Friday, 28 January 2011

January 2011 Boxing... I got punched

I thought I'd post a boxing video, since I haven't in a while. This is the last 30 seconds with me and a guy called Dan (who I think is really good). Part way through he draws me in, sits back, and then hits me as I attempt to counter punch.

I am in black and red.

So, must keep my left hand higher, and straighten out my punches.

I still might be having my next fight on March the 19th.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Helpful Mommy and Daddy

My mom and dad are both very good at DIY things. At one of the house parties last summer I broke my bed. Thankfully, mom and dad were able to come over and mend it, they arrived within 30 mins of me asking, tool kit in hand.

I hope to get to be as 'handyman-like' as I get older.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Christmas 2010

As Christmas is a busy time of the year I didn't have much time to blog about it. It seems a bit weird writing about it now, as it seems a distant memory, but I will nonetheless.

I decided to go back to my parents house on the 23rd December, and stay there until New Years Eve. I like Christmas a lot, and think it should be a family thing. On Christmas Eve I helped put the presents out, and was up until very late trying to set up a fuse-ball table (I thought it would be an easy task initially).

The highlights of Christmas include:

- Playing Cranium with Mom, Dad, and Melissa, where the punishment for losing was eating a horrible flavoured jelly bean. The highlight of that being my dads reaction to the vomit flavoured one.

- Sledging with my Mom and nephews on Christmas Eve. We went to the highest part of the hill, higher than the high school kids were going. It was so steep that it would literally take 30 seconds to get each meter higher. Then going down the hill, hitting a ditch and getting about a foot of air. Very painful.

- Christmas morning. Always amazing, especially Ellie's face when she saw all the presents. Babies are usually overwhelmed and can't take it all in, yet she unwrapped all her presents and looked equally ecstatic with every single one.

- Spending pretty much three days solid playing Fallout New Vegas (thank you for your patience Melissa, Logan, Sam, and Charlie).

- All of the hot turkey and stuffing sandwiches.

- Getting all my amazing presents, including a steel drum from Melissa.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I don't feel well...

I have chronic man-flu. Thankfully, I got a onesie for Christmas, perfect for this kind of occasion.

... Real men can get away with wearing a onesie. 

On a side note, the last memory I have of wearing a onesie was a little blue one when I was much, much younger. I remember zipping it up a bit too quickly and trapping my foreskin in it, and crying. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous every time I zipped this one up.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

5) Be an extra

On Friday the 19th of September in 2008 from 7:30pm until about 5am I had my first expeience with being a 'background artist', or for everyone else who doesn't take it overly serious, an 'extra'. If you can suffer my write-up, there is a video at the bottom.

I had decided I wanted to be an extra earlier in the year, when I found myself getting bored by sitting around being a student.

I think it was my girlfriend at the time, Tara, who had found a website that advertised for extras. The particular one I applied for was a 'Northern Soul' film, originally named 'Souled Out', later renamed to 'SoulBoy'. It featured upcoming actors Martin Compston, and actress Felicity Jones, Jo Hartley (This is England, Dead Man's Shoes), and the unknown brother of famous singer 'Lily Allen' (he say's his name is Alfie). I may sound a bit bitter about Alfie Allen, and rightly so, but we will come to that.

Me, Tara and Rhys went to a church, across the road from a local cinema it was going to be filmed outside. It seemed quite a big affair. They had hair and makeup people, who loved mine and Rhys' out-dated, long, studenty hair. After the hair they gave me weird trowsers and a long trenchcoat. Rhys' was told to wear his own clothes (that still makes me laugh).

A couple of hours later they were ready to start filming. We had moved to the front of the cinema and started filming a variety of things such as walking off the bus, standing around talking, etc. Each time they started a scene, they moved me and Rhys' to the front, or asked us to come off the bus first, much to the annoyance of Tara and the type three extras.

Before I continue, I will talk about the types of extras.

