Rick & Morty

As 2019 closes, a look back in a format I sometimes miss

My birthday is in five days. I will turn 42. The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

The trip to Orlando I talked about in the last entry before was fantastic. Had an amazing time.  Later in the year I also got to take a solo trip to San Diego where I stayed in a house with a bunch of friends from Twitch that I've gotten to know really well over the last two years.

My wrestling career has flourished much more in the last year as well. Working consistently with Brii Combination, helping with the start of a new company Imperial World.  I got to work at an IMPACT wrestling taping and more wrestlers and people in the industry and slowly knowing me and what I bring to the table.

Nothing has changed in the significant other category but my friends are still strong and old friendships have reopened while old friendships have flourished.

So much more has happened in 2019 but to cover it all would be quite the task. Seen many movies, shows, etc. Many experiences.
Chaplin

Universally Orlando, Then, Now, Forever

I: Of Yesteryear
Memories are a strange beast
without visual proof or a word chronicling
they are at times all we can rely on
In 1984, 86 and 89 trips to Disney World
I can prove were real because photo evidence is abound
images of me in front of the castle with mom and dad
standing with characters in costume
my best friend Chris alongside me

Yet, the visit to Universal in Orlando
when I was still a teen in 91 or 92
definitely happened despite no proof
Vivid memories of the queue from
Back to the Future: The Ride
putting my father in a wheelchair
as medicine and science
had not yet caught up
so his Parkinson's which
got worse starting 1988
was wrecking his body
it wouldn't be till 98-2003
that he would get to have a bit of a second full life

It is strange to me to
have no journal of this trip
no photos, no videos
I have to rely on the fact
that I know Jaws attacked me
or that Kong rocked my world
Walking into the park
straight to Hitchcock
experiencing 3-D for the first time
staring at the recreation of Bates Motel
where if you looked tightly
you could see mother peering back

The visions in my head
are vivid as if they weren't
almost 30 years ago
of what I feel
were the last time
I traveled with both my
parents on an actual family trip
Memories are a strange beast
but one we love and cherish

II: A Different Time, The Same Place, Years Later
With Wrestlemania 24 at Orlando, my work and finances in an okay place for the time, it was the perfect excuse to finally meet a friend I am to this day still friends with. Although, Mike and I were out of each other's lives for a moment cause of where his life with his then wife on that 2008 trip headed. We refound each other in 2014 at a Chikara event. Mike is also no longer friends with the person who I had to spend the majority of my first day at Universal with.

At the time of the 2008 trip, Back to the Future was now closed and Simpson's Springfield was in construction. Because I wasn't there by myself or like minds (other than Mike) places like Mythos, Seussville, and the like were not explored as much as I'd of liked. Jurassic Park was much more basic at the time and I didn't get to take the river boat ride but did get to appreciate the dinos, fauna and caves making a truly immersive experience. I also got to indulge the Popeye barge and utterly loved it based on my own journals. How I describe Revenge of the Mummy shortly after the trip does not mesh with my memories. I feel a lot of the entire trip was blemished by who I was at the time, who I was with and how I was able to take it all in. I seemed to LOVE Men in Black, but not as much as my fellow mates who wanted to take the ride over 8 times before we stood on line for many hours waiting to get into the free Total Nonstop Wrestling show.

Back then I loved everything about that, and hell, if TNA was happening at Universal Studios now I might look into someone hooking me up with the connections I have now. Still between TNA and also having tickets to Ring of Honor at the time it definitely cut into my time to truly enjoy and explore what was open of Universal at the time. One evening a lot of the time of our day got cut just waiting in line for TNA and not getting in. It was time that could've been used at the park itself. Mike and his then wife had bought tickets to Paramore and had I known that Phantom Planet was the surprise opening act I would've joined them. That night I still got to see Blues Brothers and a magic show, but something was still lacking. The next night/afternoon we didn't have a full day at the park and was rushed with also having a reservation at Emeril's (which was absolutely amazing at the time, days later and in retrospect), but we had the Ring of Honor show to go to and again another one the next day which was also the day where we waited a long time for TNA and because I was with them, had to wait for them to play MiB.

