Saturday, June 29, 2013

Under the Gun / My Bucket List

Okay... here we go again!
I have just a handful of disasters left involving my navy boot camp days before we get
to the Nimitz stuff.

Now they may not seem to be so nightmarish to you, but just try and put yourself in my shoes for the moment. I bet it will certainly at least enhance your entire reading experience,
if not make you cry! LoL

This one here is a quickie.
And the photos are actually of us
during that time period... too cool.

I have a yearbook of our boot camp experience. I don't even remember anyone taking them... but here they are. Try not to laugh too hard!
Well okay... go ahead!!

On a whim...
I also decided to share my bucket list with you guys just in case anyone actually really
gives a shit... LoL

Well it's not really my list I wanted to share but rather the cool site I found where my list is posted. I think some of you out there might actually take advantage of it!


Under the Gun

The first morning of boot camp was possibly the worst morning of my life; I shit you not!

Tommy Mondello first formation in boot camp Orlando, Florida 1981
Oh my goodness look at this fuckin' mess! This was November 1981 and straight out of the movie "Stripes"... this was our very first company formation.  This is actually us. I know everyone of those faces. I don't see myself but I'm in there somewhere... LoL We were in Orlando, Florida for boot camp. This was right after we had our fuckin' heads shaved. Too funny huh? The only thing that will ever come to mind when I see this photo
is one of the greatest lines in the Stripes movie...
"Hey... we're walkin"... LoLoLoLoL  oh crap!

The shocking reality of my decision to enter into the military kicked in with all the fury
of a drunken riot.

It all began at about four o’clock in the morning, as the lights went on and people began screaming obscenities at us from every direction, just like you see in the movies.

Now, I have to tell ya that I am definitely not a morning person. So, this was bad, very bad. I just wanted to cry, and then punch myself in the face for signing on the dotted line. But there was no time for crying, because we were too busy being yelled at.

I now wish I had this on videotape. Ninety sleepy, dopey losers, trying to stand erect, and in a straight line no less, while being verbally assaulted by five Petty Officers
must’ve looked hysterical.

Tommy Mondello looking bored standing "at ease" in front of his bunk
This was us on a typical day and not one of those over-the-top crazy... get the shit kicked out of us days. There was 45 of us on this side of the room and 45 guys directly across from us. You'll be hearing about those guys across from me in a story called "Sqish Flip... Squish Flop"... in about 6 stories from now... oh boy! The front of the room and head (bathrooms) were at the other end of the room to my left. That's me right in the middle of the pic... 3rd from the right. Look at that fuckin' horrible posture would'ya... lol I recognize the other faces like it was yesterday. Too funny.

We were all in fucking shock for goodness sake. Environmental shock!

These assholes were like bumble bees pollinating flowers. Only they weren’t pollinating, they were just shitting on us!

Didn’t they know it was only four o’clock in the fucking morning? That would be in the A.M. Dude, what a horror!

Looking back at that whole situation, it really seems so hilarious. Can you imagine actually being one of those officers doing the yelling? Now, how fuckin’ great must that have been? Pretty cool, I bet.

But, unbelievably, this was not the worst part of the worst morning of my 20 year history. We still had'ta go to the bathroom
and take care of our business.

So, our commanding top dog P.O. screamed out for us to file into the head. (That means bathroom to those military a-holes.)

We quickly filed in and the line of guys reached out into the main portion of the barracks. I hadn’t been in the bathroom yet, so boy,
was I in for quite a surprise.

When I got inside, I remember the Petty Officers were running in and out yelling and screaming for us to hurry up, and to get back out
into the barracks.

Finally, I made it into the head, and c'mon dude, I just wanted to vomit! There were about fifteen stalls inside. And do you know how many doors there were? Fuckin’ none!
Not a door in fuckin’ sight.

You just had to stand in front of your assigned stall and wait for the guy already crapping to finish up. Can you think of a more disgusting, and odor-filled way, to begin your day? Man, I wanna vomit right now just thinkin’ about it.

I began to wonder again just what the hell I had gotten myself into. In fact, that question would come up quite often during the weeks to come. And, get this, you were only allowed to use ten pieces of toilet paper. That’s it! I shit you not. (No pun intended)

We were supposed to conserve. Are they kidding me, or what? Fuck, I use more than that
to blow my friggin’ nose.

