Random Thoughts #153 - the "next year" edition

Greeting and welcome to the latest edition of DJ's Random Thoughts.  I wasn't expecting to do one of these any time soon but I thought since I'm in a good mood and I have some time I thought I'd go ahead and do one, if only to give an update on what's going on with yours truly.  I will say that I'm not sure when I will be doing the next one of these due to some things going on with me over the next few months with one of those things having to do with something related to the edition pic that may or may not have gotten your attention here for this edition.  With that in mind, let's get this started.  Enjoy.

 -  Before I move on to the meat of this edition, I wanted to give a short update related to what I talked about in the last one...the part where I talked about losing that job and what happened to me afterward.  Well, my mood has improved since that last edition with some things that have been going on though I am still dealing with some of the mental aspects of it and there are spurts when the funk comes back.  One thing I didn't mention last time was that it also led to a 15 pound weight gain over the past year.  I'm hoping that upcoming activities will help me shed that back down once again but my clothes...pants specifically...have become noticeably tighter over the past few months.  I'm lucky I have some clothing that isn't affected by that but it still sucks.  Depression does that and it did so big time here.  I've got some work ahead of me to make sure I get that back down so I can wear some of that other stuff again without discomfort.

 -  The reason for the subtitle, "next year", has something to do with a phenomenon that went on for years in the city of Cleveland in relation to pro sports.  In the past 50 years, Cleveland pro sports teams had not won a title.  In that time, the popular proclamation from Cleveland fans after every season without a title was "wait until next year".  Well, there is a reason I said "had not" won a title as opposed to "have not".  Back in mid-June, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in a rematch from last years Finals to win the NBA Title and bring the first championship in over half a century to the city of Cleveland.  LeBron James finally accomplished a major milestone for a region starving for a championship when he returned a couple years ago the the Cavs.  "Next year" had finally become "this year".  To say I was and still am ecstatic about that is an understatement.  I never thought I would live to see the day as, like many Northeast Ohioans, I had become accustomed to not winning, to shortfalls, and to just plain losing in some cases.  The weight of the title drought has finally been lifted and I for one am very relieved at that.

 -  I want to get into some particular events and experiences I had regarding the Cavs and the 2016 NBA Championship.  Given what had happened in years past, I had expected them to go down in flames especially when they were down 3-1 to the Warriors.  They came back with two straight wins to tie up the series and force a Game 7.  For Game 7, I went to a watch party at the amphitheater in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.  They didn't have one in Akron for some odd reason though give LeBron James came from there they should have been more prepared to have one.  The city of Akron needs a better planning department.  Anyway, since it was outside on a rather hot and humid Sunday night, I wore a ton of sunscreen because it would still be daylight when the game began.  Unfortunately, shortly after I got there, I got some of it in my right eye and had to miss pretty much the 2nd and 3rd quarters just trying to rinse it out and recover.  My sinuses were acting up as well as a result and made it worse.  By the time the 4th quarter started, I had recovered enough to watch the game to the end.  It was a nail-biter for sure but with Kyrie Irving hitting that last 3 pointer and that amazing shot block by LeBron James on the other end of the court, there was a ton of hope.  Once the clock reached zero, there was a huge roar of cheering from the 500+ crowd at the amphitheater, myself included.  There was a lot of hugging, many high-fives and a ton of celebrating for about the next half-hour or so.  I'm not sure it has still hit me yet even now that Cleveland won it all.  Again, I never thought that day would come but it had and it was really surreal for me.

After the big win, the city of Cleveland scheduled the championship parade for the following Wednesday.  I wanted to go but wasn't sure I would be able to do so much less make it into the city itself with the expected crowds and extreme traffic conditions the day of the parade.  Fortunately, I found a way up there by taking the Metro bus from the Akron transit center really early in the morning.  I got up there by 7 AM and downtown Cleveland was already starting to get really packed.  It initially reminded me of Ohio State game days down in Columbus whenever there was a home game...mind you, that was at 7 AM in the morning.  It only got more packed from there.  I walked around downtown Cleveland for a while, visiting the rally stage area where the parade was going to end and also walking the route on 9th Street all the way to Quicken Loans Arena and the JACK Casino (formerly called the Horseshoe Casino).  I was fortunate to have a brunch at Subway near the arena and actually get in the place to eat before a huge line formed going out the door.  I talked with a lot of different people while I was downtown including a couple of photographers taking pictures of the event and a guy from Atlanta with his new bride who decided to come to Cleveland and the celebration parade for their honeymoon at the last minute.  There were people from all over the place and there was an estimated 1.3 million...that is MILLION...people downtown and even that seemed like a lowball estimate.  I had never been at any event where there was a million people there and may never again but just to say I was there with that many people in one place is something worth bragging about for the rest of my life.  It was obvious there had to be that many people downtown as it took me well over an hour and a half just to walk down the parade route going toward the stage from the arena whereas it only took me 20 minutes or so earlier in the day.  I did find a decent indoor spot to watch the parade from as it was sunny and hot as hell outside.  I couldn't get a good look at the players themselves because people would put others on their shoulders and block a lot of the parade itself but I was able to get pics of NFL great Jim Brown and Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue.  I did take pics of the event through the day and one day I may post those once I find a decent place to post them as Google Plus is making changes that may force me to post those and other previous albums elsewhere.  I decided to take off before the official rally started as I wasn't sure I would be able to get back home before traffic all went to hell in Cleveland after the rally which it did.  This celebration parade was the second really big blowaway "phenomenon" experience in my life (the first being my Hurricane Katrina Red Cross volunteer experience back in late 2005) and one that I will never forget.