Now I would not give up those ROH (or TNA) experiences for ANYTHING. Larry Sweeney, Jimmy Jacobs, Go Shiuzaki, Austin Aries, Frankie Kazarian, Angelina Love, AJ Styles, Genki Horiguchi, Kevin Steen(Owens), Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Delirious, Lance Hoyt, and even Sting. This was 2008 and while they were all names they weren't the names they are now, but it still meant the world to me. Knowing I had that experience back then means the world to me now as well. Although if I could get back the entire day we lost to Wrestlemania I would. The less said the better. If I could have that day back to have been at Universal though...

My final day I was completely on my own, but did not have another ticket to Universal. Mike and his company were driving back to Georgia, leaving me to get to my late night flight back to NYC on my lonesome. Lucily I had made plans to meet up with a friend in Downtown Universal and originally he was going to show me around all day before taking me back to the airport, but wasn't able to get out of work. He did get me to a few spots though and then I managed the bus system to get to and fro before he picked me up to get to the airport in time. I had a lot of fun that last day seeing graffiti, going to a local CD store, a comic shop, and more.

When I was done I imagined being able to return to Orlando soon, but as the years passed that felt like it would never come.

III: The Future Adventures
At the end of 2018 shortly before my birthday my mother surprised me. She asked me if I would want to go to Universal Studios Florida with her on a mother/son trip. She wasn't sure of how I'd feel because just like I actually did in 2008 we'd be sharing the room. For four nights for the chance to finally go back to Orlando I can deal with a hotel room with my mom just as well as I could with two complete strangers and a friend I only knew via phone and internet.

She also has given me free reign on planning the trip out. I took care of the research, the booking of the hotel, the airfare, tickets, etc. In 2008 other than arranging for cheap tickets for me and Kellen at Universal (which I'm pretty sure I never actually got paid back for which is why I never felt guilty about some of the things they covered cost on that I didn't pay back), Michael arranged everything. Not because I wanted him too, but because he insisted on it and it was easier than arguing and also dealing with his wife who had her OWN things she wanted to do that had nothing to do with wrestling or amusement parks.

By having this complete autonomy for this 2019 trip I've sought out many things that are within Universal since back when and stuff still there that I look forward to immensley. In this modern era though I've also kept up with videos, tips and tricks. I know about the “secret” tours, the way to make $20 by watching a TV show, that Finnegan's is a not miss meal, the idea of single riders, etc. Plus while there a Mardi Gras like event happens at the park once it's dark so it's like two vacations in one. I also have a a new close friend of the past year who works at the aquarium on International Drive, so a visit there as well as I-360 is happening. I asked for advice from other friends of the Orlando downtown area and they suggested Mills50 as not miss, so that is definitely in the cards. As well as West Arts District, Ivanhoe Village and a few other spots that have caught my eye. We won't have a car, but Uber/Lyft would end up costing the same as renting a car that I can't legally drive and my mom would be scared to. I've marked craft beer bars, top rated local restaurants, mural spots, skateshops, tattoo parlors... just all the stuff that whenever I hit a town I like to check out to see local talent. Knowing my mom is either down with whatever I want or if not, being able to separate and she can be at Universal (Main, Citywalk, Volcano Bay, the hotel, any of the hotel pools or wherever she wants) and we don't gotta worry about when we'll meet up or anything just sweetens the pot.

