Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm aiming for the Oscars

Every time I sit and watch a film (not the really good ones like "Shaun of the Dead", "Heat" or "Sex and the City 2") whether it be at the cinema, or at home, I always think to myself "I could do better. I could write a much better, funnier film script". I am convinced that somewhere in my odd shaped head, there is an amazing, award winning, totally original movie script waiting to burst out, and that if I only knew how to write a movie script, it would be winging its way to a Hollywood director as we speak. It would have to be addressed to "Random Hollywood Director, Hollywood, USA", as unfortunately I don't know any Hollywood directors.

But my great master plan always falls at the first hurdle, mainly because I am awful at writing anything that isn't a postcard. Because let's face it, postcards are pretty easy to write. The only phrases you need are "having a lovely time", "the weather is lovely", "today we are going to the beach" and "wish you were here." By carefully changing the order of these set phrases, it's like writing a new short story every time.

In terms of writing a film script, I don't even want to start, because I fear that on my future Wikepedia page, it will say "Christian Orr, failed script writer of awful straight to DVD movie that no one can actually remember." More importantly, the mind numbing thought of sitting down for hour after hour to write something stops me from actually sitting down for hour after hour to write something.

It's weird, because every time I watch a film, I feel like i'm going to burst with the idea that I can do it. But, to be honest, that may just be IBS. One potential problem is that I have absolutely no idea of what the plot will be. Well, I have loads of ideas, but sadly they've already been done. I thought of a comedy time travel movie (Back to the Future/ Bill and Ted), a hilarious action movie about aliens/ zombies (Shaun of the Dead/ Paul/ Braindead), or a crap martial arts film with no real plot whatsoever, and just lots of slow motion roundhouse kicks (any Chuck Norris film). The thing about today's film and TV world is that you need to be original. That is the key to success.

What will almost certainly prevent my future film ever getting off the ground is that I obviously want to write and star in the film. I'm pretty sure in my head that I'd be the greatest action movie star in the history of action movies stars. However, my previous acting stints in school plays and amateur dramatics have been described as somewhat 'wooden'. This would be great if I was to star in an action movie about a hard as shit Pinnochio, but for any other type of film, useless. 

I want to write a stunning movie script where I can be the hard as nails action hero, defeat all evil henchmen and save the annoyingly stupid hot woman in approximately 110 minutes. I want the feeling of legging it up to a bad guy in his car after a lengthy and quite frankly impossible car chase, punching my hand through the window (without damaging any major arteries), grabbing him by the throat, and in one swift yet heroic move, dragging him out of the window (first ensuring he's undone his seat belt), karate chopping him in the face, and rendering him unconscious, before chuckling to myself and saying something amusing like 'You need an MOT', or 'You can't park there'. I want to write it before I'm too old to be seriously considered as an action hero, when the only lines I could get away with would be "I'm too old for this shit" and "I retire from MI5 tomorrow, I hope nothing bad happens on my last ever shift".

Or instead of an action hero, I want to be a detective working in a down town police station. My character is always angry but at the same time incredibly cool, where the Chief is a bitter man who has only seen action from behind a desk, smokes a massive cigar,can only talk by shouting, and I only use the phrases 'fuck you', 'eat shit' and 'kiss my ass' without any fear of discipline, or being put on the 6 steps to poor performance.

I suppose the great thing about writing the script is that I can say and do anything I want. I could take on the entire North Korean army in one massive, explosive laden, bullet ridden, over the top gun battle, with the only casualty being my freshly laundered white T shirt. I could be attacked by 20 professionally trained FBI agents, who have done nothing but learn how to take a man down for the last 10 years of their training, but defeat them all with what I've learned, which is basically chinese burns and wedgies.You never see the main star in a film getting knocked out with one punch or getting winded from a kidney chop so he can't get up, as happens in real fights on a Friday night, after the Nags Head has kicked out . That's the beauty of films. You can make it as unrealistic as possible. You could even, if you really wanted, make Piers Morgan popular. 

I also like to think i'd be a shit hot camera man, as I love filming whatever I can, whenever I can. However, after looking back at some of my videos, it looks like I am filming whilst on a treadmill, suffering the effects of Parkinsons, so maybe I should just concentrate on writing.

I think that it's the fact that we believe we can do anything we want that keeps us interested in life.And it keeps us hoping we can better ourselves. That's why being a kid is so much fun, because we imagine ourselves doing anything we want. It's only when we get older, that we realise we're actually shit at most things, and that laser quest is about as close as we'll ever get to shooting bad guys.

