Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SGA meeting notes [08-28-13]

Two things happened on August 28, 2013: The first, Ashley Green had a birthday and second, the Concord University Student Government Association held its first meeting of the academic year.

A couple things are different for me this semester. The most important is that - barring any unforeseen financial aid issues - I am a registered student at Concord and taking classes. I'm no longer that weird guy who just shows up. And the reason I was that weird guy showing up is because the SGA is important. What they did last semester impacted this semester. I wasn't a student then, but I was planning on being here in the fall, so I needed to keep up with them.

As we've gotten into in the past, the 2012-2013 SGA kind of dropped the ball. There was potential for them to do a lot of good and they really didn't. So, the pressure is on for this year's SGA to fight for more than root beer taps and to actually be that strong voice working in the best interest for the student body.

This next point really needs harped on: the students of Concord University give tuition money to the SGA. Somebody correct me if the numbers have changed, but each student gives roughly $26 to the SGA. They then do things with that money. Your money. They need to be held accountable and that's why I write about the meetings. That's why a reporter from The Concordian needs to be present at every meeting.

Nice segue: Am I a reporter for The Concordian? No. I hung out at their first staff meeting because I didn't have anything else to do. I might send in the occasional piece on the opinions section here and there. But, I have no official affiliation with the staff. We're on good terms; I haven't been accused of stealing office equipment for a few years now.

I am, however, a staff member of Concord University's radio station: WVCU, The Cure. And, yeah, I know that name sounds dumb. I'm not really in there by choice. Well, I am. I have a class where we write things for TV and the radio. It was suggested that it would be beneficial to join one of those since you could use those class assignments for the staff you pick.

And, so I'm a member of the radio station. I have a radio show every Wednesday from noon until 1 p.m. I'm still getting the hang of that. I'm going to try and essentially make it a spoken version of my blog. You know, interesting Concord-related stuff and some other stuff.

I also have a "radio beat." They were asking around at a staff meeting saying, "Who wants to write small reports about the SGA?" I was being quiet and trying to avoid eye contact when a friend of mine chimed in, "Chris would probably be good at that." I didn't want to do that, but I'm doing it anyway. So, you'll see some sort of reporting on the radio about the SGA from me. As I figure out more, I'll let you know.

Anyway, here are my notes from the SGA meeting. If I get anything wrong, feel free to correct me. If you'd like to add anything, the comment section is here and on Facebook.
SGA President Chelsey Rowe is in the middle. Vice President Greg Stamp is in the green to her right. Greg Slone, Public Defender, is to her left.

The first report was from Cody Boone, the Board of Governors representative. He said he attended a state summit over the summer to look into budget issues with colleges. The first BOG meeting at Concord University will be at the end of September.

My first thought from the meeting - I remember there being some issues as to whether or not Greg Stamp was able to serve as VP, due to some potential election rules being broken. I guess he can serve, since nobody mentioned it. The Secretary position is vacant, so Greg was also taking the minutes. Before the meeting, Sam Dobson (last year's Secretary) was saying to some people that he was going to be the Secretary this year but he just hadn't been appointed yet.

In Greg's report, he noted that he was going to begin to consolidate some committees. He said that the Green Sustainability and SGA Affairs committees would be merged. As would the Dining and Housing committees. He gave a few more examples. More will be known next week. He is also bringing back the Ethics committee. He is also starting two temporary AD HOC committees, the first is "CDC," which stands for committee to define committees. It will better define what each committee needs to do. The VP's job is to plan the Homecoming week events, and he is starting a temporary "Homecoming Activities committee" to solicit student help. If you're interested in that, contact him.

Stamp also expressed a desire to move the SGA meetings to a more technologically-friendly location, giving the third floor of the Rahall Center and that room beside the Subway Stage. He told attendees to mull that over for a week and it would be discussed more in depth at the next meeting.

Genevieve Hatcher, the Business Manager, gave her report next. Last year's operating budget for the SGA was $95,000. This year, the budget has been reduced to $82,000. She gave a detailed sheet of expected business expenses for the 2013-2014 academic year. Hatcher noted that officer pay had been reduced by $10,000 while the amount for Homecoming and Spring Fling activities will stay the same. Hatcher also noted an error by last year's Business Manager has caused this year's SGA to pay out $7000 to make up for it.

