What’s YOUR Guilty Pleasure? – Late 90′s Boy Bands

I’m a rocker at heart. I’m also a guy who used to be a club DJ back in the 90′s, so I learned to appreciate an entirely different genre of music: dance-pop. I can’t lie…there are still times when I listen to the occasional Backstreet Boy song.

What’s YOUR Guilty Pleasure? - Late 90′s Boy Bands

bsbcover

 


I’m Not A Hugger, and That’s Not a Bad Thing

I wrote a new post for ParentSociety.com about how not being overly affectionate doesn’t have to hurt a parental relationship.

I’m Not A Hugger, and That’s Not a Bad Thing

Not a hugger

 


Losing A Childhood Hero: RIP Ultimate Warrior

ultimate-warrior-2Listen…I don’t normally do “celebrity tributes” or things of that nature. I also don’t normally discuss my life-long love for the always interesting form of entertainment known as professional wrestling (though I did do a small post about it on my “Guilty Pleasure” blog).

But yesterday morning I woke up to a slap in the face…and it kinda affected the majority of my morning. I woke up to the news that my childhood hero, the Ultimate Warrior, had passed away at the young age of 54.

To put this in perspective, let me back-track a bit.

I started watching local wrestling in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It was Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling and I fell in love with these crazy characters who beat the living heck out of each other. The curtain hadn’t yet been pulled back on the scripted aspect of it all, so I grew up thinking it was real…and that put these guys high up on a pedestal.

The Great Malumba…Leo Burke… “No Class” Bobby Bass…The Cuban Assassin…Killer Karl Krupp…I could go on and on. Most of these guys were from the area and other wrestlers would be brought in from time to time to “spice up” the territory (everyone from Andre the Giant to Randy Savage passed through here in the early 80’s).

Then the World Wrestling Federation launched WrestleMania and quickly began syndication of their weekly program: Wrestling Superstars. This is when everyone and their dog began to watch professional wrestling. Guys like Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and The British Bulldogs were superstars that I would look forward to watching on a weekly basis. I looked up to them as any young teenager would. I was now a MASSIVE wrestling fan.

I was so hardcore into wrestling that I would buy Pro Wrestling Illustrated on a monthly basis. This was considered to be the bible of pro wrestling at the time, and anybody who was anybody would be written about in this magazine. It also talked about different promotions from around North America, so I got to read about guys who weren’t in the World Wrestling Federation.

One of those guys was called “Rock”.

Rock & StingNo…not “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson. Not even Don “The Rock” Muraco. This guy was in a tag team called The Blade Runners and was partnered with a man called Sting. These guys didn’t last together long, as Rock would move on to another territory and change his name to become a different persona: The Dingo Warrior.

Dingo WarriorWhere he was wrestling in Texas, I really don’t know if “Dingo Warrior” had any type of significance at all…but I saw the pictures of this huge, muscular guy with face paint and I was immediately intrigued. I mean…holy crap, right?

It wasn’t too long before he debuted in the WWF under what would become his permanent moniker: The Ultimate Warrior.

Hogan vs WarriorJim Hellwig had made the big time. He became Intercontinental champion. Then he defeated the long-term champion Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VII in Toronto for the WWF title. I followed his career and looked up to this guy who entertained me on a weekly basis.

I graduated high school in June, 1990. In September of that year, when I went to university, I put an Ultimate Warrior poster up on my wall (I’ve got a photo of that room around my home somewhere…I just wish I could find it). At this point, I knew that wrestling was scripted but I didn’t care. He had been entertaining me for years and I looked up to him as being (a) a bad-ass and (b) someone I had followed before he became an international celebrity.

The Ultimate WarriorOver the years, Ultimate Warrior retired and had many (MANY!!) issues with Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment. After a brief time in World Championship Wrestling in the late 90’s he retired to raise a family. He officially changed his name to “Warrior” and began to do motivational speeches at colleges. He made headlines by getting caught on video saying that “Queering doesn’t make the world work.”

He was far from perfect.

But something happened in the last year. The WWE reached out and attempted to mend fences (they had put out a dvd called “The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior” back in 2005). Whatever they did worked because not only would Warrior return in video game form in 2013, he would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at this past weekend’s WrestleMania 30 festivities.

Ultimate WarriorWarrior even came out on television Monday night to address the fans. He seemed slow and plodding, like he was limping or hurting in some way. Whether or not that was just me or had anything to do with his untimely passing doesn’t matter now. It was just nice to not only see him mend fences with WWE after feuding for so long, but to also say “goodbye” to his millions of fans for what would be one last time…even if his words were a little eerie in retrospect.

“No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper and something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized.

In the back I see many potential legends. Some with warrior spirits and you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and the intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends as well. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans and the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever.”

James Hellwig was walking out of a hotel Tuesday evening with his wife and two daughters when he suddenly grabbed his chest in pain and collapsed. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead upon arrival. At this point, there isn’t a cause of death…but where Warrior was so adamantly anti-drug (at least in his later years), I would be surprised if it had anything to do with an overdose.

