Thursday, December 26, 2013

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I'm glad that I live in a world where professional wrestling fans can give a collective "fuck you!" to the establishment by showing their support for the 2013 version of the "people's champ." When The Rock coined that phrase for himself back in the late '90s, the irony was that he was actually the "machine's" champ - to steal a phrase from Colt Cabana.

In a perfect world, the stars align and the crowd appoints a new superstar. The WWE brass hears the audience and acts accordingly. Perhaps the biggest example is the rise of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. In 1996, he was a "heel," a bad guy. He did what he was doing and the crowd decided they liked it. A natural gestation period happened and by 1998, Austin was the hottest thing going, leading the last professional wrestling boom period and becoming a pop culture phenomenon. 

We all know the back story: Daniel Bryan was trained by Shawn Michaels and became the biggest indie star of the last decade. For the longest time, his reputation was going to be that he was the biggest star to never make it to the "big time." But, then, WWE came calling and he signed.

Similar to Austin, Daniel Bryan was a heel in 2012 and the "WWE Universe" decided that they wanted to cheer him. They enjoyed his heel bit where he would cheat to win and then over-dramatize his efforts by loudly chanting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" like he had actually done something worthwhile.

The WWE responded to this backlash of Bryan supporters by changing his character. Instead of a happy-go-lucky bad guy who chanted "Yes!" he was transformed into a cranky, angry bad guy who chanted "No! No! No!" He was also in the process of growing his beard out, prompting the announcers to make fun of him by making idiotic "goat-face" references.

It got to the point where WWE couldn't silence the fans. He finally made the switch to "Yes!" chanting good guy in the first half of 2013. He was the underdog that everybody loved. Then, finally, his moment in the sun was to arrive: SummerSlam 2013, he was announced as challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship. This was the battle of WWE's champion vs the people's champion. The sports entertainer in Cena vs the wrestler in Daniel Bryan.

There was one factor going into this match that intrigued a lot of people. Cena had a noticeable elbow injury and rumors abounded that he needed surgery. You can't be out of action and be WWE Champion, so this match with Bryan could see him dethrone the top star and become the champ.

There was one bad omen that we were all trying to ignore: Randy Orton and his "Money in the Bank" contract, which means that somebody can receive a world title shot anytime they want. A loophole in the contract basically means that somebody can cash it in whenever, including on an opponent that has just been beaten down and is thus easy prey.

Nobody really expected Daniel Bryan to come out of SummerSlam as champ. People really only expected two options: Randy Orton to beat Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam after a fluke victory over Cena or Cena to win and then lose to Orton the next night on Monday Night Raw.

What actually happened was amazing. Daniel Bryan defeated Cena clean and was awarded the title. It was such a happy moment for professional wrestling fans.


Randy Orton won the title. That set off the "Randy Orton is in cahoots with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon" storyline that nobody really wants to see. Randy Orton has been pushed as the top guy since 2004. I'm tired of it. A lot of other people are, too. The problem is that WWE markets toward kids now, and those kids will accept whatever WWE tells them to accept.

Or, so they thought. They did the obligatory Bryan-Orton rematches and had Orton cheat to retain each time. Then, they pushed Bryan to the backseat in order to give us what they thought we wanted to see - Randy Orton vs John Cena. Or, what people with a memory will recall is the main WWE feud of 2008 all over again.

Which leads us to the moment above. Triple H was leading a ceremony in the ring featuring all the former WWE & World champions on the roster. It was about Randy Orton and John Cena. But, the crowd hijacked the moment and made it about Daniel Bryan.

They initially started chanting and Triple H tried to talk over them, hoping they'd quiet down. They didn't. He then stopped, hoping they would stop. That didn't work. Shawn Michaels tried to play "peacekeeper," jokingly stepping in and telling the crowd to quiet down. That didn't work. Mark Henry held Bryan's hand up, and then made a "cut" motion across his throat, hoping that they would applaud quickly at the mention of the chant and then stop. It didn't happen.

One of the best Monday Night Raw moments of the year. I hope it goes somewhere. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Story of me and girls

This about sums it up. "I'm a lot like you, so please. Hello, I'm here, I'm waiting. I think I'd be good for you and you'd be good for me."

