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Thursday, April 27th, 2017
4:18 pm - Shooting Star Leaping Through the Sky Like a Tiger
When I think of a thunder clap... that crashing sound of the sky preparing to open to gushing winds, flashes of sudden light in many colors... I can think of one thing and one thing only.

Not a thunderstorm, not a hurricane, not a tornado sending me off to the land of OZ. No, my ears hear cymbals blasting... the cleanest voice calling forth a hero by the name of Flash Gordon.

I can think only of John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Brian May and Freddie Mercury, the combined forces that called themselves simply QUEEN.

A band the defied genres and by defied I also mean defined. Disco before there was disco, new wave before there was new wave. They birthed the opus of rock operas with Bohemian Rhapsody which doesn't mention a thunderclap but a thunderbolt.

If any group of musicians created sounds and worlds that allowed one to branch out... much like a thundering sound bolt followed by a clash of lightning and a torrent of rain drops and wind in all directions it is and was Queen.

The name itself embodies so many movies and television shows. From Iron Eagle to WWF's Saturday Night's Main Event to Wayne's World to Hardcore Henry and even the final episode of BBC's modern retelling of Sherlock. They have become embedded in culture inherently.

Under Pressure, Slightly Mad, Radio Ga-Ga, everyone knows these songs. Your grandma who only listens to Lawrence Welk, your mom who couldn't tell the difference between Megadeth and Metallica, your elementary school principal who acts like he hates Twisted Sister and at night dressed up like Dee Snider while visiting dominatrix clubs. Your dog, your cat, your iguana, hell, even your aborted fetus knows the words to “We Are the Champions” and could even audition for The Voice and win the damn thing with a cover of “We Will Rock You”.

Queen's influence is so far reaching that there's absolutely NO way “There Can Only Be One” would've reached it's pinnacle of understandable conception and meaning without “Who Wants to Live Forever”.

There was even a graphic novel by a long time friend of mine Mike Dawson, which was about his relationship to Queen and how it shaped much of his young life called Freddie & Me.

Of course they were a huge influence on me as well. Any vocalist worth their mettle tries their best to borrow from Freddie. Any front man who realizes he can't get the vocals tries to capture that presence. That being flamboyant, yet macho attitude. Above it all, yet down to Earth. A god among men, a men among Gods.

Then you got John Deacon, the perennial odd man out amongst the parade of cool. Brian May with his long hair and colored button downs, collar up, opened to the chest or track jacket and scarf. Roger Taylor with his blonde locks, just a definition of calm and collected. Deacon was the dude in the full tuxedo with no flair, the sweater vests and the tacky shirts with no irony, yet he still fit in with the odd group.

I will never be Deacon, Taylor, May or Freddie Mercury, but it doesn't matter... because I can still be rocketship on my way to mars on a collision course, a satellite out of control, a sex machine ready to reload like an atom bomb, I'm gotta explode... so don't stop me now, cause I'm having a good time.

And for fun to your ears, eyes, fingers, toes, legs, arms, head, or whatever nerve endings respond to magic, a little personalized Queen playlist a bit in order to the text.

Written for therealljidol Season 10-Topic 16-"Thunderclap"

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Monday, April 17th, 2017
1:50 am - Patchwork Heart
Play the track for those of you who can and read along... for those of you who can't do both (as I know we have contestants all amazing walks of life), the text works as well as poem as it does as song lyrics that I created a melody for.

Broken, battered,
flattened on the floor
never ever know what I'm gonna do anymore
Shattered, spiked, and tossed away
tiny little pieces all along the railway

Welcome to the real world
nothing really matters
it's all a cliché
every single song
all the movies lied
you don't get the girl
you don't even get the pearls

Every single relationship
ain't what it's cracked up to be
at least that's what life has led me
to believe

Sparkle in their eye is an illusion
everything is temporary
don't lose that needle and thread
trust me you're gonna need it

up from the bottom
almost seen it all
lovers come and gone
ouroboros , swallow yourself whole
empty feelings
don't go into the ether

lingering fingers
phantom limbs of those that held your face
ripped asunder by the lightning
chasing a dragon's tail
lords of fire
very frightening
twister blister
it's all garbled
down the wormhole
once again

the lair of the caterpillar
sitting upon his throne
smoke up the ether
float to the island of the misfit toys
get lost in the snow
drifting off off off

Never knowing
spinning like a hulla hoop
rolling like a pinball
bumping like a boulder
falling like a hurricane
it's a blur

Lust and love expected
elated but jaded
then concentrated
all exposed
unexpectedly tight box wrapped
stitched up like a raggedy ann

written for therealljidol Season 10 - Week 15

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Sunday, April 9th, 2017
5:58 pm - Come sit around, don't get burned, and listen.
Memory can be a lot like a tale told around a camp fire. Each year it changes, it expands, at one point it might've been based on something completely true, but as time goes by and the story is passed on, it evolves. Some years the story will have this or that element, other years it'll be told almost completely differently. It'll get jumbled so that it goes from story to epic and at times back again. It'll become hard to even be sure the order in which the story happened, so a counselor will just do their best or even create a brand new story but somehow down the line, that story will get intertwined with the original story being told about that particular camp and thus classic boogeymen are born.

This is much how my brain recounts all my adventures at summer camp as a whole. I know some facts, I have memories, but years, order, it's all one mishmosh. A fun collage of select happenings that if forged together would be just as good as any Meatballs flick.

My first recall of a summer camp is a simple day camp. I honestly don't remember anything of it other than maybe it was called bide-a-wee? This doesn't seem important since I don't know what I did there or who I met or even what year I went, but I remember going which is... something. My first sleepaway camp provides me with glimpses of kayaking, learning some minor computer programming, horse riding and stepping on a bee and being out of commission for a week as the stinger got stuck deep and caused severe ankle spasms. Lesson here? Do not walk barefoot on grass in the woods or campgrounds. Just don't do it.

The truest memories of a summer camp I have though come from Peter Sklar's. A specialized program of intensive workshops in acting, singing, dance, commercial work. Everything in the gamut of being a child actor, while still being an actual camp too. There was tennis, cabins, cafeteria food, romances, those friends you may never see again. A big bonfire and that final dance. It was a strange, unusual, crazy couple of weeks. Some of it exists on a video tape produced by the camp. I was a weird crazy kid. On the video there was this one day where people were paired up to be coming down in line dance, couples, best friends, etc. just outside in the grass. Just silly camp stuff. The kind of stuff we needed because the workshops were like actually being in a class. For whatever damn inexplicable reason that I can not and shall never fathom other than... I'm Reid Harris Cooper, I did something else.

It's one thing for me to talk about this though and another for you to see it.
So here's the description I wrote about this incident 7 years ago when I also posted a video of it.
Here is some footage of me spliced together from 22 year old worn down beat up VHS tape which has lost footage, tracking and clarity over the years. It showed me at 9 years old in the summer of 1987 at a performing arts camp.
The middle repeating section was a bit I remember having to FIGHT to be not only allowed to do, but allowed to get on camera. I was very into (and still am) abstract physical comedy. Everyone else was going down the row as happy couples. I even had a female friend who wanted me to do this. I wanted to do a bit where I had an imaginary abusive girlfriend. I don't know why, this was just what I wanted to do. In the end I was lucky enough to have this short clip of that on the video, so I decided to have it repeat constantly, like something you'd see on Jack-Ass.
The ending shows me at our final showcase singing "Little Shop of Horrors". The entire beginning of this got messed up on the tape, that's why only the ending is there.