President Chelsey Rowe closed out the meeting with her first report: "Next week is when business will start getting done," she said. The Concord University Student Affairs committee needs to be selected at the next meeting. It will be chaired by VP Greg Stamp and will need three other SGA members to serve on it. Prime Justice Michael Cork will announce the Homecoming Election committee at the next meeting. Rowe also said that a report from a library representative will be heard next week, concerning what they did with last year's "senior gift" allocation. Rowe closed out her report by saying she was accepting application for several positions - Senator, Justice, Attorney General, Ombudsman, Faculty Senate representative, Secretary, Parliamentarian - and hoped to have them filled by September 4. Senator applicants need a 2.0 GPA and other positions require a 2.5 GPA.

In New Business, Dr. Charles Brichford and Student Center Director Andrew Sulgit were voted on to be the SGA faculty and staff adviser, respectively.

That's it from the meeting. Off to a decent start for the first week. Look for more substantial things to start occurring in the coming weeks. 

Here's my disclaimer: I import these blogs into Facebook. 

 That gives me the option to "tag" people, sending them an e-mail notification. I tag people for two reasons - 1) if I mention you by name & 2) if I think you will find this interesting. If you are tagged and don't want to be, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know. 

 There is a comment feature on this blog & I don't mind if you use it. It's cool to disagree, as long as it's kept civil. Anonymous comments are allowed, as long as it's relevant & mildly profanity free.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

15 Greatest Jim Ross Dubs on YouTube

One of the most famous matches in WWE history is the Hell in a Cell match between Mick Foley and The Undertaker from July 1998. The intensity of the match is off the charts. The two stunts performed by Foley have gone on to live in the annals of history as being among the biggest spots ever in a match. In the opening minutes, The Undertaker throws Foley from the top of the 15-foot cell through an announcer's table. After deciding that he can continue the match, they climb back to the top and Foley is chokeslammed through the top of the cage and onto the mat.

Jim Ross is considered arguably the greatest announcer in the history of wrestling. He gets lost in the moment and allows his emotions to take over. He gives the action in the ring a sense of legitimacy; he cares and you should too. When Foley falls and hits the table, Jim Ross has stated in interviews about it that the next words out of his mouth were his legitimate feelings: "Good God Almighty! Good God Almighty! It killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!"

A popular YouTube meme of sorts is to take that quote from JR and dub it over other sports moments. There are several out there; some are amazing and some aren't so great. The website collected 15 of the best JR dubs and put them together in a nice package for you to view. Check it out below:

The 15 Greatest Jim Ross Dubs on YouTube.

If you're not sure you want to check it out, here's a sample dub for you to watch:

WWE 2K14 symposium; amazing train wreck

Over SummerSlam weekend in Los Angeles, WWE and 2KSports held a 60-minute symposium featuring a star-studded lineup of WWE superstars to talk about WWE 2K14, the newest video game that will be released later this year.

Jim Ross, one of the greatest announcers of all time, hosted the event. Panelists included former World Champion Dolph Ziggler, current "It Guy" Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Paul Heyman, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, and Steve Austin

The idea for the panel was to discuss the "30 Years of WrestleMania" feature on the game. You can recreate some of the greatest moments from the history of WrestleMania. And the panelists were there to talk about those greatest moments. It starts out promising - Dolph Ziggler talks about how he hasn't stolen the show at WrestleMania yet, but he will one day. Daniel Bryan talks about how he is in awe of wrestling in front of over 80,000 fans. Steve Austin reminisces about wrestling against Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 and his matches against The Rock.

Paul Heyman gives a great speech about how he wanted to see Flair vs Hogan at WrestleMania and how he hopes to one day see Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk main event the biggest event of the year, saying they have the chemistry of Flair vs Steamboat and Austin vs The Rock.

The train wreck aspect comes in when you consider that Ric Flair pretty much admitted to being drunk while he was on the panel. And Jim Ross had to tweet the next day that he wasn't drunk, despite the fact that he slurred his words a little bit (he blamed his Bell's Palsy) and held up a drink when he came on stage and jokingly said, "This is Snapple!"

It's great to watch. It's completely unscripted and raw. There was a loose script that JR kept trying to steer everybody back toward, but Paul Heyman eventually got up and ripped the script apart.

Flair was on a roll. He made fun of Hulk Hogan's back surgeries, Daniel Bryan's beard, TNA, Bret Hart being a whiner, and did a hilarious impression of Curt Henning, to name a few. He also strongly implored everybody in attendance to never get married.