I've never been good at making a first move at any point in my life. Weezer understands me. Plus, this track has the two things that every successful song needs: unnecessary profanity (especially the GD word) and a professional wrestling reference. One is easier to spot than the other in "El Scorcho."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Steady As She Goes

Not every song is written for you at the moment you first hear it. The Raconteurs, the side project of then-White Stripes frontman Jack White, released their first album in 2005, the first single of which was "Steady, As She Goes." I listened to it and liked it. I thought the whole album was great. "Hands," "Blue Veins," "Yellow Sun," and "Broken Boy Soldier" are some of my favorite tracks of theirs.

Some songs are above your head at certain times in your life. I was listening to Pandora a month or so back and "Steady, As She Goes" came on. I hadn't heard it in a while and took this opportunity to really listen to it, reading the lyrics that popped up on the screen with it. Jack White has been one of my favorite lyricists for a long time. I love the White Stripes and how Jack White talks about love and life.

And that's what he talks about here. At 19-years-old, when I first heard this song, it didn't mean anything to me. At 27, I'm now witnessing this song in my life. "Steady, As She Goes" is about maintaining a steady lifestyle: get married young to somebody you don't really love and don't do anything exciting with your life. "You've had to much to think, now you need a wife" perfectly sums up a lot of what I've seen in small-town, America aka Princeton.

It's kind of a depressing song. But, it is also a reminder. I don't want that life. Listen and learn from it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Finding Hulk Hogan

I'm not sure how I hadn't heard of the 2010 A&E documentary "Finding Hulk Hogan" until now. It chronicles the comeback journey Hulk Hogan took from the ending of his marriage, his son's car wreck & subsequent civil lawsuit that came out of it, and his deteriorating mental and physical state.

I read Hulk Hogan's 2009 autobiography "My Life Outside the Ring" and it basically tells the same story. Not much from the documentary was a surprise to me; his contemplation of suicide, his children ostracizing him, losing his fortune, etc... But the documentary puts a different picture to it that the book doesn't. He can write about how worn down his body is, but that doesn't compare to actually seeing him hobbling around and having a doctor show him x-rays of his back. 

Speaking of appearances, it was interesting to see Hogan not have his full "Hogan look" in pristine condition. At one point, you can see his black roots showing on his bleach-blond hair and since there were multiple interviews conducted, you see his mustache with differing amounts of gray stubble around it.

The documentary concludes with Hogan's return to the wrestling industry with TNA: Impact Wrestling. Spoiler alert: he's no longer affiliated with them. He signed with the promotion in 2009, debuted in 2010, and finally left in the fall of 2013. While no official contract has been signed, it is considered a no-brainer that Hogan will wind up back with WWE in the coming months, especially considering that the monumental WrestleMania 30 pay-per-view is coming up in April 2014. Hogan was the main attraction for the first 9 WrestleMania events and had a brief resurgence for the 18th and 19th WrestleManias.

The documentary is below, broken up into three YouTube videos. Check it out. If you haven't read his book, this documentary is a great look into the man behind the iconic character. If you have read it, then this is an additional viewing accessory to what you already know.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Episode 08: Duck Dynasty & Santa

Episode 08 of the podcast is up. The recent uproar over Phil Robertson's comments to GQ Magazine got my attention and I discuss that. I scan through my Facebook news feed and pick out some of the best... and worst... comments about Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty crew. While we're on the subject of controversies, I look at the Megyn Kelly/Fox News "Black Santa" issue and I use that to segue into professional wrestling. Trust me, it works.

I mention the "Twitter Account of the Week" for you to follow, but I didn't spell it out so to avoid any confusion it is @FacesPics

All that and more. Check it out. It's a fun way to kill some time. If you're a Facebook friend of mine, maybe I used your comments. Listen to find out. 


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Some books I've read recently

A lot of my friends have been tagging people on Facebook and imploring them to list 10 books that changed their lives in some manner. There are a lot of stereotypical "greats" listed. In fact, a lot of those lists look the same. Maybe this is weird for me to feel, but I haven't done that list thing because I don't really think a book has changed my life in any way.

There are a lot of books that I love and I've gotten very emotional reading certain books, but none have moved me to the point where I would make that Facebook post about them. If I made that post, maybe it would just say "The ability to read books has changed my life."

