My Pre-Mid Life Crisis

My Pre-Mid Life Crisis

I think im in the grip of a midlife crisis. Thankfully it isn’t the divorce, barely legal girlfriend, new sports car kin, mine costs significantly less. 

In 2007 I found myself at the start of Summer with three things, a full time job that had a high level of commitment, two toddlers as a newly single father and just enough free time between them to have no idea what to do with myself. I was pretty strict on my time with my girls, not greedy about it but I stuck to the agreement my ex and I had come to, it was best for all four of us not to screw around with it constantly. My job had required certain things and I structured the base of my schedule around those and put in the extra hours where I could, I’ll talk about the more in another post though. The few hours of alone time I had hit me in an uncomfortable place. I had been so emersed in work and family for so long I had few friends and the post break up collateral damage to mutual friends had me wary to contact anyone. I had a few people around just not always able to match schedules. This is where my pre-midlife crisis began. I basically did two things, browse through Chapters and drink alone.

It would evolve into my greatest guilty pleasure, perusing the shelves and reading. I would be lying to say I bought something everytime or even most of the time. What I did do was rekindle an old love for comic books. I found the shelf full of familiar titles and logos. I flipped through a few and found the art had names I wasn’t familiar with but I could see where the influences of my old favorites rested. The writing…I was blown away. The evolution out of the 1990’s was astounding, comics had grown with the reader. There were titles aimed at kids, others formatted for the teen range and what blew my mind was a line called Marvel Max, no holds barred adult oriented books. The gritty, violent characters took center stage. Deadpool, The Punisher and Wolverine broke out of the constructs of needing to appeal to a mass audience those of you with Netflix can thank Marvel Max for the story that would become Jessica Jones. Years would go by and I limited myself to the collected stories, 1300 individual issues still boxed and in polyurethane bags sat in my closet while I would sit in the sun and read old favourites and new (to me) adventures.

About two years ago my fiancée discovered an auction near by and from time to time boxes of comics would come up for bid, some nights they went cheap, other nights they did not. I would end up gaining over 6000 more books over the next year or so. That is not a typo, SIX THOUSAND. It took the better part of a year to sort, organize and catalog them before separating the ones I wanted to keep from those I am going to sell (collectors and fans hit me up). Along the way I discovered a company wide story arc was coming to Marvel Comics, they were ending there entire line and embarking on a revamp. The story arc was called Secret Wars and it was fantastic, for several months last year all characters were dropped in new worlds based on popular story arcs from the past and the whole Marvel Universe was shut down from regular continuity. The main title hooked my curiosity so I picked up issue one to see what was going on, from there I got fully sucked in. I followed nine titles through the event and found the stories far more engrossing and well planned than the 1990s. About this time I realized I was pretty screwed, what was a fun Summer diversion was now a hobby again, a recaptured past time of my youth that seemingly grew up too…more likely my midlife crisis on a small scale.

This mini crisis of mine now consists of seven titles where the story has my full attention and some of the stylized art is out side of the stereo typical comic realm which fascinates me. There is a part of me that studies the dynamic and wonders if I could craft a story for some of my old favourites and see my name on a cover. Preteen me would flip out at that possibility. I suppose we’ll see.

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For Really Real

Authors note: This was orginally published under a different blog title on April 10, 2011. The only edits made are to remove defunct website links from former endeavours. These old blogs will be rerun as part of a Throwback Thursday to unify all my work in one place.  I hope you enjoy these. This is an early Cheap Seat Booking. Please note that this is the final piece I wrote for the old account and it was rescued from the purgatory of the drafts file and finished in March 10, 2016

Athletes hate to retire, period.  They are forced for what ever reason to walk away from the thing they love most for a variety of reasons with many many years left for them to live and thrive.  decades for striving for the professional level of the sport they love for free, more often than not paying to play long before anyone pays them anything.  Pro-wrestling is no different.  Now I will argue with anyone about the term sport when applied to Pro-wrestling but that is for later, it is coming to this blog soon, but that is not my point today. 

