Archive for the ‘south africa’ Category

BurgStrong: a campaign of love

June 7, 2014

Hi guys,

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but with good reason.
The last 6-8 months have been the most insane time of my life.

I couldn’t possible explain what I’ve been through, but if you’ve been following details on my official writers page over on Facebook, you may have an idea.

The reason I’m back though, is because I need your help to tell the next chapter in my life, and help me find a way to the love of my life.

I’m working on getting to her permanently, but for now, I just need the chance to spend some time with her.

I’d like to share my story with you though, and ask if you believe in love to try make a small contribution to my below campaign. If not, please at least try spread the news to your friends, colleagues and fellow bloggers..

The story will break your heart, but also make you believe in love again, and if that’s not with sharing, then what is right?

Thanks everyone

Burg

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From Cape Town With Love

September 16, 2012

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It had been over three years since I had last visited Cape Town, and each time prior to this visit, my travels here comprised of nothing more than a “Friday work day, and a weekend for myself”…So when I planned on coming down this time, I planned a little more, and managed to turn it into a “five working day and weekend for myself” trip

Well, the work side of it certainly took care of its self and I ended up being so busy that my devious little plan to take some time for myself during those working days, simply just didn’t happen…however, that turned to be the biggest blessing in disguise.

My trip here was always two fold.

Firstly, I quite simply needed to breathe new air for a bit. Joburg was getting the best of me in so many ways, and I felt the anxiety settling in big time, I needed to get out for a bit, for everyone’s sanity.
Secondly, I wanted to test the waters in terms of working out the Cape Town office. As part of my overall smaller dreams bigger wins strategy, I wanted to see how effectively working out the CT office would prove. And lo and behold, I got probably about three times more work done in this week than I would of done back in JHB.

Most of my closest friends are down here and I’m glad I got to see them, some people really went out their way to make me feel welcome, and that goes so far in my book, If I couldn’t make it to where people where, they came and fetched me. Gestures of friendship are not lost on me, and I ensured that while I was down here I reignited my #BurgMoments lifestyle in full force, in fact I have setup several of these moments to take place after I leave this evening, in the hope that I will have left some tiny part of Burg magic in the City that has been so good to me.

Of course, the trip was not without its typical “pulling a burg” moments, which so often define my adventures, so if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to share some of the highlights….
There’s nothing quite like a first day in a different city, as basic logic always seems to disappear and you seem to make the silliest of errors. Starting with my rental car…that took me 20minutes to start, because I couldn’t figure out how to switch on the damn ignition. So there I say quietly in my parking bay, trying not to look like a complete idiot, sometimes pretending to be on my phone with one hand, while the other frantically searched for some sort of switch or immobilizer that may be the trick to switching it on. Little did I realize, to start the car, it simply needed to be in gear. Pfff…technology.

That same night, I also managed to lock myself out the house, taking a walk down to KFC, and returning to the house only to realize I didn’t quite have all the keys I needed. I phoned a colleague who confirmed this to indeed be fact. As I waited calmly eating my chicken in the road, in the dark, and cold…she phoned me back with the genius idea of walking around the house and using the other door…which I had keys for.

One the Wednesday, I decided to take in preparation for my conference the next day, in order to see the venue beforehand and if it was walkable. I left with a colleague at about 5.30pm and took a breezy walk a few blocks down. Eventually spotting the conference centre from a distance, it was in fact walkable, but certainly not from the route I took, but happy with the fact that I know knew where it was, I headed back. Back where however, I’m not quite suite, as I didn’t realize I did not keep track of where I actually was. So what proceed was a looooot of walking to try and find my bearings. As the night got darker, and colder, I ended up being followed by a homeless man, swearing at me constantly for no reason. Ironically we would both make our way to the local homeless shelter, he was happy, I wasn’t. If anything, my walkabout took me to places I wouldn’t normally see, including the recent World Cup stadium . From there I made my way to the V&Waterfront shopping complex where I eventually was able to retrace my steps back to the home office. Now, ordinarily, a two hour getting lost walk is a great thing for me. However, because I had only planned on popping down the block and back, I had made the decision to wear my slip slops (sandals), the devastation caused by this decision is still being felt as I type this. I have no skin left on the top of my feet, and bubble blisters underneath them! I still walked to the conference the next day, and did several Km’s over the proceeded days, which each and every pair of socks being drenched in blood that poured out my feet. And let me tell you, there is nothing quite like having to peel a pair of socks off your feet and getting to do it all over again the next day.

There is one last story I would like to share with you…

You see, I knew coming down here I would see a lot of old friends, however, I didn’t plan on making a new one…but boy oh boy did I.

I’m pretty easy to get along with for the most part, but every now and again I find someone I connect with on the clichéd “another level”. I can generally sense these people immediately, and just know that there is something there that needs to be explored. Such was the case with the person I met purely by chance I guess. We didn’t really talk much as first, but there was something lingering there. Something that needed to be tapped into, which we did, and much like her; it was nothing short of beautiful.

We did lunch, we chatted so much, we had so many revealing conversations about things we both loved and desired in the world, however the entire time there was this cloud of finality hanging over over…I would be leaving soon and this was all going to be over way too soon. She said she wished I could stick around longer, which just made my heart jump with joy. I wished that too. But the reality of our lives could not turn this into anything more. As the days went on, in typical Burg fashion, I found myself falling for her more and more each day, but not just her, rather the way she made me feel, and believe in my own dreams and desires again. The whole scenario played out much like an extended version of Before Sunrise/Sunset.

We spent most of Saturday together, where I got to meet some people in her life, including the reality check of the husband, who is one of those seemingly nice guys who makes you immediately think “well, there’s no way I can compete with this guy”. Then you immediately think well, I was never in with a chance anyways. Not that there was a chance of anything of course, but its just the head games one tends to play with ones self.

He eventually had to pop out for a while, and finally I got to just spend some alone time with her, we walked back to her place, and as much pain as I was in from my bleeding feet, it just disappeared when I was around her. We fetched a few things from the house then headed back to the beach, quite prepared for another painful walk, I was so happy that we were just together, then of course, that feeling was quickly replaced with disappointment as the honk honk of her husband in the car shorted our trip as he arrived to give us a lift back. My heart sunk, but my fake smile and humour came to my defence…

As the universe would have it, I ended up being stuck with him for a few hours, while she went surfing…. So here we are, two men laying on beach towels getting to know each other. I realized there is never a right time to say “hey, I’m falling for your wife, so just wanted to make sure that’s cool with you”…, so I just sat there getting more and more miserable, but never showing it, and instead offering genuine conversation and polite to the bitter end.

