Monday, December 22, 2014

Perfection... & Strength

I came upon some writings
I had scribbled down that
were from about 2 years ago.

And as I was reading through them
I came to this entry you're about to read.

I'm not sure if I was attempting to write a poem or not.
It seems to start off as so, but then
gracefully transforms into simple mind flow.

As if I were just thinking aloud really.
Not looking for any poetic pace,
but more of a creative burst of emotion.

And the words and thoughts were so powerful to me
as I read them that I wanted to share them with you guys
if you don't mind.

Halfway through reading,
I recalled the very day I lifted up my pencil.

I remember I was having one of those
slightly hazy, heavy-ish kind'a dayz...
not glum really, but not glowing with glee either.
Ya know the funk I'm talkin' about?
Just bristling a bit and feelin' kinda deep.

I'm sure we've all had our share
of those hazy dayz. And it's okay ya know!
We can't be Tony Robbins
every second of every day!
Although he still does inspire me.

Well, I remember I was staring out of the glass sliding doors down at the stream below in the back woods.
Which is a huge sort of v-shaped rain catch-basin with two running streams that collide, creating one flow.

My view out towards the catch basin while snow covered
My view out towards the catch basin while snow covered
My view out towards the catch basin without the snow covering.
My view out towards the catch basin without the snow covering.
Close up of the 2 intersecting streams... neat right!
One stream flows from the top of pic down while the second stream
flows right to left finally creating one mass
which continues to flow right to left.

It's even more beautiful when the grounds and limbs
are hidden within white, displaying only the 3 waterways!

But when it rains for any extended period of time,
the stream/streams disappear into one massive
brown rolling rapid rage.

It's really pretty neat to watch too.

But as I was standing there observing
the snow-covered grounds, and two gentle moving channels bleeding into one,
it was as if a lightning bolt struck me.

And I began to have all of these metaphorical thoughts and visions of emotional stability.
And yes, instability as well.
It was really such an amazing feeling.

That's when I grabbed a pencil and began to spew.
And that spewage is what you're about to read.

Just take it for what it is...
simple unedited emotional release.

And I can tell you that the moment I began to read,
waves of emotional stirring whirled all about me.
It was just so neat, so unscripted,
and it really caught me by surprise.
To me this was a wonderful find.

If any of you ever catch yourselves in this same mood
as I was in... then really, these words
could quite possibly be a wonderful find
for you as well!
Just plug yourself into the state of mind,
don't fight it, embrace it,
and absorb the flow!

I do admit that I have the luxury of
sitting back and contemplating... well, stuff!
But I'm thinking that even you people who have
kids and families to tend to need a few
ticks of time for some cleansing
contemplation and reflection!

I've thrown out so much of my rambling words and thoughts over the years for one reason or another,
and I'm kind'a pissed off at myself for doing so.
I wonder how many thought provoking paragraphs
I tossed that will never again see the light of day.
Oh well.

Have you ever found some words or thoughts
that you penned years back
that perhaps meant so much to you at the time,
only to find that they mean as much,
or even more to you today?

Isn't it just so incredible how when you begin to read,
that in so many cases, it pulls you right back to that moment in time when those thoughts
were coursing through you.
It's so incredible when that happens isn't it?

I enjoy writing.

Whether anyone else thinks it's any good or not
really doesn't matter.
Sure, it's always nice of course
if someone somehow feels the pain,
or grins within the silliness of the words,
but that's not why I write.
At one time it was,
but I no longer feel that way.

I write for myself.
To empty all those ideas,
thoughts and at times senseless assessments
of mindless goings on from my over dramatic mind.

Yes... I DO realize
that I'm a fucking drama queen
from time to time.
There... I said it... LoL

But I'm betting that the real honest to goodness professional writers, musicians, any type of entertainer really, must feel the same way.

Otherwise the passion just wouldn't be found anywhere within the piece they've created
if they were doing it for someone
other then themselves.

There wasn't any title atop the piece,
and so I decided to just call it...
Perfection... & Strength.

Which by the way,
we all have inside of us,
if we choose to feel that way!