Around the 2nd grade is when I remember first falling in love with reading. I have no idea how many books I've read in my life. I would imagine it's a lot. When I was in middle school, I didn't ride the school bus. I would walk down the street to the Ravenswood Public Library and wait for my mom to pick me up when she got off work. I would just sit around and read books. 

With all that said, here are a few small reviews of some books I've read recently. 

Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas  ... Some people were surprised I had never read this book. Written by "gonzo journalist" Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear" originally appeared broken up into installments in Rolling Stone magazine a year before being published as a book. 

This might not be a popular opinion, but I didn't like this book. Written very much in Thompson's style, a hybrid of fact and fiction, it's just too weird for me. I don't have that much experience with psychedelic drugs and I wasn't alive in the time period presented. 

You would think I would love a tale about a journalist trying to get his story. But I didn't. I haven't watched the movie yet. Maybe I'll like that. We'll see. 

Fight Club ... The debut novel from Chuck Palahniuk was made into a famous movie starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. I haven't seen that movie either. I had wanted to read the book for a long time. One thing stopping me was because the ending had been spoiled. 

The movie was very successful and was always hyped as having such a shocking twist that it was only a matter of time before I found out that twist. I went into the book knowing that twist and tried to let that help my reading, wondering "how do we get there?" "how does that affect the other characters?" I jumped into it and really enjoyed the book. A character study of the human mind and the drudgery of life. I could really sympathize with the lead character and I'm sure a lot of other people can as well. 

Tietam Brown ... Professional wrestler Mick Foley has found a successful second career as an author, writing a collection of autobiographies and children's books. He has written two novels and really didn't have a lot of success with them, so he hasn't written one in several years. Although, in one of his autobiographies, Foley hinted at maybe writing a future novel under a pseudonym. 

"Tietam Brown" follows the titular character, a teenager who suddenly moves in with his father after a lifetime of estrangement. Two words perfectly describe this novel: Dark. Twisted. For such a fun-loving man to write something so creepy and intense, it's almost hard to fathom. There were several moments that literally had my eyes open in shock. Murder. Suicide. Child abuse. Verbal abuse. Rape. There's enough crazy stuff there for everybody. Foley has said that there has been some interest into adapting "Tietam Brown" into a movie. I'd watch it. 

The Hardcore Truth: The Bob Holly Story ... Bob "Hardcore Holly" Howard was one of the longest-tenured members of the WWE roster until his release in 2008. Now in his early 50s and largely retired, the out-spoken hothead from Mobile, Alabama saw fit to release an autobiography.

If you're looking for the "dirt," and want to hear somebody "shoot," then this is the book for you. He is especially venomous toward Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Jeff Jarrett, to name a few. He is surprisingly loyal to Vince McMahon, noting that the WWE Chairman was always good to him and he was loyal in return.

A couple flaws with the book. First, he tells a little too much sometime. When discussing his own steroid usage over the years, he outs a couple other guys as users. On the subject of outing, he also reveals a fellow wrestler as being gay. It's really not his place to decide who knows how this guy lives his life. Holly also suffers from a case of thinking he's a bigger star than he really was. In all honesty, Holly was a good wrestler with a good character who was lucky to be featured during the hottest era in wrestling history.

Wrestling Reality: The Life and Mind of Chris Kanyon, Wrestling's Gay Superstar ... This isn't so much a wrestling autobiography as it is a tale of a man struggling with his sexuality. That's why I would definitely recommend this book for anybody who considers LGBT issues to be important to them.

Kanyon was a life-long wrestling fan who achieved a huge level of success, becoming a minor star in both World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment. But, he felt like he had the ability to become a major star, which the decision makers of both companies did not agree.

Kanyon realized he was gay around 10-years-old and wasn't open about it until he was nearly 40. It took almost 30 years for this man to be comfortable with who he was. He almost seems paranoid at times about the backlash he would have received. Perhaps the public may not have been ready for a gay wrestler in the late 1990s, but it seemed odd when Kanyon recounted a conversation with wrestler Raven who confronted him saying, "Come on, I know you're gay. It's okay." and Kanyon still refusing to admit it to him.

Journalist Ryan Clark agreed to help Kanyon write this book around 2007. The book was finished in 2010, a month before Kanyon committed suicide. His history of mental illness, including a previous 2003 suicide attempt, are covered in the book. Wrestling Reality was released a year later, in 2011.

