Thankful for a friend in 2018

New York City Comic Con Friends - Find Metalhead2018 has been a very rough year on my family and I.  It almost feels like we’ve been thrown into a slump that is so hard to dig ourselves out of the darkness.  As work on our house is on hold till we can get a furnace installed. Other roadblocks have kept coming up, including stopping us from getting help to get the furnace.  It’s hard to try and find that light that shined through the year at times. Though I know it’s there, I can remember the darkest time of the year where I was stuck mostly in bed for two months due to pain from my RSD/CRPS.  I was so depressed just binging through Netflix shows and doing Facebook live videos to get through the day. Till one day I got a phone call that helped lift me out of that bed. So for this Thanksgiving I’ll like to express how Thankful I am for this friend and all he’s done to help.


It was October 2012 as I was in line for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nickelodeon panel.  I was excited that they were finally doing a panel at New York City Comic Con for TMNT, at the time it was rare to see them do anything for the Turtles, as I go to this convention every since it started.  I think I was promoting the TMNT-L message board to fellow TMNT fans in line, which is something I enjoy doing as the idea of bringing us fans closer together is one of my big goals at events. Making new friends, and little did I know was how awesome of a friend I would find in that line.  I made my way down the line and found someone wearing a Turtle mask, I was excited to see someone dressed up, we did not get to talk much as I handed him a business card for TMNT-L and went on my way. I do think it was still TMNT-L cards, these days I hand out Cowabunga Corner cards more.


Mondo Gecko, Metalhead and MicheleSoon after the convention I started to get contact from someone online.  One of the things I remember most before I really connected who this new friend, is that he sent me the Raphael Piggy Bank in the mail.  What an awesome surprise, I still love that bank. After that we met up at New York City Comic Con to hang out. And I found another kinder spirit who has the passion for Ninja Turtles.  He grew up around the same time I did, and shared much of the same type of memories of the merch, shows and movies. Soon it became normal for us not just to meet at New York Comic Con, but to share a hotel room and hang out through the weekend.  Miki and I even gave him a drive home from the con one year, so he wouldn’t have to leave early for a bus ride.


Cowabunga Corner got to know him as Metalhead.  As he would appear in reviews of events, photos and now even videos for Cowabunga Corner Blind box/bag Openings.  I look forward to hanging out with Metalhead everytime we get the chance, as I know we’ll always make new and great memories and I’m so thrilled that he’s become a part of the Cowabunga Corner crew.


Metalhead at New York Comic Con 2017Now onto earlier this year.  At the time both Metalhead and I were going through some rough times with our family lives.  So when we would touch base with each other, we would try to be a shoulder to lean on. Giving both of us a chance to vent about life, thinking that is what we needed.  It’s always good to have a friend to lean on. I had a few other friends calling during this time to check on me, knowing I was going through it bad. Though each of us would talk about life in the now, and how hard it’s being.  I would try to get us to laugh some on the phone, as my goal is to get people to smile and laugh daily. Once off the phone, I would lay back down under my blankets and turn on some noise through the TV.


That was how I spent most of December, January and February.  No new posts on Cowabunga Corner, no new videos being filmed, no going to the movies, no going out to eat with family and friends.  I would not even sit in the living room to watch TV with the family. The depression of everything ate so badly away at me that I just wanted only to be alone most of the time.  I needed something, a lift and I had no clue what that lift would be.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Cookies

One day Metalhead gave me a call in February, and we just started off the conversation about Ninja Turtles.  And that’s all we talked about through the phone call, at first it felt like all my other recent talks about Ninja Turtles till he started talking about these cookies he use to love.  He said no one else remembers them, but they were his favorite. I knew right away which Ninja Turtle cookies were the best that no one talks about, so I tried telling him “They were Shell cookies” as he kept describing them to me.  I got up from my bed, made my way over to the last filming area for Cowabunga Corner here, slide the packaging for these tasty cookies out from under a glass which covered the top of my desk, and took a photo of the box.


I sent the photos of the shell cookies to Metalhead through messenger while still on the phone with him.  Hearing the excitement woke up something inside of me, I got excited and wanted to share more. Which got Metalhead and I talking all retro Turtles, about our past and favorite things.  If I had something neat next to me I would take a picture of it and send the photo his way. The laughter was real that night, as we both forgot our troubles that surrounded our daily lives.  We were able to breath, and I think that was the first time this year where I really felt a relief go off of my shoulders. It was due to one conversation that neither of us realized we needed.


After getting off the phone, I laid in bed feeling inspired.  I was so happy from that phone call that it just stayed with me.  In the morning without a second thought I opened up my video editing program and started to edit the BBO videos.  Within one day I edited enough videos to have one every Friday for a year here on Cowabunga Corner. I also did the write ups, uploaded and scheduled them to bring Cowabunga Corner back to life.  Shortly after that I started working on Kodak Moments as well. I even made up the choice to go to a local convention that weekend, which I was not sure I would do here in my own home town.


Metalhead was also inspired and decided to help me out more with Cowabunga Corner.  He picked up some of the behind the scenes work, taking some pressure off of me. And man I can not express how Thankful I am for that.  We work well together as a team, and he’s always been an amazing friend. One which shares many other passions with me from anime like Dragon Ball Z and My Hero Academia to tv shows like Supernatural.  We always have something to talk about, even if it’s not Ninja Turtles. Though Ninja Turtles did bring us together in this friendship and holds some of our brightest highlights, the best friendships focus around each other and all of our enjoyments and personality traits.  Not only do we both love the same entertainment, we both suffer for what we enjoy through physical disabilities that we do not let stop us from trying to live. We’re stubborn, but we know this about each other so we have each others back when we’re hurting.


Mondo Gecko and Metalhead in Time Square 2016

I am so thankful that I went through that line all those years ago looking for friends, as one great friend came out of the crowd of faces.  This is why every convention I try to reach out to those around me who enjoy the same entertainment, you never know where a friend can come from.  Every event remains an open door to new friendships, bringing along the friends I have with me to meet, and exchange our memories with new faces. This is also out how we met Mondo Gecko here on Cowabunga Corner.  The luck of reaching out to fellow fans.


For this Thanksgiving I’ll like to say Thank you to Metalhead for a conversation that helped pull me through the year.  Anytime I need a smile when I’m in that dark place of pain, I just remember his reaction to seeing the picture of those “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Cookies”.   It reminds me that the little things do matter, every laugh, every smiles, every cherish moment is there to pick us up out of those dark moments. Thank you Metalhead!


Do you have a person in your life who turned your year around with just one conversation?  If so, take this moment on Thanksgiving to say Thank you to them! Of course I am very Thankful for all of my family and friends for being there.  


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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