The 'Where My Munny At?' Post

Last week on 'The Munny Project'. Just a little update on how my Munny is progressing; I decided that Mumbo was going to be the model I was shooting for. Getting the Mumbo look mixed with the Munny style was a little tricky, but I am happy with where the features lie. I have one coat of paint down in most places, two in a few others. Still not done with the face, and I’ve got to sculpt the feathers, staff and mask protrusions, that will all come later I think. Naomi and Dean got hooked on the idea of making customs too when they were here, and each took home a couple to work on. I look forward to seeing their results. More to come when Mumbo is closer to completion.


The Anheuser-Busch Post

Anheuser-Busch owns Sea World and flexes the sponsorship by stocking the place with Bud every corner you turn, having Clydesdale horses running about for photo ops and a Brewmaster’s Club set up in the back of the park. If you book ahead of time you get a personalized tasting of various Anheuser-Busch brews complete with a demonstration, food platter and some interactive drinking with an ‘expert’. Determined to be a quasi-beer-aficionado as usual, I booked myself in and had a blast listening about the different types of beer and what food pairings work best with which drinks. Admittedly we were drinking Bud and its variations for the most part, but there where a few interesting samples (as well as a guest appearance from Florida’s own; Landshark Lager). Plus the guy really knew what he was talking about. Outside they had a Bud gift shop selling everything a drunkard could ever want, as well as a free beer-bar where you can go up and sample some seasonal brews to sip on while you wandered the park. Pretty cool stuff. No Labatt or Old Dominion brewery tour, but a fun experience, if not a more commercialized attempt.

The Sea World Post

This past weekend GMU’s Naomi and Dean where down visiting Orlando as a surprise, birthday present trip for Naomi. While they were here we got in some trips to Downtown Disney, Citywalk a few shopping areas and Sea World. I had only been to Sea World once before (about 11 years ago) so I was keen to back and see what I’ve missed. They're running a special currently where if you buy a single day pass as a Florida resident, you can go back all year through December 31st. I took them up on the offer needless to say. The park was a lot of fun, we caught a lot of shows due to Dean’s excellent mastery of the park map and show schedule, saw Shamu, all the good stuff. We took a ‘steak break’ halfway through the day and left for Steak and Ale, which was excellent. (RIP Steak & Ale, Vienna). Once we were back in the park we got a few more shows in before a torrential downpour loomed overhead and things started getting cancelled and temporarily shut down. We decided to leave at that point, which I was fine with as it gives me lots to go back for over the course of my annual pass.


The Benoit Family Post

Chris Benoit, a man I had the pleasure of seeing wrestle mere weeks ago, passed away today in his home in Georgia. He, along with his wife and seven year old son were found dead around 4:00 today. The cause of death has not been released, though the house remains on police surveillance.

I was introduced to Benoit when he came over to WWE as the New Radicals, with Guerreo, Saturn and Malinko, which was shortly after I started watching the show back in high school. Before then all I knew of Benoit was the blocky N64 representation that Eric would kick my ass with when I’d go over there to play games. It didn’t take long for Guerreo and Benoit to become some of my favorite wrestlers, and show up on my bedroom wall in the form of printed off internet shots.

Benoit was a technical master, a man’s man and very deserving of all he accomplished in the WWE. I don’t know anymore than the initial statement at this point, but the fact that his wife and young son were also taken is really saddening. I dread hearing the details.. seven years old.... I know that Benoit and his family were of faith, and I hope that in their passing they are at peace and that Chris may rejoin his brother in the ring Eddie Guerrero, who also passed untimely in 2005. As selfish as it is to say, I am incredibly pleased that I was able to see Benoit wrestle recently. His match took me back, and had me screaming like a madman every time his hit his signature moves. He lost the match, but clearly was a fan favorite, pausing on the entrance ramp off camera, to an impromptu standing ovation from all the fans in attendance. He represented everything that I loved about the WWE and will be sorely missed. My condolences to his surviving family members and friends. Today is a day the wrestling world will remember for a long time.