Perfection... & Strength

A stream of life is flowing in my backyard
Perfection... & strength
Wooded landscape... snow covered limbs
Bambi prints creating paths towards anonymity

I'm looking down upon the flowing life
And can't help to feel as if my own life
Flows in a similar fashion

As if to shed light on my stumbling
My inability to find my purpose for being here

I see before me two streams that join forces
And become united in one perfection... why?
It seems to be paralleling my life

My moods have been up & down
And at times have joined forces as well
Propelling me into similar perfection & strength
But always fail to continuously flow as one... why?

Is there a lesson somewhere within that flowing stream
Within those snow covered limbs
Alongside Bambi's foot prints
Why has Mother Nature chosen this point
To intersect the flow
Right here... right in front of me

Is it here to convince me that 2 halves can make a whole
And flow together as one in harmony
That it's okay to be complicated
And to be on your own path in different directions
But that it's also okay to accept yourself
Your complications... your uniqueness

That it's also okay to allow those traits to breath as one

Sometimes I become so confused
Trying to figure out just who the hell I am anymore
I thought I used to know

Maybe this stream is here to show me
How uncomplicated & easy it really is
To accept your emotional differences
That they can all be alive within you
That there is a balance within you

This stream right now is so small & non-threatening
But at times... after heavy rains it swells & angers
Leaving all balance & wisdom swallowed up
In a way
That sort of represents my down days
When I allow certain emotions
To just overwhelm my entire being
Becoming angry with my own inability
To find out what I want to understand
Why I just can't live... & be happy at times

That raging stream

Why is it... so hard to just be happy
And not think about who you are... or why... you are

I'm looking down upon that stream right now
Slow moving
Far from raging
Combining as one
I see footprints in the snow
I see myself as I so want to be

Is this my sycamore tree
Are some of my “life's answers” right in front of me

Held within Mother Nature's hand
Flowing answers... rolling simplicity
I can stare at you for hours
Like brilliant flames

I am your student
Mind is opening

I will find my balance
I will find myself
Whoever it is... I am
I will be found... again

I feel so lucky to have come across this.

It may sound like a bunch of babbling bullshit
to some, if not all... of you. LoL

But to me, it's a canvas filled with brush strokes
of rich flowing colors creating a wonderful
scenic journey through my sometimes
ridiculous thoughts and mind...
pinned to a specific moment along my lifeline.

Perfection in decay... perhaps?

But for now, they, these words,
still stir what innocence I still have left inside of me.
I'm 53, and I'm still humbled by the simplistic kid who somehow remains within me.

Fuckin' awesome!

Perfection & Strength being born
Perfection & Strength being born
Perfection & Strength being born

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Flying Lead... So okay, I'm NO Ted Nugent or Martin Riggs!

Flying Lead...

So okay, I'm NO
Ted Nugent or Martin Riggs

This story here is for you gun lovers.

And by all means,
I’m for the right to bear arms and to own as many fucking guns and as much ammo as you damn well please... I don't care if you have a tank parked in your driveway!

But'choo guys...
just scare the ever loving fuck
right outta me. LoL

Lemme tell ya about the one time that I went to a shooting range, and almost hit the target.

Man, I thought I was gonna die!

My friend Gregg talked me into going

to his gun club one night. Hey, why not,
it was something different, right?

I mean, how often do you get the chance

to fire a real gun?

I was pretty pumped about going too, and also a little apprehensive. I really didn’t know what I was walking into, but I would soon find out.

The shooting range was down in the basement

of an old castle-like, military building
called The Armory located on
Manor Road in Staten Island, New York.

The Staten Island Armory 321 Manor Road
The Staten Island Armory 321 Manor Road

I remember walking down the stairs, and feeling my palms beginning to moisten up. When we finally reached the range, there was about five other guys milling about.

Gregg introduced me to everyone, and then

gave me the nickel tour of the joint.

It was real tiny, almost claustrophobic!

The actual shooting range portion was several hundred feet long, with a small area where you stood in separate stalls to fire. And then, there was another small room set to the rear with a table and some chairs to hangout in.

