It's my birthday so you should really read this one.
The Josh Wells Weekly, Episode 122
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Since it’s my birthday, I decided to give Jinx a break and sooth my own aging ego by using a pic of me instead to open things up. Photo credit to the comedy lil’ sis, K8.
And just like that, I’m 42. I think the 41st year of my life was probably the toughest of them all (so far). It was also long. I know that time seems fleeting and maybe it is and I can certainly get lost in the day-to-day swing of things, but I think back to things like my first vax shot, and that seems like a lifetime ago, but it was only May. When I turned 41, there were no concerts, no crowds, Covid numbers were surging and most people were ducking for cover (I’d get Covid myself about 2 weeks after my 41st birthday). And honestly, thinking back on my 41st year, I almost forgot I had Covid, that’s how long ago it seems.
There’s also the 800 lb. gorilla in the room that I’ve been super hesitant to write/talk about which is the break up. And I don’t really wanna talk about it much here and now, but it happened and it was and sorta still remains heavy and that’s probably always gonna be the biggest marker of 41 for me. It overshadows everything else. How can it not? I’ve never had such a sudden and dramatic life change maybe ever or at least since I was a kid and moved to another town/state/country. And I’m no victim here but it’s had its ups and downs and the downs have been brutal and I just wasn’t mentally prepared for a lot of it.
And so symbolically, in many ways it feels like 41 was sorta a year for rebirth. And with rebirth comes the feeling of death and I think that’s a thing I’ve had a hard time getting past. That old Bob Dylan quote, “he who isn’t busy being born is busy dying…” I spent a good amount of this year too busy dying but I think I’m starting to get better at the being born part and that the upswing is sorta in effect.
But also, everything around me is in rebirth. I’m going to concerts and telling jokes in front of people and I’ve been inside bars filled to the brim with humanity. I’ve hugged and high fived when a part of me thought I’d maybe never do those things again. Life is once again full with things to do and it’s even at times been overwhelming. I’ve been double-booked and turned things down and even had those moments where I kinda wanted to stay home at the last second but didn’t.
There’s Jinx, my cat, my kitten. She’s a little over 4 months old and she's a little maniac. I think she showed up at just the right time. I wasn’t doing well at being alone. She fills this apartment with her frantic presence and even though it drives me crazy sometimes (like when I’m on a work call or can’t put up a proper X-mas tree), she’s my little homie and she adds an extra layer of love and contentment to my odd existence.
This year really put me through the grinder and I thought I was gonna lose it around Ida (the storm that turned my bedroom into a leaky aquarium). Everything felt so heavy and I wasn’t sure if I could lift it anymore. But I did. I got through it. It’s December and I’ve already completed my Christmas shopping. Life keeps moving.
I’m gonna try to focus more on gratitude, more on getting busy being born. I’m gonna try to focus more on the love in my life, my family, my friends. I love you all and I wanna get better at expressing that. I’m working on it. But mostly, I really wanna kick 42 in the teeth. Sitting around feeling bad because I’ve approached midlife is no way to go about things. I wanna live out loud, have fun, take no shit, love and be loved, and maybe consume less carbs.
Borrowing a little something from, ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ to show the importance of 42.
Movie I Watched Recently
So this is not the John Carpenter/Stephen King, ‘Christine,’ from the 80’s. This, ‘Christine,’ might even be darker, honestly. It’s based on a true story from the 70’s about a TV newscaster named Christine Chubbuck who’s dealing with a lot of heavy shit in her life. Her boss wants her to report on more salacious stories instead of the human interest stuff she usually presents. She finds herself at odds with the idea and struggles at work. All the while, she’s dealing with heavy medical issues, a weird relationship with her mom, and an overall general sense of things not going her way.
This movie does a good job of conveying loneliness. I felt lonely for Chubbuck. I just wanted someone to hug her or love her (although I feel like her mom did really love her but they seemed to have a bit of a strained relationship). It gets heavy at times and every time you think things are about to start going her way, something else in her life blows up in her face and she never seems to be able to get ahead of it all.
This movie hits on a deep level. I enjoyed it but I don’t know if I’ll ever watch it again. It’s one of those movies where it affected me so deeply, I couldn’t imagine a second viewing ever recapturing that feeling again. It’s dark, but as art, in a beautiful sort of way.
TV show I’m currently watching
60 Days In
(Hulu or Prime)
This is a reality show about seven people who willingly go to prison for 60 days undercover to help said prison come up with ways to improve their facilities, or that’s the premise that’s given anyways (I’m of the personal belief that there’s gotta be a better way but I guess it does make for interesting entertainment). It’s Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville, Indiana. I’ve only watched two episodes so far and to be honest, I don’t know if I’m gonna watch much more of it. It was a bit of a morbid curiosity to me to see what life is like in prison. This might possibly be due to my own weird fear of being falsely imprisoned. Like seriously, the thought gives me chills. Imagine being totally innocent of something but going to jail for it anyways? And it happens, probably a lot. So anyways, it’s thoughts like that that pulled me towards this series. But it’s a lot on me mentally. It’s a heavy downer watching newbies acclimate to prison life, a thing I hope I never have to experience myself. And since I don’t wanna experience it myself, I’m not exactly sure if I’m enjoying watching other people go through it either.
The 2 biggest things I learned in 2 episodes are:
-Don’t be a snitch.
-I wouldn’t fit in those beds.
