list. Two people in particular I am disappointed with. Colleague One – he took annual leave. I know the end of March is a difficult time as it’s the end of the financial year and if you don’t take your leave when you should you lose it, but the fact this guy had the audacity to moan at me for taking two days at the beginning or March at short notice really upset me. I even had to resort to “I want to take leave now so that I am not off near X Day in case it all kicks off. Unlike some people”. It worked but I hated using it. Colleague Two – I love Colleague Two. I really do, he’s such a nice guy, he’s lovely to his kids and wife and really funny and sweet. I used to share an office with him and if I could ever help him I would. I always go out of my way for C2 and I think I did it knowing (perhaps wrong of me to?) that when the time came I could count on him to do the same for me. C2 doesn’t really let anything faze him which is why I gave him some of the most difficult areas to deal with. However looking back I think he only did these because he had to. Because he had difficult areas I had only given him half a days work hoping he would take on some of the excess areas if any occurred. Whenever I asked him about this although he said yes, you could see it in his eyes, “Oh bugger off”. It didn’t wind me up, it upset me. Only on Tuesday I had gone out of my way to make sure he had some stuff which he probably could have done himself, to see him thinking that really let me down. I ended up having to call on him because I wasn’t going to get my areas done in time. When I finally caught up with myself I found him and said I’d take over. He barely tried to stop me and couldn’t get out of there fast enough. It was only 3pm. I had started my areas at 7:30am and he at 9. I know I put myself in that position, I didn’t have to do as much as I did but I knew that if I didn’t who else would? C1 and 4+ were on annual leave and somebody had to take the slack.

I think I’ve learnt a lot from this experience and although exhausted and ready to drop dead after it (and eating only my second cake this week since Jan) I’m glad I did it. Now I need to analyse all this…damn.

 

Kick Ass March 25, 2010

Filed under: Ramblings — mishymoshy @ 9:59 pm

Got to see Kick Ass today at a free screening in Manchester. Christopher Mintz-Plasse (aka McLovin) was there!

Kick Ass is awesome, gonna watch again deffo. Will post proper review on weekend. After the day I’ve had (check back on the weekend for this too…) I’m going to bed. Zzzz….