When she did return from the surf, a ray of sunshine brighter than the day’s sun that was beating down on me, they decided to call it a day and invited me to join them for dinner. Knowing I just couldn’t possibly torture myself anymore, I made an excuse to leave, and that I had someone else to see, then headed back. I didn’t have other plans.

Selfishly, I kept hoping she would send me a message asking if I was ok, or thanking me for coming or even “apologizing” for leaving me alone for so long, but none of that came…until about 2 hours later when I got a Facebook message asking if I had perhaps taken her phone. She had lost it….of course. The universe just loves playing these jokes on me doesn’t it.

As I sit here now typing this, I can’t help but wonder, was that it? Was that all I would be allowed with her? And as thankful as I am for the unexpected friendship, I find myself consumed with thoughts of “what ifs”, if I had said something else, taken a chance, just done something out of the ordinary…would it have made a difference? Would it have made a fool of me? I just don’t know. But for someone who lives by the words “Live For The Moments”, this is one that is stapled to my heart.

I’m a romantic, i’m a dreamer, but im also a realist and I know exactly how this story ends. I don’t begrudge these feelings at all, and I know that if our paths are meant to cross again, they will, in this lifetime or the next.

The truth is, I could write about her for hours, but the rest of the memories will be for me. So all that is left to say is…

Thank you Cape Town…we will do it all again in December…

“Every Office Has One” – 14 Clichéd Colleagues

May 10, 2012

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve probably used a variation of the line, “It would be so perfect if it weren’t for just one person there…”

I’ve worked in at least 10 different office environments, in different industries, in my time and each and every place has had at least that one person who ruins your entire working experiences at that job because of their annoying habits.

I’d like to now pay tribute to those clichéd colleagues who we affectionately think back on as and say “Every office at least one…”

Of course, those of us who just have plain ol’bad luck can sometimes be subjected to individuals who have a rare combination of the below traits, but I guarantee you will come across someone you recognize here, no matter where you work.

With that, I’d like to present to you my Top 14 Countdown of clichéd colleagues.

14. The Name Dropper

I’m not even talking about a celebrity name dropper here…that would still be understandable to a point in an office environment. This type of name dropper is a far deadlier species…they are the kinds of person you will tell you all about Roger’s argument he had with the checkout employee at the local supermarket this weekend. Or about Betty’s decision to put her mom in a home during the Easter holidays. Who are Roger and Betty you may ask? Exactly. Name Droppers are presumptuous enough to tell us stories involving their friends who you don’t know from a bar of soap as if they were the cast of a well known tv sitcom, who we all should know.

13. The “Grey’s Anatomy” Chick

“OMG! Did you catch Grey’s last night! McDreamy was such a b@stard!”… A variation of this evening salvo is becoming a common problem in the work place these days. Before Peg from accounting has even put her handbag down in the morning, she is still fuming from last night’s drama, which no real drama can ever compare to. The Grey’s Anatomy Chick, may also be known as The Survivor Chick, and now also as The MasterChef Chick.

12. The Not As Funny As He Thinks He Is Guy

For every likeable prankster in the office, there is always his evil office twin, the douche bag comedian. His jokes are normally predetermined well in advance in case the moment ever arrives where he can use his “witty one liner” or bad pun. However, there is NEVER a right moment. In desperation, this comedian can often resort to a funny voices, and fart jokes to get a laugh out of people. His bag of material is paper thin, so expect him to recycle many of his jokes. WARNING: DO NOT ENCOURAGE HIM with sympathy laughter.

11. The Pervert

There is sexual innuendo in everything for this guy. You could be making copies of the monthly financial report, and The Pervert would be like “So…you like …multiplying…don’t you?” The Pervert is also unable to stay focused on work for long periods of time, so if you need something done, get it done quick, before you suddenly have to “check the ass out on that one…If I just had 5 minutes alone with her!” And yes, The Pervert is often immune to any sort of office discipline (you like to be disciplined…don’t you), however, this should not stop you from lodging a complaint…the only draw back is that he will think you are playing hard to get. The Female version does exist, however they are rare, and often disguised as plus sized women.

10. The Mail Forwarder

Motivationals, K-Mart shoppers, Daily Horoscopes and the old favourite – “send this back to me…and 5 friends, and see your luck change” forwards are a clear indication you are on a mailing list you will never get off for the rest of your time at that particular job. The Mail Forwarder is smart, and strikes early, normally within you first week in your job. It will be too awkward to ask them not to include you and 2 years later, you will have no hope left. A typical South African forwarded will also include secret crime syndicate warnings that the police aren’t even aware of, Road Block warnings, and potential mass strike emails that are “inside information”.

9. Miss TMI

“You know, since I had my hysterectomy, my bladder seems to get infected at the drop of a hat.”. That’s right, Miss TMI (Too Much Information) has no boundaries. Her medical conditions are everyone’s business, and her desk drawers normally contain more prescription drugs than your local pharmacy. Her sex life will also be open for discussion whether you like it or not. As it will be discussed in great detail, never, ever, under any circumstances ask Miss TMI how she is doing…because she will tell you.

8. The Car Guy

Yes, The Fast & The Furious was an pretty awesome movie, but The Car Guy will also try and convince you that 2 Fast 2 Furious was just as epic. He spends his life upgrading and modifying his car, and never actually finishes it, but thankfully he keeps you updated throughout the entire process. The Car Guy, often has a flawless knowledge of sound systems, and knows a guy who knows a guy who can get you a good deal. The CG can often be found at illegal races, but would never actually compete in them, despite what he may tell you about blowing a gasket during his practice run the weekend before. The Car Guy, is also fond of using the F-Bomb in every sentence, especially when talking about police and authority figures.

7. The Story Repeater (also known as The Joke Stealer)

Ever had a colleague tell you an interesting story? And then a few days later tell you a story that sounds familiar? And then 2 weeks later tell you the same effing story for the 8th time! These people are sick and need our help. If they begin to tell you a repeat story, stop them immediately, you sanity may depend on it! These are the same people that repeat a joke or wise crack seconds after you say it as if it were their own!!

