Saturday, August 8, 2020

Wrestlemania's Top 15 Special Guest

One of the things that makes Wrestlemania such a monumental event in the world of professional wrestling are the Special Guest that are a part of it.  Sometimes it's clear as day that celebrities show up for a pay check & don't have much interest in being there.  Other times it is quite clear that they want to be there & they love being a part of the extravaganza.  It's not easy narrowing it down to fifteen & it's even harder trying put them in some sort of numerical order.  

So many great celebrity guest, getting reprimanded for leaving someone out is inevitable.   I mean Ozzy Osbourne was in the corner of the British Bulldogs when they defeated The Dream Team at Wrestlemania II for the WWE Tag Team championship.   Elvira played along well at Wrestlemania II & I commend her for being a part of it.  If the list were a top seventeen, they'd have been added.  In this case, consider them both honorable mention. 


WWF WrestleMania VI
#15 - Steve Allen 
Wrestlemania VI

I think the late Steve Allen's segments at Wrestlemania VI are often overlooked & not as appreciated as they could be.  His jokes on the Bolsheviks & Rhythm n Blues were entertaining & comical.  


WWE news: Boxing legend Mike Tyson wants sensational return to ...
#14 - Mike Tyson
Wrestlemania XIV

The whole buildup of Mike Tyson as the special guest referee for the WWE championship match between Shawn Michaels & Stone Cold Steve Austin was quite memorable. The Attitude Era was in full launch & seeing that Mike Tyson fit the image, McMahon announced Tyson with the expectation of a positive reinforcement from the audience.  Instead as he made his way down to the ring, the audience erupted in a chorus of boos.   To have Tyson start off as an unofficial member of DX & then to turn Stone Cold during the course of the match was brilliant.  It got everyone over, including Tyson.  


VIN SCULLY IS MY HOMEBOY: Tommy Lasorda, Hulk Hogan & King Kong ...
#13 - Tommy Lasorda 
Wrestlemania II 

If anything it seemed to me that Tommy Lasorda wanted to have a bigger role than what he got at Wrestlemania II.  While some celebrities came in & did their part, Lasorda seemed a bit disappointed that he wasn't given more to do.  I have to admire that.  



dhm on Twitter: "After seeing this interview at WrestleMania 7 I'm ...
#12 - Alex Trebek
Wrestlemania VII

Seeing how proper & sophisticated of a man Alex Trebek is, one would think that he'd be the type to snub professional wrestling.  Upon first glance it would appear that Trebek might be one of these "better than thou arts" who loves to throw around words like "fake" & "phony."   Yet the Jeopardy game show host was quite the opposite, proving that assumption is often a foolish action.  Trebek was into it & it was clear that he was having a good time. He later included WWE into categories within Jeopardy & spoke fondly of his experience. 

WWE: Donald Trump Challenges Vince McMahon to Match at ...
#11 - Donald Trump
Wrestlemania IV, V, VI, XX & XXIII

Love him or hate him, I'm not here to discuss his politics, his business, or his personal life.  Those are all separate issues irrelevant to the topic at hand.  When discussing the top guest at Wrestlemania, you have to include Donald Trump somewhere in the list.  He hosted two Wrestlemania's in a row & wanted to do more.   He showed up on his own dime & his own time at Wrestlemania VII & he had one of the most fun & entertaining segments at Wrestlemania XXIII.  

Pat Narduzzi on Twitter: "#Tbt. College Hall of Famer, 3-time All ...
#10 Bill Fralic
Wrestlemania II 

What I appreciated about Fralic's appearance at Wrestlemania II is that he treated it with the utmost professionalism. Sometimes what I hate about celebrity guest appearances in professional wrestling is that they try to be all clever that they're "in on the joke."  They do things to expose the business & make us look bad.  Fralic did just the opposite.  He kept kayfabe & treated the situation as one should.  As if it was a real competition. His feud with John Studd looked real & legitimate.   Matter of fact looking back on it all these years later, I think Bill Fralic Vs John Studd in a high profile match could have been Lawrence Taylor Vs Bam Bam Bigelow before Lawrence Taylor Vs Bam Bam Bigelow.  Fralic kept it real & for that he gets a ton of respect & admiration from me. 

Ray Combs/Image gallery | Pro Wrestling | Fandom
#9 Ray Combs
Wrestlemania VIII 

The late Ray Combs always seemed eager to be a part of professional wrestling events whether they were WWE or WCW & he always seemed eager to have the world of professional wrestling on his television show Family Feud.   It brings a tear to my eye to know that Combs' life fell apart & as a result he took his own life a short time later.  I wonder sometimes if he would've been wise to have looked into a career in professional wrestling. I'm not sure if WWE or WCW would've had anything for him or not, but I think he could've done well in color commentary or interviewing wrestlers.  

