A Week? Already?

Where the hell did my week go? Seriously the last 7 days have been a blur of work, shopping and food. If it was any other week in the year I would be ashamed of myself. Boiling it all down I have come to the conclusion that it wasn’t a bad week just a busy one. I have been trying to declutter my schedule lately and this past week didn’t really work out for me on that front. While there were a few unexpected events along the road, some of which I will go into more detail on further down the road, just about everything went according to plan. That is a rare treat in the Cannonball Run that is late December. The destination is set, Jan 1, the route is a series of check points and pit stops between now and then, whether we get there in the planned time or at all is unknown. The success of our plans seem out of our hands and that’s before Mother Nature frosts us like a cake.  Get to work, get to the stores, get the groceries, get the wrapping, get baking, get the kids, get some sleep, get the ice scrapper. Guess which one is least likely to happen? It’s not abnormal for me to run on less sleep than I should get but that makes me an average adult. This whole mad rush this time of year makes me an average adult to be honest. When I got out to start checking of the lists I ran into a few people I didn’t have time to stop and talk with for long because of it and there is the kicker.

This time of year is meant to be spent enjoying our friends and family, yet we don’t always get to do we? We run out of time, can’t match schedules, feel obligated to other events, don’t live close enough, have legitimate obligations or just plain run out of energy to function. Let’s not forget that life doesn’t ease up, cars break down, appliances malfunction, injuries and illness occur whether it is June or December. We just get too busy for the real meaning of the season too often, which is just another shitty part of adulthood. We get too busy supplying Christmas to enjoy Christmas, we miss out on too many people we think of as the season wears on. While my personal drive to fill up my social calendar is not at an all time high I still feel a few pangs of regret that I can’t see everyone I want to, the upside is that with a lack of energy and desire to be out I cut down on being forced to spend time with people I would rather not. (Suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad does it?) I digress, I have managed to touch base with a few people and as much as I would love to see everyone I know that won’t happen. I was able to get in a flight of beers with a couple close friends and a few hours with another that was in town for only a handful more hours, not to mention four family meals. I’m sorry I missed  out on all the rest of you friends. Lets not wait a year to run into each other at the mall and part in a rush.

I would love to expound on this but the time is still short in this last week of the year and I must leave you to contemplate the coming 49 weeks before this season hits full steam once more and hope I can see you all before then, after all we only get so long before we too must go. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and keep on hustling my friends.

There is no point at which you can say “Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.”  – Carrie Fisher 1956 – 2016

Too Soon!

Tick tock. Knees to chest people! It’s almost time, must be ready. The count down is in it’s final few days in fact it is probably under 100 hours as you’re reading this. Shopped out? Wrapped up? Completely baked? Easy there I meant cookies (man have times changed). This week I am not going to take up much of your time because we are all super busy and if you are like me and further behind than you would like to admit you don’t have time to read much, also I had another subject in mind but decided to leave it for next week and really dive into a few things that occurred to me while writing it. I just want to remind you all of a few things as we round third and head for the big day.

First; remember that everyone out there has a purpose. They have to be out there, they aren’t having anymore fun than you being crammed nuts to butts in line ups. A vast majority would rather be home out of the cold and chaos watching anything but a lunatic lose their shit at a cashier or other employee that can’t change facts or policy to suit anyone let alone someone berating them. Just chill and be play nice in the stores.

Second; as I just mentioned the clerks and staff of ANY RANK can only do so much. Do not blow up at them because they have limitations to what they can do to help you, plus many POS systems are set up a certain way to enforce policy and there is literally nothing a person can do to help even if they wanted to, shockingly the larger companies have taken the power out of the human element in many cases. Beyond having to enforce policy dictated to them store staff can not unsell out of items. If it’s gone it’s gone. We are in a rare year where there are 5 full business days before Christmas, hope that the thing you are looking for shows p and don’t treat the staff like shit over it because they won’t want to help you out with information or a hold.

Third; it is supposed to be a festive season. Family, friends an good times. Live in the right now and enjoy yourself as much as you can, be happy while you are out there. Going out and being miserable about the lead up to Sunday really hurts you the most, try to keep the complaints to a low and just be grateful for what you have and can do for others, after all if you weren’t out shopping for someone else’s enjoyment this time of year why would you want to be out there.

