Amazing article courtesy of FaceToHeel.com!
Originally posted on Face To Heel:
The buzz is all around social media about how excellent NXT has been. But for all the praise of this “developmental” unit within WWE, there are a hundred complaints about the main event shows–Smackdown, Raw, and monthly pay-per-views. WWE owns both, so why is there such a disconnect between the two products? The answer is a simple one, albeit baffling.
WWE’s NXT brand was originally Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). In 2012 FCW was disbanded and WWE started doing their developmental brand at the Full Sail University in Tampa, FL under the NXT name. It quickly grew to become something legendary. And now, thanks to the WWE Network, NXT has become a powerhouse in its own right. Paul Levesque (Triple H) oversees the NXT operations and has put forward quite an excellent product. Yes, some things are slightly off-putting, such as bad entrance music, wrestlers being released amidst a string of…
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My company has a very strict policy regarding cell phone usage. During my orientation, we were all warned that using our phones during training can and will result in immediate termination. Once out of training, every employee must follow very strict rules regarding cell phone usage. Other than the designated break rooms, the cafeteria, and outside of the building, cell phone use is prohibited. You can’t text while getting coffee or using the microwave; you have to get your food and/or drink and go to a designated break room before pulling out your phone. You can’t throw a post on Facebook while walking through the hallways; any spot but the designated spots are strictly off limits. Because of this, my phone is shut down before I leave for work and doesn’t get turned back on until I’m in my car and ready to drive home.
The cell phone policy is an easy one, thanks to the countless signs posted around the office. We have them above the microwaves and coffee machines, on the bathroom door and on every stall, and in other rooms where people could try to go for privacy. Supervisors give strict instructions that the phones are not to be seen or heard unless in one of the specific zones. You would think it’s an easy policy to follow, but I’ve already seen more than one person lose their job because they’d rather text than pay attention and take notes during training. To be honest, part of me wants to be sympathetic, as I had 4 hours of training and was frustrated and bored; they have two weeks. But the bigger part of me wants to slap them upside the head for being so stupid. Can’t you survive for two hours at a time without a phone? Can’t it wait until you go on break?
People get desperate though without that little device always available to use at their leisure. As a result, the bathroom is a major hotspot for cell phone use during regular breaks or “emergency” restroom breaks. Call me crazy, but I never find myself in a situation that requires me to be on the john and on the phone at the same time. One or the other can wait. As far as hiding places go, a bathroom stall is a last resort in my book; I don’t want to have a conversation in a place where people do their business. But here? People literally multitask, talking in between… well, you get the gist of it. It’s absolutely disgusting.
The amount of dependence we have on these little electronic devices is staggeringly high. When people are at the point to where they would rather go hide out in a cobweb infested abandoned part of campus than just wait until their break to text a friend, it’s a problem. When people are willing to risk their jobs because they absolutely cannot live without Twitter, it’s a problem. This job forced me to go from having my phone always within reach to having it 100% out of sight and out of mind, and it drove me nuts for about a week until I realized how much better off I was without it. I let my email pile up, I get behind on tweets, and I’m cool with it.
Being without a phone, and seeing how people around me refuse to go without, has made me realize how much I was missing by having my eyes glued to that tiny screen so often. What is the point in walking around like a zombie all the time? Is it really THAT important to see who said what on Facebook? Do we really have to document every moment with a selfie or some overly filtered fancy Instagram shot? And please, someone explain to me, what can be so important to make bathroom time become a group activity so you can have a conversation with your mom? Just chill. Unplug. I’m always glad to turn my phone back on when I leave the office for the day, but I’m equally as glad to turn the damn thing off and not deal with it for the eight and a half hours I’m supposed to be working. It didn’t kill me, and it sure as hell won’t kill you.
I am a senior writer for FaceToHeel.com, a newly launched site that covers all things wrestling. Over the past couple months, we’ve covered some amazing topics, met some great people via Twitter at @facetoheel, and learned a hell of a lot along the way. We’ve live tweeted PPVs, posted instant feedback after matches, and have found new ways of looking at the business of wrestling entertainment. Little by little, we are growing and expanding in our efforts to cover and discuss more about what is going on currently, what’s happened in the past, and what the future might bring.
