One year later….

A year ago today, one week after Black Friday 2013, there was a black Friday of my own in my house that tore me apart, and even to this day still does. It was the day one of the most loving, caring pets in my life left me. I had lost dogs before, 6 years prior when my golden Rusty passed in my arms, but last year it was really rough to see Monty pass away.

You see, the backstory…we got Monty from the animal shelter August 2009. A pommie who was full of life. It took him up until I went back to school for my last year of college for him to take a liking to me, but he was a good boy. Whenever he heard fighting among my parents, he would run to me and hide. And oh how he loved to hide! We would find him in the most peculiar spots, burrowing himself in a blanket and making it so his nose poked out from one of the corners. The dog was just funny in his own special way and was full of life. And then within a matter of 6 days, that life just teetered off.

The Sunday before he died, we could tell he wasn’t himself. Going outside to go potty and not doing anything until he came inside, the lack of wanting to do much. There was something wrong and we took him to the vet the next day, had a tumor removed from his ass. The vet told us he had a form of cancer that had gone right to his heart and that he might not make it for another 5-10 days. The next day, he didn’t want to stand up, didn’t want to eat, drink…nothing. He lost control of his bodily functions and needed doggie diapers. From Tuesday until Friday, I only saw him get up once, to run to the kitchen table and just pee away like he normally did when he was upset. And he refused to eat, we had to give him doggie formula in a small bottle, which he drank up, but you could tell he didn’t want to do that.

And then, 365 days ago was the day that put me over the edge. Everyone had to work, and we all were wondering how Monty was going to be. I left at 8:30 that morning and saw him on his favorite pillow, lying there. He had a flash of that smile I loved so much, and he did what I called his doggie laugh, where he smiled and just did something that resembled a laugh. He was going to pull though. I told him to hang in there & that brother would be home soon to give him love…

3 pm arrives. I had to drop something off and then I arrived home & walked in the door. I saw mom bent down near the pillow calling Monty’s name…his tongue hanging out of his mouth, just lying there motionless. He passed between the time I left and the time I got home. I burst into tears, & it was just hard to deal with. That entire weekend I just wanted to be left alone, my heart was crushed into a thousand pieces. It hurt even the most because our black lab kept looking for him and gave me the sad dog eyes because she knew he wasn’t there.

Two days after Monty passed away, we got a puppy named Dante. He is special in his own way, but there will never be another Monty. He was one of a kind. A year later & his death still brings me to tears thinking of him and his last days alive.

Radio Industry Hijinks…..

So, about half an hour ago, I was delighted to a phone call from a listener, and in shoot form…I must post about it. Not because it made laugh in a good way, but in a “shake-my-head disappointingly” way.

A person decided to call and ask if they could speak to Keith Urban. When I proceeded to tell them this is a station ran on satellite and we don’t have anyone IN STUDIO…what do you think the next thing was out of their mouth? If you guessed “Ok, not a problem”…congrats…you are WRONG! The next question WAS…and I quote…”Can I speak to Keith Urban? Do you have his phone number?”

Ok, let me get this out there. We are an independently-owned station in the middle of a backwoods town. We stream our programming like any other independent, through a feed that is in a big time city. The only time anyone is on the air over here is mid-day, and that is only our Operations Manger, for a 3 hour time frame. Second, I HIGHLY DOUBT ANY SORT OF CELEBRITY would make the rounds to this station. The big name musicians only go for the big name towns and the big name stations, the most we get are up and comers or even locals trying to get a career started, even one-time big names, not any star power artists though. Third, what makes you think that because I run audio I know Mr. Urban’s phone number? Nice try…and it gets better.

Not even 10 seconds after I hang up…the phone rings yet again. Same person, disguising their voice…asking me if I can hear them sing a song!!! Sorry, twice in a minute you call, I am on to you…and I know where this one is headed. I have been around the block. I am a fan of prank calls, not to mention used to do them in college back in the “day”, seems like you are pranking…grounds for an immediate phone drop. Must be a post-Thanksgiving Sunday craziness going on. But I am on to you…do know that one.

The radio industry…wow

So this week marks 4 years for me since I started working in the radio industry. Now, I am not one to toot my own horn when it comes to issues, but TOOT freakin TOOT! After what I experienced today, it makes me wonder.

