Sunday, April 03, 2016

#WWE #WrestleMania 32 Predictions

Since I've started to blog again, I figured why not resume one of my long standing traditions...WrestleMania predictions!!

2006: WrestleMania 22: 9-2
2007: WrestleMania 23: 3-5
2008: WrestleMania XXIV: 2-6-1 [Funny, this was the one I went to]
2009: WrestleMania XXV: 4-4
2010: WrestleMania XXVI: 4-5 (No pick on the Diva tag match)
2011: WrestleMania XXVII: 3-6
2012: WrestleMania XXVIII: 5-4
2013: WrestleMania XXIX: 6-3

As we see, I missed WM XXX and 31. Partly because I wasn't watching wrestling or blogging much, but that's besides the point. Let's jump into this real quick. The preshow is starting...

WWE Network Kickoff Show:
Tag Team Match:
-The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
Winner: The Usos

United States Title Match:
-Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback
Winner: Kalisto retains the United States title

Tag Team Match:
-Brie Bella & Natalya & Alicia Fox & Paige (Total Divas) vs. Lana & Team BAD & Emma (BAD & Blonde)
Winner: BAD & Blonde, aka, "Heel Diva Team"

WrestleMania 32 Main Card:
Handicap Match:
-The New Day vs. The League of Nations
Winner: The League of Nations. There's a reason this match is not for the WWE Tag Team Championship

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title:
-Kevin Owens (c) vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust
Winner: Multimen matches are hard to predict. So I'm going to go out on a limb and guess Sami Zayn wins this. If nothing else, it'll set up a nice Zayn v. Owens feud for the summer.

3rd Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
-Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, Big Show, Kane, Tyler Breeze, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Konnor, Viktor, Goldust, R-Truth and 4 others TBA
Winner: I'm following the dirt sheets and guessing that the Wyatt Family will enter the Battle Royal. As such, Bray Wyatt will likely win this due to the help of his followers.

Hell In a Cell Match:
-Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker. If Shane wins he gains control of WWE Raw.
Winner: The Undertaker - look for some crazy post-match shenanigans though 

Singles Match:
-Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles
Winner: AJ Styles. Jericho does the job.

No Holds Barred Street Fight:
-Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
Winner: Lesnar. This will be Ambrose's "WrestleMania 13" moment.

Triple Threat Match for the Divas Championship:
-Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch

Winner: Sasha Banks wins the newly rechristened "WWE Women's Championship"

WWE World Heavyweight Title Match:
-Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Winner: Roman Reigns

Thursday, March 31, 2016

This Isn't About The Children #HB2

This is the first thing you see when you visit the website commissioned by NC's Senate leader, Phil Berger. The website is in support of NC Governor Pat McCrory and the highly controversial HB2 legislation that was recently passed. That legislation removed protections that were in place for gay, lesbian, and transgender people. (Among other things, it also has a say in how the minimum wage limit is set across the state, but that's another post for another day...)

While the law itself is terribly "unfriendly" (to say the least), let's talk about how the campaign supporting the law is based solely on fear and ignorance. To those in favor of the law, forcing transgender people use restrooms that reflect their gender at birth is worth it to protect the children of NC from child molesters and pedophiles. Really? Because this law will stop people who want to break the law? To quote a friend, "When we talk about gun control, they're quick to say, 'CRIMINALS DON'T OBEY LAWS!'" Meanwhile, innocent, law-abiding people are being strong armed into doing things that are against who they are as people by the government that's supposed to be there to protect them. Along with the protect the children argument comes the now-standard "religious values" argument. Both of these stances are tired and lack any sort of education or desire to listen from the aggressors.

Here's a secret that most don't know about me. I was against the idea of gay marriage and most other LGBTQ rights for a long time. Longer than I care to admit publicly. My reasons? Many of the same ones you hear repeated from the conservative base. "It's not natural." "It goes against The Bible." "We shouldn't teach children these things." Then a friend talked some sense into me. She was able to get it through my thick head that how other people choose to live their lives generally has no effect on me. Which, if that is the case, why should I want to stop LGBTQ persons from enjoying all of the same rights that I do? I shouldn't. So now I don't.

However, in order to get to that point, I had to open myself up to be educated. I had to open myself up to listen to a worldview different from my own. I had to be willing to accept something that went against everything I knew. Being honest, doing so was tough and it wasn't an overnight process. Thankfully, I was equipped with the tools and ability to learn and grow as a person.

For many of the conservative constituents that Senator Berger and Gov. McCrory serve, that's not the case. [Mind you - I did not say all.] Most of them won't listen to the minority opinion. Most won't even bother to pretend to care. It's either their way - the "natural," "Biblical" way - or no way. Which is sad. To make matters worse, our elected leaders (McCrory, Berger, and others) are failing to lead for fear of negative political repercussions.