I'm positive this trio will blow 2008 out of the gate and stratosphere and as for 91 or 92? Well, those memories will always be clear, but this time for 2019 I will have photos and journals and video and all that good stuff and maybe just maybe new inspiration and new breath. Possibly even a reboot.

 written for</a></a>therealljidol LJ Idol presents Literary Prize Fight Second Chance Idol-Topic Three-"Open Topic"

Chaplin

Exploration in Three Parts

I
untitled

I woke from under the tree

protected from the sun

into town I strolled

faces were a blur

everything unrecognizable

was I in my village

or far from home

the heat blazed

my skin blistered

people turned to lizards

refuge I had to seek


running backwards

I almost tripped

I reached the tree

it would save me

for now


as night time returned

I approached the village

cautiously

all were dead

nothing but empty husks

no blood, no guts

just hardened skin

emptied of everything


was I also devoid

in my attempt to avoid

sun's deep heat

had I surrendered my soul

did I have one

to begin with
 

were there people

was the village real

was the tree more

a monster maybe

that I offered myself to
 

these would be questions

to haunt me

the rest of my days

 

II 
FRANKENSTEIN, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

In 2011 writers Jeff Lemire followed by Matt Kindt along with artists Alberto Ponticelli, Walden Wong, Wayne Faucher, Jose Villabura, John Kalisz and more created a tale based of the Grant Morrison re-imagining of Frankenstein from his series Seven Soldiers. Grant Morrison actually established much of what would come to be revealed further in this rebooted DC series prior in the event Final Crisis.

The series lasted 16 issues, collected in two volumes titled “War of the Monsters” and “Secrets of the Dead”. In the book Frank is a member of the collective S.H.A.D.E. ran by Father Time. Father Time has recently transferred his mind into the body of a 10 year old and has recruited The Creature Commandos for Frankenstein to lead into battle.

The Creature Commandos are long time DC characters who consist of a werewolf, a mummy, a vampire, etc. The version in this series while sharing the names of previous incarnations with a long and storied history based in WWII had an entirely new origin that existed solely within this series. Lady Frankenstein was also a part of the team. To fully explain her would take many more paragraphs.

What Lemire had laid down, Kindt was able to easily continue for what could be considered a cohesive two part graphic novel. This isn't surprising as they are very comparable writers who had collaborated before and since this series.

Alberto's art really makes these books shine. He's action packed, but handles quiet moments so well. I really recommend getting these two volumes if you have the chance. It tells a concise tale full of adventure, monsters, comedy, pathos and a satisfying conclusion.

III
SHADOW PLAY

One of the biggest parts of my photography experiments is seeing how light reacts to objects creating something new that one could hide under.
EDIT:(Photos.google is my new repository but it makes sharing hard, so here's a link/small folder made special for LJ Idol)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/3Y4naCAHmYJ2g3fy9



 written for</a>therealljidol LJ Idol presents Literary Prize Fight Second Chance Idol-Topic Two-"Shade"
Chaplin

First Impressions

Pop-Culture and certain forms of genre truly only have one chance to grab you and then become part of your obsessions, hobbies, interests, and sometimes even careers. Folks who say they don't like something even after later finding something they do like about that thing, reflect back to that first time and therefore never change their mind fully. I luckily have never been a victim of this, I can always return and try again or find something else to see if that would generate interest. My prior experiences having no prior bearing. Although, for many of my loves, that FIRST time as I remember it (and in the end, memory is what matters, even with a first) cemented a love that became fairly hard to kill.

My first professional wrestling memory is of Starcade 1986 which featured almost everything wrestling can offer. Comedy, drama, pathos, acrobatics, men of varying sizes battling with neither having a true advantage over the other, loud mouths and clowns. The only thing missing was women. I didn't discover that wrestling really did have it all till later. Along the way though even if wrestling there were things which I didn't like which I later came to love and possibly vice-versa, although I'm pretty sure the things I really disliked vehemently are things I will always dislike (rude fans, story lines that lack logic (something I stand firm to in everything, even in the world of fantasy there should be a logic base that if crossed ruins everything). Over the years wrestling has been one thing that I've had waves of, dropping completely out only to be pulled back in. I've held many roles in it as a career as well, trainee, worker, extra, ring setup, show setup, manager, and now production manager for a singular promotion. It's something I take pride in and appreciate and love how much I am appreciated for.

