Saturday, February 23, 2013

Your song lacks exp.

I became enamored with RPG video games when I was about 9 or 10. My first role playing game was Final Fantasy 3 (also known as 4 or 6) for the SNES, and while I wasn't happy about the ending, how long it took me to find every single item in the game (5 years) or the add-on characters, (I hate Celes) it is gorgeous. My next one was Final Fantasy 2 (waaaay better ending & story development) and from then on I tried a few more, before finding the Pokemon series.

Not shockingly, there is a Sailormoon one out there somewhere, and I've always wanted to try it. Sailormoon Another Story for the Super Famicon/SNES. The Retron 3 is compatible with Japanese and English SNES titles, I really should find a copy. ♥

A constant theme in just about all RPG's is the notion that you really can't survive the game's biggest challenges without gaining a ton of experience, known as exp. points. Now most of these points are earned through battling smaller enemies, but on rare occasion  you'll find a game that let's you cheat a bit. granted, cheating methods sometimes mean that some of your characters stats may not go up as much as if they had done things the usual way, but no matter how you gain exp. you need as much as possible in order to level up high enough to defeat the game's bosses.

This is such a lovely allegory for life itself! Simply replace bosses with life challenges, and it's the same thing. I didn't believe it at all when I was younger, but I see now that you do need to have a few life experiences before you can take down life's struggles, or even to be taken seriously. If you don't level up, you don't win.

I wish today's younger musicians would be told this. >< Starting with the pop and country acts.

My mom had the radio on, and we heard a Taylor Swift wannabe. For the life of me, I can't figure out who this is, just imagine Cartman trying to imitate Taylor Swift while using his "But Mom" voice in the Chinpokomon episode of South Park. "Beht meeeaaaaammmmmm I want to buy a Chinpokomon!!"

The lyrics were being screamed at decibels only squirrels can hear, but I can remember a handful of lyrics, typed out verbatim:

"The mauuuull doesn't ewpen till 10 end ahm really really PISSED auffff"

"Nobidy understiiiiinds meeee"

"I HATE yuuuu fer-everevreververver EVER!"

Now this is nothing new. Songs have been sounding terrible since Avril Lavinge showed up, and I can't recall a decade where more than the metal songs had any substance to them. But I do miss when songs actually sounded like music, (1989-2002 and again between 1932-1958) at least if a song lacked substance, it made up for that with a good sound. Sure the bubblegum pop acts of the late 1990's lacked substance and rarely sang about the darker side of life, but that made good sounds.

These are not good sounds I'm hearing. Aside from dubstep and rap songs about drinking, I keep hitting songs from very angry little girls, who never evolved past puberty.

And that's when it hit me. The new music lacks substance.

Many of today's musical starlets (my mom calls them "Twat Waffles") look up to Taylor Swift, who has changed boyfriends faster than most of us change clothes, and many of her hits are about them. One of the few non-break-up songs she has is Speak Now which is a song in first person perspective about a woman (her) interrupting a wedding to steal the groom ~ who is her ex-boyfriend ~ who she dumped ~ so she could  come back later and ruin the marriage of. Wow, that may be one of the most horrible songs she's ever written. South Park has a word for that type of person.

But most of her songs also lack substance. Don't get me wrong, they do come from real life experiences, but these songs lack the depth needed to be heard as soulful.

Take for example Cab Calloway's St. James Infirmary:

Now this heartbreaking song was used in the Betty Boop cartoon Snow White, but the full song is about a young man, who is repeatedly cheated on by the love of his life, who is a hooker, and how he finds her dying on a table at St. James Infirmary from cocaine addiction. In fact, while the Hayes commission frowned on the usage of his songs on film, he actually did have many songs warning people about excessive alcohol use and drug addiction. (Go ahead and watch the cartoon, Betty survives.)

Then in 1932, there was a folk song, later used in MGM's Gold diggers of 33:

This is a song that is still relevant today, about a woman feeling sorrow for her man, who has returned from war completely shell-shocked, and to no job, no home, no money, nothing.

But for a happy note, this is a good one that surprised me:

Listen to this song! You can hear the passion this woman has for her husband. I never hear husband/wife songs these days, except from Robin Thicke:

Both songs, after they came out, the singers conceived children. True story. Now those are DEEP love songs.

But today's youth aren't listening to deeply powerful songs, or even songs about actual life.

You may in real life go through 100 boyfriends a day, but an actual life means being with someone through the rough times and the better days, and not just ditching him because he isn't a fan of your favorite drama. An actual life means going through real problems. Hell, I could probably write a song myself:

♫ A flood ripped through half my stuff
♪ And it bore straight through my heaaaaart
♫ When the city came and told me
♪ My house is gonna be a new Wal ~ maaaarrt

As funny as it sounds, it's true too. And being that this is a stronger experience than "I'm pissed the mall's not open yet" it's fair to say I've leveled up a tad bit more than the current starlets.

It's time these whiny, Hipster Twat Waffles put down the guitar, stop crying, and pay attention to where their lives actually are. I'll let Hopsin close this out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Time can be ill

Have you ever heard a brand new (to you) song, and have it trigger a memory?

I just heard this song from Hopsin for the very first time, and I LOVE the lyrics. You really need to give this a try, he addresses the MTV Generation's children. Everyone who thinks they're into Swag, thinks they're a Thug, thinks they can't find a real man, and everybody else. Y'all need to stop what you're doing and pay attention to the lyrics for 5 minutes. I'm not kidding here DO IT. You won't regret it.

In January I blogged about how I never got the MTV lifestyle, and how I've grown to accept that. But the lyrics and colors used in "Ill Mind of Hopsin 5" triggered a memory I forgot to include on that blog, though truth be told, I'm glad I waited a bit.

So let's go back to 1999 for a moment. I was in a very bad neighborhood, but I didn't realize just how awful these people were right away.

I can't decide if I should say this is in my defense or not, because it barely sounds like an excuse, but I was 12, not yet 13. I had moved home to Chicagoland after 6 years of being shuttled, but nobody was waiting for me. I had a big chunk of my family who lived in Chicago, but by this point, almost all of them were dead, dying or getting ready to move away. I have ONE relative out there now, but I never get to see her. I felt like what would happen if Dorothy had come back to Kansas, only to find a strip mall where her farm once stood. So maybe I was lonely? I lived in a cramped house back then with a pair of parents constantly arguing and a little brother, so I can't say if lonely is the right word. 

Well whatever the reason, I hung around some girls in the neighborhood that I didn't realize then, but I see now, were BAD girls. Very clique-ish, doing adult things, but as I blogged before, their parents didn't care. Their parents made it LOUD and clear that the kids only were alive, because their hyper-religious parents threatened to disown them if they sought out abortions, and they were told by the state that if they gave any of them up, the state would take away ALL of them, starting with the one or two they did want to keep. Not exactly what you expect to hear at 12 years old.

These girls were sucked into the MTV fairytale, as I blogged before, Carson Daily made that life seem ideal.

 "Don't you want to be like us? Have random celebrities hang around you like that, have shots of random neon liquids sent down your throat, party at all hours of the day and night with friends and strangers and then jump in a car with someone really hot?"

One girl was already there, sans random celebrities.

I don't remember her real name. It was long and began with an H, and I never did learn how to say it right, so it's likely that if I did remember, I'd just misspell it anyway. But I remember her nickname, Lil' J-Lo. Everybody called her that, because Jennifer Lopez was her favorite star.

She was a friend of one of the girls I hung around... and for the life of me I don't understand why. Sure they had music in common, but that's it really. Lil' J-Lo (I can't believe this is a Chicago story, when the nickname screams New Jersey!!!!) was weird. She didn't speak much, had a bad habit of eating lip gloss, and had the most unkempt eyebrows I'd ever seen.

Lil J-Lo was 12 when I met her. Please keep this in mind.

Lil' J-Lo was not what I would call fat or chubby. Far from it. But she was big for her age. Like when you go to the gym, and you see a short guy there, and he's not fat, but there's no muscle tone either. He's just big and full of girth. Think Taz just before he went to WWE. Her vocabulary was limited, I feel like Little Britain's Matt Lucas should have been playing as her. Picture a cross between his characters of Andy and Vicky on the show, that's how many of the girls were. If you've never seen it, I suggest looking for it on Hulu.