Monday April 11th 2011 Adam Copeland was forced not only to vacate his World Championship Title in the WWE but to retire.  Now to retire with the World Title around your waist is rare, more so when it is a rare legitimate retirement from Professional wrestling. The sport is based on drama and story telling so any retirement speech is suspect.  The ones that do stick for a while are usually Farve-itis where the retiree backslides and returns to the sport.  Sadly in the case of Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland the legitimacy is all too real. 

In 2003 Edge was forced to have neck fusion surgery just as his career was reaching the main event level.  For over a year he was on the disabled list.  He was able to return and reach the level of main event and WWE Champion.  He was the center of a very real controversy involving his friend and fellow wrestlers on and off camera girl friend and quickly became the most hated man in the industry.  Like any true professional wrestler he adapted and used that hatred to advance further.  The fans wanted to see him beat up, they hated to hear him speak and booed him mercilessly when he did, Edge became a Mega Heel on par with the likes of Andre The Giant, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage, a feat not even Stone Cold Steve Austin could accomplish.  Through it all Edge gave fans tremendous matches. 

Edge made programs (extended feuds with performers) tremendous with his work ethic and elevated himself and his opponents constantly.  He was at such a level in that aspect that he was able to elevate his supporting cast.  Vikki Guerrero was simply the widow of another performer starting out with the company and through Edge was elevated and tutored to a level where she is easily the largest heat (fan distaste) magnet in the WWE today, arguably ever.

As I read this unfinished piece from the archives of my last blog account I am compelled to finish it off and add it to the new account.

Edge was so masterful at being hated even I had cooled in my fandom for him.  It was hard to deny his match prowess and I won’t but his mic work succeed in its task to elicit the desired reaction from me.  I was more willing to see his ass kicked than pay to see him.  After he vanished from the squared circle there was a definite void, the shows lost something they could never get back, like leaving a spice out of a meal, you could substitute others but it would never truly be the same.

He has gone on to be inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame, well deserved, and begin an acting career with a regular role on Haven (love that show), even co-host in the WWE Network original Edge & Christians Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness.  Edge seems to have made the often difficult adjustment to a new career, I applaud him and look forward to more.  Thank you Mr Copeland for your sacrifices for our entertainment.

Fire It Up

Do you smell it? Go outside and take a deep breath, take it in and savour all the things in the air. The fresh cut grass, the sweet smell of warm rain,  the not as pleasant aroma of fertilized gardens and if you are lucky enough to have timed it right the BBQ. Oh the sweet smell of outdoor cooking, it wafts down streets and over fences grabbing us by the nose and lifting us off our feet like a cartoon. Is there any other smell that can change our dinner plans as a neighborhood? Pleasant smell that is.

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I love to BBQ, I’m “that guy” down the block that will stand out in the pouring rain or two feet of snow (not the common occurrence in Vancouver) and grill. As far as I am concerned it is the only way to properly cook hamburgers and steak and the best way to do salmon.

Personally I’m not big on seafood but salmon BBQ’d with skill is fantastic and one of thise regional luxuries us BC folk take for granted. I know I have opened my freezer at times and found 3 or 4 frozen salmon that I just ignore because a few have already hit the BBQ recently. That and the fact that my fish game at the grill is not

as good as it should be.

It’s one thing to grill up a meal for the family but we all know that the true enjoyment of firing up the BBQ is having friends and family over to enjoy it with. I can fill the propane tank all year round and grab a jacket and boots to get a steak right but it’s this weather that adds the magic to it. A back yard fire pit, a patio with drinks, the grill ties it all together and adds just that much more time to be together as guests add their own contributuons to a summer feast. Honestly it just seems easier to get people out and less work to put together. Just last week I sent a few texts and an hour later we had a full yard to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Just like that, fire,  food, friends.

