Ferg The Love of God

He Ain’t Heavy

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I didn’t mention this in my initial wedding post but that’s OK because I think it does deserve it’s own blog post. My brother Cory was my Best Man. Now, him and I look almost nothing alike and we share very little in common. But he’s my brother. And we both share the Ferguson Family Wise Ass Sense of Humor. We also both hate vegetables and we can both wiggle our ears.

I was a little nervous about the toast that he’d have to give. Not because I didn’t think he could do it. It was mainly because Monica’s Maid Of Honor, Kara is very…well…outspoken. That nervousness went away quickly once he started his speech. I’m not going to lie. I got a little teary-eyed over what he said. I can admit it. Cory’s speech brought the house down. At the end of the night when people were telling us how much fun they had, they also told us how awesome my brother’s speech was. So, here it is in its entirety:

First off, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cory, and I am James’ younger…but cooler brother. I would also like to thank all of our friends and family who joined us for this special occasion. Thinking back to when James asked me to be his best man, I never knew that getting my butt kicked for all those years would amount to this. I guess he realizes now that I can beat him up.

If I thought about the memories that James and I share, most of them would end with me getting hurt in some way. A broken arm, a bloody head..you get the picture. I will say this though; the figure four leg lock really does hurt no matter what they say about wrestling being fake. I would like to state that the friendship between James and I really started the day he moved out for college…coincidence? I
think not. My mom and dad are also glad that he moved out of his Marilyn Manson phase, Purple hair wouldn’t go well with that suit.

As you may know, James and Monica met at Eckerds. James in a way was Monica’s boss, I don’t know if that means anything. Their love filled the halls of Scudder and they became an item. I didn’t think there was a woman strong enough to deal with James’ stubbornness and sense of humor. As their relationship continued, we all became sick to our stomachs with the amount of time the 2 of them used the word hun, hun do you like this? Whatever you want hun, ok hun, hun I love you! Ughhhh.

Mom and Dad, I would like to say that you did one hell of a job raising a fine young man, and you did a pretty good job on James also. Mr. and Mrs. Stillwell, thank you for giving my brother the opportunity to marry such a nice and beautiful woman.

In closing, not everyone can find true love. The definition of love is said to be a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. Well when I look at these two, I believe that James has found love with Monica. And of course I have to make a comic book reference…She is the Jean Gray to his Cyclops, the Mary Jane to his Spiderman, and the Lois Lane to his Clark Kent. James, I love you. Monica, welcome to our crazy crazy family. Congratulations,……….. here’s to your marriage and the start of a
wonderful life together.

What is the Baby Doing in the Apple Pie Exactly?

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Over a year ago I set out to make a music video for a friend’s band. I had filmed them performing a few times and I hoped to put the footage together to make a video. I was toying with iMovie and I figured this would be a good way to learn the ropes a little bit. Unfortunately said band, the Neon Gloworms, mostly performed in dark clubs and bars which made them very hard to pick up on film. After several months I got enough footage to piece something together. I also set out to film a bit of a story of some sort to cut into the film. The end result is below. Here’s “Apple Pie” by the Neon Gloworms.

The video stars my wife Monica and three baby dolls that were graciously donated to the project by my sister Christa. When asked if I could take the dolls her response was “I want nothing to do with those.” The large doll (Ocean Baby) has now been adopted by my mother-in-law.

I learned a lot in iMovie while making this but I think I just scraped the surface. I want to try out Final Cut as well but every time I open that program I’m intimidated by the vast amount of buttons. I’ll have to find another project first.

The Old Ball and Chain

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So I got married. Yup. That happened. On October 10th 2010 Monica and I tied the knot. We’ve been together for 6.5 years and now we’re officially man and wife. Honestly, all the stress and anxiety and effort I put into keeping Monica calm for the past two years or so while she was planning and working diligently to make the wedding happen paid off. It was a really great time. I don’t know how else to break this down so here’s some thoughts.

