Monday, July 28, 2008

Meet Bernard Fernard!

This is Bernard Fernard, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. He's the official Travel Munkee of the Ace/Marisa relationship.

Bernard first came into our lives during last year's trip to the Bay Area, when he followed us home from the Napa Valley.

He majored in tree climbing at a special Munkee school in Asia, then traveled as far as the West Coast, where he chased our rental car and jumped on top. We tried to convince him to stay with his friends in California, but he liked us so much, he followed us to the airport, where he snuck into M's bag after passing successfully through security.

Anyway, while Mookie J. Monkey, blog mascot, guards our house with Butterscotch Bear, Bernard will be accompanying us back to the West Coast.

So, if we get the chance to blog at all from the road, don't freak out if you see some pictures with Bernard Fernard sneaking into the corner.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A tag before the 11th hour

I've been tagged.

To quote my tagger, Ms. jin:

As always, I can't simply copy. I must put my own spin on it. I encourage those I tag at the end to do the same.

It started as "5 famous people you're allowed to sleep with."

Jin made it "5 famous Peeps and the Pastries I'd eat off of with them."

As I am a) getting married in a week; and b) a straight guy (the ladies focused on the studs, eh?), I'm going to put an even different spin on it.

"5 famous people I'd have as groomsmen"

(And unlike my real groomspeople, whom I love dearly, there are no women in this group, because let's face it, I can't be marrying my beloved while pondering Jessica Biel in a black dress.)

Ben Affleck, the movie star who has made some of the best cheesy action films despite some of the least talent in the world. Not since Ron Popeil has a man achieved so much primarily on the strength of good hair. Why him? Because he's just that damn smooth.

Michael Biehn, the baddest man on the planet and famed action star. Besides, it's the only way I'll see him in August, since I'm missing his appearance at Horrorfind. Why him? Didn't I just say he's the baddest man on the planet?

Harrison Ford, the legend, and my favorite actor of all time. Why him? Because he's Han Solo and Indiana Jones, for crying out loud!

Barry Melrose, the new coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the former coach of the Los Angeles Kings (where, in one of my favorite all time media guide covers, he posed with GM Nick Beverly at the corner of... Melrose Avenue and Beverly Drive) and one of the great hockey analysts. Why him? Well, he gives about a quarter of my guests someone to talk hockey with. Plus, he has a mullet.

Jim Plunkett (on the right), the two-time Super Bowl champion and my all-time favorite member of the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. Why him? Because he's famous. Because he's my favorite Raider. Because he owns a beer distributorship.

So, there you have it. Five famous folks I'd love to have grace my wedding, even if I've already spent way too much on it, and they're like $70 a plate.

Anyway, speaking of weddings, I'm too darn busy to chase anyone down and tag. So if you're marrying me, in my wedding, coming to my wedding, can't get enough of reading about my wedding or are sick and darn tired of hearing about my wedding, consider yourself tagged. I have a gift bag to stuff, or something.

By the way, anyone notice I found pictures of all five of my guys in suits?

Well, Miss Biel cleans up pretty nice, too:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An open letter to...

... The folks sitting at my table at a recent wedding I attended...

I've got to hand it to you: I have never seen anyone ask for a doggie bag at a wedding before.

Much less one for each course.

Much less tell the waiters the people who'd left the wedding were still there, so you could wrap up their desserts.

I should've taken a picture. Then I could've put it in the dictionary under "tacky."

Let me repeat, for those whose jaws are slacked in disbelief (much like mine at the wedding):

• They got a box for their appetizers they didn't finish.

• They got a box for their main courses, too.

• They tossed in their desserts.

• Then lied, so more desserts would be brought to the table.

• Then tossed them into the boxes, too.

Well-dressed, slightly wrong side of middle-aged people.

Yeah, we on the other side of the table, we were snickering at you.

Although I'll say this: At my wedding, since we're picking up the tab, for the love of munkee, if you don't finish your food, get it boxed and take it home. Every crumb. To paraphrase the words of Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, "We're paying for it. You eat it!"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another movie I'll be shilling - Watch more free videos

Three words for you:




Oh, yeah, and a fourth:


That's right. The producers of "Ninjas Vs. Zombies" have cast yours truly... as himself.

Well, as a character that looks suspiciously like me, shares at least a last name, and lends some Asian flavor - plus a couple of funny faces - to some combat-training sequences.

That's right. Movie No. 2 under my belt. Let's hope my scenes don't end up on the cutting-room floor in this one.

Do I live through this blood-soaked romp? Well, you'll have to wait and see, now won't you?

If you're wondering, the director is Justin Timpane, the fabulous star of "Dead Hunt" and the subject of my very first post.

As they say in the news biz, further bulletins as events warrant.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bend it like bachelors...

I can die complete. I have seen Beckham play.

Yes, for my bachelor party, my best man and best friend took the lot of us to see the Red Bull N.Y. vs. L.A. Galaxy game up in the Meadowlands.

Terrific game, even if the Red Bulls choked at the end - one fan near us was so disgusted, he ripped off his jersey and flung it over the railing into the lower deck.

Donovan scored the game-tying goal in the 92nd minute/stoppage time, then rang one off the post in the 93rd and final minute.

Beckham bent a free kick in the first half that a member of the wall actually headed away.

Rojas, who signed Thursday, racked up two assists and whiffed on an open net on Saturday.

I heartily recommend MLS to any soccer fan and really, any sports fan looking for a good time.

We had a big ol' meat lunch, tailgated a bit - Cap'n'Coke and hot sun do not mix - took in the game, then tailgated some more. Then a bit of evening-type entertainment, and voila, my single, hedonistic days are at an end. We'll skip the gory details. Suffice it to say no one left unhappy or unentertained.