Lawrence Taylor Comments On His Match From WrestleMania 11 With ...
#8 - Lawrence Taylor
Wrestlemania XI 

Like Fralic, L.T. did a great job of keeping it real & bringing a sense of legitimacy back into professional wrestling.  WWE was in a trial period in the mid 90's & taking risks was a part of the territory.  This could have been an absolute disaster, but thanks to Taylor's willingness to listen & learn & Bam Bam Bigelow's talent to guide, the match turned out exceptionally well.  I would have given Taylor more time in the ring & had him train more.  A lot of people who have never done professional wrestling don't realize the amount of conditioning that it takes to go out and have a match.  Your body has to get used to being slammed, hitting those ropes & flying all over the place.  As good as the match did turn out, had Taylor had more training, it could've been even better. 


SickthingsUK: Wrestlemania III
#7 - Alice Cooper
Wrestlemania III

Cooper's involvement in Wrestlemania III was fun, exciting & memorable.  Even thirty-three years later, Cooper still looks back on the time with fond, "remember it like it was yesterday" memories.  To hear him speak of his experience in such detail, telling funny stories is a real treat.  My favorite of which was when 400+lbs King Kong Bundy got reprimanded in the back by the midget wrestlers after hurting Little Beaver.  The idea of a man that outweighed four of them altogether hanging his head in shame & saying, "I'm sorry" is quite humorous.  Admirable because Bundy was a man's man who would admit his mistakes, yet still humorous. 


The Red Rivalry: Pete Rose Versus Kane | Ring the Damn Bell
#6 - Pete Rose
Wrestlemania XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XX

How can you not include Pete Rose in a list like this?  Rose was a team player all of the way & if baseball is going to continue to foolishly shame him & refuse to give him his due, I'm glad that professional wrestling will make up for it.  For the sake of entertainment & to help pro wrestling get over, Rose didn't mind getting beat up & made out to be a fool.  As often as he did it, he deserves his spot on this list, in the same way he deserves his spot in the MLB Hall of Fame. 


Regis Philbin interviews The Undertaker at WrestleMania VII - YouTube
#5 - Regis Philbin
Wrestlemania VII 

Philbin was exceptionally good to professional wrestling. His respect & love for the business came out in everything that he ever did for it.  The only person I can think of that gave more time & publicity to pro wrestling during this time was Arsenio Hall.  Ironically enough (as well as unfortunate) Hall never made an appearance at a Wrestlemania, although he should have.  As to Philbin he had wrestlers on Live with Regis & Kathie Lee all the time.   Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, The Giant Gonzalez, Earthquake, Mr. Perfect & so many others.  It was clear that Regis loved being a part of Wrestlemania. His excitement & enthusiasm were contagious.  I wish that he would have been a part of more. 


WrestleMania I - Wikipedia
#4 - Mr. T 
Wrestlemania I & II 

He's the only non-wrestler to ever make the cover of a Wrestlemania poster.  While some of the wrestlers weren't keen on T's involvement, there's no denying that it had a lot to do with Wrestlemania's initial success.  He was a large part of the show & played his part quite well.  Despite any problems or opinions resulting, that cannot be overlooked or denied. 


How Cyndi Lauper Was Essential in the Launch of WWE WrestleMania ...
#3 - Cindi Lauper
Wrestlemania 

I thought Lauper did such a great job at Wrestlemania that if she had wanted to, she could have became the female version of Jimmy Hart.   Hart after all began life as a musician, the lead singer of the Gentrys.  He had a hit & appeared in an Elvis Presley film before becoming pro wrestling's "Mouth of the South."  Lauper I feel could have had a similar career.  Probably as a face instead of a heel, but still a similar career.  She ate up her roll & did a great job at Wrestlemania.  Including pro wrestlers in her music videos & promoting the business helped WWE to soar to heights that it might not have otherwise. 


80's Wrestling on Twitter: "“Rowdy” Roddy Piper puts out Morton ...
#2 - Morton Downey Jr 
Wrestlemania V

I really have to admire Morton Downey Jr for his involvement in Wrestlemania V.  While most celebrities want to come out looking like the hero, Downey wasn't afraid to make himself look like a total jackass.  For the sake of a huge pop from the crowd & getting Roddy Piper over, in playing the role of a "heel", Downey goes down in my book as one of the best celebrity appearances in Wrestlemania history.   To further my respect for the late Mr. Downey, I admire how when professional wrestling was under attack & made out to be a joke, Downey went out of his way to feature it on his show.  He gave it the realism & legitimacy that it needed.  WWE likes to act like the United States during a war time as if it did it all on its own & sometimes it forgets the United Kingdoms, the Frances, & the other allied powers.  It was a tag team effort & Downey was a member of the team. 


WWE Hall of Fame: Bob Uecker gets into some trouble with - YouTube
#1 - Bob Uecker 
Wrestlemania III & IV 

Here's another guy I feel could have been a permanent fixture in professional wrestling.  Uecker did a great job at both Wrestlemania III & IV.  I only wish his involvement could have been bigger.  Throughout the years I was always hoping that he'd come back & do another Wrestlemania. While I'm happy he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, I do feel that upon his career in baseball & his career in Hollywood, that his time in pro wrestling could've been more.  




























Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Complete the Story: 19 of 198

We took turns guarding the door, neither of us sleeping very much.  Ricky looked nervous, and suddenly I felt bad about getting him involved.  I shouldn't have.  I'm a man of convictions but I can't say that I'm a man of courage. Or maybe that's not it.  I mean I'm not afraid of the vampires.  At one time I was. I was mortified at the thought of them coming in & ripping me to shreds. I envisioned the excruciating pain of one of their bites. Of being alive as they began to suck the life right out of me.  I used to fear death.  Now I can't say I welcome it, but I can't say that if it came for me.....I guess I don't know what I'd do.   

My thoughts are complicated. I'm not sure if it's clinically possible to diagnose one's self insane but I have no other description for where I think my mind is headed.  Or perhaps where it already is.  I'd be lying, if I were to tell you that I didn't hope at some point I'd lose. I don't feel that way all the time, but I do sometimes. They out number us 10 to 1.  They're quicker. They're stronger.  They're intelligent.  They're harder than Hell to kill.  We're all negative.  Food & water may be scarce around here, but pessimism sure as Hell isn't.   

I think what truly classifies me as a lunatic is that I keep on fighting.  I sit here with my back against the door of a small church we found in our search for fellow survivors.  A cross of Jesus hangs above the pipes of an organ. The water gun I hold full of what I believe to be holy water.  We've been told vampires can't enter such institutions.  We've been told that crosses & holy water work as lines of defense.   Yet in the last 8 months, all we know to have an effect on them is sunlight.  Something Ricky & I lost about 20 minutes ago & won't get for about 11 hours. 


Hope is dead.  I still think about a life before the vampires took over.  I still think of how I told myself that one day I'd get back into racing & I'd make it to Nas Car.  I took a detour to get an education.  A promise that I made my mother & selfishly have to admit I now sit here & regret.  A college degree didn't mean that much to me.  Three years & eight months.  I didn't even get to receive my degree to make her happy.  The Vampires rose on the twenty-seventh of April. No warning.  No nothing.  We weren't able to call each other or email or anything.  It was like a bomb hitting the whole country. 

What I should've felt at that moment was sorrow, fear, confusion.  We didn't have time to plan. It was either panic, run, fight or hide.  I took off on a dead sprint as a group of vampires ran after me.  I fell to the ground in complete exhaustion.  When I was grabbed & lifted off the ground I kept waiting for the bite. For the fingernails to sink deep within my skin. Instead I was thrown into the back of a van as the doors slammed & we sped down the road. 

I was given water as I sucked wind, coughed & threw up twice within an hour.  Fellow students, two of which I didn't like & four of which I didn't know surrounded me.   When I thought of my mom, all of my thoughts were numb.  I wanted to feel fear of what might have happened to her.  I wanted to break down and bawl at the thought of never seeing her again.  I wanted to feel some sort of anger at what was happening.  I wanted to feel something.  Anything, but I didn't.  It wasn't until a few days later when I thought of how in the summer after my senior year of high school, I had been offered an opportunity to go down & work in Daytona.  I let my her talk me out of it.  Talk me into getting a degree first & then going down to Daytona.  When I thought of that, that's when the emotion I had sought came.  When I realized that in this world now ruled by vampires, Nascar didn't exist & it never would again.  That's when the tears I couldn't find for my mother, fell effortlessly from my eyes. 

It's not contempt.  At least not for her.  I'm not angry with her.  I don't feel she did the wrong thing.  I think she did the right thing.  I know she did the right thing.  I don't know what in the Hell is wrong with me to where I can't feel that she did the right thing.  I question my own morality.  My own ethics & my own values? Am I am good person?  How can I justify affirmative to that question, when my own tears reveal a sociopathic  response? 

I think that in partial is why I keep fighting.  Why I continue to look for help & try and defeat the vampires.  Why I look for those in trouble & try to save them.  I still might not be a great person. I might still be the piece of shit who despite a desire wasn't able to shed a tear for his mother.  I might still be the one who instead cried at the loss of selfish aspiration.  I can in the least, pretend to be better. 

I didn't know if I could do it on my own.  I didn't like the idea of being on my own.  Going out alone wasn't something I could do.  So I selfishly recruited Ricky.  It wasn't because I thought he'd be best to take along.  He wasn't the smartest. He wasn't the fastest. He wasn't the strongest.  I chose him simply because out of everyone else who volunteered, he seemed like the one who had the least to lose.  Like the one who would keep swinging the steak, even if his arm was the only body part he had left.   That's why I chose him.  

I take a break from my thoughts as I look back in the direction of where Ricky had been trying to sleep.  He's gone.  

"Ricky!"  

Suddenly he reappears. 

"Hey." Rick speaks to me for the first time since we took off this morning. "There's a pantry in the back. I found some bread." 

He reaches into his coat pocket as he hands me a piece.

"It's hard as a brick." He continues. "but no mold.  It's still safe to eat." 

"Thanks" I say as I take a bite.  

"I drank some of the holy water." He speaks slowly as if he's afraid of the consequence that may result in his admission. 

"Yeah." I say back to him. "We put some in our water guns too." 

"Yeah." He continues to talk slow. 

"Look." I say to him. "Jesus would want you to." 

"You sure about that?"  His question demands an unshakable answer.  One that I can not give him, but I do anyway. 