6. The Religious Nut

Jesus saves!…but Messi scores on the rebound. Seemingly, those darn Christians never find that funny. Every work place has at least one openly religious person you tells you that everything is the Lord’s will. If there is a tragedy, it’s God’s Will. If you are going through troubles, they will pray for you. If the vending machine takes your money…someone needed it more that you did. It is of course naturally assumed that you too are religious and believe in the same thing they do, so expect daily prayers and blessings, straight to you inbox.

5. The Know It All

The colleague who always feels the need to be involved in all conversations no matter the topic, and don’t let the fact that they know nothing about said topic stop them. They will give you incorrect movie titles, unfounded opinions on sports teams and their performances, or they will simply steal an opinion from someone they heard on the radio, or read on the internet, if it happens to be a topical issue that everyone is talking about, in an attempt to be relevant. The Know-It-All will also blatantly argue with incorrect facts even if you are an expert in a certain field.

4. The Personal Caller

There are two kinds of Personal Callers. The loud and proud version who openly spends her days on personal calls, letting the entire office know about her breakup, faulty purchases and doctors appointments. This kind of PC is not self aware and maybe need to be bought into the loop that she spends 4 hours a day on the phone. The second kind of PC is, the whisperer. They will only ever be seen listening to phone calls, with the receiver affixed to their ear. These are hard to report unless you are monitoring them with advanced military equipment…or have access to their phone bills. In rare cases you can come across a hybrid of these two types…a Super Caller if you will.

3. The “Have You Seen” Picture Lady

Not to be confused with The Name Dropper, this is the lady in the office that will show you every baby picture, wedding album and “wahoo”party picture relating to her, her family, her friends and anyone else who might of captured her awesomeness in a photo. She often doesn’t care about your opinion , just as long as you agree with her that it’s the most beautiful wedding ever, the cutest baby ever and the most awesome part ever….till the next one at least.

2. The “How Did They Get That Job?” Colleague

Their only job skill is endurance. How else would you explain how that moron got the position of Team Leader, Supervisor or Manager? They have zero problem solving skills, no backbone, and speak only in clichés. However, these are the same people that often own the nicest cars, and scarily, often have wives and kids.

1. The Cat Lady

Oh you know the type! Cat lady is the most famous of all the stereotypes, and she deserves no mercy. She can sometimes be a combination of the mail forwarder, sending you daily pics of cats in HIGHlarious scenarious….such as falling asleep on the keyboard kitty, surprised face kitty, and grumpy “this explains how I feel about work” kitty. If you happen to miss these emails, don’t worry, Cat Lady has all of them printed out and stuck around her cubicle for quick reference. She often also has a kitty as her Facebook profile pic.

So that’s my list…recognize yourself? If so, then take the shame!
I know for a fact there are tons of other clichés out there, so feel free to comment below and add your choices…

The Zen of Burg – 10 Steps To A Happier Me (Part 2)

April 19, 2012

Right, so if you’ve read part 1, you will know what this part 2 is about 🙂

6. The New Me, Same as the Old Me

Over the years the most noticeable things to disappear from my life were my smile, my laugh and my self-confidence. Finding a picture of me smiling from the last 7 years is about as likely as finding gold in a hobo’s dentures. Over the last few months, all of those missing elements have begun to return. A lot of it can be credited to my new work colleagues who have a very similar sense of humour to me, and they truly bring out the old me that I know so many of my friends once knew. I laugh more, smile more, and have the confidence to be the person I really am again.

The me at home is VERY different to the me out in the real world, and for the longest time, the real me stayed at home permanently. I wasn’t fun to be around, I could barely hold conversation with people without getting annoyed to the point of wanting to drown them in a small shallow bucket. I’m at my best when I am funny and witty. I love to make people laugh and lighten the mood. That’s my gift. I make people feel good. When I couldn’t do that, I felt incomplete, and quite honestly worthless. Now I feel I can walk into a room and light it up again if need be. I walk with an air of confidence again, I take pride in the way I dress. It’s certainly not like this 24/7 , but now I don’t feel like the short fat kid who has to sit in the corner at the school dance anymore. I’m the short fat kid who asks the prom queen to dance again.

7. Live for the moments.

I am the KING of the big gesture, I used to do so many epic things for people (yes, girls), to try and win them over and convince them of my awesomeness, 99.9% of the time it backfired and I often didn’t get so much as a thank you. Yet I didn’t learn, I kept doing it, because I enjoyed doing those things, but selfishly I wanted something back from it, even if it was just a thank you. Those sort of things can be so draining to both your heart and soul. The easy answer was I was doing it for the wrong reasons, or so friends would always tell me, but then when the next “target” came along, I would commit the same foul.

Over the last few months, a light switch finally went off in my head that allowed me to admit that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. However, and this is a big however, so take note. This does not mean I should stop doing it. I ENJOY the big gestures, the work or research (called creeping these days), that goes into a big gift, or heartfelt gesture, so why should I stop doing it? No, instead, I need to change the reasons as to why I’m doing it. I no longer expect anything in return. I do it now because to simply make someone’s day is good enough for me. It makes me happy. Whether it be friends, a love interest or a complete stranger. I like to show that romance and magical moments still exist. Now I live for those moments. The moment of telling a beautiful girl in the elevator that she is in fact a beautiful girl, then simply walking away with no further interaction needed. Sending someone flowers, anonymously or otherwise, simply to make them smile knowing that someone made an effort for them that day.

So be warned, you may in fact be the recipient of a #BurgMoment… when you least expect it, something good could happen to you. You may get flowers, you may get your lunch bill paid for, you may have a clowns show up at your office, you may get invited to an all-expenses paid holiday. There are so few genuinely good moments in life, that sometimes you have to make your own. I notice everyone and I’m happy to say these moments have already started happening… so you could be next!

8. Don’t Give a Damn about People Opinions, But Stand Up For Yourself.

I’d always been “too nice”, too nice to rock the boat, too nice to complain, and too worried about what people might think about me, didn’t wanna embarrass myself you know. I had my pride. (This was always a very strange contraction to my outside appearance, with my tattoos, piercings and clothing, I always seemed to attract attention. I had an aura about me that drew people towards me). This effectively led to me being screwed over way too often and always coming out with the short end of the stick.

Then something changed. It might have been the 5 years in the music industry that hardened me, or maybe that was just part of it. But somewhere along the line I became a bonefide badass. You didn’t mess with me. If I am in the right, I will fight till the bitter end to make sure I come out the victor. Customer services and banks around the country know this better than anyone. I don’t accept cr@ppy service, I don’t accept being spoken down too, and I don’t allow people to be bullied. I stand up for those who feel they don’t have a voice anymore. I’m still learning the fine are of not going too far with making a point, and admittedly, sometimes I do push it too far, but I blame all the pent up aggression I have inside me. However, I’m glad I have hardened the eff up. And you know what? I have gotten more freebies, gift vouchers, apologies, and service than I have even had in my life. Score a point to the little guy.