You may be seeing a running theme the last few weeks. I have had the itch to catch up and contact people outside of my regular circle,  that isn’t a slight against my most frequently seen friends but a yearly emergence of my inner social butterfly. I will have the usual suspects around, guitars by the fire, maybe a private karaoke show if the stars align, my goal us to get a few new faces out. I have already mentioned it to a few folks, now it’s just a matter of picking a day and seeing who shows up. This year I have made new friends and reconnected with old ones, a few out there I may need to look up but it shall be done. BYOB and something to share, see you soon.

Cheap Seat Booking: “I’m New”

Cheap Seat Booking: “I’m New”

As a long time wrestling fan I get the question “What’s the best match of all time?” this usually comes directly after a weak comment about the validity of professional wrestling. There is no single answer to that, it’s completely subjective but when asked fans and insiders often site the same performers or matches repeatedly, this doesn’t exactly mean there is a definitive rank but it does create a pool to draw from for new fans or doubters to check out. This week I would like to highlight not only what I consider to be the great match of all time but also matches I consider to be must watch for any new fan.

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Wrestlemania III There are two main categories of professional wrestling match and everything falls on one side or the other until they are divided into smaller subsections. There is the “Spectical Match” and the “Technical Match” Wrestlemania III is the best example of both. In the main event Andre The Giant challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Title, that was the mainstream name, money drawing beast of a story that put over 93,000 people in the Silverdome. That match sucked, sure they talk about the body slam at the end but on the undercard was Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat challenging “The Macho Man” Randy Savage for the WWF Intercontinental Title. It wasn’t that this match had no story or interest from the audience it is still considered to be one of the greatest matches in company history. Savage was nearing his peak as a performer and Steamboat had turned his peak into a tremendously impressive plateau that would last years. Smooth is the only way to discribe it, and coupled with one of the hottest story lines at the time it is the match that remains talked about with reverence today from that card as opposed to just one spectacular feat of strength.

Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn, ECW Hardcore Heaven May 16, 1999 This was the first full ECWmatch I ever saw. I had purchased a compelation DVD and this was the first match. I had heard RVD was the best perfomer in the industry and was froothing at the mouth to see him in action. I was surprised to see such a slow start but once the match got rolling it ran through the gears quickly to get to top speed and only slowed down when Jerry Lynn clearly and inargueably got knocked out on the floor. Today that would have stopped the match and been a news story, in 1999 they stalled a bit and when Jerry was becoming slightly more cohereant they continued to match at full speed for several more minutes. It blew my mind, in all the years I had never seen anything like this match, it wasn’t blood and gore that ECW was infamous for but it wasn’t the clean cut match either. Proper use of additives and psycology blended together for devasting affect.

Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit, Royal Rumble 2003 This may be a difficult one to track down. The two most proficient technical wrestlers in company history had been clashing since early 2000. Spots of pure amateur wrestling seemlessly interwoven with professional technique and story. This time the fans wanted to see Benoit finally capture the WWE Championship, as proved by the reaction from the fans at the end. While both men would continue to have exceptional matches for the next few years this is the masterpiece of their rivalry.

“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho, Wresltemania XIX After an injury forced HBK into a temporary retirement he had returned in the Summer of 2002 with the intent of having one last good match. That match was great, so Fall 2002 there was another, then another in December, soon HBK was once again a regular on WWE TV and having matches that wowed the fans. Chris Jericho was well past “The Jericho Curse” and putting in tremendous work as he headed to his fourth Wrestlmania, with his first Wrestlemania main event a year behind him. The simple story of “Idol vs Upstart” was a no Brainerd for the creative minds. Even during the entrances they told a story of HBK getting all the fan fare and show while Y2J was given very little pomp and circumstance, most of the story was told before the bell, then they put on a match where from my own seat I was screaming for both men at different points and totally engrossed. HBK was truly in top form and Y2J was not only able to hang but put in a career highlight performance. They were by far the best part of that years show, which was not a weak one by any account. Right up to the end the match and story was perfect.