"Yeah."  I'm no more sure about it, than I am anything in this crazy situation.  I know Biblically speaking that deception is the utmost of sins. Yet I can't help but feel that since it comforts Ricky & it's the only answer he'll accept that being dishonest is the right thing to do.  

"Eat some of that holy bread too." I say to him as I take a bite of my own while pointing at the piece he's holding.  

He nods and takes a bite of it. 

"Then later you can take a holy shit." 

He cracks a smile. The first one I've seen upon a face that I thought only knew frowns & other looks of disappointment.  

Sunlight for the first twenty-two years of my life was nothing more than crawling into my bed. pulling the blankets over myself, lying my head on the pillow & then waking up to it.  That's all it was.  That's all I ever thought it'd be. Now here I sit, my back up against a door, my eyes starring out a window into the darkness.  A black, that with every second that passes, I'll watch until it turns to light. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Life Outside of Earth?

I remember once when I was a kid, one of my best friends & I decided to spend the night sleeping on my giant trampoline.  As I lay there, I think it was the first time in my life I realized how many stars their were in the sky.  So many of them & as learned by paying attention in Mrs. Morris's science class, some much bigger than the sun.  Some stars even bigger than those stars & some stars even bigger than those.  We have no idea how large space is.  No idea how many stars their are.  No idea how many planets their are.  We're one planet & in the scheme of things rather small.  We're not even the largest planet in our own solar system.  We're right dab in the middle.  I thought then as a 10 year old fourth grader that it was as naive as it was arrogant to believe that Earth is the only planet to produce life.  I mean it is a possibility that Earth is the only planet with life, but the laws of probability alone suggest that somewhere life in someway exist somewhere else. 

What is that life exactly? I have no idea.  Maybe it's nothing more than single celled organisms like amoebas.  Maybe life far beyond our intelligence & far more civilized.  Maybe life that is now where we were when we first appeared as homosapiens.  The possibilities are endless so might as well imagine them all.  I watched a film once when I was a kid where it was suggested that somehow or another after you got to a certain point you'd come around again.  Suggesting that the entirety itself is also round.  How far is that I wonder?  How much is truly out there? 

I like to imagine alien lifeforms similar to that of E.T.   Ones that are interested in making contact & learning from us.  Making friendships.  Yet as imperialistic & tribal as we are as a species, I suppose I have to entertain the idea of a hostile species.  Ones out to conquer & rule.  To either destroy us or to exploit & enslave us. I think it's more realistic to imagine us doing it to them, than it is to imagine them doing it to us.  

I often think that extraterrestrial life has already been discovered.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist or anything like that but I do think it makes sense as to why we're not informed as a society.   I think their are many legitimate reason for keeping this information from us.  That it is justifiable to keep it hidden from the masses. 

I've already touched upon it a bit.  It pains me to say it, but we as human being can be rather cruel.  Throughout history their are countless examples of our cruelty.   The way Europeans treated the Natives of the Americas.  Slavery, not only here in the United States for hundreds of years but all over the world.  The holocaust.  The Japanese atrocities committed against China & other Asian countries.  We're not a peaceful species.  It's fun to imagine a relationship between human & alien being one of harmony & of peace, but history suggest otherwise.  We'd want to eradicate them from their ways & assimilate them into our own & most likely react with forceful violence upon any resistance. 

I believe strongly that religion would strongly reject the idea of extraterrestrial life.  Within the Bible, Torah, Koran & other religious text, their is no mention of life on other planets.  I think alien life within itself would be a huge threat to the foundation of those beliefs.  At least enough to question if not enough to crumble.  I think discovering life on other planets would reshape Christianity, Judaism & Islam.  To what level or extent, I do not know but I can't see them remaining as they are.  Therefore I can't help but feel one of the main reasons information on extra-terrestrial life would be kept classified would be because of the threat it posses to religion.  

I don't want to politicize my thoughts on such an interesting topic but it's difficult not to.  It's more fun to think of making friends with creatures & the adventure that could ensue.   To observe them & see their civility.  How they handle such things on a social level.  What do they eat?  How do they function?  How do they entertain themselves?   I'm sure we'd be as fascinating to them as they are to us.  

Laurence Kraus says that our reality is only of what in which we can experience.  So we know living organisms to be ones that need energy in order to sustain life.  I guess it just occurred to me that I always think of alien life form as being something in comparison to that of the Animal Kingdom.  Something that needs oxygen & food in order to survive. That has cognitive reaction, feelings, a brain, a heart & blood.  It could as easily be comparable to plant life, which also needs oxygen & food to survive, but I think without further explaining myself you get the difference. Perhaps the first life form we'll discover (publicly anyway) will be more comparable to a tree than it will be to a dog or a cat. 

I hope this suffices as an answer.  Yes I do believe that life in some capacity exist somewhere other than the Earth.  That doesn't mean that I don't entertain the possibility that Earth is the only planet with life, because I do.  When I don't know something & I have nothing other than suggestion, imagination & possibility, I entertain all outcomes.  However, I don't entertain all outcomes equally.   I think there is a greater chance that there is something out there, than there is not.  