Right. Enough writing. That's it. I've made a decision. I'm going to watch 3 films in a row now to get me in the mood, and then I'm going to start writing my masterpiece. But, what I know will actually happen is that i'm going to watch 3 films, fall asleep after one and a half films, wake up, rewind the bit I've missed, watch the rest of the second film, and then not write anything because it looks way too hard.

By the way, Sex and the City 2 is total dog shit.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Have a Bone to Pick With The Chinese Mafia.

This is a shortish blog (shortish means long) about the pit falls of buying a property. I mention pit falls because it makes the subject sound a bit more exciting, because when I think of pit falls, I think of Indiana Jones falling into a pit.

For some reason, i decided to wait until I was 28 to buy a property. Well, when I say some reason, that reason was the deposit, which for anyone who has a normal job and has to give most of it away to Mr Taxman, saving for a deposit is pretty hard.

Anyway, as luck would have it, I got flooded out of my house in 2007, and all my possessions were completely destroyed. I was sat in my living room one evening at around 7pm, when a Police Officer knocked on my front door, and told me that the River Ock, which is about 100m from my house, was about to burst its banks, and I should move all of my furniture upstairs. A great plan I thought to myself, but there was one minor stumbling block. I'd broken my ankle 3 days before, so attempting to hump settees and wide screen TV's up the stairs was going to be a touch difficult. After about 10 minutes of thinking, I decided that unless the Police Officer has a degree in Environmental Sciences, specialising in River Bed Capacities, I would be okay, as the river was quite a way away.

About half an hour later, I kept hearing my dog flap open, and as my dog was lying beside me, I was getting a bit confused. I hobbled over to the kitchen door, to see it being opened by the River Ock. It had risen dramatically, and was now flowing through the dog flap. I now panicked, mainly because I was wearing my Bananaman pyjamas, and in my current disabled condition, I knew it would take a good 20 minutes to get upstairs and get dressed. So I had to make a decision. Should I try my best to move as many of my treasured possessions as possible to higher ground, or should I hobble upstairs to put some proper clothes on.

20 minutes later, I was dressed in tracksuit bottoms and a tee shirt. I hobbled downstairs and witnessed a bizarre sight. The river had now risen in my lounge about 2 feet high, my front door was open ( I left it off the latch when the Police Officer came round, who I later found out was PC Jones BSC (Environmental Sciences, specialising in River bed capacities)), and my laminate flooring was now floating out of the front door, and onto the main street. The sheer speed of the rising water was amazing, and within 40 minutes, it was just below my waist.

To cut a long story short, I lost everything on the ground floor, and in my garage, and it took many months to get back to normal. However, the kind people at the Insurance company did their very best to ensure I got as little insurance payout as possible, but I had enough to use for a deposit on an apartment. Sod it, I don't live in America. It's a flat.

I spent 3 months looking at about 100 flats, and eventually decided on a spacious 2 bed, 1st floor flat. The nearest river to it is abour 2 miles away, so it would have to rain in biblical proportions to flood it. Finally, i'd done it. I'd secured my own property, which I would keep as an investment, watch the price go up and up, and then sell it a couple of years later to buy a very slightly bigger flat, to give me the feel of a property tycoon.

I was genius planning of mine to wait 28 years before I decided to buy, as 2 months after I got the keys to the flat, the property market crashed, and it suddenly became worth about the same price as a kettle.

This was pretty gutting news, but I tried to see the positive side in things. I currently live in a house provided with my job, so I decided to rent it out. I looked at about 10 local letting agents, and decided, as any single man with no common sense would, to go with the cheapest one. After all, what could go wrong with choosing the cheapest option? Well I'll tell you. Everything. And this is another purpose of my blog, to let you know what can happen when you rent out a property.

I don't want to mention the name of the rental company, as I wouldn't want to name and shame them, but lets just say I had the worst experience with them ever ever.(They're called "Seekers", 3 York Road, Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands B23 6TE)

I was paying them to manage my flat, which included checking on the tenant regularly, and visiting every month to make sure everything was okay. After the 3rd month in a row of not getting any contact, or in fact rent, I was getting massively concerned, so I phoned them up, and spoke to a delightfully unhelpful jumped up pretentious arrogant man called Usman.He told me that he was literally about to call me, as he was a bit confused. He went to visit the flat the day before, but the front door had been boarded up.