Lil' J-Lo would dance to her idol's songs, this was the only time I'd see her smile. She'd imitate the moves, and now that I think about it, she was like a tween version of the little girl in this video:
LOL ooooh how teh internets has changed. See kids? We had AOL and Netscape back then. Google was just a search engine, Yahoo was everywhere and the only "i" product Apple gave us was an iMac. Also, there was no such thing as YouTube and J-Lo didn't used to paint her lips and hair to match her skin. What's that? Have I dated myself enough? I have? GOOD let's go!

Lil' J-Lo was all about this video, and she made it known that one day, she wanted to be what she saw. Innocently, I said "So you wanna be a singer when you grow up?" and Lil' J-Lo shot me such a look. It was here I realized she already saw herself as grown.

But I didn't realize there was a problem, until Halloween. We all went out Trick or Treating, and I caught up with Lil' J-Lo.....

.... Lil' J-Lo was pushing a stroller.

I looked down at the stroller, and then looked back at Lil' J-Lo.

Me: Um... that's a baby.
Lil J-Lo: Yeah.
Me: ... Is that your little brother?
Lil' J-Lo: Naw. I'm an only child.
Me: ... Your mom... she's an only child too... right?
Lil' J-Lo: Yeah.
Me: .... And your dad... does he have siblings?
Lil' J-Lo: Not anymore.
Me: ......... So this isn't your cousin, is it?
Lil' J-Lo: Don't have any cousins.
Me: .................. You haven't been 13 for long yet, have you?
Lil' J-Lo: Naw, there's only a few months between us.
Me: ........................................... Soooooo you were 12 when you had him?
Lil' J-Lo: Just about.
Me: ............ So when you were bigger.. that wasn't snacks or a thyroid thing.
Lil' J-Lo: Just baby weight.
Me: Ah hah...

I'm begging all of you to not only listen to Hopsin's track "Ill mind of Hopsin 5" I'm begging you to make your kids watch the video too.

I just did the math.

Lil' J-Lo was a mom at age 12. (Or just about as she said.)

If she and her baby are still alive, Lil' Anthony is probably a freshman in high school.

If he's anything like her, she'll be a grandma before she's 30.

Time is ill.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Zeb and Swagger Go To White Castle

Wow, what can I say? The last week and a half has become the gift that keeps on giving.

So let's back this up to the Monday before last. I didn't watch Raw, but I did get curious about it, when my Facebook and Twitter blew up. People from every walk of life was just plain seething at the show, and not in the usual "Is Vince Russo back?" type of seethe. No, this was far worse. A line had been crossed.

So I asked around to all five calm people who had watched Raw. What I got as a response was a picture of Dutch Mantell in the ring. Well... what's so bad about that? Legendary wrestler, in the ring with who appears to be Jack Swagger, surely things can't be so bad, right?

Oh wait... you didn't bring him back as Dirty Dutch. You brought him back as Uncle Zeb Coulter... ah.

Okay for those of you who don't remember or never saw, let me take you back in time a little bit. Back in 1994, Dutch played a character called "Uncle Zeb" which is not to be confused with the children's "Western Swing" Iowa star Uncle Zeb/Zeke, who is a posthumous YouTube star, who Dutch dresses up exactly like. Anyway, Uncle Zeb (short for Zebekiah) used to manage the Blu Brothers (WCW's Ron & Don Harris) and later on he managed a very young "Justin Hawk" John Bradshaw Layfield, years ahead of his A.P.A. Bradshaw days.

Uncle Zebekiah vs Freddie Joe Floyd by TSteck160
Zeb was more of a stereotype of southern people, even back then, so the character didn't always catch on in certain markets, and not many of his matches made it to the main event, so it caught me off guard that WWE would even consider having him reprise the role, when people are much more aware of his role as Dutch. Considering where his life has taken him, they could have just brought him in as Dutch, made a show of how they want to help him out, send a random heel into the ring, let Dutch whip him, and then pair him with a face. That would have been much more simple.

Instead, not only did they send him to the ring as Uncle Zeb Coulter, they went ahead and turned this into a racially charged, political story.
Now this is not the worst or even most racially charged promo I've ever heard, but it doesn't sound like Zeb's best. It's a little slow, and like he's unsure of himself. That's is totally opposite of the Dutch I'm used to. So I waited it out a week, see if this was a fluke.

Nope, they really are going ahead with this.
Alright, let me dissect what's wrong with this storyline.

The first problem is that the WWE are still running "Be A Star" ads against bullying and judging people based on looks. The commercials have good and bad guys joining forces to tell the kids at home not to judge.

Zeb is judging like crazy, and when he says he can't find people that look like him, he is implying race.

If you're going to have Zeb talk about people of different races or Jerry Lawler making fun of Vickie's figure, you might as well drop the anti-bullying thing all together, because now the WWE sound like hypocrites.

The second problem? I don't know if you've noticed, but a good chunk of the fans that are buying tickets and merchandise these days... are either immigrants or the relatives of immigrants. 

Whether or not they got here the normal way, they are buying WWE products. You insult the fans, they may stop buying the merch for good.

There was a point back in 2001 where Vince McMahon came out to the crowd, and told the fans exactly what he thought of them, and insisted that all along, he was telling them what to like. Once he revealed to the live crowd how he had positioned their tastes for them, attendance started to drop.  It's nearly been a decade since they last were comfortable at a Nielsen 4.4 for Raw. Any ideas why?

I get it, you want a show that can appeal to all demographics. That's great. but just because the two 85 year old racists in the crowd think this is funny, doesn't mean the other 99% of the actually paying audience will.

Another flaw is that this is a re-hashed story. They had planned to copy what JBL did with Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr. and paste it onto Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio. This story bored people to tears back in 2004-2006, so a watered down copy in 2013 isn't likely to draw the crowd in today.

Another flaw too is that even when you take the racial undertones out, you still have a story, full of boring, drawn out speeches, that will turn the kids away from watching. You remember the kids, right? the pint-sized people all the action figures are aimed at? Yeah, they don't want to watch Fox News.

But there's one more flaw I never thought about, and never expected.

This past Monday night, I saw a beautiful thing on Facebook.

Every single person watching Raw set aside their political differences, dropped their beliefs, and came to the agreement that this story was offensive, and needs to be stopped. 

I saw Democrats and Republicans mending fences. I saw conservatives and liberals swapping jokes. For a few hours, I saw people band together not as Red vs. Blue guys, but as normal, human beings.

Maybe this is what we needed? Maybe this is what triggers world peace? Or at least... 'Merica peace?

Alright, peace is the wrong word here, as everyone took turns ripping the WWE a new one. While some pointed a finger at the two in the ring ~ one of which has the ability to tell Creative "I'm not doing that" everyone ultimately decided that Vince and Creative should be flogged for the debacle. Many Hollywood and news websites took turns bashing the WWE for this, and advising parents to turn to other shows for wrestling. All WWE could offer was a partial explanation, sans apology:

"WWE has a long history of creating fictional characters that serve as either protagonists or antagonists, no different than other television shows or feature films,” said Brian Flinn, WWE’s senior vp marketing and communications. "To create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines.

“WWE is creating drama centered on a topical subject that has varying points of view to develop a rivalry between two characters," he adds. "This storyline in no way represents WWE’s political point of view. One should not confuse WWE’s storytelling with what WWE stands for, similar to other entertainment companies such as Warner Bros., Universal Studios or Viacom."

Now I feel that since Zeb and Swagger are heels, that this is just Vince's way of dealing with alot of pent up anger at the conservatives that turned their backs on him. 

Remember, his wife blew more than 90 million dollars on two, fruitless campaigns for the senate, and after years of his support and financial backing, the right-wingers took great pride and pleasure in ripping WWE apart with attack ads, false "psychological" studies and even by strong-arming companies into pulling their ad support from him and getting his shows booted off of one network after another. Even now, they still let their party members write slanderous articles on storylines that ended in 2001 on backwards. Who wouldn't want to take out their aggression with a sound-alike manager? Is it right? No way. Is it fair? Hardly. But then they weren't fair either.

Who knows. Maybe they can turn this around. Maybe they can make this work, so that Del Rio comes out the top good guy in the company? Maybe they ca-WOAH!!
Alright, never mind.

So as of this writing, Jack Swagger has been released from police custody, after being arrested for illegal possession of pot (read: NO medical license), speeding and DUI. Everybody SING!!

♫ Jack Swagger was gonna fight Del Rio ~ but then he got hiiiigh
♪ Gonna go to Mania too ~ But then he got HiiiIIiiiiiigh
♫ Now he's on TMZ ~ and I know whyyyyy (why man?)
♪ Because he got high ~ because he got high ~ because he got hiiiIiiiiigh

La da da da da da...