Monday, July 27, 2020

Jeremiah Jarvis

It was the day of the Oskaloosa Duals.  Not all that great of a day for me.  I went 2-3 that day in five dual matches.  I pinned a kid on the Oskaloosa JV squad & then I lost 20-11 to Nate Nicholson of Ottumwa.  Chris Dunkin of Knoxville pinned me in the third period with only a few seconds left to go on the clock.  I was beating Brett Allison of Tri County 9-4, when he headlocked me & pinned me late in the second period.  I went & got dressed and came back out in my street clothes.  I told my head coach that I wasn't going to wrestle in the last dual.  He didn't say anything to me as my assistant coach grabbed me by the arm & took me into the locker room.  I'll never forget that moment as long as I live.  

He picked up a trashcan & threw it across the floor.  He then told me that I had to go out and do something for him that I've never done in my entire career.  He said to me, "You gotta go out there and wrestle."   It confused me because I was a senior, nearing the end of my career.  I'd been on the wrestling team since I was a freshman.  I told him that wrestling was what I did.   He said back to me, "no you don't.  What you do is you go out there scared to death.  You go out there not to lose."  When he said that I realized he was right.   That is how I wrestled most of my matches.  He then said back to me, "not this next match. Not this time.   This time you're gonna go out there & you're just gonna wrestle. You're not gonna worry about me, or Coach Kirby or your Dad. You're just gonna wrestle.  Just wrestle. No thinking. Just wrestle."  

The last match of the day I wrestled Troy Smith of Pella.  It ended up being the best match I ever wrestled in my entire high school career.  I beat him 9-6 & found out after my win that he was currently ranked by The Predicament.  He marked the one & only time in my high school career where I defeated a ranked kid. 

Looking back all these years later I realize that it wasn't nearly as bad of a day as I made it out to be.   Nate Nicholson went on to qualify for state & he won the Greco-Roman that year.   Chris Dunkin ended up taking fifth at State.  Brett Allison had 100 career wins & was a sectional champion.   I wrestled all three of them tough.  I threw Nicholson in a headlock & got 2 back points.  If it wasn't for a stupid move towards the end that cost me 5 points, he wouldn't have beaten me by such a large margin.  The score was 4-2 at the time Dunkin pinned me.  If I'd have avoided that headlock, I only would've lost by two points.  I took Allison down three times that match.  He was a very tough kid.  I don't think he got taken down many times his senior year.   And of course, I beat the #10 kid in the state. 

But at the time, I was down & depressed about it.  Of course when I got home I listened to an ass chewing from my Dad.  I got headlocked three times that day.  Nicholson, Dunkin & Allison all headlocked me.  Nothing like being told how much of an idiot you are & that you might as well turn in your singlet & tell Kirby you're gonna join basketball. You obviously aren't tough enough to be a wrestler.  That's fun to listen to for hours on end after you come home from a grueling wrestling tournament.  "How can you get headlocked three times in the same day? It's obvious you're wasting your time at practice."   God, I can picture him in the kitchen throwing laundry into the washing machine saying that exact phrase.  

I went into the basement & laid down on the couch.  It was early but I was exhausted.   The doorbell rang but I didn't figure it was for me, so I didn't get up.  Next thing I knew Dad came walking down the stairs.  He flipped the light switch on & said to me, "There's someone here to see you." 

I went up stairs wondering who in the Hell was there to see me.   When I came to the door it was Gerad Clingan.  A sophomore on the wrestling team.  I didn't even realize that he knew where I lived.  

"What are you doing here?" I asked him. 

"I'm having a party out at my place tonight." He said to me. "You're coming. Come on.  Get in." 

"I don't know if my Dad will let me." 

I looked back at my Dad. 

"You do what you want."  A response meaning that since I wrestled like shit that day (at least in his opinion) I could pack my bags & go live in Mexico the rest of my life for all he cared. 

I got into Gerard's truck & away we went. 

"I thought you said your Dad was really against partying and stuff." He said to me as we headed down the road. 

"He is." I said back. "But he knows me. He knows I'm not gonna drink or do drugs.  He knows I'm not like that." 

"Good" Gerard said back to me. "Cause this is a sex only party." 

It made me laugh. It was the first time I had laughed all day. It was the first time I had felt good all day.  Upsetting the #10 ranked kid in the state should've made me feel good, but I've always had trouble focusing on the positive.  All I could think of was my three losses.  

"Who's all coming?" I asked him. 

He rattled off some names.  Laci Patterson, Dustin Vermillion & a few others.   He then said he was gonna call Monica Conger to see if she wanted to come out.  He called her on his phone & put her on speaker.  When I talked, she was like, "Who is that?"   I began to joke around & say some really weird shit in a weird accent.  She kept asking who is this? 

I don't know why but the first name that popped into my head was a UC Davis wrestler by the name of Jeremiah Jarvis & I told her my name was Jeremiah Jarvis.  

When we got to her house to pick her up I'll never forget what he said to her. 

She asked him, "Whose all gonna be there?"

Gerad gave her the same answer that he gave me.  