I spent many years behind the register at Christmas and I can tell you that there is nothing worse than dealing with miserable people this time of year, the frequency and intensity grows the closer we get to the 25th. Be the kind of person that makes your day at work, not just to the staff out there but to your fellow shoppers, they are in the same boat as you. Merry Christmas 

CSB: Hall Picks 

As 2017 ramps up the wrestling world turns thoughts to April’s big event Wrestlemainia. An entire week of WWE events in one place capped off by a weekend jam packed with wrestling. NXT:Takeover Orlando, WWE Hall of Fame, Axxess the WWE fan convention and of course Wrestlemainia itself. Then there are the ancillary events where any one with any name value in wresting is doing a show, meet and greet or match. For all the pomp and circumstance of that week it is the Hall of Fame inductions that I love the most, WWE honours the past legends of the industry.

HAKU: Listen to any interview with a professional wrestler and you will hear “Who is the toughest wrestler of all time?”  I listen to  a lot of podcasts and have searched out many on YouTube and every time I hear that question the same name pops up; Haku/Meng/Prince Tonga. He never won the big titles in WCW or WWE but whether it is a “pick one” or “name a few” type answer Haku is the name that comes up every time. I believe it was Arn Anderson that called him ” The Human Garbage Disposal” (I could be wrong)Haku in his prime might have been a massive draw for MMA. He gets credit from his peers as the toughest of them so he should get a ring too.

DEMOLITION: The New Day barely beat the single reign title run length recently but Demolition rolled through the late 1980’s like a ten ton ball. Sure they get maligned as Road Warrior rip offs but they worked because underneath the arguably unoriginal gimmic (stolen like he Hawk and Animal’s from the Mel Gibson film The Road Warrior ) Demolition produced, period. They got in the ring and made the crowd believe they were for real no matter what the perception of their industry was. Ax and Smash have earned a pair of rings, not only as a team but Barry ‘Smash’ Darsow and Bill ‘Ax’ Eadie had stellar singles career both before and after Demolition. Before I close this out I will say that Crush does deserve his ring as well but his role in Demolition was a start point in a career that spanned a decade longer so leave him out of this and down the road give him his due.

VICTORIA : The ladies usually get their one entrant per year and while it is not a hard and fast rule is has held true so far, that being said many of you are asking “Why not Chyna?” simply put “Too soon.” I agree, Chyna deserves her spot but her legacy is still tainted with her tragic post WWE life so I think Lisa Marie ‘Victoria’ Varon should be next. Victoria debuted as a girl in the shower with Eddie Guerrero and parlayed that into a career of several years where she was the polished hand in the ring in an era of bikini matches, pillow fights and fitness models. Victoria was one of a select few female wrestlers that was in the ring with the pageant queens of the time to make them look good and she did it. When Trish Stratus was still figuring out which set of ropes to crawl through Victoria was making her look good. The years between 1996 – 2015 were not the all around greatest years for WWE female competition, sure we had our highlights but it was rare that two seriously accomplished competitors hit the ring and gave us a classic, much like Jackie Moore and Molly Holly, Victoria anchored the division, she made the less skilled look like gold medalists, if you want a more modern comparison look to Natalia Neidhart. She may not have the mainstream name value of a Chyna, Trish or Lita but without Victoria the Attitude Era would not have had a female division worth talking about.

JIM JOHNSTON: Who? What titles did he win? None. Jim Johnston made very few appearances on any WWE produced video. I think most might remember him from Beyond The Mat, a documentary on wrestling from the late 1990s, where he is explaining his process of composing Vader’s theme. He wrote and produced the theme songs of WWE performers for years and if one were to go back and look up the song writing credits of the WWE albums you would find J. Johnston all over the place. If I say a name and you remember their theme it is probably the result of Jim Johnston’s effort so he deserves his ring as much as any celebrity that has gotten one, why not acknowledge the support workers in the WWE machine as much as the stunt casting.

DAVEY BOY SMITH: Just Davey. I’m not saying The Dynamite Kid isn’t worthy, I am saying that Davey is a) more likely to agree, well his next of kin are b) made such an impact aside from The British Bulldogs that he should be recognized for it. He was part of 3 notable tag teams, The British Bulldogs (w/ Dynamite Kid), The Allied Powers (w/ Lex Luger) and with Owen Hart. He was a multiple time Tag Team Champion, Intercontinental Champion, European Champion and a consistent creditble opponent for any title in any company he was in be it WWE, WCW, Stampede Wrestling or Japan and European promotions. While his last few years in the business were marred in the ramifications of siding with Bret Hart over the Montreal Screw Job and the compounding of injuries and lifestyle, Davey had a career most wrestlers would gladly duplicate and fans fondly remember.

