DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry One Hundred Twenty-Four.
Friday, 2010.06.04, 10:28 AM CST.

Gary Coleman, Corey Haim, and my dad's girlfriend.
Current Mood:  Nostalgic again.  Current scent:  The sweat in my T-shirt.

First off, allow me to apologize for how long this site has gone without an update.  A while back I had some major issues with my laptop (it's still out of commission), and it took me a while to get stuff installed onto my wife's laptop.

In the meantime, I wrote a couple of Journal Entries - #122 and #123 - and posted them on my fairly new DJ Badger Facebook page.  If you're a Facebook addict, er, user... then I highly recommend adding that page.  I'll be announcing a few things there before I announce them here (and vice versa).

Anyway, those two other new entries have now been added here on the site and retro-dated accordingly.


Things have been going okay with my life on an overall basis.  It's so hard to believe that we're already into June of 2010, though.  I don't remember what day in May 1990 I graduated, but now that it's June, there's no escaping this fact:  I have been out of high school for over 20 years.  That's insane.  My God, where does the time go?


It looks like 2010 might be shaping up to be another year like last year.  The celebrities of my generation are dying off.  I'll get to a couple of those in just a little bit.



Before the people that most of you will "know" by name, I want to talk about a lady named Shirley.  Shirley went to high school with my dad - way, way back in the 1940s.

Well, a little while after my mom (who, coincidentally, was also named Shirley) died in 2007, my dad started dating Shirley.  That's right - he started dating the woman that he'd known since way back then.  I didn't really mind; it wasn't like I was going to be able to bring my mom back to life, and I didn't like the thought of my dad being lonely for the rest of his life.

As it turned out, Shirley was really a nice person - extremely nice.  I don't think there was a point at which we saw each other that she didn't compliment me about something - my shirt, my tie, my manners, something.  She really seemed sweet, and she did everything she could to make sure that Dad was okay.

Well, time went on, as it does... and, unfortunately, Shirley's time came to an abrupt end.  Last week, she experienced a sudden and unexpected heart issue, and was rushed to the hospital by paramedics.  She passed away this week.

My dad has been doing all he can to keep his spirits up without her.  It's going to be difficult, since they were together for over two years.  I'm going to miss Shirley as a person, of course, but I'll also miss the added security of having someone who was "around" him so much more often than I could be in case something went wrong.

Rest in peace, Shirley.



Well, the first big, impactful "surprise" among celebrity deaths this year - at least for me - was the passing of Corey Haim.  I know he died quite a while ago, but I've been wanting to mention it for a while.

I know I'm running pretty late with this one... and I'm going to admit to an extreme level of ignorance in this case.  I'd never watched "The Two Coreys" on A+E.  I didn't know how messed-up Corey Haim was.  I had thought that Corey Feldman had been the really screwed-up member of the pair, and that Corey Haim had lived a pretty clean life after his stardom.

Obviously, I was so wrong.

I'm sure that some people will most closely associate Corey Haim and Corey Feldman with films like License To Drive and Dream a Little Dream.  However, my favourite of their films was a goofy little horror-comedy flick called The Lost Boys.  At the time of its release (1987), I thought it was pretty badass.  I still love the film.

Despite their careers eventually tanking and their lives going haywire, the Coreys were iconic, and its tough to believe Corey Haim's no longer around.  That's crazy.  Hopefully he's at peace.



I was seven years old when "Diff'rent Strokes" went on the air.  I can very clearly remember watching it with my parents (specifically, my mom) back then, along with the "Diff'rent Strokes" spin-off "The Facts of Life" (which debuted when I was eight).  It was around the time of my life that I was first getting into collecting and performing magic tricks - a fascination of mine long before I got into DJing or even into video games.

Back then, I liked to play outside a lot, and after I got home from school, I would often spend the better part of my evening running around the backyard swinging on my swing set and playing with my dog, Spike.

Strangely, at the time, I also developed an odd neurosis.  I had an extreme fear that the world was ending soon.  I didn't know how, exactly, but I would often look around the world from the confines of my backyard, and for some reason, I was afraid the end of it all was near.  I would get especially worried if the sky was dark and all the vegetation appeared to turn especially "green."  That mental issue continued for a few years, if I recall correctly.  (I still feel vaguely uncomfortable when storms come by and "everything goes green.")

I looked forward every week to "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life."  I would come in from playing outside and relax in the den, laughing and laughing at the antics of Arnold, Willis and Kimberly.

Of course, after "Diff'rent Strokes," the lives of the three young stars went awry.  Todd "Willis" Bridges had some issues with drugs and crime, as did Dana "Kimberly" Plato - who eventually died of an overdose (ruled a suicide) in 1999.

Gary "Arnold" Coleman had some issues as well - not as severe as the other two, but his career certainly went downhill after "Diff'rent Strokes."  He had severe financial issues, largely due to his parents misappropriating the money in his trust fund, and he had some run-ins with the law, such as when he punched a lady who insulted him while he was working as a security guard.

He still did what he could to stay in the entertainment business, and apparently kept a good sense of humour about himself.  In 2003, he was even featured in Running with Scissors' Postal 2 (one of my favourite first-person shooters) in an interactive, self-deprecating cameo.

Last week, after falling and suffering a head injury at his home, Coleman died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 42.  Like many, I'll always remember him as little Arnold Jackson, who Mr. Drummond rescued from a life of poverty.  Hopefully, he will find peace as well.


As I've said before, when it comes to celebrities, I don't mourn them as individuals (especially since I never met them) as much as I mourn the loss of pieces of my past.  Their work (i.e., Haim's movies and Coleman's television work) will remain, of course, but it's just very saddening when entertainers I enjoyed so much as a child pass on.

Hopefully, I'll be posting some better news soon.  Stay tuned.