"Is your mom gonna be there?" She asked

"No." Gerad answered. "That way we can get naked." 

I laughed again for the second time that night.   It felt good to laugh.  

When we got to Gerard's house, Monica walked in ahead of us & I can remember Gerard saying to me that he wanted me to have a good time tonight.  To enjoy myself & not be afraid to smile. Not be afraid to laugh.  

And I did.  I had a really, really good time that night.   Got to know Bobbi Burdock a bit that night.  Hung out with Dustin Vermillion, Monica & Gerad.  Can't say Laci ever thought much of me or me much of her, but hey, can't win em all.   

Looking back it is one of my favorite memories of high school.  

I remember Gerard giving me & Monica a ride home.  He dropped her off first & then me.  He said to me something I don't think many would have had the courage to say. He told me that I wasn't near as weird & strange of a kid as some made me out to be.  That I really was a cool kid & that he was glad he knew me.  He looked up to me on the wrestling team & said he thought I took my role as captain very seriously.  

I went out to Gerard's house probably a half a dozen more times after that.  His Grandpa owned a farm with deer & a large pond.  He had a dock that we'd jump off of.  

Gerard was a good friend to me during that time in my life. I think he saw that a lot of the seriousness about me,  the label some gave me of being "a 40 year old man trapped in a 18 year old's body" had a lot to do with the pressure & judgement of trying to please an unpleasable father.   

In this life you get to know a lot of people.  Some aren't worth it.  Some are.  Gerard Clingan was worth it.  

A Day With The Dead

If Miracles were possible & I could spend a week with someone who has died, I'd spend that week with Marie Danels my Great-Grandma.  I'm going to assume that even though she's been gone for the past 27 years that she would have knowledge of what has gone on.  That she wouldn't be oblivious to the past nearly three decades.  Then again maybe she would be.  Maybe I'd have to catch her up on everything that has happened.  

I often wonder what she'd be like if she were still around.  I like to imagine her as I remember her.  Yet I sometimes wonder if perhaps I over romanticize.  The pondering makes me think of my late Aunt Shirley.  A woman who I always felt was on my side.  One who encouraged me & showed me support.  Her death a few months ago & more so her battle with dementia over the past few years felt like being robbed.  She was taken from us way too soon & I know that I'm not the only one who feels that way. 

I think of my cousin Marsha a lot when I think of these types of things.  Marsha's never gotten a break in her life.  She was a young kid, harshly judged & put down most of her teenage years. She was a 16 year old kid, only a junior in high school when her Grandma Norma passed away.  Then she was barely 21 when Grandma Danels passed away.  Two of the most important people in her life.  Two of the only women she had in life that encouraged her now gone. I think sometimes in life we get so wrapped up in our own lives & within our our problems we don't take the time to see the trials & tribulations that others go through.  I hate knowing all of the horrific things my cousin has had to endure in her life.  I hate knowing that for the longest time she hasn't had much of anyone to turn to.  My cousin Stacey is an open ear. An open heart but she lives far away & isn't nearby.   She still has my Grandpa Harry. He's the one remaining whose response is more than harsh judgment, ridicule & criticism.  His time is wearing thin though.  He'll be 90 soon.  

My life the past 6 months has been challenging. As a result of a tragedy I shut myself completely off from the world for a while.  At the time it included everyone.   It included Marsha.  I simply needed some alone time.  I think it made Marsha angry with me & I can understand that.  I've since gone & seen Grandpa Harry four times.  Time permitting I plan to see him again soon.  Trying to make a habit of once a month if possible.  Or at least once every other month.  I realize that once he's gone, it's done.  It's over.   I don't know who Marsha turns to after that.   People mentally & emotionally beat up on her all the time for turning towards people who exploit her & take advantage of her all the time.   They don't have encouragement or inspiration to give.  Just judgment & criticism.  

I'd hope Grandma Danels would have some advice but even if not, at least she'd be there to listen.  My aunt Shirley as well as My Uncle Greg's death both hit me really hard this past year.  Had a best friend of 11 years steal a substantial amount of money & a dream from me.  I haven't had the ability to talk to anyone about it.  Really let it out how I feel.  

I suppose that'd be day one with Grandma Danels. 

I'd want approval.  I'd want her to be proud of who I am. To be encouraging of me & to make me feel that even though I'm not rich & I didn't find that $90,000 a year job that maybe I'm still worth something. Maybe I can still amount to something.  I'd want that, but in the end regardless of what her response was, I'd want her to know me.  

Day two through Day Five would be me learning as much about her as I could.  Quizzing her all about her life & the lives of those she knew that I never knew.  I remember her telling me how she played the violin in school.  Of how on one of their first dates Grandpa Danels took her to see a professional wrestling match.  We're talking pro wrestling back in the late 20's/early 30's.  How I'd love to know the details of that.  I recall her telling me about going to the circus when she was a little girl around the time of World War I.  

Of course being the greatest cook the world has ever known, I'd selfishly ask that she treated me to at least one meal per day.  Her love of cooking, I know I'd get all three. 