The Undertaker vs Kurt Angle, No Way Out 2006 The greatest WWE superstar of all time vs the olypic gold medal winner. On the surface this match seems like an incompatible mismatch in styles but the key to it is that both men are incredibly gifted with the ability to adapt. While this isn’t the first time they met in the ring it is arguably the best. The Undertakers entrance alone is worth the price of admission and this period of his career he seemed out to prove that the big dog in the yard still had bite to over shadow his bark. Kurt Angle was riding a career plateau much like Ricky Steamboat where he peaked and had yet to find a down turn. The most recent match on my list today and a prime example of how to draw fans in to a ‘bridging show’ (an event between two much larger events) This was the main event of the Pay Per View show between Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, it’s always a tough show to draw interest as the fans are looking forward to the biggest event of the year and the much beloved Royal Rumble, many years it is not much more than a special edition of Monday Night Raw. This match was better than the matches either competitor had at Wrestlemania that year and neght of those matches were bad by any stretch of the imagination.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Iron Man Match Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, Wresltemania XII March 31, 1996
Why: The greatest match in WWE history bar none. That is saying a lot when you consider the library of matches that are listed when any fan or insider is asked. For my money this holds up by a wide margin, the story leading into it and the technical prowess shown by both men far surpasses anything you could throw in the mix. It would be eight more years before the fans would want to see a competitor win as badly as they wanted to see Shawn finally capture the WWF Title and I do not believe there has been a match that had that element as well as the fans also not wanting to see the Champion lose. I don’t mean the typical Cena/Reigns split crowd everyone was torn on who to back. Both guys had run parallel career paths through WWE starting in the Tag Team ranks against each other and moving forward to steal shows in singles competition. It was not just a story that ran from January to March but the pinacle of a rivalry that began over seven years prior and possibly the last truly professional encounter between the two men for over a decade. The only downside for a new fan is that it is over an hour long entrance to exit, but well worth the time.

A young wrestler that would go on to become ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper based his career on a statement from Johnny Valentine. Upon encountering the veteran in a locker room Valentine said to Piper “I can’t make you believe that professional wrestling is for real, but I sure the hell can make you believe that I am.” That right there is what good professional wrestling is, you know in the back of your mind what you are watching but you are so drawn into what you are seeing that you forget. That is the common denominator of each of these matches, they draw you in and you can’t help but go on the ride with them like any other show or movie. For you casual fans, new fans or long time fans that haven’t seen these in a while, go back and watch them

Rant-amania

Authors note: This was orginally published under a different blog title on April 4, 2011. The only edits made are to remove defunct website links from former endeavours. These old blogs will be rerun as part of a Throwback Thursday to unify all my work in one place.  I hope you enjoy these. This is an early Cheap Seat Booking. Please note that this is a review of Wrestlemania XXVII and pretty much the exact opposite of my intention for the CSB column.

Great sweet Jesus on toast it has been a while since I have done this.  This little project has gotten dusty and now that I am sufficiently perturbed about something and in need of a rant I have blown it off (lol giggidy) and returned.  To add more context to what I am about to write; Finally Mattitude HAS COME BACK…to the internet.

What has prompted this surge of outrage?  Where has this muse come from?  Why now?  The answer is of course Wrestlemania.

You see the WWE in there infinite wisdom (careful lifting that lots of sarcasm on it) added the customary extra hour to the largest show in the industry and one of the highest attended athletic events in the world (71,000+ this year) creating a 4 hour extravaganza…with only EIGHT matches.  Really?  Come the fuck on.

The extravaganza this year and it has been getting steadily worse since about 2005, was that the show was dominated by the production truck.  Video package after video package and ridiculously short matches.  The amount of talent left off the show was astounding, not to mention how badly butchered  short matches were. Frankly I feel ripped of and can categorize this Wrestlemania as, in my opinion, the 2nd worst ever.  For the record THE worst was Wrestlemania 2 and this year has indeed slide the abortion that was Wrestlemania 11 up a slot on my list to merely 3rd worst of all time, way to reset the bar WWE.

Let me run this down for you and get it all out of my system.

Rock opens: TOO LONG and frankly it got very lame as he tried to get teh crowd in to it.  He did seem to need to take some time to compose himself and absorb being back in front of a massive crowd.