A flaw for wrestling fans, that casual fans won't care about, is that Ryan Clark isn't a wrestling fan. Some details are flawed, like when Kanyon talks about facing Booker T in 1995. Clark fills in the blanks to describe Booker T but in doing so describes 2008 Booker T, who was much different than the 1995 version. A similar instance occurs when describing the 1995 version of Eric Bischoff as the 2008 version.

* * *

Those are a few of the books I've read recently. I finished Fear & Loathing on the airplane to California. I started Fight Club on that same plane to California and finished it on the flight back. The others were read here and there over the last month or so.

Speaking of books: 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

DVD Review: #7LevelsOfHate

WRESTLING HISTORY LESSON: if you were a professional wrestler in the 1970s and 1980s, there were three major titles you vied for. There was the World Wrestling Federation Championship, the National Wrestling Alliance Championship, and the American Wrestling Association Championship.

The WWF, the NWA, and the AWA were the "Big 3" of that era. For the sake of this, forget the AWA. They died in the late 80s. They're not important to this story.

Before cable television and the Internet, professional wrestling was a territorial business. The World Wrestling Federation was based out of New York. The AWA was based out of the Minnesota region. There was a Florida territory, Texas, California, etc... and so forth.

The National Wrestling Alliance was more than a title belt. It was a governing body. All of the regional promoters (minus WWE and AWA) were a part of the NWA. These 15 promotions or so all agreed that they would recognize one world champion. One world champion would then travel to all of the territories and defend the title. The most famous of these "traveling world champions" as they were called would be Ric Flair in the 1980s.

Cable television allowed the WWF to reach a global audience and jump to the front of the pack. The various NWA promoters tried to catch up but a lot of them went by the wayside. One promoter, Jim Crockett, managed to also get on cable and put up a valiant fight, but he ultimately lost as well. Crockett would sell his regional promotion to Ted Turner, who renamed it World Championship Wrestling.

Without the luxury of a cable TV show, the prestige of the NWA title started to flounder. The WWF, WCW, and upstart ECW became the new "Big 3" of the 1990s. The NWA was left trying to find a new identity. Or, more accurately, try to find a new Ric Flair. They tried with UFC legend Dan Severn, who held the title for multiple years. He didn't bring the championship title back to prominence, despite appearing on WWF television with the title belt. They tried with Steve Corino in 2001. He was a throwback to that style, but he didn't help raise their profile either. The NWA later struck up a deal with TNA and tried to make Jeff Jarrett into the new Ric Flair. He was entertaining, but it didn't take the NWA where they wanted it to go and they ended their partnership with TNA.

* * *

And now that the history is out of the way, we are up to a few years ago. Adam Pearce was the new traveling world champion of the NWA. A long-time journeyman, Pearce is best known among hardcore fans for a stint as booker of Ring of Honor, which basically means he created the storylines and decided who won. Pearce was also the new kingpin of the assorted NWA promotions.

The NWA was - and still is - a shell of its former self, but there were people who wanted to make it work. Pearce's "home territory," so to speak, was the new NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. They had managed to get a broadcast television spot for their weekly show, something that really doesn't happen in this day and age anymore. They had more visibility than all of the other promotions combined, basically.

One of the most popular indie stars around is Colt Cabana. His best friend is CM Punk. He has the most popular wrestling podcast of all time (although, Steve Austin is giving him competition). And he's an awesome wrestler.

From 2010 through 2012, Cabana and Pearce engaged in one of the most high-profile independent wrestling feuds arguably in decades, which culminated in a best of seven series dubbed "Seven Levels of Hate." The feud and political fallout from the NWA was the impetus for Pearce to self-produce a documentary about the entire thing.

"Seven Levels of Hate: The UNCUT Story of Independent Wrestling's GREATEST Feud" is more than what the title states. It is a story about how poor decision making can ruin great ideas.

If you're a wrestling fan, then you likely know what happened. If you're not, I'll try not to ruin too much of it. In a nutshell, Pearce and Cabana had this great idea that was well-received by the wrestling community and fans. Then there was a series of lawsuits between NWA upper management that led to new owners. Those new owners then decided that they wanted nothing to do with Cabana - who this feud was designed to make the heir apparent to the NWA crown - and then, Pearce, who they asked to simply drop the belt at a meaningless show in West Virginia with no build or notice.