The first comic book I remember reading and actually devouring is Watchmen. At the point I received this copy of the collected version (published not long after the miniseries had finished) I was already reading Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Andew Vachss, and the like, so tackling Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' superhero epic was child's play. It was a perfect entryway drug though for all comics. I was at a comic shop regularly from 10 years old. (My visits to shops has died down, but if I'm in one it's still love). My collection actually became a thing when I won an actual collection of random stuff in over 5-10 boxes by winning a costume contest at a convention. It was 1989, I went as Batman as the first Burton film had just happened but decided I wanted to be 1966's TV Batman. Adam West just happened to be the judge and... my life was forever changed.

The earliest video games I remember are Various Infocom, Michael Crichton's Amazon and In Search of the Most Amazing Thing. These were all on my c64. Not much longer after that in the really formative year of being 10 years old came Maniac Mansion. When the first full color, hardcore game you played is a multi-character, puzzle adventure that many years later is still one of the biggest classics the love of video games will be strong. They will also steer a course for the type of games you enjoy. I never became big on shooters, or strategy or any of the popular versus games everyone is into. Games were an escape into interactive narrative for me. If I wanted to talk to others I would go on the internet to discuss the game after, but when in a game, I wanted it to have my full undivided attention. That is still the case today. I'm choosing that point n click, or the run around and do everything but talk to humans game before anything else.

Now when it comes to movies or television I can't remember my firsts but I'm feeling they were all things I loved as there is no genre I'm not a fan of in some way. Although I am that crazy social butterfly. Despite that there's plenty of things I never got into and there's no real reason for it. No bad first, just not gravitational pull to ever really even create a first. At certain point it doesn't matter if it's a first, third or fifth time. You are who you are, whatever lands, does so and whatever doesn't? It can keep trying and it won't be the first that failed... it just always will.

 written for</a>therealljidol LJ Idol presents Literary Prize Fight Second Chance Idol-Topic One-"First Impressions"

Chaplin

(no subject)


Art is subjective
From creator's vision to public's reaction
of love and hate 
dissension and acceptance
fame and derision
the same work is both masterpiece and garbage
popculture fantasy and affront to developed values
a layered atrocity built upon skills meant to invoke nothing
and a simple stroke of grande de magnefique portraying intricate thought and philosophical arguments
that last a millennia

Mona Lisa
The Starry Night
Guernica
Nighthawks
Casablanca
Stairway to Heaven
Howard the Duck
Know them you might
eye of the beholder what not
it takes a village, a city, a planet, a universe, a dimension, a family, an individual
a cat, a dog, a mouse
what might be right for some, might not be right for all
a man is born
he's a man of means
what he spends that money on
is it art? Because he said it's so
is it not art if he decides to not buy it?

If it sits on the road
ignored, is it not treasure still or garbage or both
if hated by most, but loved by few
who matters more
the art is still 
to be dissected, reflected, absorbed
as more art is made
generations pass
attitudes change, aesthetics evolve, devolve, revolve

what you yourself once loved
you now despise 
vice versa
deja vu is real simply
it has happened before
it will happen again
nothing changes
everything changes
what once was old is new again
give me something borrow
give me something blue
i'll give you the leather coat off my back
hand you a paint brush
do what you will
return it to me
love it or hate it
i'll wear it
i'll never call it 
not art
art is what you make of it
what you make is art
bad, good, indifferent
Subjective is Art
and so is Zack Snyder
 
Original Theatrical Date: March 25, 2011

Sucker Punch is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary.

She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive.

Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls—the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish)—to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm).

Led by Babydoll, the girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents, with a virtual arsenal at their disposal.

Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. But with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), their unbelievable journey—if they succeed—will set them free.