Now this development has gotten a mixed bag of reactions. Some people are actually defending him, while others are calling him stupid for messing up his own push. My next photo begs a question:
I don't get it.

More stupid than actually screwing with your push, is breaking the law at all when you have a family.

It's bad enough to speed, drive inebriated or smoke weed without a medical note, but Swagger has a baby at home. And he's a celebrity.

For all the whining and complaining conservatives do, trying to shove their religious based ideal of "family" down everyone's throats, they have done a fantastic job of ripping families apart. These are the same people who enacted the Foster Care system, a broken mess that has ripped families apart forever, and placed children in the hands of dangerous people since it's inception. That "background check" they do? Please. It's easier for a nutcase to nab a Foster kid than it is for them to get medicine these days. If you don't think there is a Looney Toon with a badge out there, waiting to snatch Swagger's kid over a DUI, think again. Unless he has really super GOOD people in his life right now, working to help him, his WWE career will be the LAST worry he has.

But aside from what "could" happen, let's look at what actually going on here.

Now the arrest shouldn't be too big of a cause for alarm for his push. After all, Randy Orton got high and took a dump in a Diva's purse ~ while at work for SmackDown ~ and kept getting handed title after title. Cameron, Kaitlynn and Santino have all been pulled over and detained for DUI related reasons, and none of them saw any substantial punishment. So technically, Swagger should not only be safe, this should guarantee him a win at Wrestlemania, his own title belt and the cover of the next video game.

But not everybody is convinced he'll be alright. Section 14 of the Wellness policy actually states:

"Any WWE Talent, who is arrested, convicted or who admits to a violation of law relating to use, possession, purchase, sale or distribution of drugs will be in material breach of his/her contract with WWE and subject to immediate dismissal.

In addition to the penalties that may be imposed pursuant to his/her contract with WWE, a violation of this Section 14 may also be treated as a positive test for drugs prohibited by this Policy and therefore, subject to the penalties set forth in Section 15 of this Policy."

So this begs the question then. What will WWE do with him?

AT&T's Old House

← I might have been better off moving into my favorite Polly Pocket compact.

I still have my compact, which was found at random on the ground one sunny day in 1994.

I couldn't believe my great fortune, I had wanted that compact since I first heard the PTA make a formal complaint about it. You see, the little blue see-saw has a secret. If you place a regular Polly Pocket on the see-saw with the Fairy Polly, and then teeter her really fast, the regular Polly will be launched into the air after 7-8 teeters, making Fairy Polly the owner of a cleverly disguised catapult.

The PTA moms hated the toy, and accused Polly of being a murderous 7 year old, and a bad influence on the other kids.

So naturally, I wanted this toy.

But no store carried the little lavender compact, so imagine my surprise when not only did I find it lying on the ground, totally intact, but it came with a second, regular Polly, just the right size for launching. I'm happy to report that I still have the compact and both Pollys, despite hundreds of launchings.

Why do I bring this story up? Because most of the places I've lived in ~ just like Polly ~ feel compact, full of holes and bursting with surprises.

And just like "Regular" Polly, those "surprises" are not always fun for the surprise getter.

Since the summer, my internet has done a fantastic job of cutting out on me. When it first happened, it took the phoneline with it. because just like dial-up, DSL goes through the phone. And the wireless service in my house goes through the DSL modem box... which goes through the phone. I keep getting the feeling that for as fast as we're running with technology here, we're still not going anywhere.

So anyway, I had a few months where my landline crackled and popped. This led to oh I dunno, 100 phone calls to AT&T.

"Go online, we have the solution there."

... Gee um... if I don't have any internet... how exactly am I going to get to your website??

This always led to plenty of dead-end conversations with people ~ who had English as probably a third language.

"Yes I can see that you are having a problem. A problem is what you are having. We have established that you are having a problem. Thank you and have a good day."

HAH????

Now the phone was fixed for a while, but the internet was still popping in and out. So from the summer until yesterday, I had the internet cutting up left and right. This is inexcusable.

Every time the weather gets slightly bad, it cuts out. If someone from AT&T climbs one of the poles and plays with it, the internet kicks on just fine ~ for three hours. Then it's out again.

The wind blows ~ it cuts out.
It rains ~ it cuts out.
It snows ~ it cuts out.
A dog sneezes ~ it cuts out.

Then we started having a ton of suicidal squirrels. I don't know what their problem was, bust aside from drowning in my pool, they also kept gnawing on the line and shocking themselves to death. If you have no idea what this looks like, there's a ton of Squirrel Snuff films on YouTube, all of them with the same issue. Maybe they're coating the lines with licorice now. Who knows?

So now we're in late February, and this is still going on.

Monday, we get another tech guy to come over. Without even saying his name or badge number, he shoves his foot in the door.

"Hi! I be from AT&T. I'm here to reset your password to match what I wrote down in my book."

Suspicious much??

Wow AT&T I have no idea what you're teaching your techs lately, but you should know that your dude just passed Creepy Guy 101 with flying colors.

So Mama explains the problem, and sends the guy outside.

Couple of hours later, he says he'll be back to replace a wire. But he swears we'll have internet for the night.

... Not only did we have no such thing, he somehow managed to jack up my phone too. Perfect, now it sounds like I'm deep frying popcorn AND I can't stay online. Thanks for that. >_O

So while the phone is crackling, Mama calls AT&T, letting them hear all the static on the line. And since the landline is dropping worse than a cell phone signal at a rave party for Boeing Airplanes, this turns into repeated calls to the conglomerate.

From what little I can gather, apparently he never should have said he'd be back with a new wire ~ because that's not his job. His job is to troubleshoot internet, not mess with the wires. Great. You sent the wrong guy for the wrong job, and he's creepy too. Thanks for that.

So yesterday afternoon, AT&T sends another truck out. This time, the dude goes in through the house, and searches the property.

He comes back with a blackened cord. This is the phoneline, and it's older than my house. Here's a timeline.

Starting in 1820, my city started putting in cords and attaching them to poles, insisting that they wanted the town to be ready for the "future". At some point, the phoneline was added.

1915 my house was built around the cords, and the pre-existing phoneline was attached. Originally this was meant to be a farm house.

Sometime after 1915 but before 1920, a tub and toilet were randomly added to a room that was intended to be either a closet or a tiny bedroom. The window was kept, despite it being directly on top of the tub. The tub and toilet were only added because someone thought it would be more "fancy" to have plumbing.

Sometime during the 20's, a shower head was added, and then the room my bed is in.

Sometime after the stock market crash of 1929, all hopes of this ever becoming a true farm were lost.

At some point, an attic was kind-of built onto it. I say kinda because it's unfinished, and is actually one half of the master bedroom. You can't go in without a mask, because the floor is made of 6 beams of wood and a ton of lung slicing fiberglass, the latter of which was added when pink panther became a spokesman.

After World War 2, the electrical sockets were modified. In case you're curious, the house still has it's outdated red and yellow stick-out wires. Yay.

Then sometime in the late 90's, early 2000's, a drunk, dyslexic "handyman" named Danny bought the house from the little old lady who had lived here since birth.

Shortly after purchase, he screwed up the floor tiles, put in new stairs ~ upside down and backwards, and then turned the light switches upside down. My house is full of NO/FFO switches.

Then in 2003 a car slammed into the front of the house. A porch was added to cover up the damage.

A year later a second car slammed into the porch, prompting Danny to build a replacement porch. It's enclosed and totally hollow on the bottom.

Sometime after that, and I have no idea how this happened, he stripped the phoneline half-way, and then braided it (you read that right) with 3-4 other cords that are attached to... well nothing, actually.

The cord was then placed near a newly built vent, where there used to be a coal shaft. And then he took a nail gun and blasted the house inside and out.

I wish I had made that up, but sadly this is all true.

So AT&T replaced the old cord, refusing to let us have the antique. (I'm searching eBay for it, that thing must be worth something.) And the internet stopped kicking out.....

.... Until 5 hours ago.

I need to move.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Money is NO excuse for Fugly Titles

Fugly = A word combining the adjective "Ugly" with the "F-Bomb".

My internet is completely fried at this point, so I'm hoping you can see Chibi Claudio Antonio Cesaro on the side. At least, I'm pretty sure that's where I left him.

When I was little, companies that had wrestling titles took pride in how they looked.