Type-one, or "Just for a Laugh Extras"
These are the people that hear about something being filmed and just go for fun. They don't care if they are seen, it's just the experience. At this point in time I was a type-one extra.

Type-two, or "Serial Extras"
These are the people who browse sites and are maybe in an extras agency. They still don't take it seriously, but continue doing it for fun. I slightly became a type-two extra.

Type-three, or "The Background Artist"
To these people it is more than being someone nobody can see. This person makes the scene. This type of extra will volunteer at every opportunity and they will over-act in hope that they, while standing down the road holding an umbrella, be noticed by Darren Aronofsky who happens to be looking for his next star. Nobody likes this type. They don't even like themselves.

We had annoyed some of 'The Background Artists', who silently questioned how someone that probably doesn't even have a GCSE in drama (which I do, so ha), is being allowed to hold the 'best bag'. I thrived on their passive-aggression.

Anyone who has been an extra will know the majority of the time is spent doing nothing. It is actually very boring. Even the novelty of the filming wears off once you have done the same thing 5 or 6 times. You must find a way to entertain yourself. This realisation hit me at around 2am. Which is where 'The Background Artist' fun comes into it.

Thankfully, as an extra, nobody cares what you do, and as such you are given very little direction. For example, "Go and greet those people, like they are your friends, hug, do what you want". Perfect. Earlier in the night I had noticed one eager 'Background Artist', who didn't care that he was maybe 15 years too old for the scene, and stood talking only to other 'Background Artists', or possibly the most attractive of the 'Serial Extras'.

Before this scene started he had agreed with his friends how he would greet them. This is serious business. For him this cannot go wrong. His career depends on it. Me and Rhys had other ideas.

There was a shout of Action. Me and Rhys walked, alongside two other girls, towards the group of people. The Background Artist walked out, through the crowd, arms wide, ready to greet the girls. Me and Rhys, with a jump in our step, intercepted The Background Artist in a loving embrace, like we were his long lost children. The girls had to walk past to another group. I have never seen a podgy middle-aged man look so disappointed.

Two or three more takes were filmed, each time he tried to avoid us. We used different tactics each time, from cutting off the girls, to making strong eye-contact, maybe with a noticeable wave. A man so serious about his work he had to play long. I could have pulled out fake guns and shot at him and he would have dropped, in a semi-realistic manner.

I promised I would say a bit about Alife Allen. Looking at his manner, he looked like he saw himself as quite the star of this film. The other actors joked around together, but not Alife. Alfie complained about how cold it was. Not only was it cold, it was cold enough to make him have to lie down with paramedics around him. As a spectator, it seemed like he had perfected a fake cough. Maybe he has hope yet. A few other things he did was annoying, but I don't want this to turn into Alfie-bashing. Well, I do, but I will refrain.

In the 10 hours we were there, we filmed quite a lot of scenes. We were also asked to buy drugs off the director in his cameo, but by that time Tara had got tired and wanted to leave. It was quite the experience, and I was excited to see the outcome. I'm sure you are too.

So as you see, it's a pretty thankless job!

Ps. I have since done a government training video, where I was in a court as a prosecutor, and had lines (though I think they were going to be silenced out with information over), but have little interest in doing more now.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

6 Things Added to the 100+ Things To Do List

While talking to my boss, Jon, a viewer of many different sporting events and experiences, I realised that I haven't really had many any. I was impressed by his stories of diving into two feet of snow out of the way of a Car Rally driver, betting £10 on horse racing only to be upstaged by a man placing £5000, and being around thousands of rowdy fans at a golf match. So, I have been inspired to add new things to my 100+ Things To Do List.

The items are as follows:

120) Go to a horse race, and leave with £5 profit
121) Watch a proper Rugby game
122) Watch a Cricket test match, or Twenty20 in Edgbaston
123) Watch a Golf major tournament or Ryder Cup
124) Watch a Car Rally (Wales Rally GB maybe)
125) Watch a F1 British GP race

Maybe then I may have some equally interesting story one day.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2010 Year In Review

A follow up to my '2009 Year In Review' post, which was actually my second ever post! This may be heavy with links, as it means I have to write less about each event.