So there I was, sitting on the bowl, with another loser standing there right in front of me on morning one, waiting his turn. Unbelievable!

Here I was goin’ through culture shock, and now they put me under the gun to crap.
What’s next, jerkin’ off in unison!

Life was really sucking at this point! I was fed up to here already with this whole set up, and I exploded with controlled rage.

“Hey man, can you at least turn the fuck around, so I can shit! What am I a fuckin’ dog? You gonna sniff my fuckin’ ass when I’m finished?
Jesus fuckin’ Christ!”

Oh man, I was in hell! I had Lucifer and his henchmen running around shouting obscenities at me, just as my index finger poked its way through the tenth sheet.

Now, it was time to cry!!! LoL

My Bucket List

So about 5 or 6 years back I came upon this really neat site. It's a completely free site where you just sign up (username & password) and then post your list. It's as simple as that!

Now I know you guys already have some sort of list scribbled onto a crumbled piece of paper consisting of the stuff you wanna do jammed inside the middle of some book up there on the shelf, but this site will put your goals up in lights!

It's very very motivating at times to see what you've written flashed up on the screen of some website... it's really cool! I don't use it as much as I used to but still get a huge charge whenever I do update it or just revisit it. I seem to go in streaks now of using it and then cooling off. But I always know it's there whenever I want it!!

Here's the link to the website

And here's the link to my list

Take a peek at my list if only to get an idea of what the site is... I'm hoping that some of you take advantage of the site!

And don't forget to add the things that you've already accomplished. You'll be amazed at how much you've done over the years, you really will be. And that's just more inspiration for you to go out and do some more!

I hope we all reach every one of our goals!!

cheers everyone...

your pal tommy

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Opening The Door For New Material

Hey everyone...

I just wanted to post the dedication and introduction to the manuscript that I recently completed and was having edited at the time that this Blog idea was tossed my way by my cousin Shannon.

I felt I needed to put this out there before I posted any of the more recent material that comes from this book. Some of it is a bit heavier than the material from the first book as I fell upon a difficult rough patch along the way helping to bring out some more
serious type banter.

But a lot of it is just flat out hilarious. As you'll soon be finding out when you get to the Tommy Gun disaster which is up next!

Just think of this ded/intro entry as a big 'ole welcome mat into the perils 'n dysfunction that is my life!

Oh boy... sounds like fun... LoL


I wasn't going to write a dedication at all,
until I recently recalled a moment from a few years back; a very calming yet profound few ticks of time that somehow released an ocean of creative thought and banter from their stagnation into a raging overdue breech from a teeming mind.

And why this moment in time you wonder?

Because those ticks of time brought with them the very
first joyful teardrops that these cheeks have felt in quite some time, that's why.

Meaningless to most of you, but to me it completely confirmed that I had indeed come full circle; from the conscience contentment I once knew, through the maddening seclusion, complicated insecurities and huge boatloads of self loathing I had endured over these past years, and then back again.

Reconnecting with life's wonders and, even more importantly, with myself!

So much wasted time, I know. How silly of me right? So yeah, those joyful drops were like a salty bath of good karma kissing me smack dab

upon my 52 year old cheeks.

Nothing short of a miracle!

And so, I've decided to dedicate this offering, these words of creative release, to any one of you out there who 
have ever traveled full circle; survived the peak's 'n valley's of this crazy life and been lucky enough to have felt these very same self-assuring salty drops of sanity, confirming that YES...

... you have finally slipped back into the shoes
of that incredible individual you once were; a vibrant,
fun-loving human being, full of sensitivities, sarcasm,
and of course an endless number of endearing
opinions 'n whimsical dreams.

Welcome back my friends

Welcome home!

An Introduction of Sorts

Well first off lemme welcome back all of you wonderful brave souls out there who took the leap and enjoyed my last offering. With any luck you've remained receptive and safely immune from that most dreadful of all species, the cool crowd: those who, more often than not, lack the ability to revel within life's ever present embarrassing, uneasy and, at times,
manic moments.

I can only hope that there's still room enough in your busy lives for the likes of a foul-mouthed knucklehead such as myself.

Now if you're joining in the fun for the first time, then I'd really like to welcome you with open arms, and to also extend a heartfelt apology right off the bat in case I unintentionally offend you in some way and bruise that bountiful ego some. I can't make any promises you understand, but if I somehow cross a line and do toss a bit of black ‘n blue your way, try your best to hang in there. At least until you grab a hold of my sarcastic ways, and realize that
it’s all meant to be funny.

Try not to react in a knee jerk kind’a way and toss me aside for the latest James Patterson offering (even though he is awesome, isn’t he!?).

But let’s try to leave those knee jerks and closed minds to those self proclaimed cool people. Because as we all know, we open minded mammals are truly the coolest! But you didn’t hear that from me.

Let’s run away from political correctness for a spell, and welcome in that silly and, at times, uncomfortable sensation

of laughing at one’s self!

It’s not always an easy task, but just roll with the punches and don't take anything to heart. I mean c'mon dude, after all look at where it's coming from will ya! And yes, “dude” also means you women as well.

So hang tough, and rage against the sleek allure of that ivory tower. Come join the rest of us down here on street level for a hearty round of good cheer and maybe even some deep-seated thought that you rarely allow to see the light of day. If you're brave enough that is!

Now, just so there are no misconceptions whatsoever about the contents of this very uncool book, (and now blog) as I believe there were with my first offering. I will ever so daintily attempt to clarify, and to give fair warning to any owners of delicately developed egos who I feel should avoid this print at all cost.

That is, unless of course you're willing to dig down deep and somehow unwind that tightly wound mind of yours, and, well, laugh, cry or whatever emotion the moment calls for. Or at least empathize when called for.

Hell I'll even welcome a sarcastic smirk or two. I still hold out some hope that the day will arrive when you and your standoffish ego stumble in public, courageously chuckle as onlookers point, and continue on your merry way.

Simply brush yourself off, laugh, cry, get the fuck over it, and yourself for that matter, and welcome to our world. To the very uncool underbelly we normal open-minded folk down here on street level like to call... home.

So here goes nuthin'... a simplified clarification just for you, the uptight a-hole.
And you know who you are!


Attention all of you humorless, stick-in-the-mud muthafucka's who are in lock-step with the soulless people who trashed my last offering, LISTEN UP!

This is NOT, and I repeat NOT, a fact-filled publication about... ANYTHING! No real-time statistics, graphs, charts, professional advice, or nostalgic photos framing the innocence of wondrous days gone by. No scholastic value whatsoever. Got it?

What you will find is the same sincere voice that you’d find woven within the conversational comfort of a neighborhood bar room narrative, showering you with silly, sad, mad, glad, serious, hilarious, fucked-up and, hopefully at times, funny ejaculation of the mind.
Pure emotional release if you will.

We’ll go from comical stories to dreadful rock-bottom babble. You’ll also come across some firsthand non-professional opinionated advice as well. All done in an attempt to try and pull back the curtain we all hide behind from time to time; to expose the laughs, cries and sensitive sides that inhabit each and every one of us.

And even though some of us are better at hiding our feelings than others, don't kid yourselves, because we're all just one emotional jolt or embarrassment away from losing our composure and blowing chocolate milk through our noses or crying our fucking eyes out. Which, come to think of it, isn't such a bad thing to happen anyway, now is it?

Because emotions, any emotions, are what fuel our lives. They make us who we are, right? So don't be one of those cool even-tempered robots man, just don't be. Let that fuckin' milk fly my friend and let those salty rivers of moisture caress your cheeks and help to bring you back from that ever present brink!

Jimmy Valvano, who was the basketball coach for North Carolina State University for a time and won the NCAA championship back in 1983 against some very steep odds, said it best.

He spoke of emotions in an incredibly uplifting speech in 1993 at the ESPN espy awards just eight short weeks before he passed away from bone cancer. It gives me fuckin' goosebumps just thinking about it! He was so composed and relaxed. (I would have fallen apart at the seams if I were up there at that moment of my life.)

He talked about how we should experience laughter, thought and tears, every day! And to never give up! Just think about that. Think about how full each and every one of our days could be. To experience laughter, thought and tears, happy or sad, along with every other emotion we have to deal with on a daily basis. Then think about what a fulfilled life that would give us beyond that single twenty-four hour period!

It has to add up to not one single wasted moment, just a completely fulfilled and satisfied lifeline from start to finish. That would be pretty neat huh? Perhaps easier said than done, but possible. You should check it out.
Just click that link up above!
You'll get goosebumps too.