Album of the Week
Fuck These Fuckin Fascists / The Muslims
If you were to tell me that punk rock is dead, I would point you in the direction of this album. This band is young, angry, and feisty. The members of the band are all queer, Brown, and Black, allowing them to offer a perspective on oppression that you’re average white punk rock band just can’t. They are not afraid to piss people off to get their message across which should probably be obvious from the jump with the name of their band and this album. The music is also pretty good. It’s not just angry punk rock. It’s got some feeling behind it, punk rock with a dash of soul. Their youthful energy is apparent and helps make a lot of these anti-authoritarian tunes catchy. They are the punk rock of a new generation and as an aging dude who fancies himself a fair amount of punk rock, I love it and fully endorse it.
What a beautiful album cover.
Book I’m Currently Reading
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music / Dave Grohl
If Dave Grohl is gonna write a book, I’m gonna read it. I’m a little over half way done with it and it’s been a great read so far. Grohl does a good job of choosing specific stories here and there to highlight certain chapters of his life without giving us all the details in between. For someone who’s been in the public eye for so long, it’s almost refreshing. It feels like we all know the basics of this story anyways (or at least anyone who happens to be a 42-ish year old rock fan does).
The early band stuff is probably the most interesting so far because that’s the stuff I don’t know about. I wanna know about Grohl’s first experiences with punk rock and touring and sharing a van and being poor but having enough fun to keep it going. His pre-Nirvana band, Scream, actually make some noise and tour extensively and not just in America.
There’s the Nirvana stuff which is obvious but also forever interesting to me. Grohl sorta sticks to the time when they wrote, ‘Nevermind,’ and went from struggling rock band with some exposure to, ‘Holy shit, what the fuck is happening? We’re now the biggest band in the world.’
Grohl also touches on Kurt’s death a bit because how can you not but he doesn’t overdo it.
There’s the interesting tidbit about how he was offered a spot in Tom Petty’s band, the Heartbreakers, about a year or so after Kurt’s death. He played with them on SNL but when they offered him a permanent spot, he ultimately turned it down (not that he wasn’t tempted. He liked Petty, enjoyed the music, and that kind of gig would’ve been a super secure career move). I happen to love the Tom Petty footnote in Grohl’s history because I too love punk rock AND Tom Petty.
Then he goes on to start the Foo Fighters but he sorta skips over that and goes more into the second and third albums. He talks a bit about his friendship with drummer, Taylor Hawkins, and this crazy cross country toad trip they went on.
And that’s kinda where I left off in the book. Very fun read so far. I’m very glad that he didn’t overdo it and bore me with minute details. The book so far has been well paced and entertaining.
There goes my hero, he’s ordinary.
Random sports thought of the week
Sports… is there any other drama like it? Sports giveth, and sports taketh away.
So this past Saturday night when I got home from a night of hanging out, I was very, very, I mean VERY surprised to turn on ESPN and find out that my favorite MMA fighter on the planet, Amanda Nunes, lost her Bantamweight championship to Julianna Pena by tap out. Pena was a serious underdog (obvs) but sometimes MMA be like that.
Here’s hoping Nunes rebounds from her loss well. She’s still the featherweight champ and rumblings already suggest there will be a rematch and why not? That shit is money. I just hope it’s not one of those things you tend to see in MMA a lot where someone loses after being on top for a while and is never quite themselves again. I believe in Nunes. I hope this is Rocky 3 where she did the commercials and took in all the shine of fame but eschews all that now to concentrate on beating her opponent.
But on the brighter side of sports, my favorite basketball player on the planet, Steph Curry, broke the all-time 3 point shot record in the NBA at MSG on Tuesday night against the Knicks. Barring injury, this pretty much felt inevitable but now that he has that record, it’s a lot harder to debate if there’s a greater shooter than Steph in NBA history. He’s changed the game and been so much fun to watch over the years and here’s hoping he puts down a disgusting amount of additional 3 point shots from here till retirement to make that record untouchable.
In Steph we trust.
Random pro wrestling thought of the week
I’m writing this on Wednesday evening, before AEW Dynamite airs, and probably won’t get a chance to watch it till later in the day Thursday, after I send this thing out. So whatever is said here is independent of that and I only mention this up front because I believe some crazy shit could happen on Dynamite tonight that might possibly invalidate what I’m about to type.
There’s a lot of moving pieces in free agency right now, maybe the most interesting to me is Johnny Gargano. If you watch NXT, they’re still using clips of him in this Grayson Waller angle so it’s like, who knows? Maybe he’s staying put and they’ll continue that story somewhere down the road (maybe after his wife, Candace, has their baby). But I’d really like to see Gargano give it a go at AEW. I think NXT 2.0 has made it clear what direction they’re going in and guys like Gargano and Ciampa might get left behind (which seems insane to type since Ciampa is the current champ and all). I think Gargano is probably one of the best in-ring workers on the planet with a natural charisma that makes him easy to root for. An AEW debut would breath new life into his career and put him in front of much bigger crowds than NXT 2.0. There’s a laundry list of dream matches I could think of. If it’s legacy and classic matches Gargano is looking for, AEW is the way to go. But if he’s into stability and working with young talent, I get that too and it wouldn’t be the end of the wrestling world if he stayed.
It’ll also be interesting to see if Jeff Hardy shows up in AEW (his brother Matt is already there) and I feel like Kyle O’Reilly might be the biggest lock to show up on AEW of all the current free agents.
Don’t forget about guys like Bray Wyatt and Keith Lee. I feel like AEW would have to fuck up super hard to not have an amazing 2022.
Can you hear me, Johnny? I’m telling you to sign with AEW.
Weekly Top 5 List: Top 5 Things I Want For My Birthday
1- more newsletter subscribers
2- come to the Hell Yea! show this Friday
4- a hug
5- Jinx no longer attacking my feet while I’m sleeping
“The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two…”
-The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
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Next Hell Yea! show is this Friday and we’re celebrating my birthday (and Yobs’ and comedy in general).
Sat, Dec 18th
Fair Lawn, NJ
New Years Eve