In the beginning at least, Flair told a great story about WWE giving him a new Hall of Fame ring after he buried his original one in his son's casket after his death a few months ago. "I walked in and Triple H said, 'I need to talk to you in private.' I thought, 'Oh shit, I'm in trouble already.'"

Flair wasn't in trouble that day, but he did get in trouble Saturday, August 17, 2013. His off-color comments and salty language reportedly led to WWE canceling a surprise appearance at the SummerSlam pay-per-view.

The first 20 minutes or so are mostly introductions of the panelists, which is entertaining in its own right. Then, Flair starts to take over around the half-hour mark. He is very giggly and keeps trying to tell long stories, despite JR constantly warning him about the time constraints. "But, I gotta tell this story!" he keeps saying.

Check it out if you want to see a group of people having fun and not worrying about the political consequences, check it out. It's the best kind of train wreck: entertaining and hilarious.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Restaurant Review: Wing*Span

Long-awaited by some, eagerly anticipated by others, not even a blip on the radar of others... Concord University's new restaurant Wing*Span is now open on campus. I guess the name is spelled with the asterisk in it. It's on the sign. Anyway...

Wing*Span has taken the place of two of Concord's three restaurants - South of Sicily and Grille Works, leaving Subway as the only other option. But, some of the more popular items from those two have been incorporated into the Wing*Span menu. That's what I kept hearing last semester; as of right now, I don't know what those options are aside from the curly fries. I overheard two separate conversations about people complaining about pasta dishes no longer being available. In one conversation, a girl countered with "There was a survey to see what people wanted."

Hopefully The Concordian will get on that. Sara Cameron was looking for ideas for the Student Life section earlier; feature about what Grille Works and South of Sicily items made it to Wing*Span.

From an aesthetic standpoint, Wing*Span looks nice. There's the area you order at, which used to be Grille Works. Then the South of Sicily area is a bar-style setup with a big TV you can watch. It looks like it's on sports for the most part. I assume they would change it if you ask them. 

I'm not really a big fan of chicken wings, but I'm guessing others are. I saw a lot of people order wings around me. There look to be several different flavors you can get your wings coated in. Hopefully The Concordian will have more information about that as well.

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger. I'm guessing it's the same as the old Grille Works burger. It was pretty good. I'm not one of those foodie types that can talk about how much they savored it and describe it as being so palatable or whatever. If you like hamburgers, you'll like this one. One new item that Grille Works didn't have was a Patty Melt. That looked pretty good. I'll probably get that one next time.

One of the biggest things people kept hyping last semester when talking about Wing*Span was the root beer. You can get root beer on tap, with the far-off idea being to eventually go through the required bureaucracy to sell alcohol on campus.

I forgot about the root beer until I was walking to my booth - newly remodeled booth, I might add - and happened to pass them. Perhaps a sign saying "Try the root beer" or having the person taking your order mention it might help. It was brought up as being one of the coolest features about the restaurant and you can't even tell it's there.

Overall, it looks like a good area. It's not really that exciting, but if you like chicken wings I'd give it a shot. Also, if you're tired of the cafeteria and Subway then Wing*Span is your only option. 

Back to school [pictures]

I couldn't find the picture from 2010 online anywhere. And there wasn't one in 2012. But, here's the first day of school in 2011 and 2013. 



So, yeah, trying the school thing again. Just like I did in 2010 and 2011. We'll see if it works. I've been told to have a more positive attitude when referring to me being back in school. But, it's hard. I'm trying to stay positive.

Am I excited to be back? No. I hate it. It's degrading that I'm forced into this system and have to take classes I hate before people will take me seriously. But, I was thinking about it and I was already hating the life I lead, so why not go back to school. I guess doing this for one more year of my life won't kill me.

Anyway, we'll see how things go.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Darren Young - first openly gay WWE performer

A popular hangout spot for gossip website TMZ is LAX, since they catch a lot of celebrities going to and from wherever they're going. The WWE's 2nd biggest pay-per-view of the year, SummerSlam, is in Los Angeles this year, and a TMZ camera man caught up with WWE superstar Darren Young and asked him the question, "Do you think a gay wrestler could be successful in the WWE?" Darren laughs and says, "Absolutely, look at me. You know, I'm a WWE superstar, and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I'm gay and I'm happy."

Darren Young is now the first openly gay wrestler to be a member of the active WWE roster. There have been a few wrestlers to come out, but none on such a big stage. 