Reid Harris Cooper at Peter's Summer Camp 1987 from Reid Harris Cooper on Vimeo.

Now the main thing here is when I said 9 I could be wrong. I was maybe 10? Maybe I was 11. I honestly don't remember because my summers were crazy. In one summer I'd be at the camp, doing auditions, going to Florida or Denmark or California and the age of 8-12 kind of merge into a when, where, what, how? Was that all the same summer? Were they different summers?

The year I went to Peter Sklar's I also went to a winter camp he ran. It was as equally a weird and crazy experience. Peter was a jerk to me at this thing, attacking the weight struggles I had started experiencing at that time and have juggled with since. Yet, I also found myself with many friends, an amazing time, and having the older girls thinking I was the best which was a plus and maybe meant I peaked too early cause I could never capture the same magic back in school. Or I did and I just didn't know, but that's a story is for another time. It like summer camp mergers and flows and becomes like a campfire tale.

The absurdity of my life, or at least how my brain remembers it brings me to one more summer camp story. I like everything else can't recall when or where this thing was and the evidence of it also seems to have disappeared forever, unlike the evidence of the Sklar camp (it's in this apartment SOMEWHERE on some tape). It was an intensive media program through someone else that taught me how to operate a camera, how to write a script, special effects. All that kind of stuff. My class or group or crew or whatever you want to call us made our own version of War of the Worlds, focusing on the idea of people believing a fake news broadcast. Yet with a twist... we thought we were lying about aliens... but then... aliens do come down and start killing us all and the public doesn't realize because moments earlier we told them that everything we had said and shown them before was fake. It was brilliant and I really wish I could find it and share it again with the world. Or maybe... maybe it's a campfire tale... maybe it never happened... but I damn sure remember it.

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Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
3:51 am - The Gates Of Level Zero
Hell has had many depictions through the years. Not just in the bible, or Dante Alighieri or John Milton's work. There's also Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophical waning in his plays. Yet beyond these beginning works that gave us the earliest understanding and conceptions of a place even called Hell it has expanded and in many cases came long before these Christian conceptions.

In various mythologies there is a different place for the punished or deemed evil. It has many names and differs in scale and scope from mythology to mythology. Tatarus, The Underworld, Hel, Naraka, Diyu, The Devourer Field. It takes the reading of many different theologies to truly comprehend and fathom all these depictions, but the interesting is despite developed and written in different languages, different societies and developed without the others focal influence they still took many of the same properties of demons, levels, leaders to each section, personal hell and visceral hell, mental and visual, there is always a devil, always more then one as most folks envision.

The traditional of hell with 9 levels and a leader for each is quite intriguing on each its own. With Mephisto, Satan, Beelzebub, Hades, Baphomet, Ahriman, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Old Nick all out there depicted and possibly existent, that's a lot of devils. That's not even mentioning the other devils in film who are just usually disguised as businessmen or the Faustian Devil who is always fun.

Here is a small list of films and comics that I truly have enjoyed which depict a Devil or a type of Hell or both in a way that despite what the gates tend to warn, somehow give you a tiny bit of hope.

Bedazzled: Both 1967 and the remake in 2000. While Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's original piece directed by the man behind some of the greatest musicals is a perfect setting of its time, the modernized version of Harold Ramis with television giants Peter Tolan and Larry Gelbart which cast Elizabeth Hurley as The Devil holds a little something close to my heart.

Marvel Comics' Mephisto: The brainchild of Stan Lee and artist John Buscema as a foil for Silver Surfer. An ingenious concept itself... a version of The Devil as the villain to a cosmic entity who escaped his heralding to a god like being who eats planets. It's so big and yet Marvel always finds way to make it smaller. Mephisto has continued to be one of the more intriguing figures as he is not The Devil, just A Devil. Without Mephisto there would be no Doctor Doom. He chose for no reasons other than he's a devil to torture Spider-Man and even Daredevil. He's just... well... fun.

The Devil's Advocate: Al Pacino chews the scenery non stop, but the depiction of Hell in the coming to life painting is so just brilliant. The Tony Gilroy script isn't even very good, but he's not known for writing good scripts, just usable ones which Taylor Hackford... who despite his name is no hack did twice. I've never read the original novel, but I would like to. It might even focus more on the concept that Pacino's John Milton is probably supposed to have been THE John Milton... as if John Milton, writer of Paradise Lost, was the devil, so when he wrote that it is better ti reign in hell than serve in heaven... he meant it. Evil is more fun.

Image Comics, particularly in Todd McFarlane's SPAWN: The first major Devil seen is Malebolgia, he is the now former leader of the eighth circle of hell. He for more than millennia the being who created or endowed a warrior with a spawn symboite to be his warrior. His depiction was just so gross that it's nearly perfect. Then are the The Clown and his brothers. There's also Mammon. Everything of Hell and how it is depicted in Spawn is not fun though, it's horrific, sadistic and scary.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey: “This is non, non, non, non, non heinous”. What an amazing showing of what Hell can be... the rocks towards the mechanical like version of Super Satan, the more personal hell through various doors. I always wished we could see behind those other doors to discover more inner demons. Would there be a door that opened on Missy for both of them that started off hot but turned into a nightmare? Maybe one where Abe Lincoln hated them? I don't know... but man... I want to. I think Evan Dorkin explored this more in the comics, but I'm not positive.

And finally to keep this short as claimed we return to books...
Chuck Palahniuk's DAMNED. My original review of this could probably use revising, as since written a sequel titled DOOMED came out which may correct certain issues I found in DAMNED. Despite this it still stands as a well researched cobbling of all these different versions of hell I've mentioned into its own collage like version. So seek it out and its sequel, because bad Chuck Palahniuk is still better than most books.

With so many possible hells beyond those gates though, you must ask yourself, what do you hope for if you ever find yourself standing in front of them? You can't just abandon it... you know too much to do so. If you're there... you know why... or maybe you don't... but if if you're lucky you get South Park's Satan and then you just make him your bitch.

written for therealljidol Week 13: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

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Friday, March 17th, 2017
10:28 pm - Briny
When words flung from his mouth they stung. After slowly slicing through the basics, pouring vinegar in, stitching back up with backhanded compliments, there would always be that one last thing he'd say, a final peter shot to throw salt in the wound.

He couldn't help himself. From the moment he could formulate sentences, it became a part of what seemed an ingrained style. Never leaving things alone and never letting someone get away with bullshit, blunt to the touch, especially with those he loved and cared for the most.

They say you catch more flies with honey. Sometimes you don't want to catch flies. If you do want flies though? You want to cook them, and if you cook them, you need to season them. If those flies are just covered in honey, eventually you'll throw em up. Honey is good, but a sweet fly? It needs something to counterattack the crunch and bitter.

They say these days to watch your tongue. We're in a society where unless you're at a certain level, what you say can get your burned. Black lava, a tingling sensation. He spits that black lava. Over everything. Meat, cheese, strawberries. Sometimes spits rocks too. Spits from the mouth like glitter, and it makes everything better in the long run. Not for all, for some it's too much but for those people, life is too short to worry about.