-There was no pressure leading up to the ceremony. We saw each other about 3 hours beforehand to take pictures. After that we literally hung out in the parking lot near the ceremony location (which was at the same place that the reception was being held) and greeted our guests casually as they arrived. It was awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone getting married. It took all of the pressure and anxiety away. It was just fun and casual.

-The ceremony was really fun. We hired a judge from the town to act as the officiant. The guy was 69 years old and knew his stuff but he was fun and made sure the whole thing went flawlessly and wasn’t boring. We wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with one another until that day. Here’s mine:

I think I’ve loved you ever since I found out that we shared the same favorite Ninja Turtle and Ghostbuster (Raphael and Egon respectively).

Since then I have just continued to fall deeper and deeper in love with you.

I love that you can make me laugh even if you don’t know why.

I love that I can have a long discussion with you about a variety of different topics including the zombie apocalypse which you are incredibly prepared for.

There’s even a small part of me that loves it when you talk through movies. That part is very very small though.

I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with you and raising truly awesome kids with you. I love you.

Here’s Monica’s:

James,
You know I’m the realist, and you’re the romantic, which is why we fell in love.
So I’ll stay simple:
I promise to love you, even when you steal the sheets at night.
I promise to be truthful with you, especially if I have to prove you wrong.
I promise to support you in your endeavors, even if it’s only to achieve platinum before Doug.
I promise to be faithful to you, cause we’re too darn pretty for other people.
I promise to take care of you, and provide you with orange juice when you are sick.
I promise to keep my movie commentary down, but I secretly hope you’ll get used to it.
I promise to call you out on your epic fails, especially if we’re in public.
I promise to teach our children the difference between zombies and superheros.
I promise to keep you laughing, even if I don’t get why you think I’m funny.
And I promise to laugh at you, during all your times of great stupidity.
You are my better half, my best friend, and my knight in a red Hyandai.
I love you. Infinity times infinity to the infinite power.

Again, we did not share our vows beforehand but yet we had some cool overlaps. A couple weeks later we were talking to somebody and told him about our vows. He said “Wait, you guys had zombies in your wedding vows? That’s awesome!” Yes, it is.

Photo Credit: Kushal Pandey


-We had a dance. We didn’t have a traditional dance (aka The High School Sway as Monica calls it). We had a choreographed dance number. Fortunately for me, my close friend and “sister” Dara is a very talented choreographer. She has to be in order to make me look good on the dance floor. Our dance was done to “Such Great Heights.” The first half of the song was the slow version by Iron & Wine while the second half was the beat-filled version by The Postal Service. Want to see the dance? Well, the best I can do is a shotty webcam video, but I do have a video. See, I had meant to give my camera to Dara to film the dance but I forgot. The camera resided in my coat pocket for the whole day. Fortunately though I had set up my laptop on our head table to stream the wedding reception. Yes, I had my entire reception streamed online. I’m that much of a nerd. It also recorded though. Go here and skip to the 20 minute mark. That’s our introduction and dance. I just wish it didn’t skip around like it does a few times.

Photo Credit: Kushal Pandey

-We actually had a great time at the reception. I’m not a big party guy. I don’t like people. This was a reception filled with 125 of my friends and family and I had a blast. Aside from our first dance, I was on the dance floor a few times. This was surprising even to me. Halfway through the night Monica said “This is a lot of fun. We should do this every year.” I would agree if it didn’t cost that much to throw a big party like that. Plus we stayed away from the stupid cliche party songs like YMCA and the Macarena. We had fun songs and the DJ also played a song by our friends, Neon Gloworms which was super awesome.

Seriously, my family gets down.

Photo Credit: Kushal Pandey

All in all, we had a great wedding. Monica didn’t freak out about anything, even when some distant cousins showed up in jeans. She had a great time. I had a great time. My friends and family had a great time. The DJ, photographer and officiant were all amazing. The staff at the reception place were all extremely helpful and willing to do everything we asked including help set up my laptop and serve Monica’s Dad a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a gag. My only regret was the camera for the first dance.