I suddenly switched from the cool, confident, funny, handsome, incredibly likeable character that I am to a very irate chav. I was furious, and gave Usman some serious shit. How could he not phone me to tell me this straight away?

I jumped in my car, much like David Hasslehoff tried asking many girls to do in his chart hit, and sped off up to Birmingham, and 1 hour later, I flung the door open at the letting agents. Unfortunately, they had new carpet in the shop which rubbed on the bottom of the door, so it opened at pretty much normal speed, but they could tell I was angry. I got Usman to follow me to the flat, whereby I found the front door boarded up, with a sign saying "Police Notice: Contact Police Immediately".

Usman claimed he had no idea what was going on, so I told him and his shiny suit to wait there, and I went to the local Police station. It turned out that the "Chinese Doctor" that Usman had rented my flat out to had sub let it to the chinese mafia, and my flat was being used as a brothel, and a drug factory. The flat had been under Police survaillance for 2 months, and eventually, the Police raided it. They found one bloke in the main bedroom being serviced by a prostitute, 2 blokes in the living room watching porn, waiting for their turn, and loads of drugs, bondage gear, and porn films scattered all over the flat.

Whoever was on the Police team that raided the flat, had obviously only just passed their 'Door Breaking Down' section of their training, as they decided to smash down every door in the entire flat, for some sort of conformation that they knew what they was doing.

When I returned with the police, I went into the property, and the damage was awful. As it was classed as a 'legal forced entry', the Police were liable for none of the damages, which the Police Officer who accompanied me had great pleaseure in telling me. What's worse, none of the porn had been left.

To draw a close on this already overly long blog, it cost over £2000 to repair the damages. My flat was now officially a money drain. Since then, I've watched many thousands of pounds spunked up the walls. Which I think may have been what the police found when they raided my flat.

I was always taught at school to finish everything off with a conclusion. Therefore, my conclusion is do not buy property as a long term investment. Rent is the future. People say it's dead money renting somewhere, but I have to pay £1200 a year maintenance fees, which basically pays for a man to sweep the car park twice a year, and I self funded several months of Mafia activity and sexual entertainment in the Midlands area. If I had the choice again, I'd have not bothered using my insurance payout for a deposit on a property. I'd have found somewhere to rent long term, and paid for an on line learning course in River Bed Capacities.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's about the Gym (not my friend Jim)

Today, at lunch time, I was doing up hill sprints. It was cold, wet, my ankle hurt, my ipod had no battery at all, and I was generally not happy. After about my 6th uphill sprint, I suddenly thought, why do I bother?

I mean seriously, why? I spent almost every day pushing myself to the point of being sick, trying to eat nothing but bland tasting, boring healthy foods, and for what? I look at fat people now in a different light (no, not because they’re blocking out the sun. I know that’s what you were thinking. Shame on you!)  I actually think, fair play to you. You are doing it right. You don’t waste £45 a month or more going to a gym, you eat whatever the hell you can fit down your throat, you drink all you want, and you don’t go to the pointless effort of getting yourself severely out of breath when exercising (apart from maybe going up the stairs to the toilet, or if the ice cream van speeds past without stopping). Ok, the slight downside may be that fat people tend to die in their 50’s and 60’s from massive heart attacks, but when you actually look at this, when you dissect the numbers like a clever statistician would, again, this is not a bad thing. Once you reach about 60, it’s all downhill from there. You like to think you are still youthful, and that 60 is the new 40, but suddenly, wham!, before you know it, you dribble when you talk, you can’t drive over 5 miles an hour, you shop with one of those weird patterned upright baskets on wheels, and you’re memory begins to fade, so you can’t even remember what you had for breakfast ( I can luckily still remember- The same thing that I’ve had for breakfast the last 25 years. Coco Pops, the true breakfast of kings.)

Getting old is not graceful. Would you rather ache from the second you get up to the second you go to bed, which for old people, is 5am to 6pm, wee yourself on a daily basis, forget why you went up the stairs, what you went up the stairs to fetch, and what stairs actually are, carry your teeth in your pocket, slowly go deaf and blind and totally dependent, or enjoy your whole life, eat shit, drink shit, and then die in one massive heart exploding instant?