Day six would be me reminding her of all of the great memories I have of her & how special of a woman she was to me as a kid. How her influence all these years later is still a huge part of who I am, how I think & how I look at life.  I think she knew how important of a Grandma she was to me upon her passing but I'd remind her of it anyway.  

Day seven would be me letting her know that I think about her often.  I wonder what life would have been like & what it'd be like if she was still around.  I'd tell her that I've never been one to hate Mondays, but in this particular case this would be a Monday that I hated.  It'd be day 8 & she'd have to go back, my week would be up.  

Grandma Danels never drove. Her entire life she had others give her rides.  I always told her that when I got older that I'd teach her how to drive.  Maybe we could do that.  If not, I like to drive.  

Remakes/Reimaginings That I Feel Should Be Done

Two things before I get started.  First off...rules?  There are no rules.  Not in Hollywood, not anymore.  Anything & everything is up for grabs.  "You can't do that" doesn't exist.  They have redone, remade, redone again, remade again, damn near everything. In the world of sequels, you have various timelines, where one completely ignores the other.  Storylines of past films, being completely obliterated.   THERE ARE NO RULES. None!! Zero!! So I will not entertain the idea of "they'd never do that" or "that idea would never work."   Restrictions do not exist here.  Characters no longer have origin stories because they've been changed countless number of times.  What is your character?  Straight, homosexual, bi?  Yes.  What is your character white? Black? Asian? From outspace? Yes.   From New York with a Bostonian accent or From Minnesota with a thick Norwegian slang? Yes.   No doesn't exist anymore.  One minute Bruce Wayne is a millionaire that dresses up like a Bat from Gotham City.  The next he's a woman taking testosterone pills who went to a Ozzy Osbourne concert & believes biting the heads off bats will eventually grow extra body parts. 

The other thing is, I don't believe in redoing what was already done right.  I don't get that.  I mean I do. I'm not ignorant as to why it's being done. It's a cash cow. It made money before, it'll make money again.  Yet in my opinion, I don't wanna see something that is already great redone.  I want to see something that had potential to be great & turned out like shit redone. That's the film I want to see reimagined.  My whole life I've wanted to be a screenplay writer. I've wanted to be in the world of making films.  At this point it's nothing more than a dream.  Nothing more than a my imagination.  

You want 10 films I'd remake?  Here you go. 

The Kissing Place (TV Movie 1990) - IMDb
THE KISSING PLACE 

I first watched this film on USA Network back in the early 1990's.  I felt then & I feel now that the film had a lot going for it.  It has a strong central story.  Meredith Baxter was great.  David Ogden Stiers was phenomenal.  It starts off so strong but then it falls apart. I'd love to know the back story on this film.  Did they run out of time?  Run out of ideas?  Run out of money?  About half way through the film seems to get lazy. Seems to give up.   The premise here is strong.  

A young boy during class one day is watching photo slides of a city that he's never been to.  Yet a couple of the photos stir up memories.  As if he's seen them before.   He begins to have nightmares that he's not really who he thinks he is.  That the people he calls mom & dad, aren't really his parents.   As the film progresses the mystery begins to unravel & the intensity heightens.   Then suddenly it takes a dive off into the deep end & it never returns.  

I could take this film & rewrite it into something good.  It's already there.  Really its a simple matter of revision.  That's all it is.  This could be a great film if done right. 




I AM THE CHEESE 

I came across this film one day when looking through the collection of films that my High School English teacher Cheree Mann (Nee Murtaugh) had in her class.   It fascinated me because I immediately recognized actor Robert McNaughton on the cover.  I was under the impression at the time that the only film McNaughton had ever done was E.T.   I didn't realize that he had ever been in any other film.  When I looked him up, I discovered that he had done two films.   I Am The Cheese being his other.   I asked Ms. Mann if I could borrow it.   She allowed me. 

It was a deep, confusing & complicated film.  Very difficult to follow.  Hard to know what was going on. What was reality? What was imagination?  I liked it, but left in complete wonder as to what I had just watched.   

Years later, I read the book.  It was more clear.  Still a bit of  ambiguity but not to the level frustration that the film was.  I think I could do better. I think I could make a film that reflected the novel in a better way than the original film did.   



HALLOWEEN FRANCHISE 

First off to Hell with the Rob Zombie pieces of rubbish that somehow still get categorized as films.  Take those movies & shove em.  I want nothing to do with them other than to be present when they're buried in a land fill, burned in a huge bonfire or shipped to the moon.   Be rid that pollution of the Earth & hope no alien life form ever endures the torture of coming across it.   Now I love Malcom McDowell & I love Danielle Harris & I love Brad Douriff.   I'll pain myself to even admit that the film had excellent lighting but my praise ends there.  My criticism starts & it never ends.  I hate the story. I hate what Zombie did with the characters.   I hate it.   Cool?  Sweet.  So it's not getting mentioned again. 

Secondly,  with what I would want to do the new Halloween films aren't gonna be a part of this either.  Sorry Jamie Lee Curtis, it's not all about you.  You're PART OF the focus, you aren't THE focus.  Laurie Strode is a character.  A central one & one of the most important ones.  However, she's not the only one.  If you can make a shrine that ignores over half of the series to yourself & then turn around and make a newer shrine that ignores your original shrine....Then I can completely ignore what I want to too. 

