Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Kaunas, Lithuania: My Memoirs

On the 13th - 17th October, me, Mike, Liam and Sensible Ash went to Lithuania. Here are my memoirs.

- Arriving in Kaunas airport. Going to buy a bag of crisps and instead of finding 'salt and vinegar', or 'cheese and onion', there was 'pickled cucumber' and 'creamy mushroom'. Creamy mushroom flavour was epic.

- Getting on the minibus to Klaipėda, ready for a two hour journey. Waiting nearly two hours before he felt like setting off.

- Arriving in Klaipėda. A nice Lithuanian guy noticing us looking confused, as we had literally no idea where to go and asking if we needed help. Us turning down the help in favour of going into the shopping centre to get a 'Hesburger'. Worth it.

- Looking around Klaipėda confused as to where to go. Getting phone out to use GPS, which cost too much in Internet. Still worth it though.

- Everybody staring at us, noticeably Ash, and having no idea why.

- Arriving in our apartment/hotel. It was really, really nice with a flat screen TV and Cartoon Network.

- Playing Big Two, with the main loser having to have two shots, and the other two losers having one shot.

- Getting really, really drunk off shots, while Mike, after non-stop winning, sat fairly sober.

- Going for a drunken walk. Talking to some really drunk Lithuanians, who said they are 'skin heads', and had a Nazi Germany thing on their coat. The one, really drunk guy hated us but the girl was nice. Mike being a cigarette whore.

- Ash riding the flower-boat thing. Us walking past a strip club and deciding we will go in the next night. We didn't.

- Telling them that Liam was Jewish, and him trying to convince them he wasn't... but they said he had a 'Jew nose'.

- Waking up feeling a bit rough and everyone feeling tired.

- Missioning to the Curonion Spit. Walking to the end of the dock and realising we were on the wrong side. Going to the right side, in the cold and rain, waiting for a boat and it never coming.

- Going for a meal to warm up. Them not understanding us when we said 'table for four', and being confused that we didn't just walk in and sit down. The restaurant was blatantly owned by some kind of Mafia thing. It had a casino, betting shop, and a Maserati parked outside.

- The scary sculpture thing.

- Going back to the room and having a bath. A bit gay, but I haven't slept in the bath for ages.

- Everyone being awake later, then not being able to sleep so playing nearly 5 hours of Big Two. No drinking this time. Other than Mike, who sneaked in 6 cans.

- Waiting for the bus to go to Kaunas. 10 mins before it arrived we got a call from the hotel saying they found Liam's passport.

- Running back to the hotel, having a mini asthma attack, running back to the bus that was being stopped by Mike and Ash, and it leaving just as we got on.

- The crazy bus stop in the middle of nowhere that everyone got off to get another bus.

- The amazing looking Lithuanian girls.

- Getting to the second apartment. It really smelled. Going out to the Akropolis shopping centre and sitting with beer watching Ice Hockey on the rink next to us.

- Going for a nice walk the next day. Taking photos.

- Getting a 'Hesburger' that had a beef on top, instead of the bun, chicken in the middle, and beef on the bottom. Then opening it to find it it was just effing rye bread, that looked like beef. The exact opposite of what I wanted.

- Going ice skating in Akropolis. Captain Vestman making an appearance.

- Ash being perhaps the worst ice skater I have ever seen.

- Setting the camera on time for 10 seconds so we could all stand and have a picture. Just as it went off a girl went past, got dazzled by the flash and smacked my camera off the side. Perfect timing.

- Going back to the room. Playing more Big Two, and being determined to drink all of the alcohol we had left over.

- Getting really, really drunk and going for a meal. The best steak I have ever had. Except for some reason me and Liam chose garlic steak. Big mistake.

- Being told by two Lithuanian girls that if we want 'quiet drink' go to the pub down the road, but if we want 'fuck' go to Bar Bar'a.

- Going to Bar Bar'a (... not for 'fuck').

- Barbra Streisand... ooooeeeooo oooo ooeeoeoo.

- Loving Bar Bar'a. Speaking to a guy from England, then finding out hes from Birmingham, then finding out he lives 5 mins walk from me.

- Mike getting cock-blocked by Cock-Block.

- Captain Vestman making his second club appearance.

- Ash talking to a guy outside the club who told him he looks just like a famous Lithuanian basketball player,

- Getting back to the room, and Liam realising he left his passport in the club.

- Going back to the club, but on the way speaking to some Lithuanians who were really helpful, came to translate, and left their number in case it was found. Then insisted on buying us food .

- Queueing for another Hesburger. Liam getting a text to say his passport is in his bag. Two Scottish guys coming over to speak to us.

- Hesburger closing, and the Lithuanians inviting us all to their place. Would have gone but I hadn't brought my wallet out. And we had to leave for the flight at 9:30am, and it was already 6am.