In an effort to get to know our readers better, I have a challenge for all of you. When a wrestler debuts, there are a couple of things that can immediately determine their success; what they are wearing and what music they walk out to. I’m not all that interested in fashion at the moment, but I have always been fascinated at how a song can influence the way the audience views a wrestler. Just like we tend to judge people based on the music they listen to, we judge a wrestler by the music they enter the arena to. WWE’s Dean Ambrose becomes even more unstable and manic, Jack Swagger turns into the ultimate patriot, Adam Rose is a wacky joke, and The Miz is a conceited prick. TNA’s Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are the ultimate drama queens, Mr. Anderson is a man on a mission, and Chris Melendez is an American hero.
Eventually, certain songs become iconic. The car crash before Mick Foley’s song hits, the breaking glass signaling the entrance of Stone Cold, the ringing of the bells welcoming Undertaker; we all instantly and almost uncontrollably react. When Real American starts to play, thousands of fans promise to take their vitamins as they cheer for Hulk Hogan. If CM Punk’s opening riff ever rings out again, half of the world will entirely lose their minds. We may not always realize it, but entrance music is vital to a wrestler’s success and their lasting power.
On that note, have you ever thought about what your entrance music would be? Imagine you’re about to debut on Impact Wrestling or on Monday Night Raw. You’re in your full gear and ready to go. You stretch a bit, staring ahead at the curtain, just waiting to break through into that massive arena filled with screaming fans. Finally, you hear your music hit. What song would it be?
If you have a great answer and you would like to be featured in a FaceToHeel.com article, please contact me immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @_CutePoison. Your answer will be used in an upcoming article and you will be credited by your Twitter handle, your Facebook page, or another social media outlet of your choosing. Depending on the response, there is an opportunity for the best answer to get their own feature article. Please reach out as soon as possible for details and questions. We at F2H have been doing a lot of talking lately; now it’s your turn to speak!
I am absolutely horrible at dealing with death. Having a person here one day and gone the next is something I’ll never quite get used to. It doesn’t help that I’m slightly terrified by dead bodies and act like a royal idiot every rare instance I am in a funeral home. When it comes to properly dealing with death, I am completely clueless. I cry randomly when it makes no sense, but remain dry-eyed in moments I should be in tears. I never know what to say or do or how to act. I almost prefer to be notified via text message so I can deal with things in my own way without embarrassing myself or offending anyone.
Everyone deals with death in a different way, and lately I’ve had front row tickets to all the different ways we try to process the loss of life. Some people blame themselves, even though in just about every instance, there was nothing they could have done to prevent whatever happened. Some people blame the deceased, wondering why they couldn’t have done things differently so they could still be here. Anger is a big one; we get angry at the family, at friends or coworkers, at ourselves, or at anything we perceive as not right or proper. Others just withdraw into themselves, as if hiding will make the death something that was all a bad dream.
People have a funny way of coming together in times of tragedy. Estranged family members are suddenly best of friends, hugging and crying and laughing together as they work through each day and try to heal. Sometimes the change is a long lasting one, but more often than not, everyone goes back to ignoring each other within a month or two. It’s a shame that the effects never seem to be long lasting ones, but I suppose it’s better than nothing at all.
Right now, I am dealing by avoiding as much as I possibly can. From the get-go, people have been horrendously ugly with each other, even going as far as saying certain family members did not have the right to attend a viewing. Some people seem concerned with who gets what, totally driven by money and objects while completely ignoring the fact that someone is gone from this world forever. There are plots and theories and things being said that are better suited for an episode of CSI. I simply cannot deal with it anymore.
Call me selfish if you will, but I decided to skip a memorial service earlier today. I declined to go because I did not want to deal with someone who planned to block the door and not allow certain people inside (even though it’s a public service, so it wouldn’t have worked in the end). I declined because I can’t listen to one more theory about what REALLY happened and who is REALLY responsible. I declined because I find it disgusting how certain people are behaving when we should all be honoring someone’s life and remembering them fondly in death.