9. Open to Trying New Things

I have always been so stuck in my ways. As much as a free spirit as I am, it takes a lot for me to break out of my own personal mould. It’s always been frustrating for people, because if my mind is made up, there is no changing it. Ok ok, let’s just cut to the chase, I will finally admit it. I am stubborn, fussy and hard to please….wow, I can actually hear about 400 people collectively saying “I told you so”. But I do admit it, and this is what has led to a lot of arguments with friends. Lately however, I have been so open to trying new things. Whether it’s something simple like a food I hate that I’ve never actually eaten, or maybe going out somewhere I don’t like with friends just to be with friends, or heck maybe even the reverse cowboy…I more than willing to entertain new things in my life. Maybe it’s something that comes with age, I’m not quite sure…all I know is that the way I’ve been living wasn’t making me happy. Of course I do all this within reason, it’s not like I’m living the life of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll now simply because being sXe wasn’t working for me, however I am now open to that cocktail on the beach in Hawaii or that beer in Germany…

10. I am Awesome.

To steal a catchphrase from The Miz. I am awesome, and I need to keep believing that to survive this crazy ride through the rest of my life. I’m a good person, and so proud of that, because there are very few of us left. In a world that is getter meaner and crueller by the day, it is us few white knights who need to keep the hope alive; the hope of something better out there, something good and caring.

I take this role very seriously; I like to bring hope to people but in an honest way. That has always been the purpose of this blog, and my life. I have seen it all and been through more, and it’s these life lessons that give others strength. There may be a touch of arrogance to what I say, buy my life has never really been my own, and I finally understand that. My experiences, the tragedy and the triumphs are given to me because I can handle them. I live my life openly, and this blog has never been shy of revealing things that most people are ashamed of, but I do it so that if just one person can relate to it, it’s been worth it. I’ve always seen myself as a person who comes into people’s lives when they need me the most. I offer comfort when others cannot. People tend to trust me and share their problems with me, which while overwhelming at times (especially when it’s not something I can physically help with), is something of an honour.

As my blog approaches that magical milestones of 100,000 views, I’d like to take this time to thank #TeamBurg old and new for supporting me, for loving me, for hating me, for having a reaction to what I say. I write because I feel I have something to say, and I always encourage you to do the same.

The Zen of Burg: 10 Steps to a Happier Me (Part 1)

April 19, 2012


The path to happiness is different for everyone. There is no hard and fast rule on how to get there, and of course, one person’s idea of happiness may leave another scratching their head. So each to their own I guess.
Now that all the clichés are out the way, I can get down to this blog’s real purpose.

It’s been a tough few months obviously, those who follow me have seen the drama first hand, as I’ve never held back sharing anything I’ve been through. Lately however, I’ve been feeling a permanent state of contentment, and seemingly happiness. It’s not happiness by definition though, there is still a lot of issues and drama I deal with on a daily basis, a lot of which would make most people give up on life, but for the first time I have found some balance in my life, and for a Libra, balance is VERY important.

As I sat back and thought about what exactly brought about this change in me during a very significant time in my life, I was (much to my surprise!) able to identify 10 specific reasons why I have this sense of calm over me lately.

1. Big Dreams, Smaller Steps

You all know about my obsessions. The New York deal, the being a writer deal etc etc, and I know most people are sick to death of me constantly talking about it. Well, have a think about it, and you’ll actually realize I’ve been very quiet about it for the last few months. Not because I’ve given up on it, but I’ve realized that every time I get close to it, someone moves the proverbial goal posts further away. My solution to this is to make smaller goals, but more of them.

To achieve my dreams, I need to slice up life into just a few more pieces, this helps to avoid such big disappointments. There will always be an end goal, but for now, I’m content to chase smaller dreams in the hope that they will all add up in the end.

2. New Job

Another thing that was well documented was my unhappiness in my old job, and the people I with whom worked. The simple solution was to walk away from everything I knew for the last 5 years and start again. A silly, not very well thought out decision, but one that had to be made. And now 8 months later I can honestly say I made the right decision.

I have a great job, in a great location, and work with some great people. People I get along with, can joke with, and more importantly, people who have given me a fair, clean slate. Instead of judging me on things I have gone through. It’s a wonderfully liberating feeling.

3. Traffic vs Train

One of the worst things about living in South Africa is the traffic. Well, not so much the traffic, but the idiots on the road who get away with the most shocking disregard to road rules you will ever see. On a daily basis this would anger me, fuelling so much rage inside that I would be tense and irritable all day long. It was bad… very bad. I would chase down taxis who cut me off, forced me off the road, drove in emergency lanes… it was making me a very angry and hateful person. Not in a racist way, as some people liked to blame it on black drivers in this country. I don’t care if you’re black, white, yellow or green. An idiot is an idiot. However I just didn’t like the person it forced me to be. Also, not having my own car was a downer.

Thankfully with the new job, and the recent implementation of the Gautrain (a public train system for my international readers), I was able to change my way of travelling, and I can honestly say, this was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s changed my view on life in a big way. I feel more carefree, more relaxed and most importantly, it now gives me time to appreciate people more. I’m a big people watcher. I love seeing how people react to situations and such. It also fools me into thinking I’m living a New York or London lifestyle, which keeps me content for the time being.

4.More Time for Friends, new and old; Less time for People who Make Me Feel Bad.

This was a very important thing for me, and hopefully something a few of you have picked up on too. I’ve made a genuine effort to speak to my friends more, and in fact try and see them more. In the last 2 months, I have seen more old friends than I have in the last 5 years. I say yes a lot more when people ask me out, or ask if they can visit, and in fact I encourage it.

I still have promises to a lot of people I very much intend to keep. I still have a few issues with transport and such, but they will come right soon enough. I’ve also been open to making new friends, something I had forced myself to become too cautious with over the last few years. Thankfully, I have made friends with some wonderful new people which has made my circle that little bit bigger. As for those who have added no value to my life, I have taken the Scorched Earth approach to them and snuffed them out my life completely without compromise. It’s best for both parties. No longer do I beg people to be my friend, because the truth is they probably never will be, if I have to do that. I have learned appreciation for my friends old and new.