The NWA belt for example is made from 10 pounds of leather and gold, and the adorning pieces have always been shined so well, you can see it sparkle from a distance. One touch of this belt, and you can just about see every champion that has ever laid claim to the Heavyweight Championship, and you can see the pride that this company had in it's development.

The WWF used to have this pride as well. Take the "Eagle" belt for example, a perfect harmony of blue and gold, seated with dedication on a leather strap. They used to have matching belts alongside this illustrious title for the Tag and Light Heavyweight divisions, and each belt screamed to the crowd "This is a CHAMPION".

Then there was the Intercontinental Title, which alternated from white, black and powder blue straps, but always had a face-plate that said "The holder of this title is important to the history of wrestling".

On occasion for Fan Axxess, the WWE brings out the Fabulous Moolah's titles.
Look at these belts! On the one side, we have a belt with the champion's face, surrounded by precious gems, and on the other side, we have a demure belt that matches the Eagle belt. 

Growing up, I saw wrestling companies take pride in their champions and in the belts they handed them...

.... Then something went wrong.

Maybe I had warning, when the WCW was parading around the solid gold gaudy belt that is now the SmackDown title. 

Maybe I should have known something was going to turn for the worse, when WWF took to the stock market as WWFE (World Wrestling Federation Entertainment/Family Entertainment) and all the know-nothing "Yes Men" started getting into McMahon's ear, telling him things like "The XFL is forever!" and "Nuno, the Invasion Angle won't go stale" and "Corn Nuts is a HUGE seller, make them your sponsor for the next 3 PPVs!!"...

But at some point, the WWE stopped caring about it's belts, and I'm sorry to say that AIW's Tag Team Belts and TNA's Jeff Hardy and World belts are not very far behind.

You see, a title used to be used as a way to show the audience who your #1 guy was. It was also an easy way to start a feud. Two men get into the ring. One says "I want the pretty belt". The other says "You can't have the pretty belt because I have it." The two fight. The bell rings. Someone has the pretty belt. Crowd goes nuts. It tells a simple story of who the #1 guy is, and each belt has a great history behind it.

How good a belt looks shows how much a company cares about it's image. Pure and simple, if your belt looks ugly or like a kindergarten class made it, you look like a sham!

Now of course, everyone has had their gripe about the spinner belt. Alot of people were against it, as anything spinning was already out in the car and fashion world by the time the WWE's heavyweight title took it on, and to some it looked more like a toy and less like a championship. But it's purpose was to sell toys, and ultimately, most people accepted that.

Well after 8 years of fan complaints, here's WWE's solution:

EWWWWW!!!! What the hell is this??

This doesn't scream "champion" to me at all. This looks like those gaudy rings Sears sells to old ladies on Mother's Day every year. In fact, my grandmothers each have rings that match this wreck!

But no sooner were wrestlers and their fans joining together to group barf at the extreme fugly that is this title, did the kiss-ups rear their green heads. I bet you've read the comments already, but here's a few gems:

"Geez! You guys complained that you wanted a new title, and now that you have one you're whining? Smh!"

"DERP You should all shut up because DERP they make money and it's all about business!"

Both comments come from people who've never worked with or in wrestling a day in their lives. Go back to whatever Walgreen's you crawled out from, thanks.

Let me dispel those ill-conceived excuses.

1. Money is NEVER an excuse for fugly. hypothetically, the WWE could own enough to purchase the NFL, and it STILL won't be an excuse. 

The truth of the matter is that if you have a ton of money, you have NO excuse for fugly at all! 

With the money you have, you should be making a title worthy of the image you're trying to pander to us. 

If the only belt you produce is fugly, YOU look fugly. End of story. And no amount of money can change the public's view of you.

2. Fugly is never about business. If this was about business at all, that belt would look like the most fancy thing you've ever seen in your life. You'd sell your soul just for a replica of it. If the belt is this disgusting looking, then business is nowhere to be found in this story, and you will LOSE business the more ugly you produce.

3. This belt has nothing to do with money, outside of how much was wasted on it. See #2.

4. Yes the fans are complaining. They and the wrestlers made it very clear that they wanted a better looking title, not some random piece of fugly that happens to be new. There's a difference between new and better. In the 80's, people saw for example that Coke 2 was new... but Coca-Cola was better. Google it.

Only a weakling accepts fugly, just because a corporation has more money than you. 

Just because a corporation has money right now does NOT EVER make them "right" when it comes to fugly. Corporations that produce fugly tend to lose money and ratings, hence this company not being able to rise above a 3 for their main show. 

And don't pretend that wrestling being "dead" is the reason why, people still care about the sport, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this at all. People do care about wrestling, that's why they're disgusted with the fugly belt.

Never be cheap. Never settle for fugly.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Too many promoters, not enough fans

Promoting is a thankless job. And sadly, there are too many people who jump into it, thinking they know better, and making life hard on the good promotions.

I feel that there are too many people out there, who really do believe that running a wrestling company is just like how you see on TV.

Walk or run to the ring. Bark orders at some people. Make a few guys hate you. Get the crowd to either love you or wish you'd fall face first into a pit during a porcupine orgy, pat yourself on the back, leave. Oh, and let's not forget the obligatory strut around the ringside area, occasional commentary, and a few times a year, a main event match against your best loved wrestler.

Some of the people calling themselves promoters actually do think promotion is like this, and they have no clue how badly they're embarrassing themselves in front of the legit promoters.

All the stuff I just described? That's for TV. Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Eric Bischoff, Dixie Carter, Jim Cornette, when it's their turn to play the authoritative figure, they play it to the fullest. But largely this is for television. There's much more to promoting than just barking.

The License ~ In most states, you need to be approved by the State Athletic Commission in order to run a show. This varies state by state.

In Wisconsin for example, any moron with an inflatable "Jumpy-Gym" and a Slip N' Slide can call himself both a promoter and a Heavyweight Champion, while in Kentucky, you had better run your show as smoothly as Ring of Honor, or they send ninjas after you. (They don't kid around out there.) Your state's rules may vary, but in most cases, you will need a promoter's license. You need to make sure that your promotion is legal and above board several months ahead of your first show. Otherwise, buy a ticket and sit down with the rest of the fans, before you start getting sued.

Web and Flyer Promotion ~ No princess, I don't mean spamming Facebook with an event your low-card wrestler posted, and then expecting the fans to "magically" be able to find the seedy bar you're holding a show at in the middle of nowhere, (You know who you are) I mean REAL promotion.

Any promoter who is not willing to promote his own show, and relies on the promoting done by others, is probably ashamed of his company, and should be avoided.

The first order of business is having a real website made. A tangible page that looks flashy, but should load properly, even on the oldest of machines. Something that has the roster posted clearly, upcoming events, videos of what your roster can do, merchandise and even a few goodies for the fans. You should have links to social media pages (like Facebook) and you should use those pages daily, but they are not meant to replace an actual website. You use BOTH.

Second, you need to have flyers printed for each event ~ at least one month in advance. They can cost quite a bit to print, but with them, you can flyer businesses, (with permission) pass them around, post them on poles, anything to get wrestling fans to notice you exist. Get a street team to help if you can.

Building Rental ~ I don't even want to imagine how much this costs, cheapest I've heard of in my neck of the woods is $700 to rent a small building for about 400-600 people, and that is NOT counting heat, electricity, water, ect. Some buildings actually to charge more in the rental fee for this. And this is for a one night show! Imagine renting this for a full week. Yikes!

But you need a REAL building in order to look like a true professional. If you hold an event at a park, backyard, playground, parking lot or (I can't believe I'm saying this) under a tent (you know who you are), you do not look legit at all. You look like yet another backyarder, and nobody respects those guys.

The Ring and set up ~ Yes, you need one. And if you try to substitute a mattress or a trampoline for one, trust that I will find you, and do unspeakable evils to you:

There's no discussion in congress over the use of a branding iron, and I don't need a license to own one.

Rings do not come free, neither does ring rental. But along with the ring, you also need lights, a barricade, ring steps, commentary booth, more than one camera, a stage, and none of this comes for free. You will need to purchase or rent these things one at a time. Do have a show without them makes you look like an amateur.

Ring Crew ~ You can't just hand a lollipop to your 8 year old niece, and ask her to build a ring. You need people for that. Sometimes this comes in the form of the wrestlers and refs already on hand. But generally you need people over the age of 18 to work for you, so in case there's an accident, people don't start calling you a child abuser. (You know who you are. Put down the Cheetoes self proclaimed Cornholio.)