After the embarrassment that was Amendment 1 (and it's eventual overturning just two years later), I had hoped that North Carolina was done making a fool of itself on a national stage. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case. At least maybe this time we'll be able to work this out on our own instead of needing some other court to step in and clean up our mess.

Do better North Carolina.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Out of Frame

While I generally have little taste for Facebook, I truly enjoy social media as a whole. It's both a great way to connect with people from all over the world and an awesome timesink. It's kinda neat to be able to peer into the lives of others, even if it's just for a little bit. Best of all, there's so many ways to do so. Prefer written text? Blogs and tweets are your friend. Looking for a real-time live stream? Have you heard of Periscope? Pressed for time? Vine and Snapchat have got you covered.

And still, I know that for all of the stories that are told on social media, there are tons more that are left untold. Sometimes by happenstance, but many times by choice.

Photo by Chompoo Baritone

In an effort to put our best selves on display, we only share the good, but very rarely the bad or the ugly. And while sharing the "good" is great, we're probably doing ourselves and our friends (followers) a disservice in not talking about the less than pleasant parts of our lives. Being imperfect or vulnerable doesn't make you less of a person or harder to love. In fact, sharing your whole story probably does the opposite.

I have a lot of respect for the people who share major setbacks and build from them. Job loss. A miscarriage. The unexpected passing of a loved one. A major mental, physical, or financial setback. These are things that, much like the "normal and happy" moments in our lives, change who we are. Open and frank discussion of these moments can be beneficial not just for us, but also for connections who might be going through the same thing. It's a nice ideal to want to inspire others by putting our "perfect" lives on display, but we would probably do a better job of building connections and fostering relationships by occasionally showing off a blemish or two.

Maybe we would all be in a better place if we turned to embrace and share our "less than pleasant moments" just as much as we did everything else online?

Or maybe we could stop sharing every minute detail of our lives, but where's the fun in that?

Monday, March 28, 2016


noun: catharsis; plural noun: catharses
the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

It's been forever since I've written a blog post. Being honest, I'm not even sure why I'm giving firing up the ol' blog engine another go. Most of the people who will read this I've either never met in person or I've fallen out of touch with. On top of that, life is pretty swell at the moment, so it's not like I'm looking for a place to mope around and wax poetic at.

Still, something inside of me wants me to start putting words to "paper" again. So here we are. I don't know how long we'll be together or what we'll talk about, but let's enjoy the ride for as long as we can...

Monday, September 07, 2015

Family Ties

I went to a wedding on Saturday. I didn't want to go. Well, I did, I just didn't want to go to it on this particular Saturday. Saturday was both the start of Labor Day weekend and the beginning of the college football season - a combination so wonderful that my mother was surprised when I sent a "Yes" RSVP back. Attending said wedding meant that I was going wind up missing most of the first Clemson game and spending seven hours in a car, but since it was family I decided to go with very little grumbling.

I'm glad I did.

While I get to see my dad's brothers and sisters surprisingly often, I very rarely get to see my cousins. Not only are they a lot older than me (my sister and I are the two youngest and there's a 10 yr gap between me and the next closest cousin), but we're all pretty spread out. Knoxville, Greensboro, Atlanta, Columbia, etc...getting us together in one place doesn't happen too often. It was nice to see everyone (and in some cases, their kids) even if it was only for a brief moment.

Em and I wound up having to bail on the reception because of the three and a half hour ride facing us, but even that wasn't too bad. Surprisingly, I think we both enjoyed the time we spent in the car together. Between our respective social lives, our joint social lives, and the demands of our jobs, it's been a minute since we've had a chance to really talk to each other. Sure, we talk every day, but it's not the same kind of conversation as when you're alone in a car. It was nice to just talk about any and everything for a bit.

Sometimes it's the days you're least excited about that wind up being the best.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Night Selections: Summer 2K15 Playlist

TOPolk's Song of the Summer 2015
Major Lazer, MO, & DJ Snake - "Lean On"

Summer Blazin' 2K15
Maroon 5 - "This Summer's Gonna Hurt"
Walk the Moon - "Shut Up and Dance"
OMI - "Cheerleader" (Remix)
Tove Lo - "Talking Body"
DJ Snake - "You Know You Like It"
Major Lazer ft MO & DJ Snake - "Lean On"
The Weekend - "Can't Feel My Face"
Rachel Platten - "Fight Song"
Natalie La Rose ft Jeremih - "Somebody"
Silento - "Watch Me"
D.R.A.M. - "CHA CHA"
Nicki Minaj ft. Beyonce - "Feeling Myself"
Drake - "Energy"
Rihanna - "Bitch Better Have My Money"
Fetty Wap - "Trap Queen"
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - "Summertime"