‘X-PAC’ SEAN WALTMAN: The last member of the Kliq I can see going in the the HoF for a long time. I do not believe ANY member of the McMahon family will accept induction to the HoF unless they are terminally ill and that includes Triple H. X-Pac may have had his run on the dark side of life but his in ring accumine and mind for the game are up there with the true greats. In his cleaner and more aware state X-Pac owns all of his demons, or claims to but if he is holding anything back I am frightened to know what. I have heard several wrestlers proclaim “If you can’t have a good match with ‘The Kid’ you can’t have a good match.” Chris Jericho acknowledges that he was told to “Go over all your matches with X-Pac” when he was adjusting to the WWE style. Bottom line: Sean ‘1-2-3 Kid/Syxx/X-Pac’ Waltman is one of the under rated performers in WWE history and deserves a ring.

VADER: The Mastodon, is not in good health and his credentials are undisputable. One of the biggest stars in WCW, the man that dropped the WCW World Heavyweight to Ron ‘Farooq’ Simmons making Ron the first black man to hold a company’s top belt in the US. Vader is a gaijin legend in Japan and one of the most feared competitors in a professional wrestling ring no matter what country or company it is in. Big Van Vader had an eye knocked out in the ring, I do mean out of the socket ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzFR9T29PoQ ) , by Stan Hansen in Japan and this bad mother fucker (yep, that’s how i feel about him) stuffed it back in and finished the match. Let that sink in. He stuffed his eye back in his skull THEN finished the match. Before you blow that off imagine you were at work and had to push your eye back into place, are you going to push it in and finish your day or are you done for the day. While Vader’s WWE run is not the title clad run of a legend he contributed in his time and his run under Vince McMahon was marred by injury. Big Van Vader deserves the chance to address the wrestling fandom before he passes and if it is truly a 2 year count down this is the year to do it while he remains a recognizable

THE ROCK: Here is the marquee star. Orlando is hosting Wrestlemania this year and The Rock being a Florida native is the local draw on top of being People Magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Alive, a massive box office draw and the biggest star ever produced by professional wrestling. Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant and Stone Cold Steve Austin made tremendous head way into mainstream pop culture but none of them made  the impact Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson did. Given the location of the event and the success he has had, ESPECIALLY the SMA designation,  The Rock is the perfect choice, oh let’s not forget that he has made appearances at Wrestlemania every year since 2011 any way and the 17 times he carried the various championship belts that WWE sanctions.

There are my choices for this years Hall of Fame, whether or not they are accurate remains to the thoughts of those in charge remains to be seen. I have no contacts or sources to gather information this is just me and my reasons. As of the typing of this piece I have seen two rumours surface and while they are both very worthy in their own rights I would not have chosen either this year. Should rumour prove true both ‘Diamond’ Dallas Page and ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude hit every criteria anyone could imagine for this honour.

I Vaguely Recall Winters

Well shit hit the fan around here this week didn’t it? By God the rest of Canada and just about anyone else living around the 49th parallel must be laughing at us. The GVRD got the best dumping of snow we’ve had in 2 years at least. Oh yeah I said best, cope chionophobes (great word, google it). I don’t mind the snow, I prefer to be warm but that is just a matter of proper attire and having a heater. I hate the slush that comes after, it is useless unless you like to have wet and frozen feet at the same time. I remember white Christmases and nights I went to sleep with a green yard followed by mornings where we went to school in 10 inches of snow. I only had to walk uphill home from school and the days we took our Krazy Karpets to school the to part was very quick, much to the stress of drivers on Bay Street in Nanaimo who go to see kids rocketing down the shoulder of the road in the way to school, I bet there are many more that didn’t see us and we are all the luckier for it since there were no injuries in our stupidity.

The late 1990’s was when I first really noticed the climate change, it wasn’t our lack of snow, that had been dwindling for years but there was a point where friends and I cold go out to a neighbourhood where a small community park had a large pond in the centre, these parks are fairly common in the North Delta/Surrey boarder line and a couple would freeze damn near solid in the winter, so what would bored/stoned/inebriated post-teens do? Why screw around on the ice in skate shoes and shopping carts of course. Let me be fair and say that my group was respectful and tried to keep the noise down to a dull roar and not cause the residents aggravation. Sure we would occasionally enjoy some adult beverages and smoke a lot of pot in public spaces but we were never out to cause trouble and it never really found us, even the last year we played on the frozen ponds the worst trouble we found was our heaviest friend discovered that the ice was not as thick as we thought one year. Relax, Chris did not fall in but it was comical how quickly we all bolted from the pond when that distinct crack of ice was heard, if it wasn’t a few feet deep most of us would be guilty of being assholes and abandoning a friend to the icy waters. While Chris did not fall through and was only last off the ice because he was a step further out than the rest of us it was the last really fun winter memories I have, the rest were just too short.