5. More Accepting of Help

Ok, this has clearly been the toughest one. Through all my struggle I have always tried to handle things alone…often with disastrous consequences. I always felt so guilty about accepting help from friends, as if I had failed or let everyone down (which in some cases I have), but now if someone offers to help, and I need it, I take it with a thankful heart, and a promise not to abuse that trust. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way in taking people up on their offers, but now I understand what goes into gestures like that. I am so thankful to #TeamBurg and I couldn’t even begin to thank everyone by name for fear of leaving someone out. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for you guys, and I always appreciate the kind words you have for me, and the encouragement you send my way, even if at times I come across as a cranky old b@st@rd.

Stay tuned for the part 2 of this blog later tonight…

Goodbye 2011…I Hardly Knew Ya!

December 26, 2011

The old saying goes, “What a difference a day makes…” but I’m pretty certain you can just as easily substitute it with a year.

That’s pretty much how I look back on 2011.12.26

Last year this time things looked so bright…After the most eventful year of my life, I was celebrating what I considered to hopefully be my last Christmas in this country, because my future looked so bright.

My employer at the time had turned down my voluntary retrenchment with the promise that they had big plans for me for the upcoming year, which included time overseas.

I was pretty well set financially, and I was at peace with everything and ready to pursue my new life and ambition.
As the year proceeded, those false promises became frustratingly clear, and for the next 8 months I was toyed around with unfairly, to the point where I realized there was no future where I was.

The year itself had been tough, with financial problems and being a victim of crime hitting me unexpectedly again, as usual, and the funds quickly started deteriorating. This wouldn’t have been a problem if said employer had actually come through on their promises about a change in my pay scale.

Of course, my plans for New York took several knocks, to the point of where I was getting so angry that everyone else was “stealing my idea” and making their way over there. Every time someone posted news or photos, it hurt me more and more. That’s how much I love that place.

Things went south very quickly. And as previously blogged, I decided to walk out on everything I had been doing for the last 5 years, because I had wasted the last year of my life.

The calendar year itself provided VERY few highlights, and of course, the last 4 months I have spent at home licking my wounds.

It pretty easy to pick out the two highlights of my year.

The first is very easy to pick out, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for the last few years, and finally realized it since I had all this time to myself. In fact, I’m using it right now. I created myself, a man cave…or as I like to call it, the Burg Cave. It was fully completed this week, and I will post some pictures if I ever get a decent camera. It provides me with my own space to find inspiration again. It allows me to step away from my problems and sadness and find joy in the things that make me happy.

The crazy thing is, I haven’t had much human contact this year either, which is why the second highlight of my year is so important.

I finally saw an old friend of mine after 20years. We had a good dinner and watched a movie. One of the most simple things two people can do together, and it meant so much to me, because I don’t have THAT person in my life that I can do that with. She has always been one of my favourite people, and great company, so I’m glad I finally got the chance to see her again after all these years. The timing probably wasn’t great because it was a month before my pending unemployment, and of course the lack of income (and automobile), is a bit of snag, but I would like to take the time to thank Kim for being so patient and understanding in our new found old friendship. I can’t wait to see you again.

So that’s it. Two single highlights in a year that will be considered an utter disappointment, and a wasted year overall, some by my doing, but a most through the selfish actions of others.

I won’t even delve into the lowlights of my year, because that’s a story for another time.

It’s hardly surprising of course, 11 is my unlucky number, and for the last few years, I believed my untimely demise would arrive on 11/11/11.

It didn’t…and now I hope to make 2012 something special, and its starts with finding a new job, finding the confidence in myself and my talent again, putting in an effort with my friends, even if it means doing something I’m not used to doing. And hey, maybe I’ll even get some nookie next year.

The nookie, the what, the nookie, the what, it’s all about the nookie!

So good riddance 2011.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation…(Or WHERE THE EFF HAVE I BEEN??)

December 10, 2011

Now it’s been a while since I’ve done this, so please bear with me…

I’m sitting here covered in paint, and not the chocolate body paint I’ve often thought about either. Instead I’m covered in paint from painting my spare room as I continue to convert it into a proper man cave.
That’s part of what I’ve been doing the last three months.

That’s right, while everyone has been speculating about my suicidal tendancies, depressions and immigrating overseas, I’ve pretty much been taking it easy.

I removed myself from social networks, setup a new phone number, and paid off all my debts. It was a great cleansing feeling.

I would still be off the radar if it wasn’t for an overwhelming number of people trying to get hold of me to see if I was ok. Why wouldn’t I be? I stated on numerous times that I was disappearing and going off the social networks. That was fair enough wasn’t it? People for the most part resepected that and gave me the space I needed, and that I appreciate.
Some went overboard and tried to get hold of my home address and contacted my former employer to find out what was going on and if I was ok. Understandable to the point of intrusion.

Ah. My former employer.

I feel I should mention a bit about the circumstances behind me leaving.

As I sit here with no income and no car, I think to myself, did I do the wrong thing by leaving the job I had for the last 5 plus years?

It takes all of half a second to come up with a resounding NO!

One should always judge the impact you left at a company based on the manner of your exit.
When I left, I didn’t receive so much as a goodbye/good luck card from my colleagues. I has a poor turnout at my farewell snacks, and most of the senior managers didn’t even bother to come say goodbye (even an email of the day would of sufficed), but alas, none of that. My time there ended rather abruptly.

This pretty much summed up has I was viewed by the company I gave everything for over the last few years. I was simply never taken seriously.

This hurt tremedously, as one year before, my praises were being sung, I was promised the respect i deserved (ie. money), overseas opportunities – a major sore point as we all know this was my goal, heck I had managers coming up to me in the corridor saying “So I believe we sending you overseas for a bit”…then suddenly, silence. The myriad of false promises became all to clear. I had to beg for communication, the simply decencies of responses and explanations were just too much for those who were more about their own egos and accendency to follow through on their word.

After two years of fighting the good fight, I called it day. It was mutual for the most part, but the irony is, if I stuck around a month longer, I probaly would of been retrenched and given a package anyways. The joke was on me I guess, they got rid of me…cheap.

I knew about the retrenchments coming up, but just knew I couldnt force myself to pretend to smile and do the bidding of others for another month.

So I walked. I walked into the unknown. I waited months to wrap up “paperwork”, which was not unexpected, because that’s how they’ve always been.