Wrestlers, Managers/Valets, Referees and Ring Announcers/Commentary ~ I can't believe I just typed that out. It's the most important thing a promotion needs in order to be called a wrestling promotion at all! I'm actually sad that I just had to spell this all important part out.

You need fully trained wrestlers for the show. And by fully trained, I mean as in he was trained by a real-life pro wrestler. I certainly do not mean he was trained by "some guy" who used to work at Wal*Mart or "some guy" who used to play sports in High School but suffered a knee injury, NO!!! I mean the boy/girl was trained by a dude who actually has been in the ring as a wrestler for at least a few years. They're not that hard to find, and certainly there are legit wrestling schools out there your wrestler could have been the student of.

Trained referees could mean the difference between life and death to the career of a wrestler. Not only does the ref call the match down the middle, he has to know when a wrestler is too injured to continue, and he has to make the call to the back to send for medical help. It's important to have a guy on hand who knows what to do when the action gets to be too intense. Have a few of them.

A manager or valet should be over the age of 18, dress like their character, dress as though you were already on television, be able to speak and get the crowd to care about what is going on and actually be there based on talent.

I had a hard time not crying tears of blood, when I was informed that Punishing Pete recently had a valet who was underage, half-naked, and (legit) prancing face-first into the ring post, insisting she was going to be like her hero A.J. Lee and become a WWE Diva when she grows up. Her father (the co-promoter) found nothing wrong with her dating Pete for a while (until she dumped him for someone older) and also found no problem with letting her 11 year old little brother act as time keeper. There's at least 45 things WRONG with this story, and I hope and pray this company is no longer running shows, for if they are, I have no hope left for the state of Wisconsin. That saddens me, as I have family and friends out there, and can name a few LEGIT wrestlers/refs that hail from there.

Ring announcers/commentary that are both knowledgeable and have good speaking voices are key.

Take for example your favorite Wrestlemania PPV. Most people associate Howard Finkel's deep resonance with the PPV of the year for WWE. It's a sound that says to the crowd "This is a special event".

You can't just send anybody out there. For a while, WWE had Lena Yada announcing, and currently in NXT, they randomly throw a young girl into the ring. They may actually think this will work for the sake of eye candy, but these girls sound like deflating balloons. You wouldn't accept this from a TV show, so why accept it in your company?

Squeaky voices, sleepy voices, and announcers who can't stay focused on the match are people you do not need on your show. There's nothing more annoying to the viewer at home, than hearing some guy babble on about how he personally feels about the champion, when he's supposed to be relaying the blow-by-blow of the mid-card match.

These elements are important, but sadly, much of wrestling's best promotions are being overshadowed on Facebook, by the image of the sham promoter.

A sham promoter either doesn't run shows, or if he does, he's paid people (usually his relatives) to show up and act like fans. He stiffs the wrestler on a payday, and won't even promote his own shows. Then he gets angry, Facebook trolls people he thinks are not good enough to be called wrestlers, and then gets butthurt when nobody wants to spend $20 a ticket on his event. These are the same morons who permeate YouTube with trampoline videos and give REAL promotions trouble.

And some of them have had it.

Recently, a few promoters jumped onto Facebook to call out the fan-pages, the sham promoters, and a few of the untrained, wannabe "rasslers" that Facebook and Twitter troll their real wrestlers, and to be honest, I don't blame any of them.

We need a clean-up in wrestling across the board. And for those of you who have forgotten what indy wrestling is supposed to look like, here are a few sites to check out:
www.prowrestlingfreedom.com
www.dgusa.tv
www.aawrestling.com

Friday, February 15, 2013

JessKAH And The Fight Against Car Doors

← This is a cartoon of one of my neighbors. I have no idea what her name is, but apparently she has a vendetta against car doors. This is the same neighbor who was legit set on fire during the summer, and now takes her aggression out on car doors. Recently, she's gotten another neighbor of mine to do the same at ungodly points in the day, but I'll get back to that in a bit.

I think I may be a tad over stressed.

I caught myself last night, threatening "Illegal Maria" of the large dogs through the window, by exclaiming that if she lets her  beasts into my yard one more time, I shall have to insert my jumbo flashlight into her rectum. I know that sounds aggressive and mean, but there's a (pun not intended) bright side to my plan. Now when it's 2 in the morning, and she's having trouble locating her large beasts of burden, all she'd have to do is pinch her nose, and her bottom will light the way to them.

But I must be honest, folks. I am stressed out. I'm not sleeping very much and when I do sleep, I am disturbed repeatedly by my neighbors.

Behind Illegal Maria is another house, owned by a dude who's name escapes me, but currently being run by "JessKAH". I'm not joking here, that really is how she pronounces her name.

JessKAH Looks like a real life Barbie doll ~ one of the new thin ones. JessKAH stopped growing when she was about 11, so she only comes up to my neck. JessKAH originally was just the "good friend" of my behind-the-house neighbor (let's call him Chad, since I don't recall his name) but is now his live-in girlfriend and new owner of his house. (Dude, cut your losses and move.)

When I first met JessKAH, I was chasing her out of my yard, after she got drunk and thought it would be really funny to light firecrackers in the N-word-bitch's yard. For being as pale as I am, I guess JessKAH can still smell the quarter-Black that I am from a distance. It must count, because the police officer I flagged down didn't even lift a finger to help me when I screamed that she was armed and trespassing on my lawn. Hmm... I'm starting to rethink my stance on... eh... moving on. ^^;

JessKAH gets into fights with Chad almost every day, apparently over stupid shit. The other day, they were fighting over K-Mart towels. At least I'm guessing that's it, since I saw a few Martha Stewart ones being thrown onto the lawn.

I'm always surprised to see the two of them still together when I go to fetch the mail. Their last blow-out was over a white bedsheet not being eggshell color. This was after the first snowfall.

Chad: I am so SICK of your BULLSHIT, JessKAH!!
JessKAH: Whaht-Averrrrrrrrrrrr
Chad: JessKah for real!!
JessKah: Shat AHP
Chad: JESSKAH!!!
JessKah: Kiss my butthole
Chad: Or real fucking original. JessKAH COME ON!!
JessKah: NUW!!

Now don't worry, Chad isn't the type that gets physical in these fights. He just gets whiny.

JessKAH steps outside to use her cell phone. That should give you an idea of the coverage my area has. 20 minutes later, a very compact car, piled with (not kidding) 7 other tiny females arrives. I swear, they all look like tweens. Picture the cast of Digimon in a little, red Prius.

JessKAH heads for the car as Chad stands there, freezing in his Ed Hardy t-shirt and bowl cut hair.

Chad: JessKAh GET BACK HERE!!!
JessKah: NUW!!
Chad: JessKAH!!
JessKah: Whaht-Evurrrrrrr
Chad: Fine, Whatever BYE BITCH!!
JessKAH: Serusly WHAHT!

The next morning, JessKAH returned, long enough to very loudly proclaim she has to get ready for work. Someone she knew drove up to take her to work, and decided to honk 10 times in a row, get out of the car, have some coffee in front of my house, get back in the car and honk again. Guess who's awake now???

JessKAH goes outside. I curl up in bed, thinking this is all over, and I can get some sleep.

.... I should know better by now, shouldn't I?

JessKAH starts screaming at this dude. "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?? YOU GO TO HELL RIGHT NOW!!" And she starts slamming the door, repeatedly. Over and over.

I hear more screaming and whining, and then I hear a sound nobody should ever hear, especially not at ungodly o'clock in the morning.

*BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM*

My heart stops. Oh dear God.

I peek outside the window.

Fortunately, both people are alive and unharmed. I have no idea if this was a gun I heard, but if it was, whoever used it is a poor shot. Nobody was hurt. But JessKAH was PISSED.

She starts screaming "YOU ARE SUCH A LOSER FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU TONS!!" as the car drives off.... leaving behind a teddy bear.

JessKAH left the bear outside for six hours. When Chad asked about the bear, JessKAH insisted that she left the bear outside.................... to think about what he had done. I can't make this up. The bear now resides in the window.

Since then, JessKAH has been talking to the lady across the street. The two and Maria now have a new hobby, slamming car doors at all hours of the day and night, cursing at people who are not there.

I'm so happy I'm moving.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Celebrity DEWD ~ Did you just sleep with that??

This AIN'T about cheating!!

I hope I don't come across as being a catty bitch, I'm just asking a question here.