I am terrible at dealing with death. But I’ve discovered that there are a lot of people who deal with it a hundred times worse than I ever have. I’ve learned that in the end, the way you deal is not important. What is important is that the memory of the one we lost is honored somehow. Differences are put aside and we all treat each other like human beings for a while. Death is a reminder of how short and fragile life is. When someone dies, we shouldn’t waste time hating each other and acting like self-absorbed strangers. That’s no way to live. If I’ve learned one thing this past week, it is that I waste too much time on negativity. I don’t want to do that anymore. And when I die, I want the people I’ve left behind to get along, not argue over who gets what or blame each other for my passing. Life is too short to be wasted on bullshit.
The townhome we currently live in is hardly without problems. The back door leaks, our garbage disposal decided to randomly detach itself from the sink a couple of weeks ago, the floors creak, and there are cracks in the walls. Our unit, which is only about 5 or 6 years old, has walls so thin that I can hear the little girl next door as she giggles and plays in her room. We constantly find dog leftovers and cigarette butts outside our front door, discover kids on our back porch, and then have to deal with insane “market value” rent increases every year. I can’t wait to move.
The silver lining to all of this is the ducks that live in the pond behind our unit. Every year, they show up slowly and begin to have adorable babies. And every year, we make sure we spent as much time as we can feeding them and watching them. We have about sixty ducks living out there now, give or take a few. There are more in the other ponds in our complex. Between us throwing bread and grapes, the kids who love feeding them, and the elderly couple who throws out seed, they are a well taken care of bunch.
A few weeks ago, we noticed a solitary goose swimming alongside the ducks. Initially, I wasn’t happy about it. I’ve never seen a goose and been happy to be near it. They’re generally mean from what I’ve seen, chasing people and appearing menacing. This goose, however, was different. He had a terrible limp and one of his wings was damaged, unable to fold down properly. He had a heck of a time getting in and out of the water, as there are numerous rocks to navigate over. He was a sweet and strange bird.
We fed him along with the ducks. He was a brave thing, taking the bread right out of my hand in a curiously gentle way. Duds, with his tongue hanging out of his beak, often gets annoyed by the quickness of the ducks who will take bread he’s dropped from right underneath him. If he is so much as bumped by a duck or a flying piece of bread, he looks as if he goes into a panic, beak open wide and wings spread out everywhere. He follows the ducks up to our back porch and follow them back to the water when we went back inside. As the days passed, his limp got better and better until it was no more. His wing finally folded down properly and, two weeks ago, we saw him awkwardly take flight for the first time.
We named him Duddits, as he reminded us of the character from Dreamcatcher. I’m pretty sure whatever damaged his body also damaged his brain a bit, but he’s still pretty awesome. Every afternoon, we go out back and Duddits comes to see us and steal bread. Recently, he’s learned that he can get us to come out and see him by tapping his beak on our back door and peering through the blinds until he sees movement. Between him and the ducks, we’re outside at least once a day to see our feathered friends.
I like to think that, in some small way, we helped Duddits get healthy again. Eventually, he will fly south for the winter and that will be the last we see of him. It sounds silly, but that awkward bird truly made our summer. He was such an oddity and we had so much fun sitting out back with him and his duck friends. Our son thinks he is the coolest bird ever, and he’s right. I hate how attached I get to random animals, as I’m going to be seriously heartbroken once he’s gone. But who knows… maybe somehow Duds will find us again next summer and be once again tapping on our back door, looking for a handout.
If you have yet to finish the True Blood series, close this window now and step away from your computer. If you watched the finale last night along with me, read on. The seventh season of True Blood came to a close last night, ending the series and bidding farewell to a cast of characters I had mostly come to love. One thing I enjoyed during seasons 1 through 6 was the constant cliffhanger endings. My husband and I would find ourselves binge watching because the episode endings were so good and left so many unanswered questions that we just had to watch one more. And one more. Season 7 seemed to forget that this was a good idea. They seemed to forget a lot of things.