In the documentary, they do a great job of putting over how important Cabana could have been to the NWA. He is the most well-known wrestler to have never had a substantial run in WWE or TNA. Cabana notes that at the time of his first NWA World Championship victory over Pearce, the NWA twitter account had approximately 5000 followers and Cabana himself had over 50,000. There was a legitimate buzz surrounding his title victory. I remember coming home from work and finding out the news on twitter and looking for more information. Cabana was a respected wrestler and real fans were happy for him.

He lost the belt six weeks later to a generic-looking wrestler with a generic-sounding name, The Sheik. I had never heard of this guy before and now his name is sadly linked to Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Sting, and the rest. As Pearce said on the documentary, "It didn't make any sense then and it doesn't make any sense now."

It didn't work and the NWA made the decision to put the belt back on Pearce, in effect hitting the reset button and starting the Pearce/Cabana feud over again. That's what led to "Seven Levels of Hate," as Cabana won the NWA Championship for a second time and Pearce challenged him to a seven-match series to determine who was the best.

It all culminates in a cage match in Australia that the NWA has refused to sanction, as they were already done with both competitors. The match finishes, the Seven Levels of Hate is over, but the controversy is just beginning. Both get on the microphone and renounce the company that renounced them. Pearce hands the belt to Cabana, saying he earned it. Cabana says he doesn't want it and gives it back to Pearce, who says he doesn't want it either. In a symbolic moment, the two grapplers each hold the title belt in the air before dropping it on the ground, effectively ending both of their relationships with the NWA.

The "Seven Levels of Hate" documentary is a great look into the inner workings of wrestling. Disk one is the actual documentary, featuring interviews with Cabana, Pearce, and several of the promoters involved with the seven matches, in addition to other wrestling personalities and journalists. Disk two features all seven matches and some promos.

Given that Pearce made the documentary himself, it had the potential to only tell one side of the story. But, Pearce keeps it as balanced as he can. One problem hurting that was that several of the new owners of the NWA refused to be interviewed. So, there's not really a side saying, "Here's why we were right," but Pearce and a few others at least play devil's advocate and say, "It was their decision and I understand that."

Production-wise, the nearly 2-hour documentary flows nicely. One interview will fade out in the last words and the next will fade in and continue the story. The graphics look awesome, with a lot of flames involved. The soundtrack is composed of original tracks, mostly of the hip hop genre that help further the story. As soon as you put the disk in and the title screen comes up, the song playing instantly paints the picture of what is going on in Pearce's head.

From a technical standpoint, there were only a few flaws. Maybe it was just my television, but there were a couple points where words were on the screen and it extended beyond my screen and I couldn't see everything. During a few of the interviews, it would be hard to hear and I would have to turn the volume up and then turn it back down for the next interview. Just through the nature of collecting the interviews, that is to be expected. There were different microphones involved with some and a few appeared to be recorded over Skype.

In short, if you like wrestling, you have to own this. It is required viewing for wrestling fans. If you don't like wrestling, but want to see how an organization can work toward killing itself with bad decisions, check it out.

Go to to order "Seven Levels of Hate: The UNCUT Story of Independent Wrestling's GREATEST Feud." Follow Adam Pearce on Twitter and Facebook. Follow Colt Cabana on Twitter and check out his Art of Wrestling podcast. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Episode 07: B-Sides & Snow

Episode 07 of the podcast is up. Short episode this go-round, as I'm all by myself. Topics I discuss:

- Wrap up discussion of Thanksgiving spent in California with my girlfriend, Ashley Green.

- My new haircut and how it's really the same hair style I've had for years.

- Now a proud member of hashtag team iPhone and how OCD I am about organizing my apps.

- My power went out and the absurdity of the official Appalachian Power twitter handle being @AppalachianPowe.

- The outpouring of support I've received from my friends and peers over the release of my first book, "B-Sides: rarities and unreleased works, vol. 01," including plans for volume 02 and another book I'm writing.

- The 33rd anniversary of John Lennon's death was the other day. I talk about that and list my five favorite Lennon solo songs and then five favorite Lennon Beatles songs. Then I talk about some of my favorite Beatles songs covered by other artists. Apologies in advance for a little bit of singing that I do.