Pat Patterson, while never officially "coming out," has never hid his sexual orientation. He wrestled from the 1960s until the 1980s before working in a backstage capacity with WWE. He's best known for being the first-ever Intercontinental Champion and later creating the concept for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. He also made a handful of on-screen appearances in the late 90s as one of Vince McMahon's lackeys.

Chris Klucsartis had a decent mid-card run from 1995-ish until the early 2000s in World Championship Wrestling and WWE under the name Chris Kanyon. He came out in 2006, giving some interviews that implied he was fired from WWE due to being gay. WWE denied the claims. He committed suicide in 2010 while writing his autobiography. "Wrestling Reality" was released a year later.

Orlando Jordan had a small WWE run from 2003 until being released in 2006. He came out as being openly bisexual afterward. As a little bit of a publicity stunt, Jordan created a bisexual character in TNA during a 2010 run. Initially used as a shock-value heel, it didn't get over and he eventually settled into a comedic face role before he was released from TNA.

Young is now the third openly-gay athlete plying his trade in a major organization. Robbie Rogers retired from Major League Soccer and announced his sexual orientation. He then came back to the league a few months later. Jason Collins received a lot of mainstream attention - including a phone call from Barack Obama - when he became the first National Basketball Association star to come out. He is currently not signed to a team but is negotiating and will likely end up with the Brooklyn Nets.

Other wrestlers and personalities have been quick to throw their support to Darren Young. TMZ actually broke the news to John Cena & his girlfriend Nikki Bella on the streets of Los Angeles. The camera man asked Cena if there were any openly gay wrestlers. Cena said no. When the camera man told him about Young's announcement, Cena smiled and said, "Wonderful. Good for him." He later adds, "I know Darren personally and he's a great guy. It's a very bold move for him and congratulations to him for finally actually doing it." The way Cena spoke, it gave the impression that he already knew Young was gay.

Stephanie McMahon on twitter posted: "Congratulations to @DarrenYoungWWE for being the first openly gay WWE superstar."

Triple H also tweeted: "Congratluations, @DarrenYoungWWE for living YOUR life, YOUR way. #proud"

WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart tweeted: "I'm more than proud of Darren Young for having the courage to come out. ... WWE and Pro Wrestling in general have long been ahead of the curve when it comes to accepting sexual orientation."

WWE also covered the announcement on its website, issuing a statement showing their support.

The big question is where does Darren Young's career go from here? Honestly, I don't think it will really go anywhere based on this announcement. He generated a little buzz in 2010 due to his involvement in the white-hot Nexus angle, but that cooled quickly and he never really recovered from it. For the last year or so, he's been featured in a tag team with Titus O'Neil and the two have been just a rung above enhancement talent. If anything, this will likely expand Young's involvement with the WWE's "Be A STAR" anti-bullying campaign, where they speak to children at schools and whatnot.

Hopefully this can lead to more athletes and wrestlers coming out and not being worried about it. I've heard online rumors about one other WWE superstar being gay, so we'll see if anything comes out of that. I mentioned in a previous post that I read wrestler Bob Holly's autobiography recently. What I loved about the book is what also made me hate a portion of it - his bluntness and DILLIGAF attitude. When discussing some wrestlers that he didn't like, he outed one of them as being gay. I had never heard anything about this wrestler being open about his sexuality and it really wasn't Bob Holly's place to decide that people should know about it.

Hopefully Darren Young adding his name to the growing list of openly gay athletes and entertainers will help break down a few more doors so that one day something like this won't be news.

As a bit of a funny ending, it looks like Darren Young's twitter bio will need to be tweaked, as something seems off about it: As comfortable in the VIP section as he is in the ring, Darren Young’s life revolves around three things — money, women and wrestling.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dynamite Kid vs Tiger Mask

History is one of the most important subjects you can learn while you're in school. There's that saying about being doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past unless you learn from them. Professional wrestling in the late 70s and into the 80s became the sport of the big men. People clamored to see the giants. The behemoths. The Hulks. Hogan, specifically. In the American wrestling scene, the era of the "body guy" was in full effect. 

That trend wasn't going on elsewhere around the world, as two smaller wrestlers began a feud in Japan that changed the face of professional wrestling forever. A smaller British wrestler named Tom Billington became known as The Dynamite Kid. He began a feud in 1981 with Satoru Sayama, who put a cloak over his head and became Tiger Mask.

