Post-Grad

Caveat: this sort of post might not be interesting to most of you. It’s more for me. Feel free to not read it, I don’t care. 

Big moments, people. Maybe not as big for me as for the person that it’s happening to, but a moment nonetheless.

My niece graduated high school on Saturday (with honors!) and I am just ridiculously proud of the kid lady. It’s awesome seeing someone with their future completely layer out before them and you know that they are more than willing to put in the work necessary to accomplish their dreams. She’s going to do big things and the only thing that is going to stop her is her.

I realize that these are the sort of tired cliches that a person spouts when a high school graduation happens, but this sort of optimism is a relatively new thing when it comes to my family. I’m inspired. For the first time in a long time I see a member of my family doing something positive and it’s pretty amazing.

Right now I find myself at a different point in my life; wondering what comes next, feeling like a prisoner of older decisions. For a while I’ve been down about this, fretting and mentally just feeling sorry for myself a lot.

But some introspection has told me that feeling sorry for myself won’t improve my station in life or change the things that are getting me down. I have to put in the necessary work to get what I want out of life. I want to look at my writing and feel the sort of pride that I did a few years ago, I want to look at my work as something that meets my needs financially and allows me to feel tired but happy that I did it at the end of the day. I want all of these things, but to get them I have to be willing to put in the sort of work my niece is doing now.

I’m capable of the sort of humility that it takes to follow the example of an 18 year-old to help me regain ownership of my life. Now let’s just see how I can make this happen.

And yes, before anyone who stumbles upon this entry points it out, I realize that I just made a  milestone in an eighteen year-old’s life all about me. Yes that is self-indulgent, but so is blogging. I’m still trying to find my sea legs, here people.

The Dream is Dead

On Thursday afternoon, I came home from work to the news that the American Dream Dusty Rhodes had died.

To say that I was shocked is a bit of an understatement. Dusty was someone who, while not always on my radar, I was generally aware of their doings. He’d long-since retired from the professional wrestling circuit where he made his legend selling out high school gyms, National Guard Armories, and arenas all over the country and had moved on to a quieter life of convention appearances and coaching wrestlers in the WWE’s Developmental System. Despite this, he was always Dusty, popping up on television every few months with a few jokes and his million dollar smile. He was every wrestling fan’s cool old dude from down the street, quick with a joke or a malapropism to share.

It’s those guys that we never expect to die, but they do.

I don’t really have the chops as a writer to sum up Dusty’s life. I can only really name the bullet points; made a name for himself in the early 70s in the AWA, moved to Florida initially as a heel (wrestling slang for villain) but eventually became the number one hero in the area, had a run of legendary matches with then-WWWF World Champion “Superstar” Billy Graham and eventually landed in the Carolinas, as the booker (matchmaker) for Jim Crockett Promotions.

That’s where my relationship with Dusty was born. As a kid I learned to love him and hate Ric Flair’s villainous ways. Dusty was repeatedly brutalized by Flair and his friends (known as the Four Horsemen) and still managed to come out on top.

By the time Dusty Rhodes came into my life, his forte as a wrestler wasn’t in putting on a compelling match; there were younger performers embracing a faster style that could do that. Instead, his gift was the ability to use his natural charisma and talk you into believing in him and the spectacle of what was about to happen.

In a sport (and yes, professional wrestling is a sport) that is based around making the unbelievable real, Dusty was believable in everything he did. He could be the technical wizard, the bad ass who walked tall and the silly guy who made you laugh—often in the same match or television segment.

A huge part of my childhood (and even adulthood) is now gone, and I am way sadder about this than I really should be.

Rest in Power, Dusty.

Things That Have Happened Since the Last Update

I established new personal bests in a few lifts that I do at Crossfit. My gains were big because I’m worried that I’ve been afraid to try to go heavier on my lifts. It’s been really invigorating for me to be able to lift these large amounts.

My new personal bests are:

  • Back Squat: 335 lbs
  • Front Squat: 260 lbs
  • Power Clean: 175 lbs
  • Deadlift: 365 lbs

Those are all one rep maxes, and I feel like I’ve still got quite a bit left in me. Here’s a short video of me killing a 260 lb front squat.

  • I saw the Kids in the Hall in Raleigh, North Carolina. I don’t want to say that it was a dream come true or any of the other tired things that a person might summon for something like that, because I honestly only thought of the group as a TV show.

Instead, I laughed. A lot. I repeated my favorite lines to some of their classinc routines that they did. I enjoyed the new stuff. I cheered wildly for Buddy Cole, Gavin and all of the other awesome characters. It was a perfect night.

I managed to sneak in a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion concert. They’ve always impressed me with their energy and commitment to smash together the pure unadulterated fun of a funk jam and a punk rock concert. It was a beautiful thing to behold.

More to come!

 

Back on the Horse

It’s been a few weeks, have you missed me?

Judging by the site stats, you haven’t. I know this because nobody has been to the site outside of what looks like a few bots, and that’s totally fine. I wish that I could say that I’ve missed writing, but I haven’t. Instead, it’s been a source of dread and anxiety for me. This is the Bugg Blog! This is my Big Professional Site™ that is supposed to showcase my skills! That was the theory, at least. Instead it’s turned into something that has showcased what I’ve been battling for a while, an outward feeling that I need to re-define myself mixed with an inward feeling of uncertainty. So that’s why I’m here writing this today.

For the last few years my main edict with writing has been to avoid the personal stuff, and try to find a topic. It hasn’t really worked that well for me. My work suffered at my old job because I spent a lot of the time trying to be a Professional Writer instead of just trying to be me (note the use of capitalization in that sentence, I think that means something).

The point is that I don’t know if I want to hitch my ride or whatever to being a Professional Writer or even a Person on the Internet with Opinions About Music that You, the Reader Should Consider. I’m not that. There are a million of those types out there and those folks are probably much better at doing that sort of thing than I am. Instead, I’m the only person who is me. Maybe that means that I won’t make any money writing, but I’m using this time to get used to that idea. I’m trying to get used to a lot of things right now.

I’ve had a rough go of things lately. It’s not been easy. I got cocky with my lifestyle and ended up cheating on my diet regimen (mostly because of my success with exercise), because of this my health suffered. To say “suffered” I don’t mean hospital stays or anything dramatic like that. Instead I mean a buildup of Uric Acid in my big toe. It’s called gout by most people. I prefer to call it Shame Foot because that is the best way to describe it. I haven’t really been in good health for over a week now, and I’m just now feeling somewhat normal.

 

I was miserable, a prisoner of my own lack of mobility and unable to really do much. A few nights ago the mental stress of not being better erupted. In what felt like a normal conversation after an innocent question from her about my writing I told my wife that the part of me that writes is dead. I don’t believe that. Instead I believe the part of me that thought I was going to make a living doing this is long gone. Now I just need to stoke whatever fire is inside of me that allows me to write for just myself.

 

It’s going to be a process, and since I’m not really sharing these posts with anyone just yet, I’m not sure if anyone will know or care but me. I’m determined to get back to a happy, anxiety-free place with writing. Even if the subject matter is mundane, I want to document what I do. It’s important for me, for some reason.

 

The first step is admitting there’s a problem. Maybe the second step will reveal itself to me soon enough.