Who knows, maybe something in here might even help to loosen up that death grip you now hold upon your own well hidden emotional scars and insecurities. Revealing a truth that you may not be nearly as cool and together as you once thought you were. Possibly even leading to a few well overdue laugh lines etched into
that stern mug of yours.

It's pure emotional release my friend. Pure muthafuckin' release. Try it man.
It's addictive, you'll see!

So to recap... not a fact-filled guide, not a fictional fabrication, definitely not for the faint of heart, but for... anyone who wants to read the spewage of a slang-using foul-mouthed fellow human being passing along real life tales and heartfelt opinionated banter. Got it? Good.


And now lets move on with this intro before I begin to tear up like a twelve year old in one of those bad after-school movie specials.

Remember those things? An hour and a half of pimples, cries, lies and goodbye's. I'll tell ya, it's not easy being a sensitive fucker!

So much shit has happened to me since the first book. Much of it was funny lighthearted stuff but I also had my share, no lets make that more than my share of heavy-handed hell as well.

Everyone of you out there has had your share of heartache throughout the years I'm sure. Some of it really clamped down upon my spewing abilities and left me pretty much devoid of any real emotional health.

It was truly my very own personal “D Day” as I experienced being downsized, divorced and depressed with one leading right into the next. Talk about a gloomy Gus.

But come to think of it, now that it's all behind me, I'm actually most excited about the aspect of revisiting and exploring those desperate moments I endured. That's weird right?

I guess it's only because we think of ourselves as always being that strong and confident person who could never ever find themselves in such a desperate state?

I mean, just how the fuck does anything else in life ever become more important than eating, drinking and trying to get laid, right? How the fuck did I temporarily lose my appetite for pizza, pinot and pussy? Mmmmmmm... 

I'm so curious to dissect the reasons why
I went off the rails.
It seems I'm a glutton for punishment.

Who knows, maybe one of you has also temporarily lost your appetite and might actually feel some comfort within my words. Maybe even find the path back towards sanity just by realizing that others have suffered and persevered through a similar fate. I really do feel that a shared experience brings with it enormous strength and a means for us to
overcome pretty much anything!

Wait a minute.
What the fuck is that extremely profound thought doing here?

To this point most if not all of my writing has been nothing more than silly foul-mouthed misadventures, which I so love to relive and pen. And there's gonna be plenty of that hijinx again in this volume I can assure you.

Because c'mon, how funny is it to read about someone making a complete ass of themselves? I can read about that kinda stuff for days.

But on the other hand the concept of putting emotional pain to paper has really ignited a firestorm of synapse connections. I'm sure that there's gonna be a ton of laughs, and cries, during these accounts as I try to pull back that curtain of denial and reveal the rawness of each snapshot in time along a bumpy lifeline.

I only hope that my fucking head doesn't explode in the process of reliving such drama. Crap, just listen to me cryin' already. Sounds like I'm the lead pimple-faced fuck in that after school debacle doesn't it?
What a wimp!!

And well, as far as an Introduction of Sorts goes, I think I've pretty much covered most of the bases. I'm sure you're gonna find some chuckles along the way with my comical journalistic nonsense and Tommy-like approach to writing, as fucked up as it may seem to you!

And also maybe even find some comfort in the more serious bullshit I went through. I would hope that someone does, but hope is usually such an undependable hand to hold on to.

And look, please don't freak out about any of the serious bullshit you read okay, especially if you happen to know me personally. Some of it is downright dreadful, and was very much unexpected. And one moment really caught me by total surprise!

I'm kinda feeling weird even talking about it but you know what? Fuck it! I've thrown away what little coolness I thought I once possessed anyway a long time ago! So, long live my new mantra towards life...


In fact, the guys on that show The Big Bang Theory are now my new inspirational hero's.

So, just relax, read and revel in the madness of the ups and downs, the peaks and valley's, the near misses and direct hits, of a mostly normal fellow human being.

And then thank whomever it is that you pray to at bedtime, that you ain't me muthafucka, that you ain't THIS human being!! In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Two Shoulders.

Anyways, I really wanna thank all of you for leaping into the fray yet again. For pulling up a stool and shimmying up to the bar with me to share another round of beers. Cheers!

I love you guys! Even without the Budweiser in me. And I can actually say that wholeheartedly, only because I have finally relearned, how to love myself... first! Pretty neat huh?!

See ya at the end... tommy