He... is me... I am him. I have caused pain, but for this pain there comes a sacrifice. For to stay silent is death, while sometimes to say to much cause also cause a heart attack. I try to strike that medium center of taste, but what is basic for one, is too much for the other. So you must ask yourself, whose meal is more important?

Now pass me the shaker, this stuff is too bland.

(and now a tale of culinary and the humor of salt and how when dealing with a fellow chef, knowing how much or too little salt to use is impossible, especially when you're still a student. For my final of culinary class I made a chicken chili of my own creation. I even pre-prepped my own special selection of chili seasoning mix at home. I thought it was just the right amount of salt and spice without being overpowering. I found it to even be a little too salty but I knew the teacher liked his salt. It wasn't salty enough. I got a B-. I still graduated and got my degree, but dang, even when you know your "audience" it can be difficult. This is very different then speaking, but is also a decent allegory I feel.)

written for therealljidol Season 10-Week 12-"salty"

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Sunday, March 12th, 2017
11:57 pm - Romance in the Blue Hour
I wrote this my voice the moment I saw last weeks therealljidol prompt and proceeded to forget to actually transcribe it. I don't want it to lost to the ether though.

Love is a thing that
makes you lose control
Breaks your soul
Makes you do anything just to hold on
Walking the streets
The clock ticks away
The clock ticks away
Time means nothing walking miles and miles think back to that kiss that passion the sky the hues saffron enveloping the energies around you
Turquoise illumination
Sparkling as your lips touched
The sensation of adulation above
Brightness changed moved
Reverberated into in almost azure essence
The memories you hold that moment forever etched
Into lines of sapphire and topaz
Cerulean water wrapped around you like a lapis litany
When the Admiral said it was the end
You looked back realizing the day had passed
Everything around you was teal

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Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
2:03 pm - Lets go walking
For a time I was very serious about urbexing (and it's only cut down from lack of vehicle & fellow adventurer's interest/schedule). I'm not the kind of person you'd expect to be traversing dangerous abandoned spots in search of ruin photography because I just don't look the part. Not that there's a looking the part, but I definitely don't look like the kind of person who enjoys a lot of walking over long passages with ups and down with risks of injury if you fall the wrong way. Which is something I always do, fall down and get injured. I consider it part of the adventure. It wasn't complete if I didn't have a little damage to my body which expanded the energy of my soul.

On top of any urbexing whenever the weather is cooperative and I have a final destination of interest in which the long way would be worth it for the photography I take it. Even if the final leg of the journey shall be a long night of insanity. Case in point would be last Wednesday. I was going to an event titled DEATH MATCH 3 which would be an evening of two long rock band sets, a sword swallowing juggler and all headlined by three men kicking and punching each other, hitting each other with chairs and light tubes and more all for performance and excitement. The three men were friends of mine and I assisted with getting the word out and making the night go smoothly so I was there for 2 hours beforehand. Yet before that I chose to get off at the train stop after the location and then walk the long way to turn it into a mile hike, snapping graffiti photos along the way. You can see the photos from that night in this facebook post:

Also if you're not squeamish you can see a playlist of DEATH MATCH 3. There's blood and gore though and a guy swallowing a sword while juggling and hot dog eating too.

Crazier urban exploring adventures have included some quite interesting spots that truly involved major hikes. An abandoned power factory upstate (1) , an abandoned farm colony (2), the train tunnel underneath riverside park (3), the abandoned highline in Philadelphia (4), an abandoned prison (5), the abandoned factory seen in the opening credits of The Sopranos (6), mostly abandoned freight lines throughout various states. All these locations covered in graffiti, grime, historical ruins and the occasional weirdness such as a big dead rat beat eaten by bees (7) and the ghost of a little girl who demanded we don't enter this particular building on a space of many lots.

It's also always just fun to to go through a museum. The right museum can be a true trek. Especially say the Museum of Modern Art if you don't use the elevators or the Philadelphia Museum of Art (especially if you seek free parking and do the Rocky run from LOVE park) or doing all of Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian and hitting up a few monuments or even just going to a Zoo, be it Bronx, San Diego or even just a day at Universal Studios Florida. Anything can be a hike if you allow it too. You just have to have the drive and energy (and usually money) to make the journey.

1.) 2.) 3.)
7.) So as to not force this disturbing gross image on you, here's only a link to it: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3439/3898877044_25c58c4ea1_o.jpg

written for therealljidol Season 10-Week 10-"Take a Hike"

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
11:27 am - ...And here we... go!
The trolley car problem is one about weighing one bad choice against another. Trading destruction and death for death and destruction. About weighing conscious decision of doing nothing or doing something in which you save many for one and deciding which is the moral choice. There is no right or wrong answer in the equation. If anyone ever tells you there is they are inherently wrong. Morals are not universal truths. As the theme song to Diff'rent Strokes tells us What might be right for you, may not be right for some. The question can be made even larger though. Would you kill many to save many? What if instead of you both of the many had to make the decision for each other?

That's a one of the best examples to the problem presented in The Dark Knight by Heath Ledger's Joker to two ships with explosives. It could equally be considered a prisoner's dilemma, and more so a pointless exercise as it is suggested Joker truly believes both sides in this social experiment will blow each other up. If you're unfamiliar with the exchange it's best you just watch it yourself. The solution solved is not traditional, it's the stuff out of a superhero movie based on a comic which tries to have some realism but in the end is just escapist fantasy. That doesn't take away the problem inherent and putting yourself say in one of those boats, much like you could be on one of those trolleys. Would you do nothing which will cause death? Would you do something which will cause death? Is one death worth more or less then another? I say unto you again... what might be right for you, may not be right for some. I'll twist it further, what might be right some, may not be right for all. The world don't beat to the sound of just one drum, if it did we'd fall into the problems some folks do all the time. Justice wears a blindfold for a reason, she knows justice doesn't exist.

The Dark Knight presents a second trolley car problem when he ties up Harvey Dent and Vikki Vale in two locations far from each other with probable death for whomever Batman doesn;t save. This leads to the creation of Two-Face so it's less thrilling in the problem as Dent didn't die and in the end only Joker dies... a victim of another trolley car problem.

Here's a link to an edited together clip of the boat scenario:

When one thinks about trolleys though, they if they're anything like me think about another problem. The one the entire trolley corporations felt nationwide in the 40s as street cars became less of a thing with the urban legends and truths in General Motors attempts to destroy all street cars in an bid to monopolize on other types of mobile transportation. The crux of this widespread issue found itself explored deeply in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. While the film is first and foremost an adaptation of a book about cartoons and humans living together, the original book is a simple murder mystery in modern times (well modern to the 80s), while the film clearly takes place in 1940s California with the truth behind the murders all tied into the purchasing of trolley lines to dismantle their use and build a freeway straight through Toontown. This is exactly what happened in Oakland back then. There was no Toontown, but the Red Car was real and it was systemically bought and sold off and became the L.A. Freeway. That is a trolley problem if I ever saw one. It even does in a ways reflect back to the moral question of transportation versus money versus the many to the few. While a cable car system in LA would be quite nice, especially as cities like San Diego and San Francisco rely on them heavily still today, one wonders how Hollywood would've flourished or not flourished as the boon town it did if it didn't become a town where one better have a car because public transportation isn't the best. Not that L.A. Has NO public transportation, but would trolleys help or fix the problem. We'll never know, that problem was solved by having no trolleys.