Today, you watch their first match (embedded above) and go, "That's cool." In 1981 a match this fast-paced, this high-flying was mind-blowing. This wasn't common. The reason it is common today is because the current generation of wrestlers fell in love with this style and incorporated it into their personas.

They had seven matches together, spaced out over two years. Word got to a young Vince McMahon about how amazing these two stars were and he brought them into Madison Square Garden and introduced their style to an American audience in 1982.

Dynamite Kid became a big star in Canada after those matches. He was topping cards as a star wrestling matches against a young rookie named Bret Hart. Dynamite eventually brought his cousin, Davey Boy Smith, into the mix and they worked their way in the WWE as a tag team called The British Bulldogs. When Dynamite left WWE in the late 80s, Davey Boy kept the nickname for himself.

Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask have now influenced two generations of wrestling stars. Stars of the 90s grew up marveling at those matches as kids. And today's 20-something stars making their marks in today's wrestling world have rediscovered these classics.

And you should, too. If you like today's wrestling - WWE, Ring of Honor, TNA, etc... And you like some of the top wrestlers out there right now - Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, etc... You have the match above and subsequent matches that followed to thank for everything.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lip rings and books

I lost my lip ring a few weeks ago. The Pizza Hut rules say you have to take it out while you're working, but I rarely do. One day I just felt like taking it out. I stuck it in my pocket and went about my day. When I got home it wasn't there. I went out to my car to see if it fell out of my pocket and into my seat. It wasn't. I pulled my pocket out and found a small hole.

I'm sure there's a technical name for the circle with a ball in it, but I don't know that that is. I lost that one and all I had was one of those rods where a ball screws onto it. So, I'm wearing one of those now. Click here for a picture of me with the rod & ball lip ring. And, yes, I giggled every time I said "rod and ball." When I got my lip pierced in June 2002, I initially wore the rod & ball. I did that until May 2007, when I randomly put in the hoop with the ball. And then I never stopped wearing it. I had a couple different ones, as I would occasionally lose them.

I ordered a few books from Amazon. They're all professional wrestling related. The first is Bob "Hardcore" Holly's autobiography, "The Hardcore Truth." I finished it in two sittings and will likely write a review of it soon. Pretty good. If you follow me on twitter - @chris_slater - then you likely saw me tweet some of my thoughts as well as quotes I found interesting.

The other two are Mick Foley's novels "Tietam Brown" and "Scooter." I've heard a lot about them and have wanted to read them for years. I just never got around to buying them until now. Mick Foley, for those unaware, is a retired professonal wrestler best known as Mankind and Cactus Jack. He was the first wrestler to achieve mainstream success by authoring an autobiography, making to the New York Times bestseller list three different times, twice at number one. Click here to read my review of his fourth autobiography, "Countdown to Lockdown."

Neither of his novels sold well, so he's pretty much gotten out of writing them. In his third autobiography, he hints at the idea of writing a novel under a pseudonym. He has had more success with children's books, most being WWE-related. Mick wrote previously that a screenwriter was interested in turning "Tietam Brown" into a movie. I've read that both novels are dark and kind of disturbing, especially "Tietam Brown." Both novels feature the titular character as a teenage-age male living a hard life. The father figure in "Tietam Brown" is based on several wrestling personalities Mick has observed over the years, but is mostly based on Terry Funk.

I'm looking forward to those. I'll let you know how they go. Follow @RealMickFoley on twitter for more updates on his writing and burgeoning stand-up comedy career. WWE recently released a 3-disk DVD set looking at his career. Click here to view the trailer. The only real problem with it is that if you read his first autobiography, you get the full, long story and the DVD has to skip over parts due to time constraints. So you're getting part of the story you've already heard. And while it's rated TV-14, they really don't show a lot of Mick's more bloody moments so newer fans may not get an idea of how "hardcore" he really was.

And so that's where we're at with that. I haven't been writing as much as I would like to be lately. A lot of ideas have been going through my head and I've been trying to make sure I write most of them down. So, hopefully some of those ideas will turn into reality.

On a somewhat related note, I was driving home from work recently when a line came to me in my head. I had to think if I had already written it or if I had just meant to at some point. After some thinking, I realized I had already used it. It's good enough that I'll probably use it again at some point; I had an idea for it.

I'll check back later with something more substantial.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Holy Grail

"Holy Grail," Jay Z, featuring Justin Timberlake. You can't go wrong with that duo. And you can't go wrong with any rap song featuring a Nirvana reference. It worked for MGK.