And NO I'm not going to be all about "oh whyeeeee do men cheat" or "men are stoopid" because I'm not a fan of misandry, and there's already a million articles written by Christian Lesbians who already rag on men for this, so ENOUGH!! This is about a man's choice in a woman. (See cartoon.)

Tiger Woods, Hulk Hogan and now, John Cena.

All three have been touted in the media as being cheating husbands, but for Hogan and Cena, I don't think that's fair at all.

At the time Hogan filmed his video ~ which I have not seen and do not intend on seeing ever ~ because I still have his action figure and ergo that would make it WEIRD to hold it again ~ Hogan was separated from Linda. They were about to get divorced, so I see no harm in him dating or sleeping with someone else. The only crime is that this was Bubba The Love Sponge's sloppy seconds, but I'll get back to that in a bit. Aside from this, I don't feel he cheated at all, when the relationship was already OVER.

John Cena I don't know if I should count or not, since his relationship was always troubled, and he really wasn't ready for life long commitment at the time he got married. I've seen this happen in my own family, and the drama that surrounded Cena's nuptials was well known, so I really don't want to count what he did as being news worthy.

Tiger Woods is still the world's greatest golf player, and the only person to ever make me care about golf, but he is pretty damn stupid. C'mon dude, you had a MODEL with a twin sister. You were the envy of every other golf player in existence. REALLY?? We mixed-race folks are trying to get ahead in life, and you went ahead and played the cheating-father-who-ditches-his-kids-in-the-divorce stereotype?? REALLY??? Does you not see how far back in time this sets the rest of us? DOOOOD!!

But my opinion aside, I just have one thing to ask celebrity men who date or cheat....

DEWD!! Did you just sleep with a female version of Shawn Michaels???

I mean no disrespect to the WWE Hall of Famer, as I have a ton of people in my life that will vouch for him. But seriously, have you SEEN these celebrity mistresses??

The Bella Twins, Mrs. Love Sponge, Kendra Lust, the 15+ creatures Tiger Woods had. Google them! They all look like Shawn Michaels but with different hair.

Skinny, pointy nose, thin neck full of veins and tendons, bony arms and Justin Bieber's body. I've brought this up before on my blog about Making Over Society, but I feel the need to share a photo again:
DEWD seriously! Why would you do THAT?? It's like a 12 year old Shawn Michaels, only these women have control freak issues, destroy men's personal possessions, hate-tweet about them behind their backs, starve him and then bully him constantly. WTF do you see in someone like that?? It's the Karen Angle-Jarrett effect going on. Fugly bitch who treats the man like garbage. WHY?? What is the point?

Most of them don't even have lips, C'MON!! That's like trying to get a mouth hug from Sigourney Weaver after she's already decided to tattoo you with a chainsaw dipped in poison. DOOD really!?!?

I'm being serious here. If you are in a bad relationship ~ and you are a celebrity ~ break up RIGHT NOW before the psycho has a chance to clean you out. That way, you can't be caught cheating, meaning that she has less of a chance to rob you in court of everything but the toilet seat.

And then, once you start asking other women out, treat yourself nicely. TRADE UP!! Pick somebody cute, like a Smooth Magazine model or something.

Think about it. Tiger Woods, Cena and Hogan are all famous enough they could get someone as cute as Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, or Amber Rose. Just because you're famous doesn't mean you can't have CUTE for goodness sakes.

Don't settle for the first pair of fake eyelashes to look your way. Have some respect for your body! Aim for cute and polite. Never settle for less.

Thank you Tommy Dreamer. ^_^ An Ode to the man from Yonkers.

NOTE: I originally wrote this on March 2, 2010 on my MySpace account. I am re-uploading this with a brand new cartoon, because Tommy Dreamer is still an inspiration to me. The wrestler from Yonkers served as a beacon of light to me during my darkest hours as a child, and I want to share this story again, in honor of his birthday. ^_^

ECW to me growing up wasn't just another wrestling company. It was hope. It was comfort. It was an hour here, two hours there that made my whole little world a better place.

Once upon a time, it was 1994. I was 7 years old and life was a daily nightmare.

As you've read briefly before, my dad moved me all over the East Coast, in pursuit of one piss-ass retail goal after another. Just one measly year earlier, I was a happy Chicago girl, who lived close to family. But my dad was never happy in Chicagoland. Always wanted more.

He worked retail for Lee-Wards, and in 1993, he was offered a choice. Stay in Chicago and be promoted next year, or move to Virginia and be promoted right now.

He chose the latter, promising to move us back in a year. All the while, he refused to let me live down how expensive my brother and I were on him, how our clothes and our food put such a damper on the family budget, and that if we didn't exist, he wouldn't “have to” move the family out to Virginia.

I didn't actually realize how much he was lying about our finances until I was 18, when I learned that a majority of the cost of living was NOT mine or my brother’s fault, but dad’s fault. Apparently he had been “entertaining” a string of other women behind Mama’s back, and had tried to pawn the financial guilt off onto Orion and I. Nice going there, pops!

So I spent almost a year in the heavily military based Virginia Beach. My dad refused to let my mother homeschool me until I was 8, so I went to a school out in Virginia Beach, which was filled with kids that resented me. The children were jealous, because I was the only little girl, whose mother loved her enough to NOT force her into every after-school program in existence, and the only girl who had BOTH parents living with her full time. Everyone else had either one or both parents working on a base somewhere. I was also picked on and teased because I was the only mixed girl in class, and the smartest one.

Not helping were my growth spurts. I was growing much faster than a normal child, and my mom had me tested for gigantism. My tests always came back negative, but I was growing at an alarming rate. (I reached my adult height at age 12. At 5’4 you wouldn’t guess that my nickname at school was “Gulliver”)

So here it was, the early Spring of 1994 (I believe March). I was pulled aside by a teacher from a class I never went to, on my way to lunch. She pulled me into the teacher’s lounge, and poked fun at me, calling me a “freak” because I was a 7 year old, and almost her size.

I cried all the way home. My mom sat me in front of the TV, handed me my favorite snack (Cheese sandwich with Maggi) and we watched wrestling together.

Wrestling has a way of making everything better. Initially that day, I watched WCW, then WWF right after, and I saw other wrestlers like The Undertaker and Giant Gonzalez (El Gigante), dealing with the same criticism I had faced in school. Seeing them cope with being different, made me feel better.

But later that week, I would stumble upon something amazing.

I don’t remember what channel this was, or even what time it was, but on a fuzzy cable channel (which NEVER came in clearly) was an oddball wrestling program called ECW.

Mama and I sat closer to the TV, until we saw the picture clear up some.

There in the ring, stood Tommy Dreamer.

Sort of lanky, with a small build frame, Dreamer looked more like the average business man next door than he did a wrestler. He wore suspenders, had somewhat of a pretty boy image when not in regular clothes, was poked fun at on a weekly basis, and at the time he was involved with a program against Jimmy Snuka ~ whom had rediscovered a love of the Indy scene.

Dreamer had trouble taking out the more experienced Jimmy Snuka, but something about this underdog wrestler held my attention. I was actually upset to see the episode end, because now… I wanted more.

While all two of my classmates who watched wrestling with their uncles were raving about Shawn Michaels’s impending match against Razor Ramon, I couldn't stop wondering what would become of this new wrestler from Yonkers, New York. I equally liked seeing Terry Funk, Sabu and Sandman, wrestlers who really didn't care what society thought of them, nor did they appreciate the rules and standards for wrestling of the day.

I didn't really care that my classmates thought I was speaking another language when I talked about these other wrestlers. By now, I was getting used to being the outsider, and at least I could gloat that I knew where the hell Yonkers is on a map, while the other kids all thought that Yonkers was a brand of popcorn snack.

It had been 9 months since I moved to Virginia by the time I had seen Dreamer. I thought that in just 3 months, I would at last be able to go home to Chicagoland. But life took an unplanned turn.

My dad’s company got swallowed whole by Michael’s, and they opted to NOT honor dad’s previous agreement. So in lieu of the agreement to go home, Michaels gave my dad three options:

A. Move to New Jersey
B. Move to Long Island
C. Move to Buffalo, New York
D. You are fired.

Yeah. Riiiiight. Now at the time, Long Island was a no-go because there was an increase in crime there. I almost moved to Buffalo, but when my mom placed a down payment on a trailer out there, she was sent her money back, because we weren't the “right” people. I’m going to let you guess what that meant. Dad getting fired (again) was clearly not an option, so with heavy reluctance, we ventured to New Jersey.