Over the last 3 months, I’ve found the space to breathe. To remember what inspires me. What makes me happy.
During that time another birthday came and went. I don’t celebrate my birthday, and simply ignored the day, and all the messages I got. People got upset. Deal with it. I don’t celebrate my birthday.

I’ve started looking for work again, I’m sure I’ll find something. The funniest thing is when I go for interviews and they ask me how much I was earning before, the interviewer is always disgusted when I tell them how much I was getting for my role. That makes me smile in sad sorta way.

Writing and film will always be my first love, but the truth of the matter is, I’m still stuck in a country where that’s harder than almost anything to make a living at.

I’m open to anything right now, as long as the money is good (or rather respectable), I miss human contact more than I thought I would, I still desire some sort of affection, but I’ve learned to live without it.

My New York goal is no closer, but the desire hasn’t faded one bit. It’s THE goal.

I know I’ve upset people by ignoring them, but if they paid attention and respected my choice, there should be zero reason to be upset with me. That’s the truth. Deal with it how you will.

I’ve been watching from afar, how the girl I once loved got engaged and knocked up a second time, how friends completed their studies, got boyfriends, got married, got divorced or just got got. I just didn’t comment like I used to do.

Am I back to writing? In a way yes, but as long as I feel the need to say something.

I offer no apologies. I expect no forgiveness.
We live our lives the only way we know how, we bravely make the foolish decisions, and we judge others for not being the right kind of person we expect them to be.

Now, does anyone know how to get paint out hair?

The Truth Shall Set You Free

July 26, 2011

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of myself with my idol, Bret The Hitman Hart -one of the happiest moments of my life. However one person commented saying “you could’ve looked slightly more excited.” I was actually offended by the comment. I don’t really smile anymore, and I by no means have a big toothy Cheshire cat smile, however this was the happiest I’ve been in years. I don’t smile anymore. You won’t really find pictures of smiling.

I’ve mulled over that comment since it was said, and with the events of the last few weeks, the one question that I keep asking myself is, what makes me happy?

I’m not happy, I haven’t been for the longest time. I have fleeting moments where thing are tolerable. But nothing more than that.

My life has been a constant struggle and the truth of the matter is the sadness has engulfed me.

It’s very difficult to explain, and when I do try, I get copious amounts of advice about how things can’t be that bad, or how things will turn around, or that there’s something out there waiting for me. All words which people feel they should say to help “keep my chin up”.

Honesty has always been a very important part of my blog (and my life), and right now I’d life to address three aspects of my life namely Life, Love & Career.

Life

I’m tired…Of everything. I can’t do it anymore. Not the way I’m living it anyway. I get so many people making suggestions as to what to change in my life, but they don’t know the truth, and they don’t know the pressure I deal with while constantly having to keep my depression in check.

I can’t deal with the repetition. From coming home and having to hear the same stories about how the dog pee’d on the potplants or what the neighbours did, to hearing the same jokes from the same people.

I can’t deal with this country, the government, the strikes, the shortages, the service, the delivery, the lack of educated people.

I can’t travel on the roads anymore. I can’t deal with the complete arrogance and apathy towards the rules of the road. It’s bad. Real bad. It’s the wild wild west out there.

There are so many people that tell me that I must be thankful for what I’ve got, but the truth of the matter is I’m not. Their idea of happiness is a 9-5 job with an income, a house with 4 walls and a family. That’s not my idea of happiness. I believe there is more out there for me. Please don’t get me wrong, if this is what makes you happy, then good for you, you’ve found your element of happiness, but please don’t try and convince me your way is my way.

I can’t fake a smile, and laugh anymore. People have started to notice too. I fear I’m becoming bitter towards the world.

Love

I am so lonely. Unbelievably so. Being a 33yr old guy without a partner, lover, girlfriend is hard. (That’s what she said.). I’m so tired of people saying that “when the time is right”, “she’s out there”, “it’s better to be single” you know, all the clichéd comments. Most times they come from people who are trying to tell you they’re not interested in you so don’t even try, or they are somebody who is constantly moving from “The one” to “the next one”.

The truth is, there’s a very good chance I will be alone forever. It happens to people. You’re only trying to convince yourself when you keep telling me I’ll find someone. Stop.

There are people I’m interested in. They know it (some are probably trying their best to avoid it too). But I come with so much baggage that it’s over before it can go anywhere.

I’m not saying I’m looking for my soul mate, not by a long shot. I just wish I had someone to share my dreams and desires with. Someone I can spend time with, someone who makes me feel like a human being physically. Yes, I said it, I would like to knock boots with someone. I need to feel something in my life. And feeling wanted and desired is a massive hole (that’s what she said) in my life.

I’m so tired of serving my time in this world alone. There are so few people who truly understand how lonely and alone I am. I wish someone would show interest in me, realistically. I can’t be anything other than what I am.

It’s just that i think fighting this battle and chasing the dream would be that much easier and more believable with someone by my side.

Career

I’ve been working non stop since the month left High School in 1996. My movement from one vocation to the next has been well documented. I’d never spent more than a year and a half at a particular job, and constantly found myself wanting to move on to the next challenge. It’s those facts that make my 5 year term at my current job such an anomaly. I love what I do, always have, but the time has come to move on. I won’t go into detail for obvious reasons.

I’ve been dealt a hand that has forced me to play the role of husband, home owner, and provider. This saddens me every day that my life is slipping away without ever having the opportunity to make selfish decisions.

Being the sole bread winner taking care of a parent, a house, replace things that break, need to be fixed and debts that aren’t mine is a task I’ve been doing for the longest time. I just can’t do it anymore. When I tell people how much I earn, their first words are “how do you survive??”

Surviving is easy. I’ve done it my whole life. But I need to live.

I always felt my job would be my key to getting out. Out of this life, this country, this personal hell that saddens me a little more every day. I’ve given everything I have to it. The truth is, its not going to give back.

I get it. I’m just a spoke in the wheel. I will never be the wheel itself.

Sometimes I feel live I’ve given up on what make’s me ME. I’m a creative soul who needs to be inspired, and for a while now I feel like I’ve locked that part of me away.

These are the realities of my life. I know a lot of what I said above will anger people. There will be those who once again dispense advice and attempt to get me to stop feeling sorry for myself. They will say they understand. They will mean it.

All I know is I’m the loneliest and saddest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m making hard decisions every day of my life.

We all know what my dream is, but I fear I won’t survive long enough. So until then…the idea of finding a cabin in the woods to be alone in, you know to grow my beard and write my books, is a pretty decent second choice.