Now I get to stop saying the word “fiancee” which I absolutely hated. Seriously, I felt like a total douchebag every time I said “fiancee.” Now I can say “wife” and it just rolls off the tongue. “My wife called you a homosexual.” “My wife is prepared for the zombie apocalypse.” “My wife is pretty awesome.”

More to come on the honeymoon and some other updates since I haven’t written in this thing in over a month. Also, my wife has kindly collected more wedding pictures here.

My Job Can Be Pretty Cool

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I believe I’ve mentioned before that my job has its perks. I get invited to things like baseball games or private concerts in the city and I get knick-knacks like flash drives and notebooks. This past week has been extra cool though. A couple weeks ago my boss picked up a few iPads in an effort to get us better acquainted with the devices and learn about this stuff. Last night I got to take one of them home and play around with it.

The iPad is an interesting device and after having it for a few hours I still don’t know what I would do with one if I owned it. I don’t read magazines and I have a laptop so browsing isn’t really my thing. The comic book apps were interesting but I don’t think I’d replace the physical books for digital copies. There’s a lot more they can do with those apps too but they just haven’t brought them out yet in my opinion. Aside from that, Monica and I played a Bejeweled-like game for about an hour together. She had one half of the screen and I had another. That was fun.

Then there was today. I was taken out to lunch and I “didn’t have a say in the matter.” That certainly beats the Hot Pocket I had planned on eating. After lunch, I’m escorted into the conference room where most of the people I work with have congregated. There’s cake and cookies and a very large bag on the table. It was a Man Shower. I’ve seen baby showers and bridal showers and birthday parties at work but I haven’t seen a Man Bridal Shower. I was flattered. I seriously had not expected something like this and certainly not this big.

That big bag contained something from our wedding registry, specifically an Xbox 360. I had joked about this on several occasions but didn’t think anyone would get it for us, but yet here it was.

Now I need to come up with a GamerTag. “JamesFerguson” is already taken so that’s out. Any other suggestions?

No, Seriously, This is Our Year. We Mean it This Time.

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It’s no secret that I work in advertising, specifically in digital advertising. This week was Advertising Week in New York City and to start everything off, the IAB held their annual two day MIXX conference. This is the biggest conference of the industry with over 2,000 people registered to attend. I was one of those people.

I’ve been to a number of these conferences over the past year and I think I’m about conferenced out at this point. The topics have ranged from mobile to video to social media to the Internet business in general. I’ve realized now that they all say the same thing when you get right down to it: This is the year. They’ve said it several years in a row, but this is the year of digital. Recently it’s been “This is the year of mobile” as well but basically all the people that work in digital advertising keep looking for the billions of dollars that are spent in Television to make its way over to the Internet. It has been trickling in over the years but it hasn’t made the big jump that everyone thinks it’s going to make. I hate to break it to them, but it’s probably going to be a while.

The money that’s spent in TV has been there for decades. Does anyone think that in the span of just a few years that all these old-fashioned ad buyers are just going to move all that money over to the web? There are too many people that would suddenly be out of a job if that happened. Despite the fact that the technology is moving at break-neck speeds, the ad dollars are going to take some time to catch up. We can keep hoping though.

After the conference, I took an inventory of the swag I picked up. Like most of the IAB events, messenger bags were available to pick up. This is fortunate for me because my current one is definitely on its way out. This bag was filled with one sheeters from various presenters as well as little knick-knacks. I had some hand sanitizer, a luggage tag, a flash drive (this is probably my 10th one in the past few months so if anyone wants one, let me know), and the oddest item: a disposable camera. This one caught me offguard. Here I was at a conference all about digital media, discussing all these new technologies with people that have cameras in their phones and someone thought it was a good idea to give out a disposable camera? Really?

I also received this…thing from Navteq. I have no idea what it is. If anyone can help me out here, I would appreciate it because I have a few co-workers that have asked me about it too and I have no answer for them.