We made a trip out to Wayne, and from there Mama handed over a first month’s rent to a seedy person in upstate New Jersey. I thought we were moving to a really nice place up there. Gorgeous scenery, cute neighborhood, I didn't feel too bad about the house.

Mama, Papa, Orion and I went back to Virginia to pack everything up. As Orion and I are waiving “bye-bye” to the truck with all my stuff on board, Mama gets a phone call.

The check was being mailed back. Apparently the home owner changed her mind on that “weird Mexican looking lady” and her “odd children” moving into her pristine neighborhood. I didn't get it at first since Mama and I ARE NOT HISPANIC!!

So everything was emergency thrown into storage, and we spent the next four months living in a hotel room.

My dad and I fought over the TV, the better bed and the better blankets constantly. Not helping was his consistent flirting with the pool lady, or the endless stream of real estate agents, who NEVER freaking helped Mama, only sucked up more and more money.

But late at night, dad would pass out, so Mama and I had rule over the remote. I got to watch ECW, and up in Jersey it came in CLEAR. J


This would be the year that I would decide once and for all that ALL wrestlers must be black, because ECW (and a few of the better WWF shows) only came on during black programming blocks. 1 and 2 in the morning, I had my choice between Miss Black USA, ECW and What’s Happening’ Now.
(An UBER militant show, with a dude who wore the biggest Afro I've ever seen.)

I lived vicariously through Tommy Dreamer, who was still very much an underdog. Life just shit all over Dreamer, as he was thrown into fights with Stevie Richards, Hack Meyers and Rockin’ Rebel. But he fought through every obstacle imaginable. Watching Dreamer beat the odds every week, made me feel better.

August came mercifully, as a sweet angel named Bea found us an apartment in Wharton. Almost two weeks after I moved in, came the match heard ‘round the world. August 13, 1994. ECW Hardcore Heaven

Sandman and Tommy Dreamer locked up in a Singapore Cane Match. Sandman would go on to win the fight, but what happened after the match was what would change the world as I knew it. “August 13, 1994--Hardcore Heaven: The Sandman defeated Tommy Dreamer by DQ in a "Singapore Cane" match.” Is how some wrestling sites remember the night. But this was NO brief one liner incident.


The next day, Mama was reading the newspaper. “Outlandish! Grotesque! Dangerous!” Screamed the morning newscaster as I was eating my morning bowl of Malt-O-Meal Cocoa Roos. There were people on every channel discussing the fight on every news station, including CNN. “What about the CHILDREE~EEEN who may have been watching this fight at home? They may fling their grandfather’s canes at each other, this is imitative behavior!!” wailed an out of control analyst as she was waiving papers at a “concerned adult” in a black suit. People were aghast, there was screaming in the streets, schools were closed, busses rode on only half their wheels, riots were organized in front of public places. It was mass chaos everywhere I turned!!

And all the while, my mother sat stone faced, reading the newspaper, when suddenly she leaned over and said “Oh look Princess! Tommy and Sandman’s fight made the paper. And LOOK they got such a nice shot of him, right as Sandman struck him the third time. Awwww.
♥”

A few months passed by, and I was regretting the move to Jersey. Apperantly I was the only little girl in all of Wharton who loved Wrestling, Power Rangers, Cartoons, Anime, reading buuks wifout da purdy pitruez, and generally being good. I was the tallest girl in my class, the only mixed child in class, and I was correcting the teacher constantly ~ which is a lot more embarrassing than it sounds.

Needless to say I got my ass beat every day.

I suffered a concussion, deep spinal bruising, and nearly lost a kidney in one fight. I had a black eye and more bruises than I could count, and I spent more time in the nurse’s office than I did in class.

Making matters worse, everytime I would go shopping with Mama, we would get harassed. There were adults ~ people old enough to know better ~ strangers I didn’t even know, ridiculing Mama because of the “more than size 6” frame she had at the time, and picking on me because of my height. We both got harassed because neither of us had a “Jersey” accent (one lady kept asking me if I was from Canada) and I even dealt with people questioning Orion, who as a baby had blonde curls and blue eyes and thus didn’t look like me. (Mixed kids change colors. FYI.)

No matter where I went, I was treated less like a child and more like a monster.
So if there was ever a time that I needed an underdog hero to look to, this would have been it.

Watching ECW during my “medically induced vacations” made the struggle seem less depressing. Raven and Dreamer were working a storyline that really shone a light on my life at the time.

Raven portrayed the anger I had inside. Dressed like a grunge-era rebel, he voiced all of the hurt I had in me. How society was a failure, how he couldn’t find a place in the world, so he had to carve one out. How the mainstream world as we knew it had no love for misfits and outcasts. He dealt with all the same hatred I had, and he acted it all out.

But across the ring was Tommy Dreamer. Even though Dreamer dealt with the exact same crap as Raven, he viewed the struggle as a challenge to overcome, not a reason to bemoan his fate. Every rejection from mainstream society was just one more hurdle to jump, one more reason to keep going. Dreamer’s message through his matches was that you could be a screw up, you could be an outcast, but you could still be somebody. If you were willing to fight for yourself, and anything you stand for, then you can become a champion.

I sat wide-eyed, holding my Power Ranger plushies as they fought. I wasn’t just watching a well booked storyline, I was watching Raven and Dreamer give me something I desperately needed. A voice.

Now somewhere along 94 and 95 came the crossing of the paths. This is where the story takes a surprising turn.

Mama used to order from different pizza places in the tri-state area. One such place (though I can’t remember which) had an interesting pizza boy.

This dude always came to the house EARLY with our food. He was never late and was very humble. Very polite, didn’t ask for a tip, always had his face covered with a baseball cap with the brim tipped down.

Until one night….

Mama had ordered pepperoni and mushroom and I think sausage. She barely had enough time to get the money ready when the guy showed up at the door, hot pizza in hand. So Mama went downstairs to the door, still counting change.

Mama opened the door, got the pizza and handed the man some money. He tipped his hat and started counting. “Will that be all Ma’am?”

Mama looked under the hat. “……….. Tommy? O_O Tommy….. Dreamer???”

“Will that be all ma’am?”

“You’re… Tommy Dreamer. You’re Tommy Dreamer!”

“o///o;; ……
*oh shit* Um will that be all ma’am?”

“Didn’t you fight Sandman not too long ago?”

I came downstairs, wondering why it was suddenly freezing, and eager to help Mama bring in the food.

“Hey Mama! Didja need any-OHMAHGOD IT’S TOMMY DREAMER!!!” I stared up in awe as Tommy was trying not to act like this was a big deal.

Orion came downstairs. He was still in diapers and didn’t really talk yet, but wanted to help out too. He grunted through his pacifier. “Mmm Hmm Mmm mmm !!!! *Shock* Mmmm Mmmm Emmm Heemmm????” (Translation: Do you need any-!!!! Tommy Dreamer???)

As Orion and I freaked out, Tommy continued counting. Mama took a deep breath.

“……. DUDE!! Awesome match.”

Tommy smiled. “Thanks.” He soon darted off into the night. I don’t even think he had all of the money with him! (Free Pizza ish good.)

A few years later, Dreamer confirmed that he really was a pizza boy back then on the “Rise and fall of ECW set”. ^_^ Who knew that the first wrestler I would meet came right to my door, and bearing good food on top of that!

Summer of 1995, Mama was finally able to start homeschooling me. The ridicule at school was now over, but at home it was just starting up again. Dad and his branch of the family thought my mom was stupid for homeschooling me, claiming that I was now “guaranteed” to never make friends and to be a social outcast, because after all, school was there to make friends, and little more.
REALLY??? :D
I laugh at this memory, every time I think about the day I graduated high school a year ahead of my peers, while I was doing pre-collage work for the hell of it. I also laugh, because my cousins on my dad’s side only have two friends a piece, and can’t even maintain relationships with each other, much less their former schoolmates.

But still, any time my dad’s family picked on me for ONCE AGAIN being the oddball, I took solace in knowing that there were other misfits right in ECW, who thumbed their noses at the “norms” of society.

I would spend the next few years on the East Coast, with ECW being my saving grace. Certainly watching people being bludgeoned with barbed wire baseball bats took the edge off of my oncoming hormones, and it made life more tolerable after hour long arguments with my dad over schooling and chores. In May of 1996, I moved to Reading, Pennsylvania, into a W.A.S.P. infested country club. Oh way to go dad, you sure know how to pick great living areas. NOT!!