 -  One of my favorite online games, Marvel Avengers Alliance, is shutting down at the end of this month (September).  I started playing it on Facebook shortly after it started up over 4 years ago and only left for a short time overall after they shut down a version on the Playdom site I played on additionally that hosted it.  I returned to it and last year even created an additional Facebook account under a pseudonym separate from my main FB account just so I could play even more of it and with different and more players.  I am really saddened by this as it has helped me pass the time and I put a lot of time into the game itself.  I did sorta see the end coming so it isn't affecting me as much as a shock out of nowhere would have but it does sting a little nonetheless.  I could have stuck it out but once they made the announcement I decided to go ahead and remove the game from both accounts and all the sites related to it from my favorites.  I don't know what I'm going to do with that second FB account...I might repurpose it but I'm gonna take my time in deciding what to do with it.  Because the game is ending, I'm now going to have a lot more free time on my hands as it took up an hour or two of my day as it was something that was highly enjoyable to me even during the low times.  RIP Avengers Alliance.

 -  Last night I went up to the Red Fox for the first time in a while (about a month and a half, I believe).  There were some major changes to the place.  There was some turnover in staff there, many I didn't recognize.  They also did a renovation, mainly replacing all the carpeted areas with wood flooring and adding a second pool table.  The bar did a great job with the reno but it was a bit visually jarring as I had not expected to see such a drastic change.  Anyway, I also got word that one of my friends who moved out of the area late last year returned to live here for good once again.  I was very happy about that.  I'm not sure how much in the next few months I'll be able to go out but it was nice to get out of the house for a night and have a good time.

 -  Back in the middle of July there was a couple of events I went to that were pretty personally notable.  For the second year in a row, I volunteered with the Soap Box Derby once again as a VIP host.  It was a good experience once again and barring any major changes in my life next year I would be down for volunteering for it once again.  Also, I went to the Mogadore Summerfest event and watch some Ohio Championship Wrestling (OCW) action and the first one I went to since "Big Guns" Jeff Cannon retired and sold OCW.  It was a really great show with some guys pulling double or even triple duty that night.  I came away from the show feeling like I wanted to see more of it when I get the chance, which it looks more and more likely now based on something I found out about OCW which I'm going to talk about now...in the next blurb.

 -  Ohio Championship Wrestling, which has had shows all over the state of Ohio and had some free shows at the Mogadore Summerfest over the past few years, is now working on a permanent facility and home base, the OCW Arena, in Akron, OH.  It will be used for OCW shows and as a training facility called "SpineBuster University" for aspiring pro wrestlers and referees.  It will be opening sometime in the fall and the address will be 2910 S. Main Street (the former Lakeview Elementary in Coventry just south of Firestone Metro Park...exit from I-277 at S. Main St. and head south...you can always Google Map it if you have trouble finding it).  This is a pretty big deal as far as independent pro wrestling in Ohio goes as OCW is a pretty stable company whose talent works all over Ohio and other places around the U.S.  I've seen several shows first hand and know this to be true.  With OCW soon having a permanent venue to call home, I'm guessing there will be a regular and more frequent schedule of OCW shows once the facility opens up.  You can keep up with the latest updates on the new home for OCW through the Ohio Championship Wrestling and Spinebuster University Facebook pages.  I am really excited at the prospect of seeing more pro wrestling live on a regular basis and I hope my fellow local wrestling fans will be too.

 -  I do have a pretty big announcement to make and it has something to do with the edition pic up top (which I helped in creating).  I haven't said anything about this before for various reasons but I thought I should put this out there now as a heads up to some people I know.  I am volunteering for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to help elect her as the next POTUS.  I am working with the Portage County Democrats as part of the Portage County for Hillary group currently as a data captain but may do more later on as the campaign goes on.  Now, I know some of my friends and family are supporters of HRC and some of them are vehemently not.  I'm announcing this becuase I will be potentially posting some upcoming events on my personal Facebook account from our group for any of my friends and family who might be interested in coming to them...not the DJRT page but my own personal profile.  I'll be posting events such as the official HRC Kent office opening in a couple of weeks and other events likely related to surrogates of the campaign (political and from the world of entertainment).  To be honest, I'm not interested in having any political discussions, opinions or flak on my personal FB account but I did want to give a heads up to everybody out there about what I'm up to these days.  Also, if there is anybody who is interested in volunteering either with me for the campaign regardless of where you're living or volunteering closer to where you live, I'll work to hook you up.  We do need all the help we can get so for those of you who want to help, let me know.

 -  Song on Repeat:  "Gucci Dance" by Sam the Beast.  For about 17 years, I had tried to find not just this song but the name of it but couldn't find either for the life of me.  I finally found a "who sampled who" website where I knew where the sample used in this song came from and finally found it a few weeks ago.  I can't believe it took me this long to find it but I finally did.  It used to be played all the time back in the day at Bourbon Street/Club Dance.  This song along with the Grease megamix takes me back to those days quicker than any others.

 -  Shoutouts:  Because it's been a while and there are so many people I would have to give shoutouts to here, I thought for this edition with a few exceptions I'll just give the group names of the people I'm giving shoutouts to since most if not all of them will be able to identify with one or more of these groups, so here we go:  one of my best friends, Bob and his family, The Crew, Portage County for Hillary, the Portage County Democrats, Anna, Mindy, Maggie and Rita C.

Before I go I do have a couple more things.  Because I don't know when I'll be putting up another edition of DJRT, I want to give a very early Happy Birthday to my friend Ernest Watts who'll be celebrating it later this month.  Also, I want give congratulations to my friend Mindy for getting married this weekend to her new husband Jeff.  With that, I bid you all adieu for now.  Like I said earlier, if anybody wants to help volunteer with the Clinton campaign, let me know and I'll work to hook you up.  Until next time, folks.  Take care and God Bless.