In the very first episode, Tara dies during the battle with the Hep V vampires. Arlene, Holly and Nicole are kidnapped. Eric is still missing. Sam’s secret is revealed. It was one hell of a start to what I thought was going to be a great season. When Pam finally finds Eric, we see that he is infected with Hep V and near death. As one of my favorite characters, I was devastated to see this. I was even more devastated when Alcide is suddenly shot and killed. And even more again when Bill finds himself infected with Hep V that, due to Sookie’s fairy blood, is accelerated and killing him quickly. The small but vocal doctor Eric uses for emergencies comes to aid Bill but panics when she realizes that Sookie’s fairy blood is royal and flees without assisting. We never learn why she was alarmed, which is frustrating.
Seeing as how two very important characters are dying of Hep V, I felt confident that a cure would be found. And it was; Sarah Newlin drank an entire vile of the cure back at the compound where Hep V was created, making her blood the one thing that could cure Bill and Eric. The Yakanomo Corporation decides to synthesize her blood and make “New Blood,” a drink similar to Tru Blood that would work to hold the Hep V symptoms at bay without curing the vampire completely. Supply and demand and all that. They force Eric and Pam to work with them, which seems silly seeing as how Eric is a thousand year old cured vampire who could kill these humans in a millisecond if he wants to.
Sookie being Sookie is able to discover that Sarah is the cure and is being held in the Fangtasia dungeon. She gets a group together and breaks in so Bill can be cured. But Bill, worried that his darkness will keep Sookie from being happy, refuses the cure and says he wishes to die. Naturally everyone is pissed, but we still have this final episode for him to change his mind. We’ve already seen Lettie Mae resolve her battle in bidding farewell to Tara through vamp blood hallucinations, so she is absent from the finale. As is Lafayette, one of the best characters this show has to offer. We get a heavy dose of Jessica and Hoyt, who are holding a marriage ceremony so Bill is able to give her away at the altar. I get that it was meant to be seen as one of Bill’s dying wishes, but I don’t see why we had to dedicate so much time to this couple. Bill also makes Andy, his last living relative, promise that he will allow the newlyweds to live in his house basically rent free. It was a sweet gesture and overall a sweet wedding, but it wasted too much of the episode.
The story that deserved a lot of attention was given nearly none at all. Pam tags Sarah with her blood and lets her flee, able to track her easily due to her constant fear. Eric and Pam then reveal to Gus Jr and the yakuza thugs that they let Sarah go. Gus Jr takes off after Sarah, and Eric and Pam kill them all in about five seconds. It was painfully simple and wrapped up a main story as if it was nothing. It left me wondering why the hell they didn’t do this as soon as Gus Jr revealed that they were able to synthesize a version of Sarah’s blood. They were no longer needed by then, yet Eric allowed them to get in his way for what seemed like forever. It made no sense.
One surprise was Sookie being able to read Bill’s thoughts during the wedding. Fairies are unable to read vampire thoughts, so this was a new one. My thinking was that fairy blood mixed with Hep V was somehow making Bill human again. Instead of dying from the virus, he would become mortal once again, able to give Sookie what she deserved in a human lover rather than one that is dead and filled with darkness. But no, I was wrong. Or was I? We’ll never find out because Bill insisted he die in his burial plot at the hands of Sookie. Not willing to part with her light, she staked Bill as he lay in his coffin, reducing him to a steaming pile of goo. Seven years, fans have watched these two go back and forth, and this is the ending they are given? None of it felt right. It was quite possibly the worst way to say farewell to Bill.
Afterwards, Sookie walks home in tears and covered in pieces of Bill. We then get that “one year later,” “four years later” nonsense so we can see where everyone has gone from here. We thankfully get more Eric and Pam, who are filming informercials for New Blood and raking in dough. They still have Sarah chained in the Fangtasia dungeon and are charging a hundred grand a pop for her blood. It was a perfect ending for those two, but the entire finale was too light on them. We needed more Eric and Pam. We always do. Their story was the only good part of the entire farewell. We see Sookie and Jason hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. Jason is married to Hoyt’s ex, Brigette, and has three kids in tow. We get the smallest glimpse of Lafayette and James. Sookie is very pregnant and her faceless husband sits at the head of the table. Sam makes a return with his wife and now two children. Everyone is happy happy.