Meeting Bret “The Hitman” Hart – Part 2: Fate Steps In!

July 12, 2011

During Bret’s 13 years exodus from the WWE, there were many teases about his return in some capacity, but it never happened.

On Pay-Per-View nights, my friend Gordy and I had many conversations about THIS being the perfect angle for The Hitman to return…but he never did…time and time again we were left disappointed.

Then news started to filter about Hart dealing with the WWE again. Over the years DVDs and merchandise were released with Bret’s involvement…but still no on screen appearance.

In 2006, Bret got the much deserved call into the Hall of Fame…it was an epic night for the fans to see Bret get inducted, but Bret left straight afterwards and never made the traditional on stage performance at the following night’s WrestleMania.

Bret again disappeared.

Then…out of nowhere, an angle started up on RAW in December 2009…

WWE were running with a series of “Guest hosts” for RAW…from celebrities to former WWE stars. Vince McMahon teased that Bret Hart would be the one guy who would never guest host.

In a promo with Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels spoke the prophetic words of – “If you bring Bret Hart back, – good things will happen.”

Then January 4th 2010, Bret The Hitman Hart returned to the WWE. When his signature music hit…and the Hitman walked out after 13 years…I was in tears.

Bret buried the hatchet with longtime enemy Shawn Michaels…I was in tears.

Bret got involved in several storylines leading up to a matchup at Wrestlemania XXVI where Bret was given retribution against Vince McMahon. A good feeling for life long fans. With Hart family members at ringside (and the member of those we lost)…I was in tears.

The WWE played out further storylines with Bret as GM of RAW and eventually being taken out by the Rising youngsters including South Africa’s own Justin Gabriel – NEXUS. Bret was written off tv.

Nobody knew if that was it for Bret’s triumphant return, for months it seemed like it could be.

Then Bret was brought back for Summerslam in 2010, but used minimally. There was a Hitman tribute show on RAW a few weeks later, but by the end of 2010, the Hitman stepped away with his short term contract seemingly done.

Internet reports suggested Bret was done with the WWE.

Earlier this year, I found out the WWE would be returning to South Africa for a series of shows…of course this would involve the current roster of Superstars.

It was officially announced.

Meanwhile, in May 2011, during a PPV match between Hall of Famer, and long time friend/rival Jerry The King Lawler and Michael Cole, the Hitman stunningly made another return to WWE TV, and also appeared the next night on RAW.

I heard mumblings that Bret would be joining the Smackdown tour to South Africa in July! Surely it was just another in the long list of rumours that I’d heard about Hitman in my life.

I went straight to the source and tweeted @BretHart asking if this was true…and he replied IT WAS!

After last seeing the Hitman 15 years ago, I was going to get another chance to see my idol live…Meeting Bret was always a bucket list item for me, and suddenly there was a tiny window of opportunity to achieve this.

My personal struggle with the world over the last decade has been well documented, but the one thing that always kept me going was that I was a dreamer. I believed in the impossible, in beating the odds. However being a 33 year old single guy who still has dreams, and heroes is a weird juxtaposition in this day and age.

For the last few months in particular I had lost faith in the world. I had convinced myself that nothing good exists anymore, and that dreaming only leads to disappointment.

A few months ago, I posted a question on Facebook asking which three people you would love to invite to dinner. Some people went with the usual dead celebs, rocks stars, Nelson Mandela etc. My answer was – Leona Lewis, Johnny Depp and Bret The Hitman Hart.

I was determined to do what it takes to meet The Hitman this time around. Heck, I NEEDED this!

I organized tickets through a good soul, and knew I would see the Hitman in some capacity at the show at least, but I needed that handshake with the Hitman, I needed one conversation with him.

Being in the industry I’m in any knowing the people I know, I had a lot of contacts. Many of them casually promised they’d organize me a meet and great, or back stage passes, etc etc. All those sort of things people randomly say. As the Johannesburg dates grew closer and the Superstars arrived, those promises amounted to nothing.

I knew time was running short and if this was going to happen I needed a) a bit of luck and b) to do it myself.

The promoters had not organized any signings, so that was out.
Then it dawned on me to simply check the wwe.com website for “superstar appearances”…I did and slowly read

Cape Town – Justin Gabriel and Sin Cara signing at a toy store.
Cool…but damn!
Durban – The Big Show signing at a toy store.
Cool….but damn!
Johannesburg……Bret The Hitman Hart signing at a toy store.
Cool…but damn!

…..wait a second…
BRET THE HITMAN HART WOULD BE SIGNING IN JOHANNESBURG!!!!!!!

Out of all the superstars that could possibly appear at the Johannesburg signing it was the one person I wanted…the Gods of Fate were either smiling upon me…or teasing the hell outta me.

This if course was no guarantee I would even get close to him , I had been to many wrestler signings in the past, and they were mostly disasters.

Marc Mero & Sable – 4 hours in the baking hot sun…no photographs allowed.
Mark Henry – no photos allowed
Rikishi – just say hi and walk on.
JBL and Ivory – this was actually decent, I spoke to JBL for a bit.
Rey Mysterio and Kidman – just walk past and bump knuckles. No autographs or pictures.

I found out about the signing on Friday morning, and it was on Saturday. For the next 24 hours I felt sick to my stomach about everything that could go wrong. I tried to find someone to come with me, but nobody was interested. Story of my life right there.

On Friday night I looked at all my Hitman merchandise and wondered what should I attempt to get signed? Then as I looked at his autobiography it make perfect sense to that that. It was his story, which formed part of my story.

On Saturday I woke up later than I would of liked, and raced through to the shopping centre he was scheduled to appear at. It was a far drive, far enough to allow my mind to get the better of me. Should I turn around and not risk this turning into a bad experience? I don’t think I could handle that. Is the dream better than the reality?

I arrived, got parking, headed to the men’s room to dispose of my energy drink. And made my way to find the “spot”.

With relative ease I found the queue and it looked fairly short…good start!

Then however I noticed everyone in the queue had a “wwe ticket”. I asked what these were for and got told you have to have one to meet The Hitman. However to get a ticket you had to spend R200 at the store sponsoring the signing!

This was not advertised anywhere, and I happen to be someone who NEVER carries money.

I was heartbroken (excuse the pun), and immediately felt defeated. Then…in my George McFly moment, I raised my head up and with great confidence I went to the store and explained some of my story to them. The manager either feeling sympathy or fearing my beard organized me two tickets to go stand in the queue.