Ten days, 13.5 hours to the wedding.

More posts, as promised, to come.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Warn notice!

A "warn notice" is a business term involving a company making public upcoming facility closings and/or layoffs, due to a federal law.

Today, here, it's not so much one of those as just a catchy term (punning on the just-debuted for Season 2 Burn Notice?) to warn you that I've got some real posts coming.

When I have time. Which, 19 days to the wedding, isn't that often.

But, before too long, and hopefully before the wedding, you'll see:

• A post on the movie I am involved in.
• A survey I got tagged for.
• And a small rant on some people I encountered at a wedding recently.

Life on the Rim... it's fan-tastic!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The very definition of frustration

I had a dream last night.

In my dream, I came up with a pretty good little short story, or fragment thereof.

As I've said many times, I'm a very momentum-based writer.

The problem was, in my dream, I couldn't write the story down. No matter what I tried - pen and paper, getting a hold of a computer - I kept getting interrupted.

So there I was, roaming the streets, reciting this fragment rhythmically to myself. The whole thing was done, and I was reciting it over and over again.

Only, I never got the chance to set it down.

I was confounded by friends who couldn't lend me their computers, by reporters with questions for their copy editor, you name it.

Meanwhile, I could tell I was drifting closer and closer to waking up, and getting more and more desperate.

Of course, eventually, I woke up. And now I can't remember more than bits and pieces, the rhythmic sing-song of the piece. But not the actual words, nor in the right order.

As I drifted awake, Marisa said something - probably the time or something - and I distinctly remember muttering under my breath as I came awake, "Great, now she's talking to me."

It's sheer agony. I tried so hard - in my subconscious - to remember this piece, which I swear was genuinely full of potential, and of course I can't put it together now that I actually can sit in front of my computer, in relative peace, and write it down.

I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "Everybody just shut up and leave me alone!"

But, since I can't remember what I so badly wanted to write when everybody shut up and left me alone, I'm writing this instead.

And thinking of the eight hours I get to spend on the road today, alone in the peace and quiet, with this stupid little jaunty tune in my head, trying to remember the damn words.


Editor's note: I do have a few more blogs for you - haven't forgotten them in the recesses of my mind. Just been busy. Watch for them sooner or later. Probably later.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A random thought

I know, I've been very busy lately. It's crunch time in Wedding World.

But today, as we near our Independence Day, I had a sort of random thought, so I figured I'd share - tell me if you agree or think I'm a nut.

The other day at the office, I saw some book full of birthday wishes for George W. Bush - it was an "art" project, so the letters were from ordinary folks, some supportive, some not.

And I was just remembering back to how, when Dubya ran back in 2000, he and his supporters talked a lot about how he was a man of the people, a regular Joe, an everyman. The right man for the White House, evidently, after years of Clinton/Gore... I don't know what, snobbery, or what have you.

These days, it's been popular in the '08 race to call Barack Obama an "elitist." To claim he's out of touch with regular folks, or something.

Let me ask you: Do we really want eight more years of an "average" guy like Dubya running the country?

I don't know about you, but I really don't want, and never wanted, an "ordinary" man running the country.

I want an extraordinary man - or woman - in the White House.

President of the United States is not a job for the weak, or the dumb, or the foolish. For the average. Much less the below-average.

President of the United States is a job for a man - or woman - of intelligence, wisdom, education...

In short, the kind of person who's probably too smart to get into national politics.

But really. When did being part of the nation's elite - intellectually, charismatically, educationally - become a reason to disqualify someone from taking on what is probably the single most important job in the world?

(Outside of the head coaching job for the Oakland Raiders, of course.)

I'm thinking that disqualification probably occurred somewhere around the time, as one of those letter writers in the book put it, when lying about sex became worse than lying about war.

If not then, then definitely when, as Brad Whitford said on Bill Maher's show, getting shot in the ass three times in Vietnam became less manly than being a male cheerleader.

While I'm on a rare political rant, let me add one more topic:

No, it wasn't very politically savvy of Gen. Wesley Clark to question whether John McCain's service in Vietnam qualified him to be president or not.

But that doesn't mean he's wrong. (In fairness, doesn't mean he's right, either.)

McCain's courage is unquestionable. His service to his country is admirable. His survival of years as a POW is remarkable.

You all know how I feel about Vietnam veterans, and American troops in general.

But when we're debating what qualifies anyone to be the most powerful man in the world, besides owning the Oakland Raiders, anything should be opinion to discussion.

McCain was a combat aviator in time of war.

That single fact alone probably elevates his ability to lead the nation above 95% of the population.

But does it make him the single most qualified person? Not on its own. There are many men and women who have similar military qualifications.

McCain was a POW who never broke under years of strain.

That probably elevates his ability to lead the nation above 98% of the population.

But again, does it make him the single most qualified person? Not on its own.

Wesley Clark, if looked at in a non-soundbite way, has a valid point. Serving as a junior officer in a time of war does not necessarily, on its own, make you a leader of men.

It makes you a hero.

But not every hero is fit to be president. And it does the nation a disservice for anyone to wrap themselves in the flag as a platform unto itself.

To McCain's credit, I don't believe he's done that.

But the whole controversy is one more sign that the political process itself is a vicious cycle that often keeps us from putting the best candidates in the best position to succeed, often keeps us from focusing on the real issues rather than the soundbites, the substance rather than the style.

We'll never, to use a military slogan, be all we can be, as a nation, if people's instinct is to rant over one sentence in a paragraph worth of remarks, and react in a knee-jerk, partisan way, rather than holding an intelligent discourse on the issue.

All right, enough ranting for now. Talk amongst yourselves. Share your opinions in the comments. Maybe I'm wrong. But at least I've (hopefully) got you talking.