I don’t feel satisfied with the series end. I found it silly that Jessica married Hoyt at all, seeing as how eager she was to get away from him before. It also seemed odd because she had only recently reconnected with Jason, then forgot all about him and went to Hoyt. Jason and Hoyt basically swapped lovers and both found true happiness. Everyone seems to have found true happiness in another person; the entire table at the end was a parade of happy couples. Even Pam and Eric, although not a traditional couple, have found happiness together. I like a happy ending as much as the next person, but I can’t help but feel cheated by it all. I also can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Bill was left alone and found that the mutated virus restored his humanity. Overall, I could have done without this entire season. If you watched, please leave your opinion and feedback in the comments. I need to know that I’m not the only one left feeling empty after last night.
I had a slight(ly huge) obsession with The Real L Word on Showtime. Beautiful women whose lives were filled with drama, love and heartbreak, and truly wonderful personal journeys. When the last season wrapped, I was happy to see two weddings but sad to see the series come to a close. A couple of days ago, I saw a promo on Showtime for L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin. I missed the premiere, but made sure to record it the next time it was on.
The title was a bit off-putting, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed for the next 90 minutes. I have experienced my fair share of discrimination. As a multi-racial person, I’ve gotten the question “what are you” more times than I care to remember. When I lived in Georgia, I came face to face with the KKK and was made to feel less than human in my high school. I grew up knowing what homosexuality was due to a gay second cousin, so I never gave it a second thought, but was always disgusted with the challenges my LGBT friends would face. Even today, I see their struggles and it gets to me. Because I’m not sheltered at all, I didn’t expect to be as shocked as I was at the stories from Mississippi.
L Word Mississippi began with the clear message that it’s not okay to be gay. There is no holding hands in public, no kissing your girlfriend at the market, and no being free to live and love as you choose. The religious community in Mississippi is massive, and that is a major factor in why the struggle for these women is so great. “Praying the gay away” is thought to be something you can do. Even some of the women featured on this documentary pray to save their own souls from their so-called sinful lives. They have found love, but due to the teachings of the church, believe that love to be wrong and want to be saved and find a man to love.
Rene’s story had my jaw on the floor, especially after we were introduced to her son, Devin. Rene spent her life dressing masculine and even stuffing a strap-on down her pants in order to feel more like a man. She stopped and began trying to dress and act more feminine after finding Jesus a year earlier. Her son came out as gay a few years ago and she blames herself completely. I dare anyone to look at Rene and Devin and try to tell me that being gay is a choice and not simply the way you’re born. It’s beyond painful to watch Rene deny who she is in order to appease the church and the community. It’s worse when she tries to impose those twisted beliefs on her son, who is happy to be who he is.
The other relationships we get to see in this documentary are truly beautiful. Cameron and Amber are such a loving couple, and lucky enough to have a support system in the Per2yon Family, but you can still see the pain on their faces. The level of hatred and ignorance they have to face is beyond my understanding and I give them so much credit for being strong each and every day. Sara, who is expecting a baby boy, struggles with not only being a lesbian and the stigma that is attached to that, but is dealing with her wife transitioning into becoming her husband. BB, a former pastor, is trying to right the wrongs of her past by helping LGBTQ youth so they don’t feel lost, ostracized, and suicidal. The “love the sinner, hate the sin” message is strong, but it’s clear that the actual feelings of the community is “hate the sin, shame the sinner.”
I don’t want to elaborate any further because I want everyone to please look this documentary up and watch it. Regardless of your beliefs or level of acceptance, please watch this with an open mind and heart. I want you to be as shocked as I was that this type of hatred and ignorance is not only still incredibly present, but is so widespread. I am grateful for all the women involved for sharing their stories and hope that as more people see L Word Mississippi, more people begin to realize that it’s not the LGBTQ community that needs to change. It’s the rest of us.
I was hit with a low blow today. Scratch that. I was hit with a fucking mack truck. My heart felt as if it was going to leap out of my chest and dance across my desk. My hands were sweaty and my skin clammy. My appetite was nowhere to be seen and I was ready to sell my soul for a soothing shot of whiskey or tequila.
I’ve been very absent from the world of blogging lately due to my inability to properly handle stressful situations without becoming a useless, shaking blob of jelly. I’m angry and I don’t know where to direct my rage and how to keep it from burning down the world around me. I want to scream and cry and throw things until they break. I want to confront the reason for my distress and beat it into the ground. Yet here I sit, doing nothing.