As I stood in line I began to wonder what exact I would say to Bret if I did in fact get to speak to him.

Do I tell him about that Battle Royal with Bad News Brown that made me a fan?
Do I quote his line I use almost daily? “Settle Down Anvil, settle down”
Do I tell him how he helped me through tragedy?
Do I ask him how he’s enjoying SA?
Do I just say “sup hitman”?

I thought I’d distract myself by taking some photos….

Which would have been a good idea if my digital camera hadn’t suddenly and inexplicably stopped working!

Panic set in…what was I going to go? The cameras on my phones were fine for close ups, but they would never be good enough for a pic with The Hitman!

Oh great.

They then allowed to queue to move forward right up to the desk where Hitman would be signing. As I looked at the queue I saw a few die-hard fans who were educated about the Hitman, but the crowd was mostly youngsters who were probably born 15 years ago. I knew I was the biggest fan there and smiled to myself thinking this was all just for me and Bret.

I asked the couple in front of me if they could taken a pic of me and Bret if possible and send it to me. They said sure.

Then a dear friend of mine happened to be in the centre and came and joined me. Oh great, nothing like a beautiful woman to see you at your geekiest as you try and justify why you are there. But she was awesome, and even decided to join me to meet him! As we shuffled through the hundred camera phones we tried to find something that would be the best.

The lady on the PA system announced that Bret Hart had arrived, and told us a few rules. No ticket no sign – check
Only one item allowed to be signed – check
You can take photos but can’t go behind the table – awkward but check.

Then, they pumped up some random hard rock music and out came Bret “The Hitman” Hart!!!!

He was wearing the black leather jacket and the sunglasses!!!!!

He got a warm reception. And took his place at the table…

I began to shake from what can only be described as a hybrid of excited and utter fear.

The line moved quickly and before I knew it, it was our turn. I let my friend go first, and took a picture of them with her phone, I felt almost blind though, so I don’t even know how her pic came out!

I saw the couple who was in front of me walk off, so much for them taking a picure and sending it to me!

As I walked up to Bret, 25 years of memories came flashing into my brain, and as I handed over my book in my shaky voice I said to him “Hitman, after 25 years I’ve thought what I would say to you if I ever met you, *he looked up at me*, and all I can think of is….thank you.”

He half smiled and said, “Well thank you for buying my book I appreciate it”

He then asked my name and signed the book to me. I asked for a photo and he extended his hand and shook mine.

At that exact moment my friend got the digital camera working and took the perfect picture of us.

I said thank you and enjoy the rest of the tour.

I didn’t look back, and simply walked off and got onto cloud number 9.

There are so few perfect moments left in life (especially mine). But this was the single greatest day of my life, and it took a series of events to perfectly align for it to happen.

For Bret it was just another of his millions of fans he’s met over the decades, and he won’t think about it for another second.

For me it was everything I needed it to be to believe in dreams again, and remind myself that there is a destiny out there waiting for me.

Meeting Bret “The Hitman” Hart – Part 1: The back story…

July 10, 2011

It’s not easy being a Wrestling fan, even more so as an adult. But I’ve always proudly stood tall as a fan. Not just of the WWE, but wrestling overall. I’m easily the single biggest fan in South Africa, and for me its been a life long passion.

(If you still continue to argue I’m not the biggest fan click here for all the proof)

People always try and rile me into defending it, but I never get goaded into the arguments of the naysayers.

If you ask anyone who knows me well enough, they could probably share a wrestling related story with you. From the early Hogan days, right up to the current roster.

I’ve been a fan since 1986, and I’ve had many favourites over the years. I have a vast knowledge of the history of the business, and I have a memory that remembers ever moment, title change or significant piece of trivia.

Some people may share the stories about the oversized Bret “The Hitman” Hart t-shirt I used to wear as a kid. Or the pink pencil case (space case) I used to use in High School (and believe me it’s hard to justify pink when you’re a guy in High School)…but firmly stuck upon my pink pencil case were my stickers of Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

Noticing a pattern? Yup, my all time favourite superstar was Bret Hart. From the moment Bad New Brown turned on Hitman at the WrestleMania IV Battle Royal, and double crossed him only to have his trophy destroyed by Hart. I was hooked. In that moment Bret turned from “bad guy” to “good guy”/

Bret was one half of The Hart Foundation with brother-in-law Jim The Anvil Kneidhart, one of the greatest tag teams of all time. Back in those days, wrestling wasn’t on every day here in SA. And it was hard to keep track of storylines and matches. Especially since this was long before the invention of the internet. But I mad a plan. I have penpals across the globe who sent me tapes, I found magazines, I kept a scrapbook, I knew what was going on…albeit a few weeks late.

I bought merchandise with every cent I had. Everytime a wrestling video game came out, I was there to buy it on day of release, and of course, The Hitman was the first character I played with.

I had Bret Hart posters, flags, action figures everywhere! (and they still are!)

Wrestling was such a big part of my life that I always found solace in it. When my brother died, I remembered that Bret lost his brother Dean a few years before. When Bret’s brother Own tragically died, it was on the anniversary of my brother’s death. The Hart family went through so much loss and pain, similar to my family, that I felt even more connected to him as time went on. When I felt lost or angry with the world, the Hitman was there to show me how to keep going on.

When the WWE (WWF at the time), toured South Africa for the very first time in 1996, it was a very special moment for me. Leading the tour was Bret The Hitman Hart. He was the WWF champion and leader of the new generation. I did everything I could to try and find a way to meet him, but it never happened. I was however content in the fact that I got to see him in action.

The year that followed was a strange one. Bret went through an amazing feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, that eventually led to Bret turning heel again (bad guy), and fans HATED him. The Hart foundation reformed, and they generated heat all through the US, but I still supported them.

Towards the end of 1997, Bret was involved in now infamous Montreal Screwjob, which lead to Bret leaving the WWF and headed for WCW.

Bret’s time in the WCW was miserable. And soon, thanks to more tragedy, including a career ending concussion thanks to that doofus Goldberg, Bret faded away into the history books, and stepped away from wrestling.

When I heard news of Bret’s stroke, my heart broke…but in typical Hitman style, he overcame that too. I always hoped he would come back in some way.

Bret swore he would never return to the WWE, and for over a decade the wrestling world was a lesser place without Bret in it.

My dreams of ever meeting my idol had all but faded into the distance…

Little did I know those fateful stars were only just beginning to align…