Now I have had issues at this station in the past, but they are all pretty minor. Heated words with co-hosts over their own miscues and fuck-ups, things not playing when they should, getting told not to pour my own “feelings” into messages left for the program director over issues for certain shows that piss-off the hosts…yep, this one in my opinion, takes the cake.

We have what they call a remote…on-air location that they broadcast from live. Now considering the fact this is an independently-owned station, two channels (AM & FM) in the same building (which looks like a run-down mess), and throw in the fact that you have one person (because let’s face it…the longest-tenured board operator/audio engineer…only other one besides me, quit over their own stupidity) trying to do both channels, it’s going to be a disaster. The AM station had a live show until 12, and it was just finishing up. The FM was in a commercial break, but it ended too soon apparently. We SHOULD have something to let you know its off the air…right?

But wait….there’s more! Doesn’t the station manager call at the stroke of noon and begin to bitch because (a) it was off-air, and (b) his remote host was supposed to be “calling in, but didn’t”?…and that is apparently the fault of yours truly! So let me get this straight…your remotes only have 3 spots per hour…the host did his 3 spots…and you wanted more? Did you bother saying anything about that to either? And then, you proceed to run me down for it? I’m sorry, this is my first remote in over 8 months…you have a new format, it is your job as the station manager to say something to your audio people, let them know what is going on. It is also your job to fill them in on any thing and everything. Do I need to remind you of how you got new computer equipment a month ago and didn’t bother saying anything? There was important stuff on there that I had recorded! Even programs that had to be aired, I had to dig into my email account and redownload them…took 30 minutes to find the files too! And the person who does up your playlists? When I mention that spots are outdated…nothing. Certain days playing a playlist the day or two before? Also mentioned and nada!

Here is a stunning revelation of an idea…hire another board operator. I know you don’t feel like shelling out an extra 9 dollars to someone to push buttons, but when you have a show on one station and a remote on another….don’t tell your board operator that “the remote is more important” than a show that is about to go off the air…especially when your host tells me he is calling in at a certain time…definitely unprofessional this place is at times.

Let the next chapter begin

Well, it finally happened. Two days ago. I was in the middle of running a shift when the supervisor asked to see me. I was thinking “Oh no, I’m in trouble now…what did I do?”. As it turned out, it was just a little more to let me in on some changes going on at work, BIG changes.

In two days, not even 42 hours from now, I will be saying goodbye to the store I have been at for 12-plus years, and moving on to a different store. The emotions have been high since then. I am leaving a store I am familiar with, people I have known since practically forever, and those who have seen me grow up…to a whole new location. A new cast of characters. And a new way of doing things.

I consider it a blessing though. A change in scenery is good, as is a change in pace from the everyday norm. I am going to miss my fellow crew, and my friends I have made there, but the challenge is welcome. The next chapter in my life is about to start, and I am ready to make the most of it. BRING IT ON!!!

Aspie Adventures Part 1: To take it with a grain of salt or treat it as something else?

I did say that I was thinking of making Shoot From The Hip more than just a wrestling-themed blog, and I am making good on that promise with this being the 2nd straight blog I have done with something totally out of the blue. I am an Aspie. My mind usually focuses on things that do tend to get to me at times, my tastes are random as is my interests (hence the original intent of the blog). Even moreso, I do have social cues that tend to not be there at times. I can have feelings, emotions, and even can tell when someone is not themselves. But when it comes to myself and picking up on reaction with me, towards me…it is something that to this day I struggle with and do not know if others are true or hiding behind that proverbial “mask” as one might call it.

The reason I bring this up in today’s blog? Something happened today that just made me scratch my head, and left me befuddled. For the first time in 4 and a 1/2 years…I ran into my grandfather before I started my shift at work. And the old man spoke to me. I bring this up because obviously, there is history to WHY there is a lack of verbiage with him. So, allow me to dig deep into the archives and explain the situation at hand.