Here's Judge Doom explaining his plan:

Now my only question is if Roger Rabbit was presented with Joker's social experiment how would he respond? Probably with a few jokes and asking someone else what they thought.

written for therealljidol Season 10-Week 9-"The Trolley Problem"

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Monday, January 30th, 2017
11:50 pm - A Not So History of Me (Just A Snippet)
I was born in a hospital in Flushing, New York but I was raised from Day 2 in Forest Hills. It is where I learned to walk & talk & read & play video games. I went to school here. I made my friends here. I got my first "girlfriends" here. Forest Hills is a part of my make-up. While by the age of 5 I was introduced to the city and theater and more. By the age of 10 I was performing in nightclubs in downtown Manhattan. By 11 going myself into the city and as far as Brooklyn. At 11-16 working on sets from the Bronx, to Brooklyn, to even New Jersey. In the end I still always returned home to Forest Hills.

Forest Hills is one of the most notable neighborhoods in Queens because of its rich history, the majority of celebrities that have been born, raised, went to school and/or lived here during a portion of their life. I've always called the place Ramones Town because the entire band came from here, but they are only the tip of the ice berg or actually they're the middle of the mountain. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, Jimmy Breslin, Hank Azaria, Geraldine Ferrario, Donna Karan, Michael Landon, Caroll O'Connor, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and even David Caruso. That's not all of them though. The list goes on and on. It makes me feel proud to have my history be here. This is where I first bought comics, where I first saw movies, where I first bought a computer (a Commodore 64, the first real home computer with games before PCs got hot), made friends, went to school. Even today I still appreciate my nearby area even if there's not as much coolness as there was growing up like the video store, the magazine shop, and such. Austin Street/71st still has the game store though, the comic shop is closing but it was there, there's still the movie theater. It's a strong neighborhood with a history of very popular school programs, tennis games, concerts, and melting pot.

Indeed a melting pot with being surrounded by Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Corono, Lefrak City, and Flushing Meadow Park in less than 4 blocks away. Despite that you may have noticed something about many of the celebrities. They're Jewish and of Russian linage in most cases. That is what the majority of this neighborhood has been for at least 100 years. Russian Jews. While my father was raised in the Bronx and my mom was raised in Great Neck as well as other areas, they easily could;ve come from Forest Hills like me. This statement of Russian Jews takes me to where I am TRULY from though.

Going back to my great grand parents and the late 1800s-early 1900s. While I don't know the entore story on ALL sides of how we came over, especially on my father's maternal side, the fact is I am 100% Jew and all sides of the eight families that make up my genetics it's all Russian Jew and they all came over during a time of turmoil be it before or during the creation of the pogroms. The pogroms were essentially like the ghettos of Europe which eventually evolved into Hitler's concentration camps. My family did what they had to for survival and through it they made it to America and made lives and homes for themselves. Some richer and more successful then others. My mother actually came from money, my father, not really. Not poor, but not even middle class. Surviving.

So, I come survival. Yes, I come from Forest Hills and I'd never deny that. I have plenty reason to be proud of it... but I really come from... me.

written for therealljidol Season 10-Topic 7 "Where I'm From"

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
1:17 am - Everybody Turn, Turn, Turn...
Excuse me while I flip my journalism hat on. I come at this with not just a basic concept of the heel turn, but deep ceded one. A pro wrestling fan since 1986, a person who has experienced what wrestling is about, been behind the scenes, written concepts and even embarrassingly did what is known as e-wrestle. Think of it as basically Livejournal but done via email in which folks wrote promos against each other, devised stories and had it all come together for an almost cohesive thing you read of the fictional lives. I'm not going to talk about e-feds though, as fascinating as they can be. I just present my involvement as further evidence of my pure love of wrestling. Although I guess the fact that I've actually been in a wrestling match in front of people proves that fact.

Heel turns in wrestling are more confusing then one may actually think. The idea of someone who has been loved, admired, respected and cheered by fans to suddenly turn their back on said fans and become a rule breaker beating upon folks they previously called friend with underlying tactics, sneak attacks and dirty dealing is not in any way, shape normal. In the trope of television there's usually some quality back story, but in wrestling, not always the case... they just woke up that day and said "I'm evil now".

Said biggest case in just turning heel for NO REASON other then... he just did...could be argued to be a man who today is considered one of the evilest, vilest., dangerous, sadistic, satan worshiping, black magic wielding maniacs alive, a man known simply as Kevin Sullivan. Before he became the man who fits all those descriptors to a tee he was a super fit, ex collegiate wrestler turned body builder who was affable, kind and always looking to help folks out. Then one day, out of the blue, they're in a match and they use illegal tactics to win, start saying they never needed anyone and show up at the next event talking about the devil.

Of course the most notable heel turn probably has to go to Hulk Hogan. It was a true 360 for him. Although he started his career as a flamboyant, over the top, evil guy with an obnoxious overbearing rude hate everyone manager before becoming the world famous True American, Say Your Prayers, Take Your Vitamins, star of Rocky III (actually he was still a heel as the character Thunderlips was at this time), Suburban Commando, No Holds Barred, Gremlins 2 and Rock n Wrestling, Hulkamania running wild, 224 inch pythons man most knew him as. Of course until that fateful day on July 7th, 1996. He had been through a 2 year stint as the top face of the newly branded World Championship Wrestling who when he debuted had actually been completely out of the wrestling limelight from August of 93 till June of 94 which in programming that was weekly was a long time. As the same exact Hulk Hogan he was in the 80s fans actually started to boo him simply out of boredom and this allowed for the perfect opportunity. WCW had been able to sign two other major stars to WCW who had become big back when Hogan's star was failing in Razor Ramon and Diesel. Never mind the fact that both men had previously been in WCW as The Diamond Studd and Vinnie Vegas (as well as Master Blaster and OZ). They were using their real names at this time of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash though and were for weeks threatening to have a third partner who would shock and surprise everyone. Ignoring all rumors and hearsay of what was supposed to happen... the man turned out to be Hulk Hogan who became the ultimate heel within seconds, betraying his best friend Randy Savage AGAIN as well Sting and Lex Luger and cutting an intense promo. Fans were so angry and dismayed they threw stuff in the ring. It got over tough and even though Hogan was no evil and made that full heel turn, he became more popular than ever.

Wcw Bash At The Beach 1996 17/17 by emf818

That throws another wrench into just the concept of the heel turn, as that reaction is a common one. Fans want to see goody two shoe, happy folks turn evil. When they do they boo for a second, but then they cheer. People love evil. In wrestling and maybe even in television shows, the heel turn can be the best thing ever for certain folks. It's worked multiple times on getting someone over when the fans started disliking their good guy character or in some cases hating them right away as good. The Rock, Bret Hart, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Sting, AJ Styles, they've all done it. Even John Cena...well, he did the reverse heel turn and everyone awaits the day he does it again. The heel turn isn't essentially going bad, but reinvigoration, rediscovery and an opportunity to try something new and different. It also gives the chance to one day regain the fans appreciation by suddenly becoming good when a bigger bad guy comes along and a person suddenly just starts fighting them. A lot of times they'll be NO change in personality even, but suddenly face to heel or heel to face... nothing changes, but the fans see you one way because of who you're facing. A perfect example of this are Edge, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Owens/Steen, Samoa Joe... all men who have gone back and forth between heel and face and changed NOTHING. Didn't change the way they acted, the way they wrestled, the way they talked.