What I want to do here is take all eight of the original Halloween films & interconnect them in a episodic series.  I think I could do it in 22 one hour segments. I wouldn't use everything.  Their would be storylines & ideas, as well as some characters omitted from the series.  I of course would come up with some new ideas as well.   Each film would contribute something.  

I know many hated Halloween Resurrection.  I wasn't too fond of it myself but it did provide something that I feel was useful.   I mean what the Hell does Michael do in between coming back on Halloween night every so often?  Where is he at? I think Resurrection provided what could be a satisfying answer to the question.  I also LOVE the alternate opening to the film as well.  I think that could be very useful. 

Do I really think I could tie in Halloween III: The Season of the Witch?  Yes, I do.   

I've given this a lot of thought.  I think I'd need a bunch of room to stretch my creative arms to their full potential but I could make a twenty-two episodic series out of them.   Everything would come together.  God, how I'd love to be given that chance. 

Amazon.com: Child's Play: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex ...
CHILD'S PLAY 

First off, I LOVE the original Child's Play.  I also love Child's Play 2 & Child's Play 3.  I accept Bride of Chucky for what it is. I try & pretend like Seed of Chucky didn't happen.  I rather enjoyed Curse of Chucky & I liked even more Cult of Chucky.   I really didn't have a problem with the recent remake either.  It's a joke compared to the original but overall it's not a bad film.    

So what do I want to do here? 

I want a sequel that concentrates on Andy Barclay & the feud between him & Chucky.   Alex Vincent as an adult, & we dive into just how screwed up his life is on account of Chucky.   If you've ever seen Darkness Falls I'm begging, borrowing & stealing heavily from the formula of that film.   Have a lot of ideas for what I'd like to see here. I know I want a final confrontation between the two of them & I have this idea for what I feel is a perfect ending. 

The Incredible Hulk (1978 TV series) - Wikipedia
THE INCREDIBLE HULK 

Not a fan of anything that has been done with the Hulk in recent years.  Didn't care for the Eric Banna film.  Didn't care for the Edward Norton film.  Didn't care for him as Mark Ruffalo.   It's nothing agains the actors. I love all of them.  Great actors.  Really it isn't anything against the writing either.  It's simply that I selfishly have who & what the Hulk is in my mind.  That's the Hulk I want to see.  I want Dr. David Banner in the spirit of Bill Bixby.  I don't want computer animation or CGI.  Not interested. I want a huge muscular bodybuilder painted green.   

The Incredible Hulk television series is one of my favorite of all time.  It'll always bug me that the show didn't have a more definitive ending.   It needed one.  There needed to be closure for David. Closure for Jack McGee.  A resolution that we never received.  

That's what I'd do here.  I hate that both Bill Bixby & Jack Colvin are no longer with us.  I do hate that they'd have to be replaced but I'd like to do this film anyway in their honor.  

Pet Sematary (1989 film) - Wikipedia
PET SEMATARY 


It's not that I didn't like PET SEMATARY (1989) or PET SEMATARY (2019) but I do feel that I could have done better with both.  Too much is omitted in the first film & way too many liberties were taken with the second.  First off, I'd keep the death with Gage. The real horror of this film is in regret & mourning.  The true terror is within.   I've given this a lot of thought & I even have some problems with the book that I would tackle.  Have a pretty clear vision of where I would want to go with this. 


Cujo LP – Real Gone Music
CUJO 

I think they did what they could have with the film back when it was made.  Yet, I think it could be redone to be a better film today.  I'd want the focus to be on the dog & to tell at least a portion of the story from his perspective.  Cujo wasn't a bad dog. He wasn't a mean dog. He wasn't an evil dog.  He was a good, loving dog that turned the way he did because of the neglect of his owners.  I don't feel the film got that across as well as it could have.  I think there's a way to where instead of a mean monster, Cujo could come across as a tragedy.  Almost an anti-villain in a way.  I'm not saying it'd be easy, but I do think it'd be possible.  I don't want people leaving the theatre suddenly terrified of Saint Bernards.  I want people leaving the theatre suddenly critical of neglectful & abusive pet owners. 

Cat's Eye (1985 film) - Wikipedia
CAT'S EYE 

Yes, I'm a Stephen King fan.  Can you tell?   I want to redo this film for two reasons.  First & foremost because I think with today's technology it could turn out really good.  Secondly because you know what I love dogs, but I love cats too!! There are so many films about hero dogs.  We need one about a hero cat! This could be our chance! 

Tabitha Vohn's review of That Was Then, This Is Now
THAT WAS THEN THIS IS NOW


That Was Then This is Now is my all time favorite novel.  When I read it in ninth grade, that's when I knew what I wanted to do with my life.  That I wanted to be a writer.  I was not happy with how the film turned out & I do not blame that on Emillio Estevez.  He wanted to take the film in the direction that I would take it, but the executives wouldn't let him.  This could be a great film & I've love to see it.  Of course, I'd love to write it.