 

 

 
(https://www.warnerbros.com/sucker-punch)

 written for </a></a>therealljidol LJ Idol presents Literary Prize Fight Week 9: Suckerpunch
 
Chaplin

It's... Whatever.

Kings and Queens, Presidents, Tzars, Dictators, no matter where you and no matter what time period, they are all the same in many ways. They do/did their duties and much of looked/looks like it is done with ease. All these folks had a what could amount to a small army of courtesans, maidens, council, assistants, under chiefs, and the ilk who worked behind the scenes. Practically in shadow they would do things you never even considered to make the machine look like it ran on its own. Of course certain things changed, in the modern age most presidents would have someone dress them, bathe them, monitor their health for them, etc., but tasks which would be presented to have been organized, designed and orchestrated by the person in charge like they were handled 100's of years ago are the same now and shall be for 100s of years to come.

Governmental structure from monarchies, to imperialism, to tiered houses and parliament are all essentially the same. From the times of the greeks to today, placed through family, title, etc. or voted in “the public”, a group of individuals decide the fate of the populous usually without their say so, even with the illusion that they did. These are the people running things truly but the illusion while visible is never shattered. It is a virtuoso magic show, but the end results are more then pure spectacle.

In two films currently/coming soon (Winter 2018) in US theaters, telling the epic, intriguing, shadowy, stories of rises and falls of people in this world of power set 400+ years apart these tricks are shown in full view and yet as well they display them, one may be still confused that the trick worked, because another trick has been played... much like a Penn & Teller set.

The films are MARY, QUEEN of SCOTS (out December 8) and VICE (December 25th). One shows how it took an entire cadre of ladies and men to boost both Elizabeth and Mary. While most if not all decisions were made primarily by these women, behind the scenes and to their faces, forces were in one hand supporting them while secretly working out how to get the kingdom as their own. The people of the United Kingdom I am sure were oblivious to this as they went to war or decried their own sovereigns based on the information fed to them by clandestine opposes to the crown as well as staunch supporters who defied it equally. Wars were fought not for victory or glory but to hide other practices, to instill certain fear, camaraderie and unity in the people to a cause. As years gone on, leading to rumor, lies, half truths, death, birth and destruction all for nought, only to see Mary's son grow to fule the entire kingdom, but... that didn't last. That is another story and film altogether, but benefits to the conception of effortless ruler ship that secretly took much force.

Looking to VICE, that premise holds fast. While focusing on the career and life of Dick Cheney it also details a bit of Donald Rumsfield and the entirety of how the people behind folks like Reagan and later George W. Bush allowed things to go so quietly in the night for a good portion of the American public. As if it was just a wave of the hand that it all happened, just simple, easy, the ball was here, and now it's gone and now... it is back. An idiot can do the remarkable, rule the Earth with ease and we don't question it or we question it but don't truly understand it. The film even displays that Cheney himself wasn't the wisest. Scrupulous, persistent, willing to do anything to please the woman he loved at any cost, even if in the shadow of other more visually powerful people? Yes. That is what Cheney pulled off.. making power look like the simplest thing to gain and because he's so secretive one can only guess how the trick was truly achieved.

It goes back to the same kind of people 500 years ago who knew this parlor tricks of being political magicians, or in some cases business wizards, love illusionists. It is a skill to never fully comprehend, yet cherish. For if it seems you don't care, no one shall know how much you do care and with in that holds true power.

conceived and written for </a></a>therealljidol LJ Idol presents Literary Prize Fight Week 8: Sprezzatura

 

Chaplin

Thank You

 This has been a very interesting year for me and it's not over. I don't actually have millions of things to be thankful, but what I do have I appreciate. I've made new friends over this year and new colleagues and it's made me find new branches of career and future that I wasn't sure of before.

Firstly though I'd be no where that I am without having a loving, caring mother. She's a gem.