Don’t You Forget About Me Unless You’re the Jock

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Even though I own a lot of DVDs, there are several movies that I haven’t seen. These range in quality from “classics” like The Abyss and Deliverance to crap like Evan Almighty. For whatever reason I just haven’t seen them. For the longest time, one of those movies was The Breakfast Club. When this came out during conversation, people would always freak out like I just told them they’re adopted and their real parents were Superman and a rock. I fixed this situation this week.

Some time ago, Kevin Smith posted an announcement of sorts on his Twitter page. He would be moderated a panel of the cast from The Breakfast Club at the 25th Anniversary showing of the film at the Film Society at Lincoln Center in NYC. I bought my tickets immediately. Then I had to wait for about a month.

Finally, the day arrived. On Monday Monica and I trekked down to the city. The showing was supposed to begin at 7 PM, but we couldn’t pick up our tickets until 6. The tickets were general admission so instead of going out to get a bite to eat and then returning, we hung out and got seats right away. Then we waited some more amid the crowd of people that f-ing loved John Hughes. Seriously, these people were insane about these movies. It was rather refreshing to be surrounded by such a fanbase of people that cared so much about this filmmaker and specifically this film. The only comparable experience was when I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show last year.

After what felt like forever, the show started up. There was a brief introduction from people from the Film Society and then the show began. This was the first time watching The Breakfast Club. I both loved and hated this experience. As I mentioned, the crowd loved this film. As a result, they laughed and cheered at almost every other line thus making the rest of the movie tough to hear. The film itself was great. I really liked it although I think I would have dug it more had I seen it when I was a teenager. It’s just one of those things that I would have appreciated a lot more if I had seen it in that time of my life just like The Goonies which I saw when I was 20.

Once the movie wrapped up, Kevin Smith came on stage. First off, the guy is big. I’ve been listening to SModcasts and he’s said he’s gained weight, but damn. He is big. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, Smith owns it on stage and he’s still just as hilarious. He introduced the cast of the film…except for Emilio Estevez. For some reason he wasn’t in attendance. When asked, the reasons given ranged from “He’s making Mighty Ducks 5” to “He got fat.” Smith definitely loves The Breakfast Club, so he was in total fanboy mode asking the casts a variety of questions. There was some interesting trivia that was tossed out too. Apparently the guy that played the janitor didn’t know that Martin Sheen was Emilio’s dad.

Also, did something happen to Judd Nelson? He had this very stilted way of speaking where he would pause after every other word.

Also, Also, Molly Ringwald is pretty hot.

Read What I Think About Books With Pictures

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So a few months ago I asked my buddy Stewie about HorrorTalk, the site he writes for. They put up a bunch of Horror movie and book reviews, but they didn’t have any comics. I offered to write some comic reviews and after a bit I was promoted to staff, writing more reviews. I’ve been alternating my trade paperback readings, doing one for my own personal reading and then one for HorrorTalk. Granted, they’re all for me because they’re my books that I own but Spider-Man is not a Horror book.

Anyway, my reviews are all up on HorrorTalk and all the comic book ones can be found here. I did a book review for Sharp Teeth too. Now with a few reviews under my belt of stuff I already owned, I’ve been getting more involved in the reviews for other stuff. My first review copy of a book arrived today and I am really looking forward to reading it.

It’s called Breaking News: An Autozombiography.

Set in Worthing on the south coast of England, the 300-page novel – which has been four years in the writing – tells the tale of two zombie film-fans who already know what to do in the event of such an outbreak. They know what to arm themselves with and how to survive, but everyone else seems a little preoccupied! They seek shelter atop an ancient Iron Age hill fort on the West Sussex Downs and are soon joined by friends and enemies alike.

Sounds cool, right? I’m going to read this for HorrorTalk and then give it to Monica to read because she’s been planning how to survive the zombie apocalypse in our apartment building for some time. Oh, and I’m marrying her in a month.

Also, I still need to write my bio for HorrorTalk. I’m not really sure to write yet.