UPDATE- June 26th 2007: This whole situation has been really sad for me, for all the obvious reasons. The initial feeling of loss and sadness at a favorite wrestler passing away initially really got to me. Then the announcement that his family has also perished further emphasized the tragedy especially the young boy. Today with the whole story unfurling I am shocked, disgusted and extremely disappointed. Apparently Benoit was not the man I had idolized him as. Part of me wants to hold on to the notion that this is not how it happened, but denial wont make me feel better. This is a disgusting act, one that I’d not attribute to most men, let alone one like Benoit. Apparently I am a bad judge of character as I am left feeling as though he has died twice.


The Knocked Up Post

Last night I had the opportunity to catch Knocked Up with Naomi and Dean. I had expected to miss this one what with all the big hits this summer. Despite the fact that it looked really quirky and interesting. I’m very glad I managed to catch it, as in all honesty this one is a sleeper hit for me and in the running for best movie of the summer (oddly enough).

Seth Rogan stars as Ben, the stoner loser with even more stonery looser friends, who in a wild night out with a very drunk Katherine Heigl, gets the pretty blond pregnant. The mismatched couple decides to keep the baby and make the best attempt they can to make their forced relationship work. Katharine’s character is made to settle in many regards and accept Seth, and Seth finds himself forced to grow up and become the man he needs to be. The movie does a masterful job of characterizing people we all know and putting together a situation that has multiple sympathizes depending on who’s watching it. Jud Apatow has made a even-sided story where in everyone involved has a fair shake and has his/her pluses and minuses made apparent, making those who want to agree with a certain logic the option whilst still keeping the other side of the coin very open and agreeable at the same time.

My only complaint with the film is it falls back to the very base ‘har har stoners are funny when they say stoner stuff’-one-liners and situations a little too much for my liking. And while Seth’s character grows away from the easygoing lifestyle and becomes and respectable father figure by the end of the film, the constant reminder of his motley crew’s addiction gets a little more than repetitive. The constant reminders that ‘casual drugs are cool in moderation and everyone does them so lighten up’- is too persistent for it’s own good and gets fleshed out more than it needs to make the point. That said, Ben’s friends are some of the funniest characters in their own right and really do pull off a convincing posse, providing a lot of laughs. Oh and the scene with the bouncer is classic!!

Knocked up is a terrific take on a tried and true romantic comedy formula with added teeth, extremely well placed characters and an identifiable plot. Very well made and thoroughly enjoyable.


The Munny Project Post

Last weekend I grabbed a my first Munny from Urban outfitters, and I’m really excited about getting to work on a new little project. Munny’s are customizable vinyl figures that artists manipulate, sculpt and paint to become one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Some of the finished products are absolutely amazing and almost indistinguishable from the original sculpt. The whole brand has quite the following going for it, and I have been interested in jumping on the bandwagon for a while now. Each Munny comes a solid color (black white or glow in the dark) and comes with random accessories for artists to either use, modify or discard. Mine’s a white one and came with a set of goggles, a cape, a sword and some sort of stein/bottle). I’m not 100% sure where I want to go with my first design, but I’m thinking Mumbo Jumbo. Any suggestions? I’ll post some in-the-works shots as progress is made.


The Physical Post

Today I went to a local Orlando doctor’s office to get registered as a new patient and get all that stuff I should have sorted out a while ago done pertaining to my insurance. I had a physical while I was there too so they’d have something to put in my folder I suppose. My doctor is quite a nice guy and the chairs I was waiting in allowed me to fall asleep, so all in all I see the place as quite promising. Considering that I had the whole ‘turn your head and cough’ experience I wont say I look forward to going back exactly, but I think the practice as a whole is a good choice. Having never gone to a doctor that wasn’t selected by my parents before it was a bit of an ordeal (finding who accepts what insurance and where all these places are located yada-yada), but I’m a big boy now, and big boys don’t need mom and dad to tell them where to have their reflexes and prostate checked I suppose.


The Damage Inspector Post

Today was the date for my apartment inspection. I received notice a week ago that from 9-5 today I would have no running water, and that starting at 9am all apartments in my building would be inspected for damage. Not too much to be worried about being that I work from 9 to 5 and have very little need for water during my time away from home. However leaving the apartment with Coolio in it is another matter, being that I’m not supposed to have her here… As far as I can tell no one came in. Everything was just as it was left this morning and there was no note to say anyone had entered (which they have left in the past on unexpected visits). Could have been a case of they came, did a half-assed inspection (my room was locked with Coolio inside) and left. Or didn’t come at all. Or came, saw the note on the locked door, and went to go tell the boss. Hopefully I won't be slapped with any fines or upped rent.

