Once upon a time, my brother Rob met a very tall young man from far away California who read the poems of Pablo Neruda in Spanish, played the electric guitar, talked a blue streak, and went to mass on a regular basis.
Hmmn, thought Rob. I know a tall harp playing fast talking girl that this guy might want to meet.
And so, flagrantly violating the Guy Code, Rob introduced his new friend to his big sister… and the rest was history.
Obviously, Rob approved of this tall young man. In fact all five of my brothers approve of my now husband far more than they approve of me. But that didn’t mean that they went entirely easy on him.
Oh, testosterone. It’s a strange and potent thing. It was definitely testosterone that prompted my husband-to-be to challenge my oldest brother Gabe, who had been bodybuilding as a hobby for years, to a wrestling match at his bachelor party two nights before our wedding. To prepare for this epic and dangerous match, my future husband began to dabble in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a couple months before the wedding arrived. Now, two months of jiu jitsu is not really ample preparation for a slender musician to grapple with a testosterone crazed former bar brawler with the physique of a young ox, but somehow he made it through the fight alive, though narrowly escaping with both eyes, as Gabe wasn’t adequately prepared for the relatively civilized world of MMA, where eye gouging is not allowed. In the end, my now husband survived the fight, got the girl, and went on to pursue a serious study of Jiu Jitsu, earning his blue belt last year.
and ensuring that his brother-in-laws now have no interest in grappling with him, ever again. That’s ok. He’s got lots of other guys to grapple with.
The reason I’m telling you this story today is that my husband is not only a great husband, father, musician, teacher and blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu- he’s also a talented aspiring film-maker, and today marks the debut of his recent short film about a local MMA fighter named Mark Cherico. Mixed martial arts may not be your favorite subject in the world, and it’s certainly not mine, but I found this piece beautiful and strangely engrossing. It’s also a great homage to the Italian neighborhood of Bloomfield, where I spend much of my time at an amazing dance studio. If you’ve got 8 minutes to spare, do yourself a favor and watch Casey’s debut film. You won’t regret it. Without further ado, here is the link: