Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I don't know if it's an Italian thing, or just something my family did, but our grandparents were always referred to as nanny & poppy. I've heard kids call their grandparents many different types of names. Surprisingly, the Monte family were the only ones I ever heard use nanny & poppy referenced in a sentence.

As a kid, I thought that made them even more special. 

I really couldn't have asked for better grandparents.  They fulfilled their roles, and then some.  I think my story of my dad's mother sums it up.

Nanny: Nicholas J., are you hungry?
Me: No Nan, I'm good.
Nanny: Ok, let me get you a meatball.

I can't help but crack a smile every time I think about that story.  Also, I can't help but think that everyone's cooking is inferior to hers!

Yup, I have a story about all four of them.  Some funny, some sad, some heartwarming, all precious memories.

Why am I bringing all this up?  As of yesterday, both of my grandmothers took a turn for the worse. 

I know, what are the odds of that one?!?!

My dad's mom was in much worse shape of the two.  So we went to her bedside first, since my many aunts and cousins went to my other grandmother's bedside.

I walked through the hospital room doors, said hi to everyone, and went straight to her bedside.  She looked up at me, big puppy dog eyes, and said, "My Nicholas J., how are you babe?"

It's a name she's called me as long as I can remember, but it's the first time she said it in such a weak/defeated tone.

I almost lost it right there.

Hours passed by, and the room was filling up more and more with family members.  We reminisced, cried, prayed and did our best to make her comfortable.

Surprisingly, it's also the first time I've EVER seen my dad cry.  I almost can't put the feelings into words.  Only that it was one of the saddest moments of my life.

I know the next few weeks are going to be rough. No way to avoid it.  Luckily, a few weeks ago I called nanny on her birthday.  We talked for about 20 minutes on the phone.  I'm so glad we did.  It's kind of helping me out a lot knowing that we had a great conversation recently.

Yes, it's sad and heartbreaking. However, I know it'll be a celebration of a great life these women lived.  Also, I know that they finally get to be with my awesome grandfathers.

Now, as an adult, I truly know how special they are to me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man-Law #16: After the Hurricane

I'm only going to dedicate this one blog to Hurricane Irene. I know it's been all over the TV & Internet since Friday; so I don't want to beat a dead horse here.  Also, I've been busting my ass cleaning flooded basements with no power, so consider this a Monday Man-Law, as well as an everyday rant.

Before the first drops of rain started to fall on Friday, I wasn't worried about the storm. If anything, I kind of scoffed at it, while everyone was freaking out about it. 

Now, in no way was I ignoring the ferociousness of this storm.  Quite the opposite in fact. I knew I'd have to deal with flooded basements, power outages and who knows what else.  If you've noticed, I used the plural form of everything I'd be dealing with.  But back to that later.

I knew I'd be doing a lot of work over the next few days.  My back would be hurting, I'd be soaked in god knows what, and I'll get little to no sleep.  So why bother freaking out about anything?  The rain and winds were out of my control, so why be worked up?  As long as a tree didn't fall on the house or cars, I knew I could deal with everything.

I started prepping for the storm Friday by taking as much out of the basement as possible.  Not much was left except for floor tiles.  As water was seeping into the basement, I was doing my best to vacuum it out. 

Then, power went out around 3am.  So what did I do?  I went straight to sleep.  My back was already a mess and I was beat.  So I ignored the flood so I can get ready to clean in the morning.

Luckily, my neighbor is an electrician. He came by around 6am to help me rig a sub pump to my truck as a power source.  It didn't fix the problem, but it helped keep it at bay.

Later on after the sun rose, it was back to work, but with buckets.  A buddy came over to help deal with the water.

We made a decent dent in the water level, but then his phone rang. His wife called to say their basement toilet was overflowing.  So we stopped to check out his house.

We expected a few inches at most. So imagine our shock when he had about 14 inches or so!!!

We couldn't stop the toilet.  So we did the next best thing.  We tool a welcome mat, and a dumbbell to clog it.  Luckily, that stopped it, for the time being.

We worked hours on end to deal with it.  We didn't stop moving.  Another friend came over with a generator and a super duty pump.  It helped a lot!  After that, a shop-vac cleaned the rest. 

By the time I got home, we had power.  I hooked up another pump to the fuse panel, and the water was rushing out of the house.  I was finally winning!  So I took a break outside the house by eating lunch on the stoop. 

My other neighbor, an older gentleman, was outside too.  He told me that he had water in the basement, and was waiting for his son to come over to help.

His kid lives in Pittsburgh.  So I inhaled my sandwich, and went to work on his house.  Within 2-3 hours, he was back to normal.  No real damage. Just a few slightly wet tiles. 

Three basements all filled with water, all in a 48 hour span. 
So what’s the point of rambling like this?  This is why…

Man-Law #16: Help Your Fellow Man

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Just because everything is going good for you, doesn’t mean you can relax.  

If you’re able to lift a finger, than you better use it to help someone out.  We’re able to get through this weekend one way.  By helping each other out, people are able to bounce back quicker than expected.

Am I sore today at work?…Yes
Is my back in knots?…Yes
Would I love a good nights sleep?…Yes

But am I glad I helped everyone out?…damn right Yes!!!

We need to look out for each other and lend a hand when possible.  Hopefully, we won’t have to help with flooding anytime soon :P

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I've mentioned it before, but I'll bring it up yet again.  There's two things i hate more than anything.  The first is child abuse, and the second is domestic abuse. 