These thoughts then got me questioning why I go to the gym? Don’t get me wrong, I do sort of enjoy keeping fit, being in good shape and not having to wear a sports bra on the beach, but paying £45 a month, and  getting in the car to go to the gym when it’s dark and raining, is starting to get a bit of a drag. So I had a real hard think about whether I wanted to still go. And, after a great deal of soul searching, I came up with the answer. Of course I do. And why? Because my gym is full of the countries biggest tossers, wierdo’s and generally most amusing people I have ever met, and therefore going to the gym makes me feel much better about myself, without even having to do any exercise. Every time I go there, I tend to stare in wonder and amazement at the patrons and their antics.

For example, I like to go swimming, and the gym has a great pool, with a Jacuzzi. I am a pretty good swimmer, but draw the line at wearing anything smaller than football shorts sized swim wear. On Monday, I had just got into the pool, when a giant man (fat, not fairy story tall) came out of the changing room wearing possibly the smallest pair of speedos ever designed by man. Now, surely, at some stage while he was getting undressed, he must of thought “oh….wait a minute….these trunks are a bit small….I must have packed my 5 year olds speedos….or maybe they shrunk in the wash. Well I can’t wear these, if I go out into the pool area, as I am quite a large individual, people may stare at me. It will look like i'm actually wearing no swimming trunks. This could be quite embarrassing, so I’ll get changed again, and just head home, but via a sports shop, so I can buy a much bigger pair for next time.” But no, at no point did this cross his mind. So when he did come out, wearing speedos that you could only see if he bent over to touch his toes, is it any wonder that everyone stared.

(the above picture is not me in speedos.)

 I did feel generally sorry for him. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t make fun of people who are fat or thin or black or white etc, as I think everyone is equal and should not be judged, but come on. Ridiculous. If I went to a ‘We hate Everything to Do With Elvis Especially his Outift’ club wearing a £14.99 joke shop Elvis outfit, I would expect to be stared at. Therefore, I shouldn’t have felt sorry for him.

Last week was even better. I’d done about 30 lengths, when a man got in wearing a full wet suit. He popped on a snorkel, and then proceeded to snorkel up and down the pool for about half an hour. Mental. However, all was not a loss. To give him a feeling of being abroad and snorkelling on a tropical reef, I took off a plaster and let it float about like a tiny fish.

Seriously though, why is there always a plaster floating about in a swimming pool? Do people still wear plasters? And why is it never a blue one, or a see through one, or a patterned one? It’s always one of those sort of orangey browny coloured ones that people haven’t bought since the early 1990’s, so how the fuck can they still be floating about in every swimming pool in the country?

The swimming pool is probably where I get the most wound up though. And I get wound up by old people. More specifically, old women. I have swum since I was about 4, had school swimming lessons, and went to a swimming club from the age of 11 to 18, yet at no stage, did I ever learn a stroke where I lie on my back, and do a really slow double armed back stroke, which can only be done in the middle of the lane. I have also spoken to a British Swimming Coach, and this stroke is not recognised by the British Swimming Association, so why does every old woman seem intent to only do this stroke, only do it slowly,  and only when the pool is very busy? It’s days like this that I miss snorkel man.

If I go to the actual gym part of the gym, I only use the treadmill, as it’s about the only think that interests me. I love being on the treadmill, as it gives me a chance to watch the blokes in the weights area make increasingly large tossers of themselves. The done thing for chavvy lads in their early 20’s now seems to be to pump as much weight as possible, whilst making as much noise as possible, so everyone knows they are pumping as much weight as possible. They basically aim to get the largest biceps possible, whilst forgetting the fact that this makes their neck disappear completely. These lads are obviously out to impress, so I guess the way to a woman’s heart is now apparently to have biceps so big, you can actually  plunge your massive arm straight through their chest cavity, thus creating a literal way to the woman’s heart. I’m not sure how many activities actually require massive biceps, except for maybe opening a particularly stiff jam jar, using the inside of your elbow joint as some sort of nut cracker, or maybe for allowing extra space for that tattoo of a Ming vase you’ve always wanted, but it does seem a pointless activity.

Maybe I’m just jealous. I’m pretty sure  I’m not jealous. But I will carry on going to the gym, using only the treadmill and swimming pool, to enrich my life with the collection of weird and wonderful people. And also to keep fit. But if I’m being honest, there is only one real reason on this earth why I make sure I keep fit. There’s no way I’m ever, ever, buying elasticated trousers.