My grandfather is very stubborn, very nasty. He is not what one would call a nice person, and has excessive baggage. Too much to explain on here. But about 10 years ago, he remarried after being with them for 17 years-plus, and basically pushed his own flesh and blood family out of the picture. No matter how much this was brought to his attention, there was NO realization by him for the wrong and for the hurt it caused. And when it came to holidays, we were left out of the picture. Once I graduated from college and Father’s Day 2010 rolled around, you guessed it…where was his own flesh and blood in the picture? Didn’t show up to see me graduate, didn’t spend time with the daughter he gave birth to on Father’s Day…nothing. Mom was pissed, and rightfully so…as am I because of my strong family stance. A war of words broke out that night and I stood up for what I believed in, and was made to feel wrong for doing so. He would get pissed when I took his change in the drive thru, even go as far as THROWING his change at me instead of handing it! And let’s no go there with just getting his coffee and staring me down like a hawk, evil eye and everything.

But flash forward to this morning, he just ran right into me, dead-on. Said hi to me, and even (brace yourselves)…had a civil conversation with me! Was I receptive? To an extent, yes. I didn’t blow him off, I didn’t tell him to shove it up his ass, I spoke to him for a few minutes. But the big question is…how do I feel? I really don’t know on the subject. Running into him, fine. Speaking to him? Sure, it’s ok. But after all the bullshit he has caused my family, specifically his daughter…my mother…do I take it as a grain of salt? I truly had trouble telling if he was really trying to be kind and put it behind him, or if he was putting on a dog and pony show just because he ran into me. It is moments like these where I don’t know how genuine one is, and the emotions are hard to pick up on from one person. I don’t know, I truly just don’t…know.

Out of the normal blog for me

So this blog for the month is going to be something out of the normal. As many of you know, having followed my blog on blogspot.com or other pages, my blog is usually wrestling-themed. For 2 years, mostly on again/off again, I have shared my thoughts on the industry or its past, or just randomness on it in general. Today though, I figured with not much really going on in the industry (lack of buildups for PPVs withstanding on both ends of the promotion spectrums)…this is going to be a blog on the man behind the laptop, and what I am up to myself.

Now many do know me, or know about me. Outside of this blog, I am a manager of sorts. Say what you want about McDonald’s, but it is a pretty good place to be. Sure, you have the occasional customer who tries to pull a stunt or 2, or tries to make your day rough, but just handling a customer is all worth while. Trying to turn their day around, make their day if their order was wrong or if they want a little extra, the enjoyment is wonderful. Learning how to run a shift, especially when you are new to the system, it does have its ups and downs about it, and obviously a person like me, my mind tends to wander a lot when I am trying to focus, but the challenge is just awesome & I really like it.

I also do work in the “fabulous” world of radio production. My weekends I spend running audio and editing commercials for an independently-owned small-town radio station. It’s decent, but it could be better. There is lack of communication in the company for the past 5 months. My boss I worked under here got fired less than 3 weeks before he was set to retire, and of course nobody bothers to address it to the board operators. The new guy who took over doesn’t really bother to check in with us to see how the day is or how production is going, and when there is an error in the programs we have to download or faulty wiring causes our audio board to fail and you need to get a hold of someone…take a wild guess as to what happens (or lack thereof?)

Outside of work, I have my family. Things are a little rough at home from time to time. My parents don’t communicate much with one another, which causes tensions to flare a lot. The only reason I am living with them still is because my sister is physically and mentally disabled (I admit, I am a good brother and will always look out for her). Without me, my family really cannot do much. If they have to work late, I’m there to get her from her program, or to take care of her at home when they can’t or they have to take care of the errands.

Work is ok, home is sometimes alright. But there is one thing that does make me happy, more like one person. I have been seeing a really amazing girl for the last few months now, someone who is wonderful inside and out. We can talk about anything to each other, we can spend time doing whatever during the week and we make the most out of it to have fun. If I am feeling down, she will let me ramble on and listen to me, and that in return makes me feel good because in 28 years nobody has ever done that for me. And to top it all off, she does something else nobody has ever done in that time…accept me for who I am and my sister. I stick up for her and she does the same in return.

The thing I like most about Miss “R” is that she is a writer, and she is truly creative. Albeit she writes more frequently than I do (as my ADHD does cause me to lose…oooh, a squirrel is outside!),  she makes me think harder than I ever have, and makes me push myself to my limit to better myself not only in my life but in my creativity. She truly does bring out my smiles and the best in me, I couldn’t ask for anyone better 🙂

But that is it for my blog this month, I will catch you on the flip side. And who knows…maybe I will keep the randomness flowing in the blog from now on 😉

Better than Divas? EXACTLY!