I knew I was in over my head when Gregg

pulled me into that back room
to show me one of the guy’s pistols.

Now, the key word here is pistol.

He opened the case, and I shit you not,

but this thing was about two-foot long,
and they called it a fucking pistol.

This thing could’ve taken out a Superman I bet. Right through that silly bulletproof suit he wore.

Now… I was nervous!

Okay, so after my brief, but eye opening tour, Gregg began to unpack his stuff. I pretty much just stood there waiting for a bullet

to hit me in the head.

I hated it already, but what was I gonna say,Gregg, I’m scared outta my muthafucking wits! And I wanna go home!

Lemme tell ya,

I was this close to doing just that. LoL

You really had'ta be there and stand in the middle of all the noise, funky smells,

and the outright chaos, to feel my pain.

Albeit controlled chaos,

but chaos nonetheless,
to me anyway.

But then again, I’m a little petite flower,
and it doesn't take much to introduce
confusion into my world!
Oh be quiet!
I'm very delicate.
And I bruise like a fuckin' peach!

But these guys really did follow the rules,
and took safety very seriously.
But I’ll tell you what, when those guns
were firing, and echoing in your ear,
even with the protection,
the last thing you feel... is safe!

Even with all of that ear protection on,

the noise level still created tons of confusion.
To me anyways.

I just stood there while guns were blazing,

and empty shell casings were flying all over the place. It was like a re-enactment of that most awesome of scene's from the movie Predator
for goodness sake, but I held it together.

I couldn’t let them know that I was actually shitting myself right at that very moment.

So, now that Gregg had everything unpacked,

it was time to do some shooting.

The first gun I shot was a small 22-caliber rifle.


Just like the one I used up in the mountains with Angelo, and Yoda during my one and only

hunting trip. Remember, when I got lost?

The gun was quiet, lightweight, and very easy to shoot. It didn’t even seem to be a deadly weapon to me. It was like a toy gun in my hands, and I actually enjoyed firing this baby.

I just leaned in and pulled the trigger
bing… bing… bing. Beautiful!

There was no recoil or anything.
Suddenly, I went from chicken shit chaos boy,
to Buffalo Bill Cody!

Tommy Mondello... aka... Buffalo Bill Cody

Hey, look at me, I’m one’a da guys!

Well, as I was in my 22-caliber glory,

Gregg stepped up to the stall next to mine,
and also began shooting.

Only he was firing a pistol.
A normal sized one though. Not like that fuckin' Dirty Harry cannon he showed me
earlier in the back room.

Dirty Harry and his big muthafucking gun!

Everything was going smooth.
I was actually even enjoying myself,
forgetting that I was only one mistake away from getting my head blown off
by someone not paying attention.

But then, I was quickly brought back to reality
by some crazy bastard with a semi-automatic machine gun, just four stalls down.

It was an explosion of noise that woke us all up!

It broke through the normal confusion
like a hot knife through butter.

Just picture the scene.
I was leaning into my stall with my trusty
22 rifle, bing… bing… bing... bing.

The other guns were also pinging and panging around me with their pistols.

And then...

All fuckin' hell broke loose... LoL...
as we were ALL taken by surprise.

I stopped shooting, as the racket woke me
from my fantasy 22 rifle world.
Even the other seasoned members
stopped shooting, and turned
towards the commotion.

What we all saw was a short, skinny guy,
with a fucking machine gun wedged up
against his hip, firing at the target
like the Saint Valentines Day Massacre
for goodness sake!

And while empty shell casings were flying
across the room, excrement...
was flying outta my fuckin' ass!

The order was finally given to stop shooting,
and everyone put their weapons down.
Even John Wayne, down at the end!

It was now time to collect my target,
and see just what kind of a marksman I was.

Well, let’s just say, good thing
I don’t have to kill to eat.
For if that was the case,
I’d starve to death in a week!

No, no, it wasn’t really that bad.
I actually did hit the target a few times.
But instead of hitting the bull’s eye,
I’d say that I hit him in the ass instead.

So okay, the target was only about 25 feet away from me, if that. But hey, at least I hit the fuckin’ sheet of paper the target was printed on.
That's a real victory in my books.