Anyway…I just wanted to write this all down because I was a massive fan of this man’s character, his work, and his legacy. He was always kid-friendly and took great pride in being a positive role model…never becoming a bad guy (or in insider terms, a “heel”) after hitting it big as a good guy (i.e. “babyface”).  He took what he did very seriously…almost too seriously…but his dedication to the character and what he believed in was something I admired, regardless of whether or not I agreed with everything he said.

Yesterday saddened me. I lost a childhood hero…and I suppose I’m getting to the age where that is going to happen more and more. Still…it sucks.

RIP Ultimate Warrior. Thank you for everything.

Ultimate Warrior Hall of Fame


My Father’s Second Wedding

After three years and two fiancés, my father is ready to get married for the second time.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long, but my mom passed away in February 2011. They say that time heals all wounds. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true…but only if you allow it.

I say that because my dad waited a few months before jumping into a relationship to stop himself from being lonely every night. I never saw the connection, but he claimed that he loved her and that they were happy. For whatever reason, she never really fully connected with the rest of the family but we just wanted to see my dad happy…so we didn’t say anything and did our best to be nice.

Just over a year ago, my dad came back from Florida a single man…having made the decision that this woman wasn’t right for him. As Sunshine and I both breathed a sigh of relief, I wondered if he was really ready to move on with his life now. As a couple of months passed, he told me that he was going out on a date. I was hesitant, but happy…it had been two years and he already realized that jumping into something for the sake of not being lonely wasn’t going to work. I thought he was ready.

Thankfully…this woman was a gem!

Not only did she make my dad laugh, but she was a former working woman who was just entering her retirement stage as dad was. She didn’t want to just sit around and do nothing all day; she wanted to get up and get out and live her life.

Honestly…I had never seen my dad that happy in a VERY long time.

When he talked about proposing this time, nobody in the family batted an eye. We were all happy for him and were more than willing to welcome this wonderful lady to our family. Thankfully, she said “yes” and they made plans to spend the rest of their lives together.

They both went down to Florida this past winter. I gotta be honest…I was a little bit nervous about the outcome. Not only did they come back still engaged, but his fiancée told me that they didn’t really fight once the entire time. A huge smile crossed my face: my dad was finally legitimately happy and in love one more time.

And I’m not only happy for him, but I’m really happy at who he is with. She is an older version of Sunshine, and that works just great with me.

She’ll never be my mom, but she’ll be a welcome addition to our family. I never thought I’d be happy to see my dad re-marry, but I’m glad that it’s happening.

Life’s too short to be unhappy.


To Travel Or Not – Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA

I’ve got a new post up over at my travel blog, To Travel Or Not. Going to eventually be discussing all parts of the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street USA

Main Street USA


Why Miley Cyrus’ Music Will NEVER Be Played in My Home

I’ve got a new post up over at ParentSociety.com. There a a LOT of reasons why I don’t like Miley Cyrus, nor will I allow her music to be played for my kids…

Why Miley Cyrus’ Music Will NEVER Be Played in My Home

Miley

And while you’re there…don’t forget to click on my tongue-in-cheek thoughts about having an age limit for yoga pants!


The Upcoming Family Vacation (part two)

As I mentioned yesterday, both Sunshine and I are in the planning stages of taking the entire family to Orlando for a theme park family extravaganza!

There is, however, one massive catch:  THE COST.

TOO MUCH MONEY

After going to a travel agent, the cost of a 6-person family flying from Canada to Orlando and spending a week doing theme park stuff is going to be $10,000.

Yes…TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

I should preface that by saying that staying at a Disney resort will cost $10,000 (not including ANY dining plan). That is a HUGE chunk of change. And even if we stayed off-site, we’re still looking at about $9,000.

I suppose here is the part in my blog where I offer to write GLORIOUS WALT DISNEY WORLD REVIEW POSTS IN EXCHANGE FOR DISNEY DISCOUNTS!!

Ahem…

The only chance we have of lowering that price is if we catch a good deal on a flight. The way it stands now, we’re looking at $650 for round-trip airfare to Orlando and back to Halifax. On the surface, that’s hot a horrible price…but when you include SIX PEOPLE, it adds up REALLY fast.

I suppose here is the part in my blog where I offer to write GLORIOUS AIRLINE REVIEW POSTS IN EXCHANGE FOR SOME FLIGHT DISCOUNTS!!

Ahem…

At this point, it’s obvious that we’re going to have to take out a loan or a line of credit in order to pay for this trip. Thankfully, we’re not in a bad financial position and owe (relatively) very little in debt…so we won’t be burying ourselves or putting ourselves in a really bad place by doing so.

It’s just that spending that much money kind of…well…it sucks.

But as I said yesterday, this is a dream trip for me and it’s the perfect time for us as a family to head down. All we can do is go down to the bank and see what they can do for us. Fingers crossed, in another month or two, we’ll have the ball rolling on a massive Sunshine/CBG family trip!

Well…hopefully, anyway.


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