Monday, May 28, 2012

MMAJunkie Radio Gathering 2012: It's a family affair


Have you ever had a passion for something and hoped you'd find others who had that same passion you could share it with. That passion for me is in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and while I have friends at home that enjoy the fights, they just don't follow it with the same fervor that I do; it's just not passionate to them.

However, to the listeners of MMAJunkie Radio and their crew, their passion is as big as mine. Yet, for us the sport has somewhat become second fiddle to the actual show. That internet show, which has only been around five years, has engaged people from all over the world to a point that what started as a celebration for the 1000th broadcast of the show last Memorial Day weekend has become an annual, nearly week long event of activities.

Because of Gorgeous George, Goze and Jenny from the Block, the crew of the radio show, I've been lucky enough to be part of that experience since July 2009 when they invited me to hang out with them and some other listeners for UFC 100. What I could never have envisioned is that they, along with so many others would become such good friends; I'm talking about people I refer to as brothers and sisters from such states as Hawaii, California, Arizona and Minnesota, just to name a few; to other countries such as Austria, Canada and Scotland. The Junkie Family is coast to coast and worldwide and I'm lucky enough to be a part of it.

Because of my son's graduation from college this year, I was unable to be at this year's gathering until Friday morning, when I'm normally there on Wednesday. Thus, I missed out on a lot of activities; but whatever I missed out on, was quickly forgotten about when I received the reception I got when I showed up in front of the Junkie studio in Mandalay Bay Friday morning. Once again I was with my family at our reunion and this time the family was even bigger.

My peeps were all there, too many to name, but you all know who you are and then there were the new jacks I finally met for the first time. Alton, who I knew for all of five minutes before he started snapping jokes on me; (LOL....) Hal, Galileo, Lisa, Steve, Corey, Cousin Nick, DJ Zoo, DJ Ray, Big Juan and so many more. After only minutes we were family, but that's because we've known each other for years through this magical show. It's amazing how people you've never met before in your life face to face, are giving you hugs and you're giving it right back to them. It's a Junkie family thing!

My two days were a whirlwind that went from eating at Texas de Brazil, to laughing with Pablo Francisco, bowling with Tachi flyweight champion Ulysses Gomez etc.; but most importantly I was chillin' with my fellow Junkies. Oh, did I forget to mention drinks were flowing; yes all weekend too. Normally I'm a beer drinker, but knowing I had to stay awake, rum & coke quickly became my thing. While I figured the caffeine from the coke would keep me up, I failed to realize the rum might actually do the opposite; oh well, so much for my booze theory. ;)

Anyway, I'm home now and while I was depressed leaving the going away party @ Eye Candy Saturday night knowing it was over, I'm smiling now knowing that making the most of what I had and not focusing on what I missed made this short trip all worthwhile. Thanks Hal for that advice and thank you all for making my life that much better. Laughter is something I truly enjoy and cherish trying to give it to others very much; this weekend I laughed my ass off! As I told GG, Goze and Jenny on the air in a drunken stupor on New Year's Eve from my heart, "I love all y'all muthafuckas;" 'nuff said. Easy!

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