But my triumph of almost hitting the target would be short lived. As I was coaxed into leaving the safe haven of my 22-caliber
rifle world, for the cold, downright deadly
world of the handgun.

The fucking pistol!

I should’ve just stayed with the 22 rifle.
I’ll tell ya what though, a pistol is really a beautiful work of art. When you hold it in your hand and feel the workmanship, it’s just incredible. It’s funny, because
when you’re holding it,
it just doesn’t seem like it could kill you.

I realized another thing about handguns as well. I’m sure you guys have seen movie scenes where someone gets hit over the head

with a handgun, right?

The person falls to the ground, and then usually jumps right back up to his feet, showing no blood, or anything. Maybe you see him

rubbing his head a little.

Well, no fucking way is that happening in real life dude! Not unless you happen to be wearing a fucking football helmet at the time.

Because if you’re not, you’re going to bleed, a lot!

I couldn’t believe how heavy, and solid it was. The only other time I held a pistol in my hand was during navy bootcamp back in 1981.

You remember that nightmare right?
I pretty much sleep through
the entire gun safety course... LoL

Tommy Mondello sleeping his way thru gun safety class in navy bootcamp Orlando, Fla. 1981

But believe me, if you get hit in the head
with a pistol, you’re not getting right back up.

So, anyway, Gregg took the rifle from me,

and then handed me his pistol,
along with a full clip of 16 bullets.

I should’ve known right away that this was going to be trouble by the size of the bullets.

They were gigantic!

Not quite as big as the ones from that Zebra bazooka I shot while hunting with Angelo,

but huge just the same. Way bigger
than the 22 bullets from the rifle.

Once again my palms moistened up. But, I had'ta step up to the plate and take my turn at bat. Only a girlie-man would come to the gun range, and fire a 22-caliber rifle all night, right? Right?

Oh man, I should’ve just stayed a girlie-man, because this gun just kicked my fucking ass.

Here’s how it went down.

After Gregg got me all situated with the pistol, he ran me through a one-minute crash course on technique. He then stepped aside, and said...

Go ahead, give it a try.

And that’s exactly what I did. I raised the gun up in front of me in the ready position. I felt like fuckin’ Mel Gibson on the set of Lethal Weapon!

(Okay, so I didn't look as cool as Mel... LoL)

Tommy Mondello... aka Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs in the movie Lethal Weapon

And then, BANG!

I pulled the trigger, and all of the sudden I was holding the goddamn Batmobile in my hands!

It scared the ever-lovin’ shit outta me,

just as the Zebra bazooka had done
many years earlier.
Maybe I was just destined to live
in the 22-caliber world.

I loved that thing and it's ping, ping, ping.

But now, instead of ping, I got a fiery BANG!

The gun kicked up, and fucking flames shot out the front. I shit you not, when I say fucking fire exploded from the barrel of this Devil’s toy.

This is similar to the fucking Batmobile gun that was in my hands exploding.

No longer were my hands just moist. I mean they were dripping with sweat now. Nervous sweat! But I had'ta keep my cool.

I couldn’t show my true colors.

For if I did, the guys would’ve seen nothing but a cloud of dust, and heard the pitter-pattering footsteps of a grown man running full out
for the front door towards freedom.

Crying tears of fear the whole way may I add!

But, like I said, I kept my cool... mostly.

Holy shit!
Did you see that!?
Fuckin’ fire came out the front!
What the hell is this thing,
a gun, or a fuckin’ flame thrower?

Gregg just laughed and went on with his own shooting. Me, well the only thing on my mind at this point, was that there were still 15 more fucking bullets in the gun that I had'ta shoot.

Fuck me!

I really didn’t wanna pull that trigger again. Because for some reason, I just felt like the gun was going to flip around in my hand. Having the barrel then pointing right at my big fat face,
and BANG, I was going to shoot myself.

I know, I know it sounds stupid,
but that’s how I felt.
I was like the Scarecrow,
from the Wizard of Oz.

But, instead of the wicked witch saying...

I had Gregg, saying...