Alberto Del Rio vs Edge (World Title match): The fact that this match was on first is disrespectful to me.  A slap in the face to the title that traces it’s roots back to WCW, NWA and over 100 years of pro-wrestling.  I get the need to have a solid opening bout to set the tone for the night and this really did, too bad it was because of a too long entrance segment, under worked match, excessive exit time and disrespectful tone in general towards the fans and aura of the World Championship.  I will admit that I am a major proponent of unifying the World and WWE titles again but that rant is for another time.  For the Talent involved Edge and Christian were poorly used and Alberto Del Rio never really got a chance to convince the crowds live and at home he belonged in the main event tier.  The only real surprise was that Christian DID NOT turn on Edge at any point.

Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes: The evolution of Cody Rhodes is coming along nicely and I am enjoying watching his character develop these days.  The match itself was solid but barely over a standard Smackdown bout.  The biggest surprise there was what Super hero Rey was coming out as this year.  FYI Captain America inspired costume was well done.  This should have been the first match of the night.  Rey is a master of opening and closing shows and is wasted mid card.  Cody is going to have an interesting year if he keep developing as well as he has in the last 3 months.  For the hype this match got it fell way short in time and expectation.  This was built for 3 months including having Dusty Rhodes appear to blind side Rey 4 weeks ago.

Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston vs The Corre:  8 men.  4 of them fan favorites in the truest sense not just heel/face wise. 4 of them trying to make their mark in the company and industry.  Shortest match of the night.  Again this bout was push and molded for 3 months, since Wade Barrett made his Smackdown debut.  It was tinkered with and teased longer than any other match, was the last one announced and yet I wish i had a stop watch on it because I am sure the entrances were longer in this case.  I am OK with dropping Vladamir Koslov in favor of Kofi since, like Santino, Kofi delivers with what ever he has, this is not to say I am a fan of Kofi though still luke warm on the guy.  I am a fan of Santino though, he is the best ‘ha-ha” man in WWE history and I will argue with any one.  What ever he is given Santino swings for the fences and more often than not hit a grand slam.  However Heath Slatter was the dominant player in the match, the rest of the Corre and Team Show were just there.  My most hated spot in all pro-wrestling came so early I was madder than normal.  I DESPISE the “everyone hits their big move then the match ends” spot.  The Corre should have had a chance to show case themselves more especially considering they have the Tag Team  and Intercontinental Champions in the group.  Kane was once again relegated to a minor role in Wrestlemania and the WWE as a whole after a long World Title reign this past Summer and Fall.  Extremely weak match and a good case for less production.

Randy Orton vs CM Punk: Very well done match.  Extremely good psychology and story telling.  Orton may well be my favorite active wrestler right now with all due respect to Kurt Angle (I’ll get to TNA another day) CM Punk has yet to win me over with his in ring skills, however his mic work, including his brief commentary run, and match psychology are up there with the best in the business today and of all time.  Much like Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts.  This match could have done with 5 or 10 more minutes but all in all I was satisfied with this one.  Much like HBK and Kurt angle these two are consistently able to turn a mid card match into a great one on the big stage.

Micheal Cole vs Jerry Lawler: Waste of time.  With brief comedic moments for Austin and Swagger and Lawler using Coles, private announce booth this match wast a time killer.  Sheamus and Daniel Brian should be pissed at all involved.  Cole had an entrance longer than almost anyone else on the card aside from either Undertaker or Triple H and though he is a great heat magnet and getting the best reaction possible for his role, which I do respect, he shouldn’t be such a focal point over legitimate stars and up and coming athletes.  Lawler, whom I am not a fan of in any capacity, did by tenure and popularity earn a chance to wrestle at Wrestlemania, I think it would have been a better idea to have done a story line with one of the better younger workers of work him into a multi-man match of some sort with a long shot win.  The talent that was wasted not working or working short matches was deep and abundant and easily able to avoid this cluster fuck of a match.  Worse than Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Biggelo, yeah I said it.  The post match Austin beer fest was stupid.  Why did Booker T get up and go in to spin around and catch a Stunner?  Booker would have been better off at ring side with Josh Mathews the rest of the night.  They could have even done a brief spot where Booker and Josh did a classy thing and promo’d their way out saying that JR and The King deserved to call the rest of the night rather that waste that time catching Stunners from Austin.  This was easily the biggest waste of time of the night.  So much room to trim time for better use.  Oh before I forget Jack Swagger was the biggest loser here, the  former World Champ not only gets NO TV time these last 6 months but he is in a support role for this shitfest.  He is a big time talent wasted here.