The Star Wars Weekend Post

Each weekend this month is a ‘Star Wars Weekend’ at MGM Studios. The park plays host to a lot of Star Wars themed memorabilia, artifacts and celebrities. I had never been in Florida to catch any in the past so I jumped at the chance to go to this weeks event once I found out who the guest celebrities where (Peter Mayhew- Chewbacca, and my personal favorite Jeremy Bullock- Boba Fett). Both were available for a limited number of autographs in various sessions throughout the day. In order to get an audience with each guy you had to wait in a line to get an appointment time, at which point you go back wait in another line and get your autograph. The appointment tickets went at a ‘record pace’ according to a bewildered Disney employee I spoke to when I was announced as the absolute last ticket for Chewbacca. I was lucky enough to run (there was a stampede of nerd and sunburned parents as soon as the park opened) to the Boba line snag a pass then hop over to the Chewy line in time to get the last fast pass.

My sessions weren’t until 4:40 so I had a lot of time to kill in the park. The numerous costumed characters, Q&A sessions, Star Wars presentations and usual MGM rides where more than enough to keep me occupied however. Meeting Jeremy Bullock was fantastic. They guy is a real gentleman, who seems to really care about his fans and was clearly having a great time at the Q&A and when I met him briefly later in the day. Peter Mayhew on the other hand didn’t give off the same vibe, and seemed like he really didn’t want to be there. He reportedly was leaving his autograph sessions early as well which scared me being the last in line, and even went as far to correct a 14 year old boy who got his name wrong when asking a question during the Q&A. As you can tell from the picture I got with the guy, he wasn’t nearly as enthused about it as I was. All in all it was an awesome experience if not a strange one (I had never been to a theme park by myself before), but I had a blast getting to meet my all-time favorite Star Wars characters, trying to pose with some very uncooperative Stormtroopers (they marched past people and told you to “Move along” when you tried for a shot) and even got checked out by Zam Wessel. Fun times, I’ll definitely go back. After the park I was invited back to Carrie’s for some night swimming and leftovers with Cromar which was nice (got my sunglasses back as well!)

Nerdy Adventures of Star Wars boy!:
Zam Stormtroopers Jango Vader Shak’Ti


The Ocean's 13 Post

I am a huge fan of heist films, and the first Ocean’s (circa Clooney) is one of my favorites. While this entry was entertaining and very satisfying I can’t claim that it exceeds the original. It completely dominates the 2nd attempt, but lets face it you can put a search in on YouTube for “dog takes shit” and accomplish that*.

Each of the teammates are fully fleshed out this time around versus sticking half on the back burner, and the movie really benefits from it. Caan and Affleck’s brotherly bickering, the Asian guys Wookie-eske foreign quips and Basher’s brief stint as the motocross daredevil all add icing onto of the Clooney/Pitt/Damon centered plot. Even Bernie Mack was tolerable, but I’ll never admit that once I realize I’ve said it. Where there thirteen of them this time considering that the ladies were absent from the crew? (It’s not their fight apparently, and are thus not included in this Oceanic outing).

Newcomers to the series fit in well without feeling forced based on star power as seen in the 2nd film, especially Eddie Izzard’s small but poignant role as Roman the ‘expert’. Ellen Barkin does wonders for the film’s notable lack of female touch (and in my opinion looks better doing it that Roberts and Zeta-Jones did last time) and Al Pacino naturally does a terrific job at being a believable badguy if not a declawed one.