"How about a few more bullets, Tommy!"

I was doomed I tell you. Doomed!

Now, as far as that first shot I took, well, I can only say that it didn't hit the target. In fact, it could’ve ended up in the ass of some fat broad down the road, for all I knew.

How could that have happened, you ask? Because I had my fuckin' eyes closed, that’s how!

That target was probably the safest thing
in the whole damn room.

Well, even though I was scared outta my wits,
I continued to pull the trigger.

Oh my God,

oh my God,
oh my God,
Yes, only 14 more left!

Oh my God,

oh my God,
oh my God,
Yes, only 13 left!

Well, you get the picture.

I worked my way down to about 6 bullets.

Still, not one mark on that fuckin' target.
The damn thing was only about 25 feet away
and pristine as the day it was printed.

I could’ve picked my nose,
and flung a booger at it
with more accuracy.

But I knew what the problem was.
I was anticipating the arrival of the fucking Batmobile flames prior to pulling the trigger,
and that anticipation was causing me
to pull up on the gun.

Well, that’s what they were telling me, anyway.
I just think I would’ve done a lot better
if I had kept my fuckin'
chicken shit eyes opened.

But let’s keep that our own little secret. There’s no sense in letting that get out, right?

So, where was I?
Oh yeah, 6 bullets left.

Well, it was about at this time that one of the long-standing club members stepped in,
and started raggin’ on me.

Hey Tom, you haven’t hit the target yet!
Maybe there’s something wrong with that gun. Here, lemme get in there and take a shot.

So, I stepped aside and let him into the stall.
And without hesitation, in one motion,
he picked up the gun, lifted it to eye level
with one hand, then BANG!
He blasted one shot.

He then placed the gun back down, and as he walked away, as cool as could be, he said...

Nah, there’s nothin’ wrong with that gun!

Well, I didn’t see the target budge an inch.
So right away, I thought he missed it.
And that’s exactly what I said.

But you missed the target too!

He just chuckled, and told me
to take a closer look.
And so, I did.

Everyone stopped shooting, and I walked out to take that closer look. And son-of-a-bitch, when I got close enough to the target, I saw a single round bullet hole, right in the middle
of the muthafucking bull's eye!

I couldn’t believe it.
He was right; there was nothing wrong
with the stupid gun.
It was me!

Oh man, we all just cracked up laughing.
I just couldn’t believe how he picked up
the gun, aimed for a split second,
and fired, with one hand no less!
It all happened so fast, and then
that fucker hit the bull's eye to boot…
it was really pretty cool to witness!

So, with only 5 bullets left, and no, I wasn't gonna ask for another F'in clip, my fear had finally subsided. This was now a matter of pride. I was determined to hit that damn target one way or another, and preferably with a bullet!

And if not with a bullet than yes, the thought of actually throwing that fuckin' gun at that fuckin' target had crossed my fucking mind.

I really tried my hardest to hit that damn thing.
I even kept my eyes, well, semi-opened!

And eventually, I did manage to barely graze the bottom of the paper. And, even though it wasn’t actually part of the bull's eye target circles, I was proud nonetheless. And also relieved!

Relieved that there were no more fucking bullets left. Whoa! I made it!

Tommy Mondello cannot shoot a fuckin' gun... period!  LoL
This isn't the actual paper target I used.
Unbelievably, I located the real target I used 2 months ago
while poking around some of my stuff
and put it somewhere for safe keeping because I knew I was
going to use it in this entry in the very near future...
and of course... I can't remember for the life of me
where the fuck I put it... LoL

But this one above is very similar to the one I used.

That muthafucka banged middle without even trying!!
And look at my poor excuse of a bullseye-less shot... LoL

You know I'm going to find the real target the very second I post this right!!!

I then said thanks, but no thanks, to anymore.
I quickly ran back to the woolly-soft haven,
of the 22-caliber world,
like the girlie-man that I truly was.

And so...
Ted Nugent or Martin Riggs... I'm not!

Ted Nugent the Motor City Madman... he's awesome!
Ted Nugent the Motor City Madman... he's awesome!
Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs... too fuckin' cool!