Undertaker vs Triple H: well the entrances here were bound to be a time eater, but worth it because these two deserve it.  The big thing for me was Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls opening for Triple H’s regular Motorhead theme.  I honestly was surprised to see the ‘barbarians’ come out not the ‘druids’. Aside from the cheesy barbarian theme being pulled out for this entrance I was stoke to see it and it was much better than the WM22 attempt at it.  Love the Johnny Cash theme for Undertaker.  The match itself was brutal and barbaric, it was clear from the jump that HBK vs Undertaker from the previous two years was a bench mark and trying to out do those matches was a fools errand.  The destruction of Cole’s booth (no I will not call it by it’s tag line) the viscous throw to the barricade by Triple H and the horrific back drop of the announce table and the spine buster through the Spanish announce table were reminiscent of the later days of ECW and Attitude era.  Beyond it all was the psychology of Triple H doing anything to end the Streak.  I was legitimately sure it was over with the Tombstone to Undertaker from Triple H.  The facials and in match verbiage was so well done I was in awe and after 27 years of watching this stuff that is saying a lot.  To add to the enjoyment was the ending.  Hells Gate was applied for so long and Triple H looked to be escaping with the hammer or raw power several times as to create a disbelief until finally after what seemed like 2 or 3 minutes he tapped out I was sure the match was bound to go for another 10 minutes at least.  The post match exit with Triple H being legitimately concerned for Undertakers well fare was very well done and Undertaker being hauled out on the cart added to the clear position of Triple H dominating the Deadman this year and being closer than ever to losing and Wrestlemania.  I do have to add that I was concerned after so many harsh spots including what seemed to be a swan dive to the floor that was just short of perfect that Undertaker was indeed in severe trouble after the match.  As of this writing I have found no reliable report that Undertaker was anything other than battered and bruised as one would expect and not in any way seriously injured.  Which makes the depth of the psychology more profound.  Easily match of the night, with all due respect to  Orton/Punk.

John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki vs Dolph Ziggler and LayCool:  I hate reality TV.  Can’t stand the fake reality that is so clearly evident in it and Jersey Shore is the peek of that mountain.   To me having this reality TV bimbo and famous for being an idiot ‘star’ on the card is so disrespectful to the rest of the WWE Divas, especially the talented ones, none of which are in this match that had they all walked out en masse I would applaud them.  LayCool I dislike, not in a great heel way but in a please go away time to take a leak way.  Layla is coming a long fine but McCool is surviving on her husbands good will and influence(that would be The Undertaker).  Vikki was oddly quiet and I hate her in a great heel way.  It is great seeing Trish back and I will miss her when and if she goes as she is the greatest Diva of all time and a poster child for working to get better as she was hired as eye candy in late 1999 and became the greatest female wrestler in the WWE.  She really deserved to be in a better match with better Divas.  Here the biggest crime was that Morrison and Ziggler, two of the best talent finds the WWE has made since Brock Lesnar were the eye candy.  Their biggest high light was Morrison hitting Starship Pain to the out side on Ziggler, these two should have had a better 1 on 1 match and probably would have stolen show show together that way.  Here is the most painful thing I will have to write EVER; Snooki surprised teh hell out of me an really was a high light of the night.  I was sure a lame Bronco Buster was coming and NOT a handspring elbow followed by a flip splash for the win, I have to give her credit for that.  Much like the 8 man tag this one deserved to have more time and the production truck is to blame there, as are the agents that didn’t fight for it.

