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Aunt Ciappa!

…for finding (and delivering) Bad Guy and Robot.

She’ll forever be their aunt,


We’ve been a one-pet home ever since Mr. Fabulous died in December, and Heisenberg has loved every single second of it. But since she’s a bit of a shit we decided to add not one, but two new pets to the Shady family!

Please meet our two new kittens, Bad Guy (who, of course, is a girl)…

Bad Guy!

…and Robot!


Some backstory on their names: KB and I chose them as a nod to Grey and West’s favorite music video: “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys.

The video is an homage to Japanese Kaiju films, and in it a robot battles an octopus-headed creature.



The kids have dubbed these two characters Robot and Bad Guy, and they often take on their personas when they play together: “I’ll be Robot. You be Bad Guy.”

We thought that was cute, and believed naming our new furry family members after them would make the kids even more excited for their arrival.

We were wrong.

The kids had other thoughts about what their names should be. Grey wanted to name her cat Balloony (“Because she will like to pop balloons!”), and as time went on she tacked on a couple of middle names (she’s obviously our daughter) including Coconuty and Treetop. West just wanted to call his cat Papery (“Because he will like to write on paper!”).

I told West that if his kitten was able to write on a piece of paper they could name them whatever they wanted. So far, he has yet to do so.

We assumed their love for these names would be fleeting, but their pushback was fierce. Every time we’d mention the kittens’ names it would turn into a battle of wills: “Her name is not Bad Guy! It’s Balloony!”

And so to keep the peace we decided to meet in the middle. The full name of Grey’s cat is Bad Guy Balloony Coconuty Treetop Shady, and West’s is Robot Papery Shady. They even have tags with their full names engraved on them. They’re very large tags.

It’s safe to say our vet will have an easy time remembering these cats.

Bad Guy & Robot!

We’ve yet to fully introduce them to Heisenberg but we’ll keep you posted on the transition as it plays out. At this point we’re just hoping Heisenberg doesn’t immediately murder/eat them… because they are pretty damn cute.

Balloony & Papery!

And coming soon… another dog,


…I’m assuming, or at least I think, in kindergarten.

I know I was four when we met because Andy was at my fifth birthday party.

Here’s a photo of Andy at my first-ever friends’ birthday party in September 1981. Andy is in the background with the dark hair, peeking out from the left side of my super-excited face.

September 1981: 1703 W. Bolivar Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After the gifts were opened, the party moved to Showbiz Pizza. Andy is on the far right side holding a red balloon.

September 1981: 1703 W. Bolivar Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I previously posted about this party here.

Anyway, sometime soon after this party happened, Andy stopped going to the same school. I’m assuming he moved to a different neighborhood or something, though the exact details are lost on me. I mean, it was almost 40 years ago.

One year, Andy was there. The next, Andy wasn’t. That’s just childhood for you.

Decades passed. I went off to college in Ohio, then moved back to Milwaukee, then moved to Los Angeles, Chicago, and on and on and on. I became a husband, a father. I lost my hair. That’s just adulthood for you.

But then, out of the blue, my good friend Milan mentioned to me that an independent wrestling circuit called Mondo Lucha had started up in Milwaukee. It was run by this awesome guy named Andy Gorzalski. Yep, that Andy Gorzalski.

Milan (an old college friend of mine) and Andy (an old elementary school friend of mine) had become friends independently of me. That’s just Milwaukee for you.

Mondo Lucha only puts on one show a year (occasionally, a second show), and not living in Milwaukee has always made it tough for me to attend. But this past September 7th, KB, Ciappa, and I headed to Milwaukee to join our good friends Milan, Dori, and Jodi and celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mondo Lucha.

A surprise appearance from “Mean” Gene Okerlund kicked off the night…

"Mean" Gene Okerlund!

…and the fans in the audience were just as colorful as the wrestlers in the ring.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

A robot wrestled…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…as did a Space Monkey. Literally, his name is Space Monkey.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

Zach Gowen made a return appearance at Mondo Lucha…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…to prove that, with only one leg, he’s still in better shape than I am with two.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

A trash-talking manager in a hot pink outfit…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…leapt off the top ropes and brought everyone in the ring crashing to the mat.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

That guy in hot pink? Andy Gorzalski…


…37 (or so) years after that day at Showbiz Pizza.

In addition to Mondo Lucha, Andy has done some amazing things for the city of Milwaukee. For example, check out this ESPN 30 for 30 short doc they did on Andy called MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous.

Then, learn more about Mondo Lucha here.

Hopefully, it won’t be another four decades before we see each other again. At the very least, I know I’ll see him next year when I take in another amazing night of independent wrestling. And old friends.

Andy aged much better than I did,


Welcome, neighbor! Or, in your language: "BLEEP BLORP BLEEP BLOP 010101001111101110!"

Some of my best friends are robots,


Old Poop!