Yeah folks, wrestling is weird and even someone like me who has been watching it for 30+ years, has been to every kind of wrestling show you can think of from WWE to TNA to ECW to CZW to CHIKARA to that rinky dink fed you've never heard of to that one off show which tons of folks doing stuff you'll never see doesn't truly ever completely fathom it. I do know that it is an amazing theatrical production that defies most concepts and frustratingly at times (and my biggest pet peeve) logic as well. Yet I love it and honestly I think anyone if they came into it with an open mind would find something they loved about it too.

Hell, I was going to discuss the best heel turn I experienced LIVE and almost forgot, but before I leave you, I should tell you a story of current Championship Wrestling from Hollywood announcer Kevin Condron... a man who was never truly a technico (the lucha libre Mexican word for face) but at the same time never truly a rudo (the term for heel). Kevin was a performer for the company known as CHIKARA based out of Philadelphia. He made his first appearance to people in 2013 as new young masked superstar Kid Cyclone. His charisma, energy and passion soon gained him a very quick following. During the very intense, powerful storyline in CHIKARA in which many characters were actually murdered Cyclone became more and more angered and unhinged. Especially when his best friends were murdered right in front of him and he felt no one but he was trying to truly do something about it. During this tale Kid Cyclone reached out to fans seeking support against the big bad destroying CHIKARA and he got it. He got a lot of support actually. At the what would be considered the season finale of 2014 though Kid Cyclone did the unthinkable in a Lucha Libre based company. He ripped off his mask, declared the tradition dead, said he never needed any of the fans, he never wanted to wear a mask and he never wanted any of what he had for the last year. He spoke with more passion and fervor then even Hulk Hogan. Yet, instead of alienating us... he gained even a bigger following. He lost some folks too, but he gained new ones because people love crazy, they love "evil" especially when "evil" still thinks it's good. His story progressed and he gained a stable of two men (both folks who were former henchmen of the monster who killed his friends) and eventually killed the friend of one his henchmen, becoming a self deluded monster himself before it all caught up with him and he was destroyed as well. Kevin Condron is an egomaniac, maybe even a megalomaniac for as much power he ever has. Condron would go on to do some amazing things in CHIKARA before being sadly and unceremoniously have his story get a very poor ending... but luckily while his CHIKARA story seems done he's landed very well and he's a joy of a person, even if he is a conspiracy theorist with thoughts and ideas that maybe not everyone shares. Yet, that again is what gets people over.

Look at the world... heel turns, they aren't what you think... they never are.

written for therealljidol Season 10-Topic 6: Heel Turn

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Thursday, January 12th, 2017
9:58 pm - To Fear Is To Love A Broken Heart That Can Be Mended Still
I fear that I don't know what love is
love is the fear of what is not
inside all our souls beats the unknown
masks are worn to hide scars
not cloth, but emotions over emotions
imagined walls unbreakable
doors with locks that can not be picked
we shield ourselves from it
till it embraces us so powerful that
it overtakes us.
walls broken
locks cracked
masks removed
fear destroyed
love into the heart
yet till it happens fear subsists
fear that may stop love
but nothing stops it
except yourself

My love life has been top-turvy. It has had its highs and it has had its low. It has had more highs than lows. Because when I reach that high, I'm never coming down. Not ever. No fear will be left in me. I will just be a ballast at the top of a mountain. My flag planted forever. Rocks pelted, heavy gusts of wind... avalanches. I'll bear it all.

Till then. I stand here at the bottom. Not afraid to climb the mountain, just afraid there's no one to climb it for right now.

written for the therealljidol Season 10-Topic 5: Fear is the Heart of Love

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Friday, December 30th, 2016
11:19 am - Plasma Gelato
I am many things, but on the top 10 of that list is adventurer/risk taker/scavenger or to put it more bluntly urban explorer. More then once these experiences could make my blood cold so cold you could call it hemoglobin sorbet.

I'll keep this one short and sweet as it has many details and can be retold so many ways and I shall for the rest of damn life. The Freedom Tunnel is a section of a train track that runs from Grand Central Station all the way out to Philly and Boston. It is so named because of the graffiti and fine artist Christopher "Freedom" Pape who created the most famous pieces on the walls creating art museum quality murals. Most notably one with a comic strip panel of Dick Tracy taking out a gangster calling him a mole. It was a small but deep comment on the raid on the tunnels by cops evacuating many homeless who had no shelter system to actually turn to. They were known as the mole people. On one of my visits I/we had noticed some had made their return and even found ways to truly make the space livable for one who truly had nowhere else to go.

There is a serious danger to walking this tunnel as breathtaking as it is. The Acela Express, a train that goes super fast and makes no noise till it's right near you runs through it. On an occasion we were walking a very narrow path, if the train had come then we'd be goners. On another the train zoomed by mere seconds after we had walked off the track to lower ground. Cops also walk around and if you're caught, there's very little fun in talking your way out of it. No more then back when we were triptraising around for education, photography and fun, but still. I got my foot stuck once on the tracks and it was lots of fun unearthing it in time. That was one time where I got super lucky but you never know. Which is part of the fun, danger makes it all the much more exciting.

Then there's also the time I saw a ghost when up in the abandoned farm colony but that's another story for another time.

For my personal photos from various trips to the Freedom Tunnel I direct you here:

written for the therealljidol Season 10-Break Week Topic: Possum ran over my grave

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Thursday, December 29th, 2016
5:30 pm - Loneliness is Tasty
I've struggled with weight essentially my entire life. I like food. I like food even more when life is kicking my ass. When nothing is going right I tend to gobble chocolate. When it's cold outside and I'm unmotivated to do anything I make it even worse by choosing to eat comfort food. Fried chicken, ribs, you name it and I'm eating it.

The scale lies though. This I can tell you. I can't use a scale to tell me if I'm fat. I can weight 245 and be fat or thin because of my muscle mass. That's besides the point though. I eat, I eat too much and when I try to go healthy it only seems to last for as long as I see results. Those results don't last. I'm not looking for results in such as actually being thinner or healthier. I'm hoping by being healthier and leaner it'll lead to the things the world says those things achieve. Finding money, love, happiness. Thin or fat it doesn't seem to make a difference in my experience though. Although it stands to reason that when I am getting things like money or love I tend to eat healthier because I don't have the time or inclination to find that stuff in brownies, truffles, cheese, more cheese and also cheese. By the way, did I mention cheese?

During the winter it gets even harder. I suffer seasonal depression. I want to move around but if I'm out of work, single, or whatever I don't get that get up and go attitude. Then I want something super tasty because it'll maybe make me happy for a second. Then I'm not happy so I want something else and before you know it I've eaten a box a truffles.

