Backup – Part 2: Sifting through the ashes

A sudden lurch brought me back. I was staring at my feet feeling numb. I wish I could say i was lost in thought but I was only lost. I don’t even know how to digest everything that had been happening. My girlfriend was lost, my car was lost, my job was lost, and my mind seemed to have decided to hop aboard the bandwagon and go for a ride too.

It was too soon for me to even begin to contemplate what the hell i should be doing right now. And so instead of getting off of the train at my stop I opted to continue stairing at my feet, hunched over on the train. It was my first train ride. I wish it could have been more exciting for me.

At every stop a few people would get off and a few would get on, the train never really did seem to empty. Even though it was getting later in the evening and the normal rush had came and gone there were still quite a few people riding along with me.

With a heavy sigh I turned to look out of the window only to have my brief view of the city immediately flash away. We were now going through a tunnel. The lights of the train flickered and shut off. I would have been slightly frightened by this but no one around me really reacted to it. I simply assumed this was a typical occurance on a train.

I looked up across the isle noticing a blue lit sign hanging up above the head of a small fat man who seemed to be asleep. That was the sign. The one that changed my life. Had I even stopped for a moment to consider how my day had been going up until that point i would have merely scoffed and moved on with staring at my feet. But like i said i hadn’t really been thinking up until that point.

All i saw was a chance to start fresh. The sign advertised a new trial that would pay 10,000 dollars to the right candidates to have a special new medical procedure tested on them. Under that was a phone number. I immediately tried to call but we were still in the tunnel and my phone had no signal. The guy next to me chuckled, i assumed at me. I resolved to get off at the next stop and call. I couldn’t do much of anything about my life up to now but 10,000 dollars would certainly buy me some time to figure out a plan.

I wandered off the train and into an unfamiliar but confortable little coffee shop located just outside the underground station the train had paused in. There weren’t many people in there considering how many people were pouring in and out of the stairwell across the street to the train station.

It was dimly lit, almost like your typical dive bar except this place didn’t smell like stail beer and cheep cigarettes. The welcoming aroma of coffee and some soothing but unknown tune was playing softly over the sound system. The barista behind the counter – a young girl with tattoos and many, many piercings – looked up from the paper she was browsing through and gave me a warm smile.

“Hi! Welcome to the espresso express! How are you today?” She bubbled with what seemed like genuine enthusiasm. I assumed she was bored and happy to finally have someone to prepare a drink for.

“I’m pretty shitty today, you?” I said succinctly without any tracy of a smile on my face, she laughed lightly at that. For all the piercings she had a really pretty look to her. If hadn’t just had my heart ripped out I would have faked a smile for her.

“Oh you know, just bored!” She spoke in a strange way, throwing a little inflection at the end of random words. “What can I get you?”

“Uhm…” i hesitated looking up at the menu pretending to think even though i already knew exactly what i wanted. I always get the exact same thing anywhere I go. In this case it was, “a vanilla latte would be nice.”

“Coming right up!” She beamed at me. I couldn’t understand how a girl who fashioned herself in a way that from a distance implied depression or a stand-off’ish attitude could be so bright and bubbly. It was as if a preppy had been plucked from a fashion magazine and got the grunge makeover but was never taught about the attitude.

I left my payment on the counter and made my way to a dark corner booth. While i was waiting i pulled out my phone and called the number from the train poster. A recorded message played, requesting name, age, occupation, and other random bits of data I’m sure would be pretty typical of a medical study. I finished leaving my message right as the barista was bringing my drink over.

“Thank you!” I said as she was setting it down in front of me. She smiled and turned to walk back to the counter when i stopped her, “hey wait, is there any chance you guys are hiring?”

She turned and looked at me for a moment and then said, “Umm i’m not really sure, the owner comes in every so often but we never really know when he’s gonna hire someone new, you know?”

“Yea,” i nodded and looked down at my latte, there was a simple but awesome skull design in the foam, “how’d you do that?”

“Huh?” She looked where i was looking, “oh that? It’s just something i saw online once and started doing in here. Much cooler that those prissy flowers everyone seems to make…”

“Yea it is cool, i like it. Maybe you could show me how to make one sometime?”

She smiled again and said, “I’ll go get you an application okay?” I nodded and smiled back, for once on this shitty day it hadn’t been forced. I looked back at my latte, the skull was beginning to dissipate, it’s sharp edges had begun to blur and blend with the rest of the foam on top. It reminded me of how a carved pumpkin looks as it begins to sag.

My smile faded a little, the day was starting to seep back in to the forefront of my mind. The reality of it was hitting me in intermittent bursts that made my stomach feel knotted. Maybe the caterpillars had morphed into something more sinister? But before i could sink back into my depression the barista plopped down in the chair across from me with a pen and an application. As she slid them across the table she asked me, “So what’s this shitty day stuff you mentioned?”

An ironic smile played at my lips and my chest felt heavy again, I took a sip of my drink, which was quite soothing. I looked up at thw barista again who smiled reassuringly. She was a complete stranger, why did she care what I was going through? People don’t care about strangers like that, not unless they want something from them.

I figured why the hell not spill the beans and clear some of the air. I hadn’t even told my best friend about my day, but you don’t really complain to your guy friends about a crap day. Crap days are supposed to grow you as a man and seeking sympathy from other men is somewhat frowned upon.

With a heavy sigh I started talking. Talking about the day of the fight, the night after, the morning, my car, my job, my thoughts on my life and how fucked up the world felt to me up until this point. I kept on recapping just how much it was blatantly obvious to me that I was the sole responsible party for throwing away my entire life in a 24 hour period.

The door of the coffee shop seemed to blow open, some rain came through the doorway and a gust of wind wooshed some concert flyers off of the adjacent tabels. A man with an umbrella made his way awkwardly through the door as he unsuccessfully attempted to stay relatively dry while making his way sideways through the door frame.

The barista smiled at me and said she’d be back in a few minutes after she helped the poor soul who had come seeking warmth. I looked back down at my drink, the skull seemed to have been stretched out strangely from my timid sips on one side. My mind went back to my day and I was lost again. It was a few minutes later while I was recapping the morning in my mind that I realized something really important that I had forgotten about.

How to Write a Book

The problem with book writing is that it seems impossible. The average person will usually only see the finished product and think, “There is no way I could write something that long…” and so they never even try. But I’ve learned something about writing books from the two how to books I’ve written so far which makes it easier for me to work on this novel.

What I’ve learned should be common sense but in today’s instant gratification minded world it seems like we all need to be reminded of common sense every so often. This is what I’ve learned: You will not write your book in one day. It will take you several months or years. It depends on the time you invest. So if all the time you have to write is 15 minutes before you clock in at work (which is what I am doing) then use that time and try to write a page. If you do that once a day and try not to go back and revise your work too much (editing should come after you spew your words onto the paper) in a year you would have about 300 pages or so. That’s your novel. It’ll take one work break a day to write it and you could finally check it off of your bucket list.

The only thing that ever stops you from accomplishing anything is you. Stop being lazy and start accomplishing the things you want to do someday. Like they say, someday is just a nice way to say never. So stop making excuses for yourself and do something with your life already!

Backup – Part 1: Falling Apart

Hey guys, I’ve always wanted to write a novel and I finally had a good idea I think. I’ve been writing in my spare time for a while and this is what I have got so far. For those of you who need a warning this is written towards the 20 somethings who are into scifi. Part one won’t seem very scifi like but at this point i am just laying the groundwork. I plan on going back through all that I’m writing and posting on here once it’s done and editing and improving it but for now I’ll simple write a bit and post it as is. And yes I do plan on selling this book once it is done.

So anyways… thats how i always cut back to the thought i was nervously splicing together in my mind. I never really considered myself to be a story teller but after everything I have been through and after everything i have learned and seen it’s beginning to become imperative that i start trying to get this story out to the world.

You see, I’m one of those average Joe’s you always see twittling his thumbs or starring blankly at his phone on the bus or train. Not that I’ve ever been on public transportation, just that i feel like if i had this would make more sense to you.

It’s hard too decided where to start when you have something of grave importance to tell your audience. Do you start at the beginning and run the risk of the story being to slow and driving away your readers before the good parts begin? Or should you trick your readers into caring about the story by starting it off like the climax of an action movie?

To be honest i don’t really know which to choose, that being said my mind always seems to revert to me sitting on a train staring at a poster that i believed would take my life to higher places. I had never ridden on a train before that day. But it wasn’t the highlight of my life and is only really memorable to me now because i had been having a really shitty week up until that point.

It started out like any other week, the sun came up long after i had woken up. I was staring at the ceiling waiting for my alarm to go off so that i could feel like it wasn’t a horrible thing for me to be getting out of bed. There were of course little annoying birds chirping outside and as much as i wanted to blame them for my being awake i simply couldn’t.

I hated lying and especially hated the idea of lying to myself. So instead i stared at the ceiling trying not to think of the cold space on the left side of the bed. I tried not to think about who use to be there or how much i hated her. But that never works does it? It’s like counting sheep but in reverse, everyone says just do it and it will work but then you find yourself receiving the advice you used to dish out and you want to punt the next person who brings it up.