All in all... it was a pretty epic time!!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Reasons I Love Birmingham

St. Paul Square after the leaves have fallen. Taken today for my favourite Canadian friend.

Monday, 11 October 2010

56) Have an MMA/Boxing fight, 118) Win A Boxing Match

It started with my 2010 New Years Resolutions, in which I said I wanted to start boxing, with the aim to spar competitively by next year. Then on 22nd February I joined the boxing gym. Things were looking up after my first week of boxing. By the 30th June I was sparring with almost full contact.

Then... on the 13th September I was told I had been selected for the next boxing show. I was nervous, and new it meant loads of training, and started taking it seriously, and when the poster was printed and put around Birmingham it felt a lot more real. One week before I was counting down the days.

Friday night was the big night. I was getting more and more nervous through the week, though was able to ignore the feelings mostly. Lots of training had gone in and I couldn't let myself down. My arm wasn't fully healed, so I was worried how it would hold up.

Andy, a heavyweight fighting, invited me and some of the others from our team to his place before to calm the nerves and meet up. When I got there I was a little bit relieved to see that I wasn't the only nervous one. While others queued for the toilet, I sat and watched Rocky III (the part where Apollo Creed is killed in the ring. Brilliant).

When we finally got to Gatecrasher the nerves had gone. I was ready to jump in the ring right away. I paced around the dressing room shadow boxing. I did some pad work, and waited until it was time.

I heard the announcer saying my name and measurements (of which he got my reach incorrect!! 74" instead of 71"!!). Then the music started. I think it was a good choice (watch the video below to hear). For those who don't know, its the Shawn Michaels WWF theme. I think it got some laughs.

I will upload the full fight at some point, I am waiting to get the DVD in the post.

When I watched the video back, it was like I was seeing it all for the first time. All I really remember from the fight is:
  • Ed starting off really fast, and landing a lot cleaner and more powerful than I expected.
  • My lip cutting in the first few punches and tasting blood the rest of the round.
  • Thinking that every time I caught a combination I had to come back out of it swinging to get back a point.

  • The bell going after the first round. Sitting down and having water sprayed in my face to try and get me focused again. Drinking the water instead of spitting.
  • Going to touch gloves at the start of the second round, and Ed hitting me.
  • The game-plan of stepping back and hitting with the right landing cleanly a couple of times.
  • Feeling very, very tired, but Ed seeming as if he wasn't getting any slower.

  • Knowing I couldn't keep catching hits like he was giving.
  • Hearing my mom shout "you're winning", but not knowing if it was true.
  • Ed's corner say less than a minute left, and knowing I had to keep hold of my potential lead.
At the end of the fight, I still had no idea if I won. I wanted to go back to the dressing rooms and get water. I only found out when I went out to speak to my mom and friends after. All of which I am very grateful for their cheering, which I could hear in the back of my mind during the fight.

Massive props to Ed. He was a very, very difficult opponent, who was beating me to the punches a lot of the time, and packing a lot of power with them, and at no point seemed to back down after getting hit.

A big thanks to all the people at Fighting Fit City Gym, including Neil Perkins, Paul Gough and Jamie Cahill for the training, the other boxers for their advice, and to my parents and friends who turned up to support me.

After months and months of training I have finally crossed off '56) Have an MMA/Boxing fight', with the added bonus of crossing off '118) Win a Boxing Match'.

I remember in year 4, my school put on a production of 'Bugsy Malone'. The 5 people I mainly hung around with were all cast to be boxers, and the teacher decided I should be a priest. Blatantly only to be nasty, but I think I got the last laugh there.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Fight Countdown: 2 Days

This week hasn't been good. On Saturday I got a massive b*llocking for going out drinking on the Friday night, a week before the fight. On Sunday I woke up aching all over, and with some sort of bite on my elbow. Throughout the day it hurt more and more, to the point that if it just brushes against anything it's agony.

Monday it hurt so much I considered going to the doctors, but decided not to. On Tuesday it still really hurt. I did some light pad work in the gym, but just lightly jabbing hurts a lot. If I have to block a body shot with my elbow I will cry.

Today is Wednesday, and there is no signs of the pain subsiding. Perfect timing. I phoned the doctors today and they said to phone back later to try and get an emergency appointment.

Regardless of what happens I will be going ahead with the boxing match, but it's going to be a lot more painful than I predicted.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

First Parking Ticket!

On the 27th September I got my first parking ticket! I didn't think it was much to blog about, nobody cares about a blog without photos.

.. And then I found these!!

... Always nice to have a picture of your car, you never know when it will be too late...

Friday, 1 October 2010

omglan Dodgeball III: The Movie

Here is the much promised, newest omglan Dodgeball video. I looked in the match report from the day, and there was the following quote:

"Local Dodgeball heroes ‘omglan’ maintained their record of never having won a match and finished the event in 16th position."

... its nice to get some recognition!