The Miz vs John Cena: Waaaaaay to short.  The Miz should have been looking to prove he belonged at the top of the food chain there and did try his best for it, looking quite good.  Cena made his usual top effort for his skills and even broke out some rare wrestling moves beyond his standard 3 or 4. The count out finish and resulting Rock centered restart was a good idea but they should have let the match go for another 10 – 15 minutes before the predictable Rock Bottom screw job.  In the best interest of The Miz that should have happened after the bout and Miz gotten a clean win to surprise us all.  Weakest ending to a Wrestlemania ever, hands down.

Side notes; the stage was well done I liked the lay out and sheen to it.  The cube-tron over center ring was cool and I hope to see it again.  The vignettes backstage dragged on and I had hoped for shorter ones and a Triple H Rock confrontation though Rock/Austin was fun and Mae Young is always willing to give her best effort at her age.  The fact that WWE still uses her 3 or 4 times a year is such a respectful gesture towards her, I almost feel bad for using disrespect so often in this post. The lack of use for  the talent that just got short changed on time this year is one thing but to think that so much more was wasted sitting back stage twiddling their thumbs is an atrocity. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Daniel Brian, Ted DiBiase, Beth Pheonix, Natalya, Kelly Kelly,  David Hart-Smith, Tyson Kid, Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry, Evan Bourne to name just a few.  Finally the Snoop Dogg/Teddy Long Wrestlemania Idol skit was entertaining and having Hornswoggle finally speak was a great moment on the ‘ha-ha’ list at Wrestlemania, too bad he wasn’t better with the rapping, maybe Cena could have coached him.

Silver Lining of the Web

Silver Lining of the Web

I grew up in the era of corded phones mounted on the wall, there was a black and white TV in my house,  video games had no finish line just a faster level. A few of you younger readers are trying to wrap your minds around this. The phone in my hand was a piece of fantasy equipment in science fiction and spy stories on TV, in movies or (gasp) in acctual books. Now that I think of it I don’t recall seeing or reading anything where the fictional device was as capable as the pocket (ish) size wonder you are probably reading this on. The most wondrous part is that this era of mankind has the ability to reach out and instantly contact just about anyone we choose.

Social media has a bad reputation, not entirely undeserved either. It causes unnecessary drama and outrage, over shares, deep looks into the more enflamitory views of friends, family and acquaintances. We all have people in our social network we have never met in person or would not have met at all if not for some app or game that connects strangers from all over the world. I bet many of you even got laid because of it at least once or had some form of long distance tryst, I know I have. Then there is the self promotion, I won’t go hypocritical and bash it but I dare you to turn on an app and not find a friend promoting something within a few posts, support them as best you can I say. The bashing of celebrities and consistently frequent negative responses to EVERYTHING make some social sites a sewer of humanity at times. It’s enough to make you wish Morpheus would show up with a couple of pills to choose from.

I think that in the reletively small amount of time since the evolution of the internet we have taken it all for granted. It reminds me of a bad marriage at times, what started off wonderful and exciting degenerates to an excersize in bickering and needless cheap shots. We should stop and take a minute to look at the wonderful blessing the internet really is and remember how much better off we are with it than with out it. Just about any commodity we want or need is clicks away, the sum total of human experience is in our pockets and too many of us use it to be petty.

So this sounds a little familiar but here is what I am leading up to, take a second or two of your day and use it for something better on the Web. Years ago near the dawn of Facebook I was thrilled to be able to contact people I had not seen in decades. It was awesome to catch up with old friends. That is my favourite part of the social media experience. You can think of an old friend at random and send a message. You don’t need a phone number or mailing address to say “HI, was just thinking about you, how are things?” We even have the benefit of being able to say “I saw your post that was great/inspiring/thought prevoking.” Everyday we are given dozens of excuses to reach out and reconnect and I am of the opinion that we take for granted that the tools we have enable us to keep in touch with those we have grown apart from. There was a friend from high school that I would drop the occasional message to years ago, we would chit chat back and forth for a while but it was one of those things where our lives were not able to sync properly to hang out or meet up, which never bothered me because as I would find out not that long ago, we both had more going on in out lives than we let each other in on. What really touched me was at a small table with two other people she told me that those messages meant a lot to her because they were truly random contact with a positive context. Let me stop you right there because some of you are thinking that “she” part means I was trying to find a more carnal outlet than I let on, not the case, while this lady is still a beautiful person inside and out I honestly just wanted to say hi to someone that was always cool with me years gone by and frankly given the social ladder of the high school years could have blown me off back then instead of strolling to the 312 bus stop after school and being a genuinely fun person to be around.