“Better than Divas!”

 

For the true wrestling fan, the one that understands this, you know what I mean. For the one who is enamored with the WWE Universe 24/7, this term may offend, and of course it will offend. This blog is made to offend some, gain knowledge among others, and to awaken the wrestling fan to a life and a whole new world.

 

Wednesday evening on Spike TV, one might have witnessed a women’s match on Impact featuring Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim and heard this chant among the New York City crowd. Now granted just slightly over a million watched this past week, but the fact is…this isn’t the first time the crowd has chanted this, nor is it the last. New Yorkers are pretty damn vocal about their love for wrestling and what they like to see. Place them in a building such as the Manhattan Center, and you have a passionate crowd who will let you know what they like, what they don’t like.

 

Now to the smark who reads this blog, the IWC troll, even the offended WWE Universe member who has had ill will over my blogs thus far, welcome to a harsh dose of reality. The truth is, put on TNA on a Wednesday night for a women’s match, go to an Independent show at a gym or a bingo hall, go to a Shimmer event, Women’s Superstars Uncensored show and there will be a women’s match worth watching. And despite what you may think, they ARE better than the Divas! What…you don’t believe me? Let me bring you up to speed.

 

-WWE has never, and I mean NEVER seen the women as anything more than eye candy. They had a small opportunity to do something back in the 80s when they aligned with the late Fabulous Moolah and her camp of women, but never really did much with them…remember the women’s tag titles? Didn’t last too long.

 

-You can bring up the 90s and even the early part of the 2000s but you still wouldn’t get it. Alundra Blayze? The women’s division didn’t have much to offer as soon as she left and when it did get revived what happened? Instead of women who had talent, it was all about who had the bigger chest size, the most sex appeal. Sure, Lita and Trish Stratus were phenominal in the ring but then take a look at who else had talent in that timeframe….Gail Kim? First match there became Women’s Champ, 2 months later lost the belt and floundered in obscurity until she left WWE. Molly Holly? Really great woman with talent, but given ridiculous gimmicks such as a superhero and a bitter snob who wouldn’t go for the divas route herself.

 

-The last 10 years haven’t been the best either. Mickie James was treated like a joke by your beloved WWE because she had a little bit of weight. Gail Kim was once again misused by this company you feel has the golden touch. And do not get me started on the women with talent. Nattie Neidhart? Tamina Snuka? All women with the talent, all women who have something to showcase, but instead get stuck doing absolutely nothing, other than doing “the job” to Playboy models and women who really have no business being in the business!

 

Do NOT even get me started on the Bella Twins storyline. It is pure garbage, don’t believe me there either? Look online and you will hear how much it is hated. Yes people are talking, but not in the good sense. More of the “gouge my eyes out with a fork” way. I remember not too long ago I had seen a Divas match on RAW…6-on-6 if I am not mistaken. The match itself was not even under a minute, the women who started the match….ENDED IT! No  tags, no showcasing the women…just filler, a joke, pathetic if you ask me. And an extremely weak finish to it! What is the point of having a women’s division if you aren’t going to use them properly?

 

WWE gives the women’s wrestling industry a huge hit to the face by insulting the fans, insulting their intelligence, and even moreso making them feel like they do not matter and are just there for filler. But NOW let us look on the other side of the coin…

 

There are women out there who are talented, women who train hard, wrestle harder. Some of them can give the men a run for their money. Gail Kim, Taryn Terrell, Maidson Rayne, Jessika Havok, The Alpha Female, Veda Scott, Nevaeh Crist, Angelina Love, Brittany Force, MsChif just to name a few. Women who give the crowd what they want, women who give the crowd what they ask for. A true wrestling fan, a passionate wrestling fan, wants just that…wrestling. We don’t care for bra and panty matches, we don’t want to see 90 seconds of flying hairpull faceslams followed by a roll up for a win. We want wrestling, we want women who are willing to make the crowd talk and give them their money’s worth.

 

So next time you watch your WWE Divas in action…just remember the disaster you are being treated to. WSU, Shimmer, NCW Femme Fatales, just about any Independent promotion out there, even TNA…all truly are better than the Divas Division WWE presents.