Yes, I know Winter is a quarter of our calendar year, by “too short” I mean those snowy, cold days where every thing is white. I have Christmas nostalgia for sure, but Winter nostalgia for me means snow, which we are in short supply of around here. We get Fall, Spring and Summer in a 40/40/20 split with a few days that are not any of those but really not enough to count for 1% that the rest of Canada calls Winter, our Springs tends to pop up to say hi for a few days at a time between October and March but really we are more in a holding pattern of late Fall. I know many people that seriously consider the process of making a life in the more equatorial climates about 13 days into one of out rainy months, I see their point most of the time. I don’t feel the need to flee south personally but I could use a bit more Winter days as opposed to rainy ones, I would much prefer to be out in the snow than the rain, something about the muffled peace of a fresh deep snowfall ranks those days up there with a sunny August afternoon.

Winter is not far from the GVRD but I miss having it outside the window. I would gladly shovel the driveway, salt the walk and wade through slush if it meant I could be making snowmen, throwing snowballs and sledding in the backyard with the kids. I really don’t want to have to make a day trip out of these things, there is just something off putting about it  to me. The roads may be icy, the traffic a nightmare, the slush (oh how I hate slush) may deluge us in the end but it’s those simple family times in the snowy yard we get robbed of that I dislike more. Well that and you get the best beer fridge ever to prepare for those special Winter autographs in yellow.

 

It’s Been A While

I did it. I promised myself I would get through one full year of producing an article every week and I have. I did more than that but honestly those TBT posts didn’t really count. I maintained the  discipline to get something put at least once a week for 53 weeks including this  one. I am proud of this, I have not always coped well with less than ideal results and found myself lacking the passion for those endeavours after a time. in this case I powered through and still kept at it. I am proud I beat down the negative voice that kept telling me “Screw it, no one cares.” How’s that for an insight?

Does anyone care? Hard to say, often I hear things like “I haven’t had a chance to read it.” or “I missed that one.” from people very close to me.  If I am honest with you all, that hurts. I try not to let it bother me because I have yet to nail down a specific theme to these and subjects can go all over the place, plus the world does not revolve around me. Numbers don’t lie, they fluctuate depending on post timing, subject, over all time frame, several factors involved on that front. Simply put these things can get taken for granted and disappear, if they don’t strike a chord. I hit a couple so far but am still working on a more consistent engagement. Like the page or subscribe to the site, share these things for me. let me know you have seen it and read it, comment if you agree or disagree. Share it. INTERACT! Why am I asking in this article for these things? Two reasons; 1) If you have read this far you must see a value to my efforts of the last 53 weeks and probably have read more than this, 2) The numbers I see are contradictory at times and even the few times I have called a bluff I was surprised to find the numbers in unreliable. I am not saying I am the best out there but I am building, my skills, my following, my savvy at this game.

I think I have a couple solid building blocks with The Way Too Late Movie Review and Cheap Seat Booking in addition to whatever is on my mind. I should get over my shit and commit to CSB, every armchair booker and their dog has an opinion but maybe I can do a better job, maybe, lots of things could happen there. I have read a tremendous amount of click bait drivel from “experts” that pretend they are insiders, I know I am not and admit I am not, all I am is a long time fan and I do not wish to portray myself any different. If you read a CSB it is just that, the opinion of a fan in the cheap seats. If you read a WTLMR (I may need to find a better name) it is no more than what I see when I watch a movie that has been available for a long time (psst I’m super cheap so it’s most likely it’s free too). To be honest it is new and I may go to things  have seen of check out things I haven’t. The biggest thing in my mind is “Does it hold up?”. We have all gone back to watch things we saw in your younger days or heard of in high acclaim and found that it is dated and out of touch, I have watched things acclaimed like that, the idea here is to find out what deserves a second chance and what only worked in a certain time frame. So far noting here is more tan my world view.

I was ready to throw in the towel until my mentor hit a huge goal of her own and told me I “Must not give up.” She warned me it would take a while least year to build a following but what I have seen that really got to me was I plateau’d. I quickly spiked to the very high double digits then creeped into the low triples, very low.  I do need to tighten some bolts. Half assed contributions rife with typo’s and other issues need to be cut way down. I did not reach my following goals  this year, not even close. I am nowhere near where I thought the year would see me, I had thought I was being conservative. Perhaps it is a reflection of talent or maybe it is a reflection of some half hearted efforts or unsavvy marketing tactics, I don’t know yet or at least I am not ready to admit my fears yet. Next 51 weeks, get focused,  get more content, get more disciplined. Are you with me? I am still going to do it but it would help if I had a few faces in the crowd.