This past month I turned 32. I was trying to think of some cool lesson or piece of advice I picked up this past year but when I looked back I realized between my last birthday to now, 6 months were spent pre-pandemic and 6 months were spent (where we are currently) experiencing a global pandemic, so I tried to think of any underlying piece of advice that loomed over both those periods.
If there was any one lesson I picked up at 31 it would be: The world can be overwhelming, take time to stop, get away from the norm, and indulge in your personal interests. I don’t know how many times 2020 got the better of me, and I just had to stop, step away, and for a period of time just focus on something I love. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to maintain a day job, remind folks that Black Lives Matter, support local businesses, and attempt to maintain any friendships that I had before the pandemic froze the world, if I didn’t have those side interests.
People who know me personally know that I’m a big fan pro wrestling, music, comic books, podcasts, and the Disney company. Three other more specific things I’m a huge fan of but I rarely ever talk about that this year have become my mental refuge are:
Retro Sci Fi – I’m a fan of sci fi and fantasy stories not only from the modern era, but also from as far back as the 20’s. Frank Reade! Amazing Stories! Astounding Stories! Wonder Stories! I love the art, the writing styles, and the eventual radio plays these stories were turned into. If you told me you had an old sci fi radio play adapted from an Asimov story originally released in a December issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly, that kind of thing gets me excited. There’s something about old sci fi that just seems hopeful, and I like to have that mindset. As long as you’re alive, you’re heading towards the future. It would be terrible if you weren’t excited about it.
Deathmatch Pro Wrestling – I’ve been a fan of Deathmatch Pro Wrestling since my sophomore year of high school. I remember being a fan of the hardcore matches at Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and when I would go to video stores I would collect ECW DVDs (and a VHS or two). One day I found a copy of “Unscarred: The Sick Nick Mondo story”. I bought it and was blown away by the violence. Light tubes! Weed Whackers! Salt and Lemons! That DVD motivated me to find Combat Zone Wrestling DVDs, which led me to IWA Mid South DVDs, and eventually I was just into Deathmatch Pro Wrestling. I recently downloaded both the “King of the Deathmatches 2020” and “Tournament of Death 2019”. It was just the best nostalgia.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Comic) – The greatest comic book series of all time is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I rarely ever talk about this because the immediate follow up is someone fan person-ing over the movie adaption. The comic book is a massive art piece that has a huge internal lore and intriguing history. I enjoy the movie but it barely scratches the surface of the source material. The series concluded last year, and I still spend time re reading all the issues trying to figure out the thousands of references spread throughout. I’ve spent hours just browsing “The Black Dossier”, or trying to decipher the “The New Travelers’ Almanac”. There’s no easier way to impress me than to demonstrate some knowledge about this massive series.
Looking forward to what 32 has in store!