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Friday, April 25, 2014

STOP!!! DON'T Tell Me Everything

I once lobbied heavily for social network usage. I loved the convenience that a social network had to offer. Staying updated with ease in music, film, pop culture were all benefits of having social network accounts and apps on my phone.

Now I don't sing the same tune… so much.

The only social network I’m currently using is Twitter. After getting rid of Instagram and Facebook I found my life has been literally distraction free. Call it a lack of self-discipline, but nothing kept me more distracted than “Newsfeed Updates” on Facebook. I found myself not even using my social networks productively. I was leaving way too many sarcastic comments on Facebook or snooping through photo after photo on Instagram. It was all pointless.

I’ve learned something in my month or so away from social networks.


Do you know how great it is to not have stupid Facebook or Instagram notifications barking at my phone every ten minutes?

For me I think my main problem with how social networks are being used now is that they are just simply too revealing.

Nothing kills a good movie worse than someone ruining it by telling you the ending. Once you connect all the dots yourself there really isn’t any fun in watching the rest of the movie. If you’re like me you will finish watching it simply because you will go mad if you don't. Even if you do finish watching, you will find yourself less interested in finishing the film since now the cat is out of the bag.

No other social network in the world is more like “the guy who ruins the movie” than Instagram.

Nothing is more annoying than having to hear about an experience you nearly witnessed yourself.

Don't tell me you went to bar if you posted multiple pictures of yourself at that bar. I found myself annoyed, and annoyed with my own friends. I would find myself saying things in my head like, “Yeah I saw on your Instagram. You know, the account that you post pictures of what you’re doing?” Of course I didn't, I always listened, but I found every story less magical than it could have been had I not been privy to so much information.

Even worse, on Facebook my account had gathered friends I probably wouldn't recognize in real life. Imagine being stuck in a room with a bunch of people and being forced to hear their opinions on every trivial thing in their personal life. I didn't want to continue my long list of already "Hidden" people, I couldn't take it anymore.

I realized for myself that nothing is more distracting than making social network usage a habit.

I’m a storyteller. I also like to hear good stories, but life in general is always better with a little surprise. Just like every other person in the world I also have a favorite book. Though even I can only read the book so many times in one year before it is time to put it down.

For now it's time to put all these social networks down…. all except for Twitter of course ;)

Friday, February 7, 2014

What I've Found Myself Doing

I’ve been torturing myself lately, amongst an array of other productive ways to improve myself.

My newfound torture comes in the form of great success, none of which I can claim.

It’s pretty sick.

I’ve been reading writer blog entries, two specific types of entries,  “How I Got My Agent” and “How I Published My First Book.”

I’ll find myself thinking during morning writing sessions, “I need a break.”

My break will consist of reading the brag posts/rants, while dying slowly inside.

I am still working hard myself to finish out my own stories, but damn this envy inside of me.

Luckily I figured out a way to combat this all.

A positive way…

In fact I'm finding a great amount of success each time I practice this “newfound” method.

It’s amazing.

Whenever I get stuck on something, or I feel like my writing/storytelling falls short I stop. I immediately stand up from my desk and take a deep breath.

I stand there allowing myself to relax, while letting the rising frustration that is blood pressure fade away.

After the mounting stress fades away is when the successful part kicks in.

Each time I do this, I rest my head on a pillow and what I’ve found myself doing is….


Out like a light.

No thinking, no restless pondering, just 12 hours of successful sleep.

(Can you sleep 36 hours in a day?)

I don't know what works for y’all at moments of despair, but if I could suggest anything it would be….

“Take a nap.”

Is your boss hounding you?

Ask for a break, and then do all the techniques you need to do to relax yourself.

Open your car door, recline that chair back and boom! You might just find yourself sleeping… ;)

Just make sure you bring your keys and belongings…. You know, in case your naps are like mine and you wake up and it’s like 11 p.m. or something.

Sincerely Yours,

A Delusional Mark Montes Jr. ;)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Spiritual companionship…. My Take

As an experimental fiction writer (struggling to write dialogue) my ears are always open. I'm just hoping for any sort of help to make my own written dialogue sound as genuine as possible.

Rarely do I ever eavesdrop on conversations that actually have substance behind them. What I mean is that if I'm getting groceries, I usually hear the normal day-to-day chatter that seems to fill the voids in my own life.

Yet in the past month or so, while doing "dialogue research," I've begun to notice a common theme.

Shortly before my birthday I was sitting at the dentist for a routine checkup. As I sat there waiting to get my name called I peered over and saw a lady coming through the door. She came to the doorway with her head shaking violently. She struggled to open the door as she had both her hands full. In all honesty at first glance, she appeared to be extremely tired.

Now I don't claim to be the greatest gentleman in the world, but I like to think that my parents raised me with manners. Noticing her struggle, I hopped out of my chair and rushed to get the door open for her. She thanked me profusely.