I Accept This Challenge…From Myself

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So here’s the deal. I buy stuff. I buy stuff a lot. I usually spend between $100 and $200 on stuff each paycheck. This ranges from DVDs & Blu Rays to Books / Comics to Video Games. I’ve been trying to cut down a little bit and give myself an allowance of sorts. Today I thought about it and decided that I would give myself a challenge. What if I tried to avoid buying anything (aside from essentials like food and bills and whatnot) until my wedding day? I’m getting married on October 10th. 10/10/10. That’s about six weeks from now. Can I last six weeks resisting any sales that I may see along the way?

I think I’ll have one exception to this challenge though. If I get anything for free then that’s OK. Anything I may win from a contest is fair game. I’m currently torn on SwapaDVD though. I’m still going to be trading DVDs through the site and as a result I’ll be getting credits. These are of no cost to me so they technically fall into the “free” territory. I have a wishlist on the site and it’s set up to automatically request anything that comes in stock on that list. Should I turn this feature off to avoid getting DVDs from here too? I’m not paying for any DVDs that may come out of there as a result since it’s a trading marketplace kind of thing.

Aside from that, I’m going to hopefully tackle this challenge. It will give me six weeks to catch up on some of the media that’s in my backlog before the wedding. Then I can go back to my regularly scheduled habits, hopefully with a budget in mind.

The Dark Knight’s Babe Magnet

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There’s a reason that I try to bring my camera with me wherever I go. If I spot something interesting, I can take a quick snapshot and share it with everyone here. A few weeks ago I was driving home from work when I was behind a black Corvette at a stop light. When I got closer I got a better look at the license plate.

Yes, that says “BAT VET.” I bet that guy gets tons of ass.

James’ Adventure to the Redneck Pep Boys of Maryland

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As I mentioned earlier, my Check Engine light came on on the way down to Maryland. It had come on about a month or two months ago and I had the front O2 sensor replaced. I was warned at that time that the catalytic converter could be damaged and to keep an eye on the light. Sure enough, it came on during the trip. I wanted to be on the safe side so I brought it to a Pep Boys to have it checked out and to make sure that I could drive the car the 200 miles or so home.

I’ve never been to a Pep Boys before but the ones I’ve seen have appeared to be somewhat bright and clean. The one near the hotel though was dirty, old, and disgusting. I get there just before they open and walk back to the service section. I’m the second one on line but there’s no one to help us yet. While we’re waiting for someone to come by, another guy and an old lady show up to get stuff for their cars. Finally this guy shows up and takes care of the first woman. He was expecting someone else to be in to take care of her but that guy isn’t here and she’ll have to come back tomorrow.

I’m about to talk to the service rep when the little old lady hops up and starts going on about opening an account and a busted oil pan and all this nonsense. The rep had no idea what she was talking about but after she was rattling on for a couple minutes I think I figured it out. I chime in that I think she thinks she needs to open a credit card account in order to get her car serviced. I explain to her that she doesn’t need to do that and can instead just bring the car in and they’ll fix it. She asks “Well, how am I going to pay for it then?” and I tell her she can use cash or another credit card and this appears to boggle her feeble old mind. She’s sent up front to look for a credit application.

Finally, I get help. The guy takes me to the garage area and asks a technician to find out what’s up with my check engine light. I had hope I would get the other technician, but I got the shady looking hillbilly I saw come in earlier. This guy was stick-thin, had grey hair and I think a crazy eye. Plus he talked like he just came up from Alabama or something.

I pull my car around and “Simon” goes to work. I explain the situation and how I just want to make sure that the car is safe to drive home. He says (and I quote), “You know you can just take the train back to New York. I did that once. I took the train all the way to Madison Square Garden. Those trains go wicked fast.” I am speechless at this. I try to make small talk with people in the service industry or at least joke around with them. I’m powerless against someone like Simon. He doesn’t get my jokes and he weirds me out a little bit.

It seems the problem the same thing that set the light off last time: a catalytic converter inefficiency. They turn the light off and I’m given the OK to head home with no charge. I head out of there as fast as I can, away from this slightly ghetto area of Maryland and into a somewhat less ghetto part.

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