At the time i couldn’t remember what brought up the fight but i know i really fucked up. Every piece of my being was telling me to shut up, to stop reacting but my pride had a plan of its own that night and boy did it get a word in edgewise.

So i just laid there staring through the ceiling, my eyes red and not really focused on anything. My mind racing in circles while i tired too flatten its stupid tires. I don’t think i slept that night, not for even a moment. My stomach had been in knots since she stormed out. It was like the butterflies that hatched when i met her had reverted back into their old caterpillar form and they all decided that the meat diet was in fashion this fall.

There was a half empty bottle of pepto on my night stand and i was in the middle of reaching for the caterpillar poison right as the alarm went off. I jumped and knocked it over onto the floor where it sat on its side oozing it’s sickly pink chalk goo all over the face of a shattered picture frame of the love of my life, i jumped up swearing. The tips of my fingers brushed the frame right as my sleep deprived mind reminded me the girl behind the shattered glass hated me.

I just stared for a moment. The pink ooz slowly spread till her face was covered. My fingers had a little bit of the ooz on them as well. I sighed and sat back down on my bed. Staring silently at the mess not knowing quite what i should do about it.

I licked the pepto off of my fingers, and as for the frame? I opted to leave it there.

I hate it when the narrator jumps around haphazardly without any warning so I’ll just let you know that i had eggs and toast, sat around for a few hours and then wandered begrudgingly down to my car, intent on heading to work. Or i would have if it was still where i had parked it.

There was a spattering of glass shards covering the pavement and parking paint right by where i had parked. I just stood there for a while staring at the spot like a deer watching its death speeding towards it, horns blaring. The next thing i knew i was sat on the ground, not really looking at anything and not really thinking either.

The next thing I knew I had sent a text out to my buddy Bob, he was going to take me to work. I just told him my car wasn’t working, I didn’t feel like i deserved any sympathy today. As i stood up and pocketing my phone i heard a low rumble of thunder and glanced up as a drop of rain smack me right square in the forehead, how fucking cliche…

Bob had been pretty nice that morning, which was surprising to be because he’s not a morning person and is usually a total dick if you woke him up before noon. But he was cheerful as ever, drumming his hands on his streeringwheel, bobbing his head to black hole sun as it played in the background on the radio.

That being said he wasn’t really conversational. He didn’t even mention not seeing my car in the parking lot that he had picked me up from. As per usual he simply pulled up, window slightly rolled down and asked me, “how much?” In the best shitty Borat impression he could muster.

I hopped in with a sigh and was immediately thrown back into the seat, the door slammed before i could close it. He was giggling with that standard shit-eating-grin Bob was known for by his friends. So basically just me.

You see Bob was one of those comic geniuses that the world would never really understand. He was always reaching for a joke, usually for his own enjoyment but sometimes if you were lucky and the stars and the moon aligned just right Bob would make them for your benefit. Unfortunately for me the next alignment was a ways off…

It wasn’t that far to work and i guess i could have walked but with the way things had been going i felt like seeing my best friend for a while. Even if that did mean i was going to be his personal voodoo doll for his bad joke pins. Something about having him around always seemed to help me feel a little bit better. Today it was a struggle to feel better but he definitely did lighten my mood a little bit. That was good because it was about to go critical.

I was late, my schedule had changed over the weekend and i never called to verify it. I found myself sitting in my managers office. He was scrolling through some Facebook pages highlighting big tits, tattoos, and weed. Ordinarily the dude was pretty laid back but today he was tense.

He never acted like my manager unless his made him act like it. And that was what was happening today. We were waiting for the big boss to come in. There was an important meeting this morning i had missed and he was coming back from across town to catch me up on what i had missed.

I kept catching him, whose name is John by the way, watching me out of the corner of his eye. He would try to hide it and act like he was reading by purposefully moving his eyes back and forth when he noticed i caught him. But he didn’t seem to realize i could see the monitor in the reflection of a closed circuit security monitor that was conveniently turned off and was sitting at just the right angle for me to see he was scrolling through some bikini pictures.

I didn’t really blame him for looking, even if we were at work. But him trying to hide the fact that he was watching me was unnerving. I wish he would just focus on his pseudo porn and leave me be till his boss showed up.