I had Neo Nazi’s down the block, and W.A.S.P. elderly living across from me. Oddly enough, the Neo Nazi’s never caused me any trouble. Their worst crime? Rollerblading and skateboarding at 2 in the morning. (Oh scary.) It was their non-Nazi parents I had to worry about.

Their parents would hack into the cable on certain days of the week, because they didn't want ANYONE in their neighborhood watching “those” kinds of programs. So there was no more BET, no more Science channel, and almost nothing wrestling related.

Oh… at this point I was jonesin’ for WCW. Oh yes it DID get this bad.

I’m sorry, I like football, I like hockey, but no other sport cuts it for me than wrestling.

Mama and I used to play different games with the TV set, so we could hack back wrestling. Mama even dug out the bunny ears, just so we could see Dreamer fight Justin Credible.

PPV channels back then, did NOT go to a black screen the way they do now if you couldn't pay for something. Instead, they would let you hear the audio, but the picture would be scrambled. So if you jumped up and down hard enough, then left the remote TOTALLY alone for 20 minutes, you could get the PPV in sorta clear. So I dealt with the purple, green and static white scribbles and the blue and yellow skip patterns because dammit, Guilty as Charged was on, and I was NOT going to miss Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible in a Stairway to Hell ladder match!

1999 came, and that May I finally moved back to Chicagoland. But by this time, most of the family I had left behind and badly wanted to see again…. Died. At the time, the few relatives I had left who lived in Chicago full time were elderly. Much of them have since passed since I moved back, and they really didn’t remember me that well. The few who are still alive have all moved away, so I came home to an empty town pretty much.

ECW was on TNN at the time, so I no longer had to worry about jumping up and down to get a picture in. But grasping ECW again just wasn't so easy.

Unbeknownst to me, TNN had started screwing around on Paul Heyman’s boys by moving ECW all over the flippin’ place. Most nights I could catch ECW at 1 in the morning, but as 2000 rolled in, the tapings came in sporadically in my area. Soon it was 1:00 am, 1:34, 2:17, even 3:45 in the morning before I could see ECW again. (Me? Sleep? Why should I?)

I really didn't know what was going on. Wrestling sites back then were such a joke, and rarely did they cover anything that wasn't WWF or WCW, and even then the “backstage news” was relegated to whatever storylines were on TV that week. So I didn't realize the problem, until a few ECW alumni started cropping up on Raw and Nitro.

Paul Heyman delivered one of the most startling, and heart wrenching shoots I’d ever heard one night. I sat up straight and paid attention. (YouTube pulled the video. Sorry!!)


I had to resist throwing up. I couldn't believe what I had just heard. It was unconscionable what TNN had done, and I hope Paul yelled “I TOLD YOU SO” at the Spike TV building the day WWE went crawling back to USA.

February 2001 came much too quickly. It had been a few weeks since I’d last seen an ECW taping and now I was beside myself, wondering what had happened. Monday came, the day after No Way Out, and my mom and I just held each other, sobbing as Paul Heyman walked to the announcer’s booth. We both knew that if Paul was here, then ECW was done.

Over the next few months, I saw many of the ECW wrestlers make their way to WWF. “Blue chippers” I heard J.R. call them. “Now it’s their time to play with the big boys!” He said boldly to Paul Heyman, just before the Invasion angle started. I watched McMahon strip down all the greats in bizarre and stupid storylines.

Raven (who used to be able to dress himself) was soon wearing gold man-skirts and tagging along with Terri as they picked on Perry Saturn’s emotions towards the ill-fated Moppy. The Dudley Boyz were now ripping each other apart because someone told them that Spike needs to break away from these bigger people. Lance Storm was barely able to keep a spot in WWF, and in under a year’s time would be seen on camera as a janitor. Justin Credible was deciding whether or not he liked holding hands with X-Pac, Taz was now spelled with two “Z’s” and was reduced to commentary status, Paul was stuck with J.R. behind the booth, and the icing on this cyanide cake was Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley-Levesque parading herself as the new “Princess” of ECW.

Excuse me. I just had to resist the urge to jam ice cold razor blades into all of my finger and toenails at that last thought.

For the next several years, I endured watching WWE make a mockery of the original ECW, and no harder did they try, then with Tommy Dreamer.

Dreamer truly is the heart and soul of ECW. He fights for everything they stood for. Honor, courage, perseverance, determination, he put up with ridiculous storylines that most wrestlers would have quit over. *Ahem* Undertaker and the chewing tobacco. On top of the craptastic storylines and the de-push after de-push after de-push, came the ignorant poo flingers behind the desk. “Oh the underdog Tommy Dreamer just doesn't have the body for the championship.” “Oh Dreamer doesn't have the look, oh Dreamer doesn't have the size we need” what the hell was this, a wrestling-WAIT “Sport’s Entertainment” company, or a gigolo pen? (Right size, right look, HOW does that help a man beat the Undertaker?)

WWE Confidential would show a less than glamorous background, when in one episode, cameras showed Bubba Ray Dudley, Spike and Tommy piling into a rental car too small for the Divas, just to make it to a WWE show on their own dime. The special showed the ECW alumni eating lettuce and carrot sticks backstage, cramming into teensy-tiny hotel rooms together, and trying to survive on LESS THAN $100 a week.

This was not a storyline. This was WWE’s second “reality” show. And the reality I saw looked very painful.

I never stopped watching. Never stopped reading the behind the scenes articles, such as the time Dreamer told a news agent that if Sabu was leaving WWE, that he would soon follow, because WWE’s version of December to Disappoint Disaster Disgust the ECW Alumni Dismember 9_9 went on to put a fowl taste in the mouths of the wrestlers who actually spent the gas money to show up early for work that day.

WWE’s new version of ECW lasted an extra 3 years longer than I thought it would. Once it became apparent that Paul as not going to be in charge of the one hour weekly show, I knew the alumni were now easy pickings.

One by one, the ECW originals were wished all the best in their future endeavors, until at last there was only Dreamer.

Dreamer was allowed a short reign as ECW champion, shortly after threatening to quit. The next few months, he just bided his time, until he got tossed into a “win or retire” storyline, with a young, naive Zach Ryder.

What could have been a classy “book this man into retirement” angle, turned into a nightmare for Zach.

Yes, Zach won over Dreamer. Yes, Zach had now retired Dreamer from WWE. But now Zach has to endure wrestling in front of silent, no-pop crowds, until he either gets fired or can somehow overcome this. Zach got screwed by WWE’s booking team, who ignorantly thought that ousting the heart of ECW would prove beneficial to the young Ryder, who was already being punished enough with that silly assed outfit.

Meanwhile, I don’t think Dreamer has ever been so happy.

In the days following his release, Dreamer got himself a Twitter and bookings galore in the Indy world.

January 23rd, I got to see Dreamer live again at DragonGate’s Fearless. I came in early enough to see Dreamer bringing his luggage into the Congress theater, and I even spotted him with Gabe during the early part of the show.

Before I knew it, Jon Moxley was acting a fool in front of Jimmy Jacobs, and Dreamer came out to beat Moxley.

The fight went into the crowd, so naturally I ran over with my camera.
Moxley’s body goes “FLADUMP” onto some chairs, just as I’m racing over. I didn't actually see Moxley as I was trying to get a good snapshot of Dreamer.

Then as I go for another shot, Dreamer puts an arm over me and says “Don’t step on the body, okay sweetie?”

So I look down. “Oh hey there IS a body here. Smiles!” So Dreamer returns to whompin’ the crap out of Moxley.

The fight goes right over to my mom and brother. Orion holds up a folding chair, yelling “HIT HIM WITH THIS!!” Dreamer says “OKAY!!”

*BAM*

Moxley does the eyerolly thing.

I don’t know if Dreamer recognized Mama as the lady who couldn't stop raving about his fight with Sandman, and I’m sure he wouldn't remember Orion and I, but it was cool to see him again. No longer is Dreamer the lanky, suspender wearing young boy I saw so many years ago. For now Dreamer is a broad shouldered legend, finally able to follow the wind and wrestle as himself.

So since I’m not sure if I’ll have the chance to say this in person, I’d like to say this here.

Dreamer, if you’re reading this, I want to say thanks.

Thank you, for giving me one hell of a fight, every time you enter a ring.

Thank you for giving my family memories they won’t forget.

And most of all thank you, for giving a little misfit child somebody to believe in.