In January I decided to blog. In the past I have had unsuccessful attempts at writing diaries, but decided a blog could solve my problems. It could be a place for my 100 Things To Do List, and courage me to keep doing fun things to have something to write about. I bought my Birth Whisky, a drink that will only be drank at key times in my life. My Swedish friends came to stay with me which was fun. One of the funniest moments of the year happened, when a crazy guy latched on to me and Neil in the pub. Omglan played another dodgeball game in Leicester. FFFF was born, a much loved weekly work-place game, which quickly became the most viewed thing on the blog. One of the most important things was that The Shelf was built. January was a pretty epic month, and usually Januaries are quite boring, and depressing after Christmas. The year had started off very well!

February started off slightly quieter, and on a bit of a downer after I left £10 in a cash point (that money could really come in handy now), but picked up when Melissa made me a painting for valentines day. Later in the month I had a busy Saturday which included photoshoot (which in retrospect turned out to be my last due to my sudden dislike for modelling), and then ice-skating and conquering the biggest web thing ever. One of the most important thing to happen in the month is that I joined the boxing gym, something which has pretty much occupied me all year round.

March started off a pretty exciting month, with me losing my tyres and brakes on the motorway, and getting a behaviour warning from Sony. I got on Google Street View, went to Prague, and crossed two things off my list. 

March was a bit of a turning point one way or another, in that I broke up with Melissa. I have purposely kept almost everything about my relationships off my blog. Not that I am bothered about writing personal things about myself, but that it could seem hurtful to other people. All I will say about it is that since before me and Tara split up, I had wanted to be single. When I met Melissa, I still wanted to be single. She was the first person I had seen after Tara, and it was too soon for me to start dating again. Regardless, things got serious and we ended up together, though I still knew that I wanted to be single, and couldn't be happy in a relationship until I had been single for a decent time.

April saw my decline in blogging. I was feeling negative, and didn't really want to keep writing whining things on my blog, so I decided just to mostly keep off it. It was a month of getting used to being single, which meant being able to meet up with some friends that I hadn't before (not in 'that' way, but sometimes having a girl over may seem weird to a girlfriend). Aside from going camping in Newquay, and starting sparring in boxing, not all that much happened.

May picked up a lot. I did more fun things, such as going to see Infected Mushroom with Della (crossing that off my list - Infected Mushroom, not Della, obviously). Kellie, my Australian friend, stayed over and we went out - which was really fun. Me and Dan braved a 2 mile, pitch black tunnel on our bikes, and a house very close to me found bombs in their garden. Also, Melissa told me she was going to be living in France for the Summer. Although we were apart, this made me sad.

Towards the end of May I had a sudden impulse to move out of home. I viewed a few places, and settled on the one I liked most (obviously). My mom took this as an insult, and that I am moving out to get more freedom, but that really wasn't the reason. I had a lot of freedom at home, and my parents did a lot for me, though I thought it would be nice to have my own place, and to have more people my age around to go out with, and be able to have house parties, and be able to have people.. stop over.

June was another month with very few blog posts. I spent a lot of the month going out and meeting the people in the area. I had continued boxing, and was starting to improve in sparring. I proved my manliness by building a BBQ with Neil, reminiscent to when we built the shelf. I also had my very first house party! On the nights I was meeting up with a lot of friends, like Belinda, Della, Emily, Amy, and Charlotte. And most days I was watching the world cup (which turned out to be terrible).

In July Neil moved away - the bastard. This made me quite sad too. I was made happier when I booked flights to Brazil with Andy. It was quite a good month. It was fairly quiet at first, but I had an amazing birthday, which included paintballing and a house party. At the end of the month I went to Paris to meet up with Melissa, which, although I was a bit worried about, turned out to be a really nice time.