“Wow a true gentleman, thank you so much,” is what she said exactly. (Might not be the "greatest," but "true gentleman" never hurt anyone right?)

“You’re welcome, I know how hard it can be with hands full and these heavy doors,” I said in my attempt to appear as friendly as I could.

I sat back down in my chair and slyly watched her as she walked to the desk to put her name on the appointment check-in list.

It wasn't just her head that moved, it was her hands, her body and just about every piece of her person that shook pretty violently.

I wondered in that moment, “why was she all alone?”

She finished signing her name and came to sit down on my side of the waiting room.

She looked at me, took a deep breath and then said, “I am sorry about my shaking. I know it can be distracting, you know they just have me on so many units of insulin for my diabetes. I just can’t stop the shaking.”

I wondered in that exact moment if she had been in my mind. In the most apologetic tone possible I tried to explain my sincerity.

“Not at all, I have a couple of relatives who are diabetic so I know how painful and tough the battle can be.” I told her this in my confidently informed tone of voice. ;)

Moreover, do you ever get the sense that sometimes you're destined to hear a conversation or you're destined to have one?


It happens to me here and there.

I woke up that morning and was not in a particularly good mood. To be fair anytime I have to wake up and concede four hours of the day to a doctor's office (in this case the dentist) I'm usually disappointed.

Yet when I walked into that office that morning I felt my whole attitude shift. I suddenly felt grateful I was there early. I was glad to know that come the afternoon my obligations would be fulfilled and I would be able to write without interruption.

As the woman engaged me, I felt this intuition pinch me and say, “listen up.”

“I haven’t slept a full night since June,” she continued. “My husband… he passed away in June, and everything has just been a mess. The diabetes is getting worse, I can’t sleep and I'm just tired. This shaking is just beyond embarrassing, everyone thinks I'm drunk.”

Death always arrives surprisingly and without warning when it's brought up conversation.

Doesn't it?

For a quick second I thought, “what did I get myself into? I specifically avoid situations where I don't know what to say.”

Yet what came out of me was the exact opposite. It wasn't profound or anything, just honest.

“I'm sorry for your loss, I can imagine how tough it is to get rest. I myself struggle to get a full night’s rest every so often so I know the feeling of exhaustion. Though I imagine the diabetes makes it a bit tougher.”

“It is tough,” she said sounding sorrowing. “I lived in that house with him for 28 years and I don't care what anyone says I know he is with me sometimes.”

She paused after this statement and looked at me. She waited, half-expecting me to give her an awkward look or to make a comment. A comment that would contradict the possibility of her description and experience with grief.

“That definitely seems possible to me. I think living life is all about accepting the notion, that things may not appear as they seem. I'm a spiritual person myself and I would like to think if I spent the better part of my life with someone I loved that they wouldn't just completely abandon me after death either. Even if that meant just feeling their presence every now and then.”

She looked at me with encouragement.

“That is so true, people don't believe it can be possible so they think I am crazy or they make me feel like I'm just sick and lonely.”

As she finished that last sentence my name was called. Before leaving I introduced myself and then shook her hand and wished her well.

On a day when I wasn't feeling too great she said something that made me feel better.

“It was very nice to meet you also, you have a great heart, don't ever change,” she finished.

I left the office later that morning without seeing her again.

The rest of the week seemed uneventful and normal.

That Friday, after failing to convince my mom that I could indeed cut my own hair, I went to get a haircut.

While having my hair cut I overheard a conversation between an older woman and her stylist.

“Yeah it has been different. I have my own room though so that is nice. I had a party the first night and had over 40 people in my room and that was very nice.”

“Do you have a roommate?” the stylist questioned.

“No I got my own place. It has been nice to be able to just finish something and read or do whatever I want. I mean Art never said anything before, but I guess the idea of being able to do things on my own time has been nice.”

As I listened I wondered how hard life must be to adjust to after being married for so long and building a life with one person.

“I still feel his presence.," the older lady continued, "every now and then I will be making dinner or relaxing and I feel him with me. I miss him, but I do know when he is there.”

Their conversation continued on about other less important things, but my mind didn't.

This had been the second time I had heard a widow describe her experience with her lost loved husband.

My mortality set in. Suddenly it was revealed to me clearly that at one point we will no longer exist in body form. We will eventually fade away. The people we are now, tomorrow, or any other day may be remembered or may be forgotten.

I pondered...

Someone could admit how much they missed their companion. While in bad cases they could admit how much they possibly hated their former partner. That's what happens after one person dies I suppose.

I finished getting my haircut, paid and left.

As I got in my car to get away, I imagined how nice that must be.

The idea that you love someone so much that even after death you would still try to comfort them.

Both stories seemed to point toward men who had definitely found their spiritual companion in life.

While the ideas of those stories are beyond comforting, I still couldn't help but remind myself the