I have to say revenge can be a terrific motivator and a great movie plot, however 13’s attempt at motivating the crew back into action is lukewarm and fails to establish Al Pacino was a badguy’s badguy. Not wanting to spoil anything for anyone planning on seeing it; he basically screws a money hungry Elliot Gould by buying out his share of a casino. This startles Elliot so much that he has a heart attack/stroke or whatever. Oh no! The only way he’ll pull through is if he has something to live for. You know what that might be? Revenge…A dish apparently best served slowly over 2 hours! While the reason is less than stellar the heist, the characters, the interactions and the twists are classic Ocean and very much worth experiencing. The interactions between Pitt and Clooney showcase how well everything fits together in this film. These guys, though across the board, work together as a team and a believable team at that, which I think is one of the major accomplishments of the films.

*Speaking of YouTube; I realize I’m late to the plate on these but ‘The ‘Bu’ might just beat out Chad Vader for my favorite ‘tube collections check it out at the office sometime.

The Guitar Hero Post

Was invited down to Kissimmee by Sarah from the office to hang out with Neil, Eddie and her along with a bunch of their friends who were in town. Had a good time shooting the shit and attempting to jam on some Guitar Hero on their massive TV. I say attempting because I might just be the worst guitar player ever. Lefty-flip or no, I was awful and could barely hit any notes despite absolute concentration. Ended up playing the damn thing on my lap like a keyboard so the buttons lined up and I still struggled. Also played ‘Ring of Fire’, a group drinking game that I’d not heard of. Being that I had a ways to drive I was exempt from the majority of the penalties, but the game was fun regardless and something I plan on integrating into my own gatherings in the near future. I can see it working well with the guys back up in VA next time I make it up there.


The Uncle-y Post

Last night I headed over to Clermont for dinner with Uncle Cromar and his friend Carrie who are both in town at the moment. It was great too see Cromar again and relax poolside and have a nice chat. Had a lot to catch up on and it was really interesting to hear what they both had to say. Lovely steak dinner a rack of Moosehead didn’t hurt anything either. All in all a great night. Left my sunglasses there so I’ll have to find a away to retrieve them…Or get new sunglasses.


The Shuttle Launch Post

Friday was the shuttle launch for Atlantis. Or was it Atlantic? Or Atlas? While I could look it up I’ll just leave it open ended and live in the mystery. Bruce and I headed to Cocoa Beach to watch the blast off right after work. I have seen one other launch in person but I was too young and bratty to appreciate seeing it when my parents took my years back. Caught the show from the bridge to Cape Canaveral, and it was pretty impressive. We checked out a camera from the tech department and caught it all on tape for later posting. The after shock from the launch was pretty loud and the jets were incredibly bright, though I gotta say the smell was the most influential experience (think clouds of rotten eggs and you’re getting close). The effects on the sky after the launch were pretty impressive, especially when the sun started setting. After the launch we headed to downtown Cocoa to chill at Coconuts and a few other places, and get some food. Traffic was nuts so we opted to stick out the night and wait for all the other shuttle watchers to leave town.


The Smackdown Post

Tuesday Bruce and I headed downtown to the TD Waterhouse (or is it the Amway Arena now?) to catch the taping of Friday Night Smackdown and ECW. Lower section was completely sold out before we got there and all that was left was the nosebleedy-est of nosebleed seats. After entering a street side contest for some floor seats, and promptly not winning, we headed over to the local hotel bar to kill time until the show started. After the first match we headed over and got some scalped tickets from some guys who were looking to get rid of what they didn’t already sell off. Ended up netting some really good lower deck seats for less than the cost of the crap ones. I’ve never attempted to score some cheaper tickets from scalpers before but it definitely worked out in our favor. It was a pretty cool event, and seeing the two rosters compete was an unexpected bonus. I’ve been out of the wrestling loop for a good few years now, and really don’t know half (more than) the wrestlers we saw. I did catch an awesome Chris Benoit match (vs. Edge) which I could totally get behind. And even though he lost, it was a terrific match that had me yelling like an idiot (the luchador mask probably didn’t help that image).


The DeviantART Post

Today I submitted my first work to DeviantART, an online art forum/gallery. While I’m not overly stoked with the piece I stuck up there I am happy with the way it turned out considering it was my first attempt at using the Wacom Tablet for sketching. The picture is of Davy Jones, which should come as no surprise considering the current piratey mood I’ve been in lately. I’m not sure if non-members can view the work posted…but here’s the link to my page there anyway just uncase. Hopefully I’ll have more to show in the near future.