Blogging 101, Day 3: The Dream Reader

6 Nov

Pssst!  Hey, you!  Yeah, YOU.  The one reading this blog entry.

It’s not often that I try to speak to one particular person, but I figured that now’s as good a chance as any.  See, I understand that, if you’re reading this post, you made your way here for one of four reasons:

1) You saw my post about this blog entry via Facebook and decided to see what I had to say.

2) You’ve been checking out my blog in general (possibly following me) and discovered that I’d posted.

3) You’re participating in Blogging 101 and noticed the tag.

4) You somehow stumbled upon this blog while looking for a DJ.

Regardless of the reason, let me say that I’m glad that you made your way here.

So, here’s the situation.  I originally started this blog as a means to give people looking for entertainment for a wedding reception advice on the questions to ask and the qualities to look for when it comes to their search.  I wanted to give people words of wisdom from the standpoint of one of the people doing the work in the trenches.  I don’t want to come across as someone who is attempting to relieve you of a good chunk of your cash.  That’s not the point.  Even to my own detriment, this blog wasn’t designed to be about the sales pitch.  It was designed to be more a source of information; a reference guide, if you will.

I’ve since taken the business end of things and made an offshoot blog that speaks more to that side of you that may be looking for a DJ at some point.  That part of this blog continues to talk about my experiences Behind The Board.  It also goes into my motivation for staying in this business and my thoughts when it comes to the business.

THIS part of the blog is more about the man that stands behind the board.  A glimpse into who I am, what matters to me.

I’m more than just a wedding DJ.  I’m a husband.  I’m a father.  I’m a son.  I’m a brother.  I’m a mentor.  I’m a tutor.  I’m a friend.  Sometimes, I’m pretty outgoing.  Others, I’m contemplative, introspective.  Sometimes, I reach for anyone and everyone willing to heed my call; others, I’m stand-offish, could be downright hostile.

I believe that the best decisions are made when you have the most information.  Maybe, you’ll find out more about me then decide that you want to know even more about The DJ From The Dark Side.  Maybe, you’ll see something here and decide I’m not worth your time.  Maybe, something I’ve said in one of my past posts will resonate with you, will speak to a part of your own soul.  Maybe, I’ve offended you and you want to stay as far away from me and my opinions as The Universe will allow.

Regardless, you’re here.  Now.

Whether you go Behind The Board, you stay here or you decide to move on, know this:
You’ve already allowed me to figuratively touch you.  No matter how brief that contact happened to last.

Maybe, it’s been enough to leave some sort of impression.

After all…  That’s what Life is all about.

Isn’t it?

Blogging 101, Day 2: Say Your Name

3 Nov

I’ve opted NOT to edit the title of my blog or the tagline.  It’s really simple, actually.  I’ve liked it from the moment I first came up with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that it could possibly use a bit of tweaking, but how many people do YOU know that refer to themselves as The DJ From The Dark Side?

So, part of the assignment says that, if you aren’t doing any editing of your title or your tagline, you should explain where the name came from.  Okay, that’s no sweat.  I’ve always embraced more of my darker side.  In a lot of my creative writing, I’ve delved into some of the more impulsive, often “gray” areas of our motivations.  I’d played around with different DJ names throughout the years: Diesel, D’Harksyde (see what I did there?), Silk, DJ Fodder.  These days, I just go with my first name, but I will sometimes go back to “The DJ From The Dark Side” (as I did during a Halloween party I did last week).

I’ve just always liked the way it sounds when I say it, whether I say it out loud or it’s just the voice in my head.

When I opted to do an offshoot of my main blog that was strictly devoted to the DJ end of things, it was a pretty simple choice, as well: Behind The Board.  Technically, it’s “in front of the board”, considering where I’m usually positioned when I’m spinning.  Regardless, Behind The Board says all that needs to be said when it comes to the blog’s purpose.  Simple, to the point.

And there you have it.

Blogging 101: The Intro Post

2 Nov

So, I figured that I wanted to do a lot more with my blog than I have been.  It just seems to be a natural progression, to be honest.