I've tried to mentally break myself of these habits, but they're just harder and harder or easier and easier. Take your pick, no matter the choice, you're getting me. Which is all I really want, for some to choose me.

written for the therealljidol Season 10-Break Week Topic: Kummerspeck

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Saturday, December 24th, 2016
8:21 pm - You, Me, Other
Staring death in the face
Just need something to kill the pain
I feel the lightness inside my brain
Round about the corner
never feel the chill
Monsters gonna rumble
I feel the thrill

I'm looking right in your eyes
I know this isn't the time
For what ever shall you believe
when you start to try to deceive

Running with the pack
Can't no, can't have no slack
Slip some back
As I drink from the flask

We are all survivors
in this game of change
Howling beasts
we all feel the same

When the night is the over
and the sun comes up
we'll begin again
till we can't get enough

Again and again and again
never afraid
never afraid
Staring death in the face

We're too dumb to know
when we're brave
We're too brave to know
when we're dead

System reboot
Shattered membranes
Wake up sweating
for another30 days

written for therealljidol Season 10: Break Week: Sang-Froid

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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
1:30 pm - Rules Were Meant To Be Broken
Born into a family of losers,
but in a society of nobodies what did this truly mean?
Faced against the barriers of strife she would study the ancient tomes
Learn the magical arts of hue, shadows, anatomy
The brush as it hit canvas would build immeasurable images of fantasy
Yet no one could ever known her talent
Outside these four walls she would walk hidden, a slave to the grind
To even consider expressing a skill not seen amongst a single peer
One did not welcome Death simply to be recognized

Hidden deep in the stalls with the horses
the worlds built by color and imagination would sit and fester
unsigned, the lament would bring pain
every night at the manor they would all drink
one evening she spilled her mead on the table
and started making circles with her fingers
even this frowned upon
How dare she show a slightest fragment of ability higher than anyone else?

Sent out in the village with nary the clothes on her back
Locked out from the walls that held her family and her creation prisoner
At night she climbed precariously
and with rock and blood and excrement she created her final masterpiece
one that no one would ever be able to deny
signed deep on the walls of the village
Her name, her work, her final marker

They could as a society ignore it
but the legacy would last forever
One day the walls enemies would break through and come crashing
the sheep would be eaten by the wolves
just as her painting revealed

written for the therealljidol Season 10-Break Week Topic: Jantelagen

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Thursday, December 15th, 2016
1:12 am - Three Strikes You're Out!
Everything I know about pitching, hitting, running, stealing base, fast balls, curve balls, intentional walks, brushbacks, homeruns, sliding, slipping, tripping, I know because I watch movies. I've been to one single baseball game in my life. I didn't pay attention. I was bored out of my skull. I never paid attention when it was on television. Yet, that doesn't mean I don't have my favorite players or my favorite teams. Okay I have four favorite teams... the Cleveland Indians (1), the Durham Bulls (2), the Hackensack Bulls (3) and the New York Knights (4). I hate the Chicago Cubs because they let a little kid play for them... a little kid (5). I mean Sam Malone (6) is great and all, so the Boston Red Sox (making it five) too but I think his bar is way better than anything he ever did in baseball.

If it wasn't for the motion pictures I might not even have ever heard of the game called a national pastime that has so much regulation, confounding rules and metaphors for life. I probably would still though. It's almost nigh impossible to miss. Catcher in the Rye (7), Shoeless Joe (8), even Michael Chabon's Summerland (9). You can't escape baseball. No matter where you turn. I mean even The Warriors with The Furies (10). Turn to professional wrestling and there was Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz (11). The Baseball Swing is even a wrestling move and "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels' named his super kick "Sweet Chin Music" (12) because it knocks you back and usually out and if not out, distracted for a second which would lead to a strike and like in baseball... a 3rd count and you are out.

Let's say you don't watch movies, or read books, or watch wrestling though. You can't away cause it's all over music. John Fogerty's "Centerfold" (13), Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" (14), Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" (15). You just can't escape.

Oh you just watch TV? What do you think Negan's Lucille(16) is? It's a "baseball bat" and all Negan is ever doing is throwing metaphroical brushback pitches till he throws that curveball. You read the newspaper but skip the sports section? Baseball players are so famous they make the front page! You only read comics strips? Charles Schultz did multiple baseball stories in Peanuts (17)... Good Grief (he also did a baseball comic strip at one point).

and don't get me started on the internaionally famous poem turned Children's story "Casey at the Bat" (18)(19)(20).

1. Major League http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097815/
2. Bull Durham http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094812/
3. Brewster's Millions http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088850/
4. The Natural http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087781/
5. Rookie of the Year http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107985/
6. Cheers http://www.cbs.com/shows/cheers/
7. http://www.pu.if.ua/depart/Inmov/resource/file/samostijna_robota/Catcher_In_The_Rye_-_J_D_Salinger.pdf
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoeless_Joe_(novel)
9. https://www.harpercollins.com/authors/michaelchabon
10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrEmF4SK3T4
11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh-hTXzHqVc
12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXYJnre1fgQ
13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04KQydlJ-qc
14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vQpW9XRiyM
15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C11MzbEcHlw
16. http://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead
17. http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts
18. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/casey-bat
19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xWtysMlrcA
20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erfSed2MUsA

written for therealljidolSeason 10-Topic 3: Brushback Pitch

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
4:17 pm - Friendship isn't just a word, or a concept... it's so much more.
I didn't discover what it meant to actually truly have a best friend till college. That is not to say I was friendless growing up. Also in perspective stating that may be considered inaccurate. What would be more proper is I didn't fully understand brotherhood and forever unbreakable bonds. Having that person in your life that it would truly take major situations to end it and having those situations occur and it still not ending. That person? That person in your life is special. Yet for me to properly explain Nicholas Vincent Isabella the III, the only person I can truly call brother, best friend, confidant for life and have it stick... a history lesson must first take place. I promise I'll try to keep it short, sweet, to the point, I doubt it will be; but you really must learn of my friends before and a few of my friends after Nick entered my life to really grasp it (by it, I mean us, and even then, you might not).

My first real best friend who made an impact as my memory serves would be Clark Kent. He was older but only by a few years, so he was also essentially my baby sitter, but he was truly so much more, for a short time he was definitely family and if life didn't go the way it did as life tends to he might still be a major part of mine. We wrote plays together, went to Orlando together, he had dinner and hung out overnight even when my parents came home. I have fond memories of our time, but the age difference was five years and as we grew older that just became a bit strained as he moved on to more adult things while I was still growing. We've bumped into each other a few times in adulthood but it just didn't stick.

My next bestie was Adam K. and that was quite a shaky friendship to say the least. We were very bad together. Smoking, shoplifting, all that bad stuff. He also stole two of my girlfriends and we got in a fist fight and I once planned to murder him. Yet somehow in the end we actually stuck it out even as we were in different schools. When I transferred to City-As-School in my late teens, Arthur followed. Not at my request or anything, just following my lead. He was at least a year or so behind me in school from being left back though so once I graduated, I'd see him in the neighborhood but we just drifted apart. During the time of Arthur I was also friends with Marty Perez, a next door neighbor who I'd known since elementary school. We also had been through our share of fist fights. Marty was a weird kid. I'm talking weird. He was a peeping tom, his girlfriend when he was a teen was a girl with down syndrome who he took advantage of. It's complicated. He was not my best friend, but he was the friend I ended up spending a lot of time with. There were a lot of other friends and time was spent with them such as Ronald, Clifton, Kwame, and plenty others, but in terms of building bricks there we are.

Then there was Jefferson Caulder. Between around 16-19 he was my go to friend. He was one year older or maybe it was two. He took me to bars, strip clubs, told me crazy stories. We went to lots of movies. Had some crazy late nights. He actually helped me grow as a person, but simply in a way that once I was out of his shadow and was able to alpha dog a situation he pulled out of the friendship. Nick was there for this experience. Nick had replaced Jefferson during the time that friendship fell apart. Nick being part of it is a cement to what we are to each other.