I always love the Summer, and August was no exception. Spending the first few days still in Paris, I got back and had one of the more memorable holidays in Malia with the lads. It was memorable for good and bad reasons. Part way through, it became obvious that me and my friends were expecting very different things, which meant I spent a lot of time on my own. That was fine though, it's quite easy to make friends there. Though I still have a swollen finger and scars on my hand from smashing the glasses, but Dave's arm has mostly healed. 

Also, Melissa returned from France early, and we started seeing each other more. Including finding my first geocache!

In September, my housemate Amy, who I spent lots of nights talking to about everything, was moving out to go travelling. I was sad. We threw a big party to say bye which was fun. Shortly after, it was announced that I would be having my first boxing fight. I was a little nervous, as it was going to be in Bhams biggest night club, in front of over 600 people. September was fairly uneventful due to the none stop boxing training. I agreed to build the gym a database system in exchange for private sessions with Neil, an ex professional boxer - my first proper freelancing. Later in the month the guy who I was meant to be fighting broke his ribs, and the opponent changed to one of my friends, Ed. 

September also saw the return of OMGLAN: Dodgeball, with an entire new team, kit, and most importantly - video.

October was arguably the best month of the year. This was partly due to having, and winning my first boxing fight. It was an amazing rush. The adrenalin was crazy. It made me not even that bothered about getting my first parking ticket. A couple of days after the fight I was off to Lithuania, for an amazing well-deserved piss-up after all the training.

October wasn't without its problems. Although things with Melissa were good, I still didn't feel like I wanted to be in a relationship, and she found out, and we split up again. To save having to write about it in the next month too, this was quite short-lived, and I decided that I should just take it as it goes and not think I have to be looking to settle down with someone.

November started out well. I dressed up twice for Halloween. I do enjoy a good fancy dress, even though it is a bit of an effort. Interested, but entirely not bothered, about what I actually consume, I decided to keep a diary of my eating habits, and found I had nearly double the calories, and 5 times the sugar I should be having. This was another fairly quiet month, of growing a moustache and going to Morocco. I will make the joke one more time... it was for 'Mo-Rocco' (which was amazing in many, many ways).
Oh, and my
second boxing match was announced for December (I was a last week replacement), which I was excited about as I felt like I had got noticeably better than the last one, after sparring for 6 months. Oh, and and Melissa got in a fight with a guy at an acapella gig.

The December boxing match sadly didn't go ahead. That was fine, as I was having too much fun playing in the snow anyway! I had blogged quite a lot more in November, and thankfully I was able to maintain it in December, thanks to things such as stupid Police Men, dressing as a zombie-nerd-slut, and the further use of my Phileas Fogg sentence.

Most of December was quite stressful, as I was late buying Christmas presents, and didn't have any idea what to get. I also realised that over the last few months I had spent far too much money, which suddenly kicked me into a frugal state. Nonetheless, Christmas this year was amazing. I stayed at home almost every night between the 23rd and New Years. I had lots of nice presents, including a steel drum from Melissa, games, aftershave and other Christmassy things from my family.

New Years, as always, was fairly quiet, but I still really enjoyed it. We played Articulate, and then charades, which Leigh made amazing.

All in all, it was a good year and I crossed 6 things off my To-Do list! If I had to summarise the year, it will be  that it was a year of not being single, learning to be single, enjoying being single, not being single, boxing, and moving out of my home.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Years 2011 Resolutions

It's time to do this years New Years Resolutions. Not quite as many as last year, as I need to focus more on some important ones.

1) Continue boxing. Improve on weaknesses and become a much better boxer than I am now.

2) Cook something for my 100+ Things To Do Cookbook once a month.

3) Become a better programmer and create a website.

4) Sort out those damn finances.

5) Cycle 50 miles.

6) Meet up with more friends that I don't see as often.

7) Arrange more fun things to do, so I spend less time just sitting in my room.

8) Cross 5 things off the 100+ Things To Do List.

9) Save for a mortgage.