See, I originally started this blog as a means to spread the word about my DJ service.  The notion, at the time, was to present myself as a source of information about what it’s like for mobile wedding DJs.  I’ve been in the business for over a decade; if I could help someone that’s searching for DJ entertainment make a decision that they were comfortable with, even if I wasn’t the one chosen, I saw it as a potential win.

But then, I started Writing 101 last Spring and it changed my mind.  Due to a family situation, I wasn’t able to complete Writing 101, but I hadn’t forgotten the initial vision.

I’ve since developed a separate blog specifically devoted to talking about the wedding DJ part of my life.  But, seeing as I like the notion of having an audience and the outlet that writing has been for me for a long time has gone neglected a bit, I’ve opted to try to do a better job with this whole blogging thing.

I’m not looking to change the world; what I’m hoping to accomplish is to make blogging more of a habit and to share my thoughts and feelings with those who might be able to connect with what I have to say.

I like to write.  It’s something I want to get MUCH better at.

So, here I am.

Hello.

I Ain’t Done Yet! (Writing 101: Day 7)

10 Jun

The way the left side of his nose twitches as it rises slightly only heightens the effects of the furrow in his brow as he narrows his eyes. 

“Yeah…  I lost my last match…  What of it?”  Though, stated as a question, it is more spoken as a matter of fact.  “I never once said that I was unbeatable.  Lord knows, I’ve got mo’ than my fair share of losses under my belt.  But y’all seem to be ignorin’ the fact that I’ve got a LOT mo’ wins than I have losses.” 

Bald head gleaming from the light shining down on him, reflection of the camera in the distance clearly visible on the lenses of his dark shades, he purses his lips.  The three-piece, custom-fitted, slate-gray suit that he is wearing looks impeccable on him; the matching tie a stark contrast against the black shirt that he’s also wearing.  To say that he looks like someone important seems not to quite do it justice. 

“It’s been documented that you haven’t been in the ring in nearly a year.  That’s a long time to stay inactive.  Some would say that you should just stay out of the ring so that you don’t destroy your legacy.” 

Easily six inches shorter than the man he’s interviewing, the reporter seems vastly out of place in this environment.  How he drew this particular assignment was simple: he’d not made it a secret that he LOVED professional wrestling, despite the bad rep that it has received.  When he was told to do a local interest piece on this particular wrestler, he knew exactly how he wanted to handle the questioning.

“Funny thing ’bout legacies…”  At six-foot-two-inches tall, he would seem imposing to many.  Add the broad shoulders, the straight posture and the overall aura of the man and he appears larger than life.  “Just sittin’ on the sidelines after a successful run doesn’t always do ’em justice.”  He virtually yanks the shades off his face; big, intense, bloodshot brown eyes bore into the face of the interviewer.  As the silence increases in duration, the reporter begins to shrink into himself slightly.  “There are a LOT of men and women in this business who have stayed WELL past their welcome.  I’ve gone on record on MANY occasions, statin’ that they should have just hung it up when they were in their prime.”  He looks down for a long moment, scratching the back of his neck with his right hand.  “Naw…  Steppin’ into the ring on this occasion ain’t ’bout makin’ a comeback.”  He shakes his head.  “It ain’t ’bout tryin’ to regain past glories or tryin’ to reinvent myself.  I always knew that the time would come where I’d walk away and neva come back.  Fo’ me…  Right now…”  He looks through the camera.  “This is a test…  Nothin’ mo’…  Nothin’ less.” 

“A test?”  The reporter begins, confusion contorting his face into a frown.  “What sort of test would that be?” 

The wrestler scowls, his head slowly turning toward the reporter as he chews on his own lower lip.  Shaking his head slowly, he reaches for the microphone with his left hand, engulfing the reporter’s hand with his own.  Lowering his head slightly, he pulls the reporter’s hand and the microphone until it’s nearly touching his lips.  Nostrils flaring slightly, he begins to speak in a voice that sounds like he’s swallowed razor blades before gargling with half a bottle of Jack Daniels.