Nick and I met freshmen year of college. The first day actually. We didn't become serious friends till sophomore year though. Years later though he told me he knew from day one at some point me and him would be boys. He just sensed it, not that at the time he understood it. At the time Nick wasn't ready to be my friend. He was shy, aloof and hadn't experienced life the way I had. He hadn't done drugs, he'd never kissed a girl, he hadn't really traveled or had crazy experiences. He was just an intelligent man who knew he wanted more from the world. For the record, I had done all the things he hadn't. Maybe not as much as many others. I wasn't cool but I was collected. I had hung out with famous people since I was a youth. I had taken an entire year off between high school and college in which I worked on film sets and took college courses for fun which guided me to the college I chose to matriculate in.

When I started at college the only friend I had truly was Jefferson. That would change quickly. The entire college would become my friend and I definitely had a crew I hung out with. Josh, Stu, Doug, Ben, Amy, Molly, etc. etc. We were all theater folk and would have parties, go to bars, get wasted, get stoned, make songs, it was seriously good times and I was friends with these folks for all four years. I stayed in touch with some of them for awhile as well. New folks would drift in too Nate, Nina, David, Daria, and a slew of them I have a connection with still. Not friendship but in the broadest sense of that word in our modern era where everyone you know even if you see them once a year is your friend. Some of them very successful as well. Noted musicians, playwrights, children's authors and more.

In all this though Nick walked in directly. It started when me and my friend Matt planned to put together a zine. I had lined up stories, other writers, artwork, a name, a concept, money to publish and even a printer (the husband of a long time friend who it goes BEYOND friendship that it'd be an entirely different essay, but I consider her my sister even with her and her family on the other side of the world now, she will always be my sister and in an essay about best friends she as much as Nick tops the list and Nick knows her, but like I said, it'd be an entirely different essay). Albeit all I had set up, Matt pulled out of the project. We remained friends, but I was determined to do this. So I put out an ad throughout the school and Nick answered the call. From it our friendship went from two guys who had been in classes together, to two guys hanging out on weekends hashing out stories, designing a magazine and becoming a tight unit. This bond itself actually could never really be explained. Nick and I share very little in common and yet everything in common. He has no interest in comics, wrestling, or usually the kind of video games I enjoy. We've read many of the same books, yet equally many more different books. I was built on Heinlein, Adams, Le Guin, Kerouac. I don't recall who he was weened on, but it was not those authors. We were raised very differently in very different family environments. Yet, there's this bond of connectiveness (sic). This strand, this universal pull.

Since Nick came into my life I've had plenty new friends enter it. Some more important than others. But all part of a major thing. For a short while my friend Rich Watson became a very close comrade. I'd actually known him before Nick. Going back to maybe when I was 16. He was an indie comics artist who I'd built a kinship with. I actually have a share of those. There's an entire crew of cartoonists I've known since I was a teen who I have grand friendships with but we don't hang out. Dean Haspiel, Josh Neufeld, Nick Bertozzi, Rick Parker, just to name a few. Yet if something happened in my life where I was in desperate need of a hand I think I could rely on them. I could also rely on Rich. I'm not sure what caused us to have a rift even. One day we just stopped hanging out all the time. Because of life Nick wasn't always available, still isn't so I always tried to have more friends. Rich also shared my love of comics and film, so it made talking really easy.

While the focus of this is about that one friend, it's Nick, I begin to feel remiss of not naming numerous other friends I've had through the years. Including my friends I've made on Livejournal or through LJ Idol or through various services. People I've known since I was 17, 18, 19, 20. Many of them people still in my life, but they live elsewhere. People I've met along the road of comic cons, wrestling shows, people I know have my back. There's my friend Alex who I became close with when I was 16 and helped me find new comics shops and we'd hang out frequently and then like some friendships do, we drifted but are still in touch. Then there's all the friends I made about 10 years ago through the street art scene. People who seriously matter the world to me. I mean the world. A world where I lost one of those friends tragically two years ago. Pete was the best. There's Becky, Royce Bannon, Matt Siren, Chris RWK, Anthony, Ski, 2Esae, Luna, Natasha, Gigi, Garrison, Alison, Dylan, Joe... the list goes on and on. Serious friends who I know care about me. There's my friends from wrestling chat rooms, most especially Mike Langan, who I've worked alongside, been to Florida with, lost touch with and through a wrestling company that has provided me many more friends, got acquainted again. There's my poetry slam world where I got friends like Taylor Mali, Cristin O'Kee Aptowicz, Shappy and countless others. Then there's my alternative entertainment other world where I made friends like Hi Christina among so many others. Which brings me to Dave.

Other then Nick, David's been my BOY. Yet it's been a strenuous relationship these last seven or eight years. David and I have had a wild ride too. Not as wild as my ride with Nick, but quite wild. David is complicated though... it makes for a very difficult friendship. When it's great it's great, but when it's horrible? It's the downright pits and it hurts to be his friend cause I care so much about him but I can't help when he's drowning no matter how hard I try. If he drowned less, David would be a bro for life, but as it is now. We're friends, true serious friends, but I don't know to what extent. Dave's going through a very rough time right now, a situation that I am lost in knowing how to react to. It's something I've never had to encounter before so it's completely foreign and there's no right or wrong way to handle it. The fact that I don't know speaks volumes to the fact that I care.

Which brings me back to Nicholas Vincent Isabella the III. The person I could hash this out with rationally with proper care, concern, evaluation, etc. The man who since college has truly been that one friend. That one dude. Multiple girlfriends from hell on both our ends, a marriage from hell planet on his end, multiple jobs for both of us including more projects together and me helping him set up a business and him helping to get me gigs and vice versa. We've taken multiple road trips, gone underground, climbed abandoned buildings, saved each other's lives, traveled to outerspace together. I've been his best man twice. This second time is working out great. I love his wife and think of her as a sister in law.

Nick is the one person I can also talk to about not just Dave but all these other friends. He's my therapist and even though he has his wife, I'm equally his. I'm his lawyer also, and his tax man. He's my doctor and a sounding board and someone who believes in my talents as a creator. He's that one friend that I think whenever my time comes will be there (hopefully a significant other as well).

Even if he won't be there this year when I turn 39, but my birthday is also on the 23rd of December and if he can get away he should. If I could get away so would I. The only thing is I would go somewhere totally different, yet we'd text each other every other day to make sure everything was alright. That's just the way it is.

(I feel like I'm missing a name. I'm sure I am. I mean I didn't even discuss certain people who are completely out of my life now who had a major impact while they were there. Some better off forgotten, but not truly, because to forget would to repeat mistakes. Nick knows about mistakes, I know his... and we forgive them, it's also why he's that one friend.)

written for therealljidol Season 10-Topic 2: "That One Friend"

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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
8:31 pm - [LJ Idol Season 10] Top 1: Struggling
For the last eight years or so I've basically been on a struggle line when it comes to my work, love, career. It doesn't make me feel alive, it makes me feel dead inside. What keeps me alive is knowing, hoping, believing that some day the struggle, at least this struggle will end and the new one will begin.