Despite expansive schedules and major changes Nick <my forever brother> (and his wife Terri) are still constants in my life. We speak on the regular. We had an absolutely amazing trip to Boston. Barring something catastrophic or stupid in scheduling/weather/etc we shall close out the year together as well.

The wrestling company Brii Combination Wrestling as well as its promoter Anthony Michael Cole, booker and “commisioner” Pete Rosado, commentator and manager AJ Pan, announcer Shane Fair and its regular locker room (Azriael, Darius Carter, Eric Jayden, Faye Jackson, The Ugly Ducklings, South Philly's Finest, Mik Drake, Bison, Tasha Steelz, et al) really took me in as I grew from helper to head of production and events manager. They aren't just friends, they become family.

The platform Twitch has given an entire group of new friends. Not just streamers, but the community of folks in those streamers. A whole crew of folks who enjoy my quips and thoughts all over the world. I have new friends who are into games, comics, movies, television and music. Wrestlers, former rock stars, and everyday people who are just interesting and fun. There's so many folks to mention it'd be impossible.

My friend Dizzy who lives in Florida has been fantastic to know.

My blood family in Chicago which includes many cousins on my dearly departed uncle's side.

My relationship with Rath's, especially as always Breana is still strong despite them living in New Zealand and I'm extremely grateful for that.

Friends like Harry who I've got to see a lot. Even folks like David and Brad who I don't get to see enough of.

My entire graffiti and art gallery community who when we do see each other it's like some epic reunion and we stay in touch via social networks.

I'm gonna miss mentioning someone. They shouldn't feel slighted. I could be here for days listing names individually of whose meant a lot to making 2018 really special.

2019 I think could be even better... much better. Also 2018 isn't over.

Here's a weird song mash-up I made about being friends from songs about being a friend.

Listen, I think its cool even if strange. Please and Thank you.


Chaplin

Not My First Rodeo



Stratosphere came down across the oceans 
lightnings first strike a firefly zooming inside the pupils 
a stingray shooting into an empty void brazen and unafraid leaping towards that next dimension 
you've been here before you'll be here again 
from Mongolia to  Mozambique from Hawaii to Wyoming
fast as the fox as explosive as trinitrotoluene 
You may think you know what you know 
you may think you may think 
you know nothing but yet you also know everything 
born before you die dead before your born 
 
It was a New Year's Eve when I remembered that I knew the paradox fell upon on itself 
the circle that we've all been living in for so many centuries and yet barely a millisecond 
riding on that great white  cloud launched a thousand missiles into my own heart 
I've done the Deed that is to be done and I'd do it all again 
Sometimes it seems like it's all just gibberish but in truth it's all languages
 The tower of Babel but it never crumbled
 we have seen god and we have seen the devil we have seen allah and we have seen yahweh 
We have dined with princes and princesses 
up-and-down the Ivory Coast from Madagascar to sri Lanka to Bombay 
the Big Dipper to the Nexus nebula
 around and around where we stopped something knows 
the trip started as one we became two we became one we became all 
next time you think you can tell me I don't know 
you're right 
I know too much

written and recorded for </a></a>therealljidol LJ Idol presents Literary Prize Fight Week 6

Chaplin

WRESTLING SHOW

 
This show is taking up the bulk of my brain power, so writing intelligent good stuff about my life in Kayfabe is not happening.  It's our last show of the year and it's really huge. We have a legit wedding.
Our Main Event is something we've been building up to for months.
There was a scandal over the last 24 hours where a booked match had to be changed quickly. There was no Kayfabe involved. If there is Kayfabe involved I don't know what the point would be.
This show is huge with what is booked if you know anything about the indy wrestling scene on the East Coast or well Wrestling period. We have folks from Chikara, folks from EVOLVE, a rematch of Teddy Hart and Chris Dickinson from one of the biggest shows on 2018 and we also have Glacier.  
My everything in this. I handle production, check on workers, make sure the show flows, set up and take down the show, clean up.  
It will be fun.