“The pundits, the naysayers, the haterizers…  All of ’em say I shoulda stayed home and left this wrestlin’ business behind.”  His left eyebrow rises.  “They say that I shoulda just stayed at my crib with my woman doin’ whateva the hell we do on our own time.  But, see…  They don’t understand.”

He shoves the reporter back slightly with his right hand, the reporter gladly giving up the microphone as the camera zooms in on the wrestler himself.

“I didn’t get where I was by doin’ a DAYUM thing anybody advised me to do.  I didn’t win seven world championships by followin’ the advice of suckas that wished I’d have rolled over and played dead.  I didn’t achieve the longest title reign in the history of the company that I called my home by bein’ timid when it comes to who I am and what I could do in that squared circle.”

He turns to face the camera, head lowered, lips pressed into a thin line.

“I got where I was by doin’ whateva the hell I wanted to whoeva the hell I wanted wheneva the hell I felt like doin’ it.  I traveled this little blue ball countless times in my quest to be the best gad-damn wrestler I could be and I’ll be DAMNED if I let ANYBODY tell me that my gas tank is empty!”  

A Cheshire Cat-like grin snakes its way across his face, a sinister gleam in his eyes.

“The test isn’t whether or not I can be successful when I step through those ropes.”  He shakes his head slowly.  “It ain’t whether or not I can shake off the ring rust…  It ain’t whether or not I can keep up with the sorry-assed sack of shit that’s unfortunate enough to step into MY operatin’ room.  The test is gonna be whether or not I can listen to that teeny, tiny little voice in the back of my mind when I unleash The Beast…  When The Dragon awakens, ready to snort fire.  The test is gonna be whether or not I can keep the bloodlust from takin’ me to a place that’ll leave everybody watchin’ gaspin’ in horror at how inhumane one man can be to his fellow man.”

He licks his lips, the grin transforming into a smirk, the satanic gleam becoming further entrenched in his eyes.

“Fo’ every sucka stupid enough to fix their mouths to say that I should just sit back and watch the new generation of wrestlers do their thang…  I’m gonna remind ’em who the hell I am.”

He shoves the microphone toward the reporter.

“I’m the monster scratchin’ underneath yo’ bed at night.  I’m the beast whose eyes you see glowin’ from yo’ closet.  I’m the creature lurkin’ underneath the stairs in the darkness.  I’m a muthafuckin’ Force of Nature.  When the dust settles and I’ve left another victim a charred heap in the center of The Dragon’s Lair…  You’ll remember these words…” 

He pauses for emphasis.  

“I will strike down upon thee with GREAT vengeance and FURIOUS anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy My Legacy.”

He rolls his eyes back into his head, teeth bared.

“And you will know why they call me The Ebony Destroyer!”  

He slowly places his shades back over his face then looks through the camera over them.

“G’night.”

Without another word, he walks off, leaving the reporter with an expression of fear and awe.

I Misjudged You… (Writing 101: Day 6)

10 Jun

I don’t like you.

That’s the first thought that I can remember having about him at first sight.  I really didn’t like him.  AT ALL.  He had this appearance that rubbed me in ALL of the wrong ways.

His head was shaved completely bald.  Granted, these days, I tend to keep mine as close to shaved as I can get it; for this guy, it wasn’t a look that inspired warm, fuzzy feelings.  I’ve now come to appreciate that shaved head.  But I’m getting sidetracked.

Each step that he took was made with a purpose.  His chest was extended, his gait not quite lumbering, but lumbering is the term that I think of when I recall it.  He was wearing a pair of black fleece sweatpants when I saw him, a nondescript backpack on his back, a beat-up blue wind-breaker and a well-worn pair of tennis shoes.

If I’m being completely honest here, when I first saw him, the reason that I didn’t like him can be summed up in one term: SKINHEAD.

On that day, I ended up following him to a familiar building on campus.  Many lectures were held in this particular building; I was soon to discover that he and I were headed to the same classroom.  It was the room commanded by none other than Ish “The Fish”, the subject: Logic.