As badly as I wanted to fly off the handle earlier today, I held it in and removed myself from the situation as quickly as I knew how. I’ve shed a few tears, but have kept myself from falling into a full out sob. Nothing is broken (yet). I’m trying to fix it, but I feel like I should know why it happened in the first place, and that is one question that will never get a good answer.
I’m glad I didn’t see the smirk and sarcastic wave earlier today from the wrecking ball that destroyed my world today. My situation would have been irreparable if I had seen that, as I have no doubt that someone would have gotten their teeth punched into the back of their skull. At some points, I’m so amazed by what happened that I can’t even be angry. But of course I can. I am angry. Justifiably so. But anger won’t solve any problems. I have to go forward. I have to move on. And a month from now, maybe a year from now, you damn well better believe I’ll be laughing in your stupid, smirky face, you intolerable bastard.
The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that Hobby Lobby will no longer be forced to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees due to their religious objections. Specifically, Hobby Lobby’s case targeted birth control that they considered to be abortifacients that would cause a miscarriage or abortion in an already pregnant woman. Plan B and Ella, both emergency contraceptives that simply prevent implantation and do NOT cause abortions, are being blocked. Two IUDs are also being blocked due to the misinformation that they too cause abortions. The internet has exploded with Hobby Lobby’s supporters and opponents attacking each other with spit and venom. The decision has been called both a victory for religious freedom and an attack on the freedoms of us all.
Hobby Lobby’s website, in response to the question “Is Hobby Lobby imposing the religious views of its owners on its employees,” states:
Of course not. The Greens and their family businesses support the individual liberties of all their employees. The very notion turns the facts and the law on its head. In fact, it is the federal mandate that violates the deeply held religious beliefs of the Greens by forcing them to violate the law or violate their belief that life begins at conception – a choice no company should have to make. And by threatening extensive fines, the mandate would place a substantial burden on the Greens’ practice of their faith under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That’s why a federal appeals court ruled in their favor. Meanwhile, Hobby Lobby offers coverage for 16 of 20 drugs and devices included in the mandate in its health plan, and the four objectionable drugs and devices are widely available and affordable, and employees are free to obtain them.
There is obviously no law that is forcing any business to offer health care coverage that would include abortions. The four birth control methods in question do not cause abortions to occur and seriously toe the line on when life is actually created. To the woman using them, the IUDs are no different from any other birth control method. Plan B and Ella are fantastic options for couples who experience an emergency such as a broken condom, or even a woman who was sexually assaulted and wants to ensure that no child results from the involuntary union. It’s unfair to say that any woman who has used any of the four methods in question has potentially received a number of abortions. It’s incorrect to compare the two. Preventing implantation and removing a fetus are two VERY different things.
The biggest issue for me here is that the Supreme Court just allowed a company to make a health care decision for their employees. Hobby Lobby is not directly handing money over to their employees per request for doctor visits and medications, but using United Healthcare (I believe) to provide coverage. Their religious beliefs should not be allowed to have this long of a reach, and certainly should not be reaching into the health and well being of their employees. The life begins at conception argument is a fine argument to make, but it’s not right for the religious standing of the people on top to affect the type of care that every single woman on the bottom will receive from their doctor at a reasonable or at no cost.
I’m worried about what this decision will mean for the future. If a gay couple adopts and requests maternity leave, can that be denied due to religious objections to homosexuality? Can an employer decide that no medications will be covered due to their religious belief that medicinal healing goes against their God’s will? Those seem like ridiculous notions, but then again I thought that it was ridiculous for Hobby Lobby to object to those four “evil” forms of birth control. And here we are. God trumps law. God trumps employee rights. God trumps insurance companies, doctors, and individuals unable to start their own business and play nicely with the people they employ. Maybe I’m off base here but in my opinion, if I’m not having an abortion on company time and/or on company property, it is none of my employers goddamn business what I choose to do and certainly not their right to control the quality of my health care.
Please weigh in! Leave your thoughts, knowledge, opinions, and rants in the comments section.