- From the "I feel like an idiot" department, when talking about music, I mention the Counting Crows when I actually meant to say the Black Crowes. Sorry about that. I feel stupid for mixing those two up.

That's everything. Have some good ideas for future podcasts. I just need to make them happen and I will. I'll keep you guys updated. Questions or comments, feel free to leave them. 


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chris Slater's first book has been published

Chris Slater has released his first e-book, “B-Sides: rarities and unreleased works, vol. 01” as an Amazon exclusive for the Kindle. 

“Without really knowing it, this book has been in the works for over 5 years,” Slater said. 

Slater realized his computer was going to die soon over the summer. A 2007 Christmas gift from his grandpa, the laptop had outperformed most expectations. Knowing that it would not last long caused Slater to take inventory of what was inside, what files and pictures he wanted to save. 

“It was a nice trip down memory lane,” Slater said. “There were pictures, videos, and writing dating back to 2007. It was pure nostalgia and it made me happy to relive it.” 

Slater’s passion is writing. 

“When I was 15-years-old, sitting in Mrs. Slavey’s journalism class at Princeton High, I realized what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Slater said. 

Through his years at Concord University and as a freelancer for various West Virginia newspapers, Slater has pursued that journalism career. As a writer, one of Slater’s biggest problems would be the occasional writer’s block. He said inspiration would always have to hit him for the entire duration of writing. One of his biggest problems was starting something and not being able to finish it. 

“If I couldn’t write something something and go all the way with it, I usually wasn’t able to come back to it,” Slater said. “For the most part, it has to be one-and-done with me when it comes to writing.” 

Another issue that would compromise Slater’s writing was how his mood affected him. 

“I would get the inspiration to write something and that inspiration could be any number of emotions - anger, happiness, wanting to make people laugh,” Slater said. “And then I would finish writing something and either my mood would have changed - the anger subsided - or it didn’t accomplish what I wanted to do, maybe it wasn’t as funny as I originally thought.” 

Those two issues would cause Slater to either stop writing something or finish it and not submit it anywhere, either his college newspaper or his personal blog. The semi-completed or completed works sat there on his computer. 

“When I was looking through all of the stuff on that old computer, I realized I had all of this content,” Slater said. “And what I realized with time away from it was that a lot of it was pretty good.” 

Writing a book had been something in the back of Slater’s mind for a while. He had started one, but was having trouble doing the necessary research and conducting interviews. 

“Maybe it’s my laziness kicking in,” Slater said. “But I looked at my one book that was going nowhere and I looked at all of this content and realized if I turned this into a book that it was mostly done already.” 

He looked at the collection of work the way a musician looks at his unreleased songs. 

“I had a little bit of a reputation among people who knew me from college,” Slater said. “I figured there would be a decent amount of intrigue in saying, ‘Here’s Chris Slater’s unreleased writings.’” 

The compilation book “B-Sides: rarities and unreleased works, vol. 01” is available as a Kindle exclusive in the Amazon store. Go to and type “Chris Slater B-Sides” in the search bar. To purchase the book, one needs either a physical Kindle e-reader, or a Kindle app can be downloaded for free on an iPhone, Android phone, or computer.


Monday, December 2, 2013

New Chapter

Moving on to the next chapter of my life. Don't know what that is yet, but I've realized I'm finally ready for it. I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Episode 06: Ashley Green

While in California, I managed to land an exclusive interview with none other than Ashley Green. During our 40-minute conversation, we touched upon a number of things. Topics include:

- Pros & Cons of living in San Diego.

- What is a "Women's Studies" degree and what does one do with it.

- LGBT issues, and what some of the extra letters mean (LGBT...Q...Q...A...P...etc).

- Compare & Contrast living in San Diego versus living in Princeton, WV.

- Greek life at San Diego State University versus Concord University.

- Can a long distance relationship work?

We talk about a lot of other stuff, including my haircut and trip to the farmer's market, and touch upon the time I previously interviewed her in 2010. It's a fun listen. Couple notes: I mention at one point liking the modern rock station in San Diego (and Morgantown). Most people in the Princeton area will understand why I like them, but I failed to mention it - Princeton doesn't have a modern rock station. And Ashley talks about her Women's Studies program and the different disciplines involved, but forgot to mention "ageism" and "ableism." And we also mention Rey Mysterio.

Let me know what you think.