This struggle started in curve balls of polarity that I've yet to properly recover from. First my girlfriend who I thought we were headed towards something bigger eventually suddenly dumped me out of nowhere without any explanation but with a promise that it wasn't really the end, weeks later my father passed away not quite suddenly but the circumstances to it were and I never truly got to say goodbye. When I turned to said girlfriend, her support system was pretty non existent. I had to reach out to my closest friend instead for a shoulder, so that I could be a wall for my mom. The whirlwind of these two occurrences got worse as the structure at my job took a drastic change too. It made me stir crazy, it made me have bad decision making processes, in the end I lost the job not because of anything I did, but allowing myself to take the fall for someone else.

The eight years hence have not been easy. Mostly probably through fault of my own, but not without a ton of struggle and effort to find myself in a world that is lost itself. I have many blessings. I have a support system in place, a roof over my head, people who love me (sometimes), events, happenings, friends, respect of peers and colleagues, but something is missing. That missing next piece makes me feel broken a lot of the time. I put up a front that most probably think I'm dandy, but inside I'm dying; This trying to breakthrough to feel harder, better, faster, stronger makes the blood that seeps through dry up and crush my soul.

This is something that happens not frequently. Mainly cause the front also lets me delve into fictions and fun and forget about anything else. Focusing only on the happiness and good things I can just drift away and make it impossible to be depressed, because I forgot what to be depressed about.

Inevitably as I was typing this after a pretty horrible day feeling down on myself, seeing a friend hate the world for no good reason, making me hate myself more etc., the outside world came crashing through my social media. I don't mean anything related to the craziness that is the world as we know in America being crazy, ridiculous and unbearable. I started seeing posts from multiple friends of mine in the wrestling business broken because one of their own was taken down in a situation out of a cop show. Shot outside his home in the face, by masked men who seemingly were waiting in wake. The sole news article I've seen doesn't even discuss the young man's wrestling career, just him being a son, and a brother and coming home from his regular job to suddenly be gunned down. While this broke me more, it was also a jolt of wanting to live as much as the universe allows. To not be sad or depressed, but determined. To remember the good times and ignore the bad. The bad can't go away though.

See I don't need the struggle to feel alive, but I do need to get past it to find reasons to stay alive. That's the real struggle, one I face everyday. I'm not suicidal, I don't welcome death, but living is hard and rocks are easy to go under. But once under a rock, you lose track of everyone and everything else. For some that works, for me... that is death. That is struggle, feeling dead inside, wanting to be alive.

written for therealljidol Season 10-Topic 1 "I need the struggle to feel alive"

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
10:30 pm - Stars Shining Bright Above You
I had this idea of doing top 10 lists to introduce myself but the problem with those is they're never accurate or they're always changing. Sometimes minute to minute. Such as I'll say the top 5 bands I love but then realize five more and have total difficulty stating which is actually in the top five or which are the top 10. Then while I'm doing THAT 10 more will pop up. I considered it for writers, video games, TV shows, etc., etc., etc.

There's one thing I can definitely state for a fact. Something that seems to never change. My favorite movie. Even as I rewatch films I love and love them more. As I discover movies I've never seen. As I see new movies. As my opinions change on what makes a movie/film better or worse... the favorite never wavers. Why is not something I can pinpoint. I can't clarify the reason it stays on that FAVORITE but it doesn't move from it's number one spot.

The film is 1989's Dream A Little Dream. It's a Two Corey's flick (as in Feldman & Haim, the Lost Boys with a License to Drive). More importantly though it also stars Jason Robards and Piper Laurie, two of the finest actors of screen there ever were. They aren't just minor characters either, they're the proponent of the entire film. Without them there is no film. Unfortunately to explain the film I'll have no choice but to spoil a bit of it. Robards' character is a expert in REM therapy, focusing on lucid dreaming and tantric meditation to reach a higher being. His wife Laurie is a lovely, intelligent woman who reluctantly goes along with his concepts. One night after ensuing escalations of fights and teenage drama, Feldman and Meredith Salenger (the girl Corey crushes on) have a crashing altercation with the older couple while they are the middle of a meditation session on their lawn; literally, they crash into each other and the couple coming from opposite directions. This causes a strange occurrence in which Feldman and Robards switch places... but not exactly. Robards mind ends up in Feldman's body, Feldman's mind gets stuck in the dream and Robard's body disappears. What follows is a combination of true intense drama, some silly comedy, a lot of unusual dream stuff and a top notch soundtrack. It also has Salenger in a leotard and she was what some would consider the wet dream body of any red blooded young man in the 80s who appreciated the female figure. It also features Feldman lypsnching to Michael Damian while dancing like Michael Jackson. You're probably thinking to yourself right now..."This is his favorite movie? Who the hell is this guy?"

If you are, that's fine and dandy. I just care if you want to know more. The nitty gritty short answers are as follows though.

38 (turn 39 on December 23). Single, unfortunately (or fortunately) never married. Currently unemployed. Do lots of work though including professional acting, marketing and odd jobs. New York City, born and bred. Identify as bi-sexual. Work (and by work I mean actually paid to do) history in no particular order: actor, singer, photographer, chef, graphic designer, administrative assistant, office manager, computer tech, software tech, customer service, retail sales, construction, illustration, master of ceremonies, script doctor, writer, journalist, broadcaster.

And now even though I said I wouldn't... some top 10 lists.
Favorite Musical Artists All Genres
1. Aerosmith
2. Bon Jovi
3. Manic Street Preachers
4. Superdrag
5. David Bowie
6. Cyndi Lauper
7. Boy George
8. Big Star
9. Sia
10. Marty Stuart

Favorite Television Cartoons
1. Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears
2. Spectacular Spider-Man
3. The Venture Bros.
4. Adventure Time
5. Teen Titans
6. Muppet Babies
7. Home Movies
8. Doug
9. Freakazoid
10. Batman: The Animated Series

Favorite Horror Films
1. Funnyman
2. Idle Hands
3. Bad Dreams
4. Halloween 3: Season of The Witch
5. Basketcase
6. Return of the Living Dead
7. The Lost Boys
8. Dead & Buried
9. From Dusk till Dawn
10. The Frighteners

And there you have it. Just a bit of me. Or it is. Is what I like who I am? Is who I am actually who I am? Am I even a make up of what makes me up? Well, I guess we'll have to see won't we? I guess we will Wilbur, I guess we will. Don't worry, Wilbur is just a horse I fed some peanut butter to and now his mouth keeps moving and he doesn't exist. Well, he does, but only on television.

I'm losing my mind. I found it. It's gone again. Where is my mind? Way out in the water.

written for therealljidol Season 10: Top Zero: Intro

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Tuesday, November 1st, 2016
12:02 am - As I'll be posting here a lot more, may as well get rude & controversial.
It is now November on the east coast of the USA. If you go by that calendar. It is therefore 28 days till the next big celebration this country prides itself on. The one where a bunch of archaic highly religious folks stamped out quality humans before we realized that is not what makes a country great. Remember that in the coming days. There are people who think THAT is what America is and what America must be again... a bunch of unintelligent people who place more faith in a book they don't actually understand because they can't read the language it was originally written in so they believe what they're told who think only they belong here. We just finished a holiday that is celebrated by eating candy and hiding behind silly costumes because it is the only time many of us allow ourselves to be different. This is where we are. This is not where we should be. Remember that... (this was a socio-politico-everything rant).

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