That’s just one example. I have been in touch with many people over the years with similar results, sometimes we get the chance to enjoy face to face time others have distance issues. It’s a gift I cherish really, random thought travels through my fingers and someone out there knows that over time and distance they are missed. It might mean a quick smile or it might make someone’s day or better.

If I have done this right you already thought of someone you had in your life at some point that you have not been able to connect with for a while (DON’T STALK AN EX! THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM SAYING) drop them a note, say hi, Tweet, tag, post, let them know you are still there backing their play and wishing them well. In all the garbage and drama online the ability to reach out and let people know you still care is a fantastic silver lining.

Self Help

Authors note: This was orginally published under a different blog title on May 26, 2010. The only edits made are to remove defunct website links from former endeavours. These old blogs will be rerun as part of a Throwback Thursday to unify all my work in one place.  I hope you enjoy these.

There are a tremendous amount of people out there that will dump all over the self help section in the book store. It doesn’t work, it is too touchy feely, they are clueless, it’s non-sense. It is probably the most maligned section of the literature industry. You will hear more criticism of that genre, quicker than any other, in my experience.

So why does it still make money? Why are there still authors cashing cheques, writing books, recording tapes and videos? Someone has to be buying them, right? In fact many have to be paying hard earned money for these products. So why do so many trash the genre? Could it be that they tried some sort of self help product and got no result? Hmmmm. If you have been loyally reading this little section of cyber space you will recall a recent rant on the negative feed back being the loudest and easiest to give. Someone that has tried to turn their life around in some aspect and was unable to, is of course going to be bitter.

How do you fail at self help? You have the desire to change something, to improve yourself, you find a book, CD, DVD, spend the money. Where does it all go wrong?

You see what no one tells you about this sort of thing is that the help has to come from YOU, seems obvious doesn’t it. You are to not only be helped but have the strength and will to help at the same time. Most have no problem with that to start off, then they get lax and allow a set back or two to push them away from the course of action.

Think of it like this; if you are drowning you need help. The Life Guard swims out to help you, but you are unable to stop panicking and the guard can’t get you to safety. What would you rather happen, the Guard says “Fuck it I don’t want to waste my time.” and swim away or the Guard that does what ever required to get you to shore despite the tremendous effort required? It really doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me.

You can have the time, the money, the knowledge and the desire to improve yourself with these programs but with out the will to stick with it and get past any obstacle that may come up you are wasting your time and money.

The simple fact is nothing in this world worth a damn comes easy. That includes self improvement. That better life you are pining for, that lack you are trying to build up, if it is so important that you are willing to start your education in improvement then it is important enough to treat it like the MOST important thing you have ever done. That means you never stop, never quit, never say ‘It is too hard.’ Of course it is hard; you are changing your habits, your out look, your LIFE. What part of that is easy?

These people that have written the books got published for a reason. Do you have any idea how hard it is to become a published author, especially one that gets published repeatedly? They have the knowledge you want. They have the out look you want. They have the desire to share it with everyone. They found something to lead them to where they are, most likely where you want to be. Show me one that is still in High School or University, it wasn’t easy for them either.

Self Help DOES work, it works EVERY TIME. The X factor in the equation is you. Do you want it bad enough? Do you have the right program or book? Are you willing to keep at it until you have made the changes you want? The fault is not with the people paid to produce these thing but the person paying to use them. You have to stop thinking you are reaching up for help and start thinking that you are reaching out to pull yourself up. In Self Help you are the Life Guard NOT the swimmer. That is the key.