In this moment, I don’t recall the topic of conversation.  What I recall is that I sat somewhere near the back and “Skinhead” sat further back than I did, virtually on the other side of the room.  A question was posed; something about what makes human beings who we are.  Skinhead spoke up during this conversation.

He blew that immediate disdain completely out of the water.

Here was a man who, upon first sight, I had come to loathe, simply for his appearance.  While the old adage “you can’t judge the book by its cover” is utterly appropriate here, the memory of that initial assessment when it comes to him will ALWAYS be among the first thoughts that I have of him.  When he spoke, he spoke with an authority and a mastery of the language that amazed me.  Deep voice that would have been WELL-SUITED for someone who would be considered Neanderthal, the words coming out of his mouth betrayed that assessment.  His grip of the concept and his understanding and point of view as he contributed his thoughts to the classroom left me utterly flabbergasted; not out of shame for my initial conclusion of his intelligence, but for just how badly I’d misjudged him.

His head is shaved now because age has convinced him that it’s best to go with no hair than to attempt The Comb-over.  Too many years of MUCH imbibing and a very, VERY healthy appetite have transformed his body to the point of earning him the self-professed “Buddha” moniker.

But that intellect, that level of contemplation about the world, the Universe around him and his place in it, has done something that I never would have guessed at first sight.

He’s been one of my closest friends for as long as I can remember.  Not bad at all for a “Skinhead”, huh?

Everything That I Am As A Father… (Writing 101, Day 5)

6 Jun

My eyes pored over the words haphazardly scribbled on that crumpled sheet of paper in blue ink.  When I kicked it, a little voice said that I just HAD to pick it up.  So I did.

I thank you for every sacrifice that you made in raising me to be the man that I am.  The countless hours of overtime spent to keep food in my belly-welly.  The blood and sweat poured in the name of keeping a roof over my head.  The time missed in the interest of putting clothes on my back.

Those impassioned words spoke to me on a level that rocked me to my very soul.

I’m not saying that you were perfect.  Far from it.  What I AM saying is this: now that I’m a father, I understand why you did what you did.  Everything that I am attempting to do when it comes to my kids, one way or another, is because of you.

I can only hope that, some day, my children understand why I’ve done the things that I’ve done.

The Day That I “Died” (Writing 101: Day 4)

5 Jun

I sat there, staring at the nearly bare table with what I refer to as a mind-ache.  What’s a mind-ache, you’re asking?  Simply put, it’s slightly beyond a regular headache.  There’s no pounding.  There’s no blurred vision.  It feels like it envelopes my mind rather than just my head.  Concentrating on a particular subject tends not to be a viable option.  Though, my mind raced a million miles a minute, there was no one thing that I could focus on; no one idea that presented itself as the dominant thought.  The scary part about that moment was that there SHOULD have been one.

I sighed, drumming the fingers of my right hand against the table while attempting to understand the chasm that I was feeling in my chest and in my gut.

“Sir?  Are you ready to order?”

As badly as I want to remember what she looked like, I can’t.  The fact that I remember that my server was even a woman nearly amazes me as I recount That Day.  I can neither remember what I ordered nor how the rest of the experience at the restaurant in question went.  I remember making my way to that restaurant because my van was at the mechanic’s shop across the street.  I remember making my way to that restaurant because I almost literally had nowhere else to go in that moment.  I remember That Chasm.  The Chasm that has dominated so much of my life since That Day.  The Chasm that has been the source of more anguish, doubt, self-loathing and uncertainty than I would have ever anticipated succumbing to.

You see, somewhere around an hour before I found myself sitting there, fingers tapping against that table, I had been released from a job that I had placed some serious hopes and dreams into.  It was a job that had spearheaded a move half-way across the state for my wife, my son and me.  It was a job that I felt proud to have; a job that was paying the bills and allowing me a sense of direction and accomplishment.

I didn’t just lose my job on that day.  I lost who I was.

On That Day, The Chasm attained a strength unlike any it had before…  My life has never been the same.