Unfortunately for me that was exactly what happened just a few minutes later. Without knocking the door flew open, bouncing off the wall it swung wildly into and almost slammed back into the face of John’s boss. The dude was massive he had to turn slightly to make it through the door frame. He didn’t seem to look at John or myself, his eyes darted to the turned off tv screen and mine followed. I saw John quickly closed out of the browser window and all that was left on the screen was employee names and schedules listed.

Bossman scowled at John who seemed to shrink in his already too large Abercrombie polo. It was obvious at this point i was in trouble. I just wasn’t really sure how much trouble. John stood up and walked around the desk, hand out as if to shake his boss’ hand.

Bossman just growled, “Shut the door, John.” And then walked past him and sat down in John’s chair.

-

Just Adult Things

So tonight I had one of those weird thoughts I felt like others might find interesting, and because the frequency of these interesting thoughts (at least in my head they seem interesting) happening decreases with an ever growing swiftness. Or maybe I am just realizing that most of those thoughts aren’t actually interesting but I’ve learned to stop listening to my own bullshit and am now able to pick out what is actually somewhat more interesting now than I could even a year before now.

I like the fact that I am growing up in the internet generation. I think it is very interesting that I will be a part of the generation that publicly brings up in an almost sarcastic and yet brutally honest ways of stereotyping a reality of life, that there areĀ just adult things like in those stupid and excessively shared preppy posters that spread around Facebook like a winter cold in schools.

And those just adult things as much as we will all hate them for how boringly overdone they are and they just so annoyingly remind us of MySpace when we were teenagers. We will hate them but they will be true, and for once the young people from that generation forward will see in a way that they can relate to the reality of growing up and will hopefully begin to fearfully cling to their youth while they still understand what they will be missing when it’s gone.

I hope that that is the way things work out. I always wish I could have done even more in my youth than I had. I am known among my friends as a hard worker and an entrepreneur. But I feel like if I deserve those titles then I should be brutally honest about myself and those titles. If I had actually put 10% of my effort into even one of my businesses I wouldn’t be working for someone else today.

You have to try to not succeed it seems and I should know, I have tried the hardest for the longest time. I’m not sure why, maybe I just didn’t understand that there really is an end to all of this, even though I was commonly heard saying otherwise. Maybe it is simply not a thought that sinks through the adolescent brain.

But I hope, maybe with my generation as one last bad example our culture will take a step forward and evolve a little bit mentally and learn to appreciate their lives before they’ve used so much of it for so little to show of it.

That’s basically the thought, yea, it’s long and drug out but it did take place over the course of a car ride home after work, which accounted for 40 minutes and in the two way trip it is 1.33 hours of my day.

Here’s a few just adult things to get this crap started: “The older you get, the more you appreciate not doing anything at all. #JustAdultThings” “I can finally sleep in all day and eat whatever I want but now I don’t want to. #JustAdultThings” “I’m gonna be a daddy!!! #JustAdultThings” If you’ve got one leave it in the comments, don’t get too bad, some of them are supposed to be good. Hell leave a sarcastic one if you want to. ;)

JT Nickel’s Shuppet Donk – Let’s Play Yo-Yo – Ep. 010

In episode 10 of Let’s Play Yo-Yo Mike tackles the deceptively hard Shuppet Donk trick developed by JT Nickle, an evil mastermind of trick composition whose very trick nearly killed Mike. Also Danyel says hi! Anyways… Uhm… Oh yea, in this episode Mike also answers a few questions about his favorite contests, how yo-yoing has impacted his life, and a few yo-yo/baby crossover questions.

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Starting Over

It seems like every so often, every three years or so, I end up losing a very important file or backup somehow and have to rebuild a website. Well, this time I didn’t lose anything, I just ran out of money. I was no longer able to pay my hosting, and because of that I lost my three most important sites. Well my two most important sites. This one isn’t one of them. The biggest loss when it comes to this site for me was the years worth of blog posts I’ll never recover.

That being said not one person has mentioned to me, “Hey, your website is down buddy!” So I assume it wasn’t missed the last five months. Not a big deal at the end of the day, if people didn’t miss it then I was doing something wrong. If I don’t miss it then I was really doing something wrong.

At any rate my buddy Dennis helped me out with hosting while I get back on my feet in this online world. I’m lucky to have a good friend like him to bail me out of this no-no I’ve fallen into when it comes to having a website and being a savvy computer user in 2014.

I should have backed up YoYoCourse and Site Traffic School… Luckily I was planning on overhauling both of those websites once I had the money to bring them back online. So at the end of the day I feel this is a sort of blessing in disguise.

At any rate, if you saw this and you were happy that my site is back I’d love it if you left me a comment so I knew. Keep an eye out for more blogs and video content which I typically post something of once a week!