I specifically touched on domestic abuse in a past blog:

That being said, I want to talk about what's going on in the news.

Its well known that R&B singer Chris Brown beat the hell out of his girlfriend, and fellow singer, Rihanna in 2009.  Since then Brown has been almost been, "welcomed back", by much of his fan base.  However, many people have not forgotten it.

On August 16th, Brown sent out the following tweet...

BTW - For those who don't know, planking is laying face down, hands at your side and staying still.

Not long afterwards, Red Eye Ombudsman Andy Levy, from Fox News replied to his tweet...

As always, Brown trying to get the knockout punch, responded to Levy with...

Now in terms of the twitter battle, it end there.  But when you're televised on a national news station, you have a VERY good chance of getting the last word in.

The following words are the transcription of Levy's "apology"...

I apologize for referencing the fact that you beat the crap out of Rihanna.  It was disrespectful of me to draw attention to the fact that you put your girlfriend in the hospital.
And further, it was not my place to make people remember that you beat a woman with your fists, leaving her with multiple facial contusions, a bloody nose and a split lip.  I know that now.
I also appreciate that you tweeted me letting me know that children conduct themselves better than I do.  You are correct, and I can only hope to one day mature to the point where I can conduct myself in a more adult manner.
          Possibly by throwing a chair out of a window and storming out of a building with my shirt off.  I ask only for your patience.
          To Team Breezy.  I would like to also say that I’m sorry, and thank you for your thousands of tweets with taught me a lot about the creative possibilities of spelling, grammar and syntax.
                   In particular.  I’d like to thank the female members of Team Breezy, who have taught me that as long as you can sing, you can beat the living hell out of a woman and other women will still love you.

As far as I know, that's the last of the verbal fight between the two.  Now, fans of both guys are up in arms about the whole situation, and this is where my rant begins.


He says he's sorry for what he's done. If that’s so, then he needs to take what people are saying, and just deal with it.  Brown isn’t the victim here, in fact, he never was. 

Levy is pointing out the facts here.  So I don’t see the problem.  I know Brown’s fan base may have a problem with it, but how can they really have an issue.  They’re following someone who has temper tantrums and beat his girlfriend.

No matter what, I guess the only thing I can take from this story, is how sorry I feel for Brown’s fans.  If you can defend Chris Brown, well, you need all the prayers and help you can get.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This is my home, and I love this place.

I was born in Brooklyn New York, grew up in Jersey and have constantly bounced back and forth between the two states.  Sure I've visited other states and countries, but nothing beats coming back home. 

Personally, the tri-state area is the best.  It has everything you want in this giant melting pot.  So when people start making fun of my home, I feel like I need to say something.

I've personally encountered, and survived, many incidents in my 28 years on this planet.  A single snowstorm that dropped 2 feet of snow, a heat wave that went well into the triple digits, a car accident that should've been much worse, a brother getting hit by a drunk driver, Catholic school, and much more.

The one thing I've never encountered, until yesterday, earthquakes!

Now you want to show me a subway rat the size of a cat; fine, no problem, I can handle that.  But when the ground starts to move, or even worse, skyscrapers/office buildings sway, I have a BIG problem with that!

People panicked and were scared shitless yesterday.  Now while I'm sure it wasn't everyone, people on the west coast have been giving the east coast shit for our reaction.  While I know it's not every person in the west, and I know it's people besides the west coast, I have to tell ya...


We're not used to this, and probably never will be.  The last tremor NYC felt was in 2001 (THANKS FOR THE INFO ERIC).  This isn't an every day or yearly occurence for us.  Ever see townships or schools close due to an inch or two of snow?  Well in Texas and Georgia it has happened, because they're not used to snow.

Know what we're used to?  Terrorist attacks!  Whether they're successful or not, that's what we're used to in D.C. and New York.

People lost cell phone service, the house & senate are being evacuated in D.C., the office building you're in is swaying, and all you can think about is 9/11.

We know we're still a target. We know people hate us, we've already experienced it in our lifetime, and many of us thought something was going on again.
The Failed bombing attack in Times Square

After about five or ten minutes, people realized what really happened.  There was a collective sigh, and then we wanted to call the people we cared about.

True, for anyone on the west coast, you may have laughed or slept right through the quake.  Again, because you're used to the ground moving. But for people in Washington or New York, there will always be a fear that the building is moving for all the wrong reasons.  Something most of you aren't used to.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Greatest Wedding Pictures of ALL TIME

You'll never hear me say I'm great at understanding the female mind.  I know that women love chocolate covered strawberries.  After that, I'm pretty clueless.

So obviously I shouldn't be giving any wedding advice.

That being said, I CAME ACROSS THE GREATEST WEDDING PICTURES EVER!!!  (Take that with a grain of salt before reading on)

Scroll down to see each picture, while enjoying my comic book like story.  Also, pictures are owned by


Julian Sunmi Park and Benjamin Jinsuk Lee were enjoying a lovely day in a local field.  Everything was going right.


Luckily the young couple hear the zombie approach them.

Shock and utter fear filled them.

But then they realized, it was time to FIGHT!

The young man wanted to protect his lovely bride.  So he pushed her out of harms way.

But the creature was strong than he anticpiated.

Then she realized something.

One zombie is no big deal.

And they took care of business.

Once, and for all!

And they lived, happily, ever, after!!! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Man-Law #15: All The, Small Things

It's Monday morning, I'm waiting on the train platform and I'm trying to figure out what to write for today's blog. 

Does it feel like an annoyance at times? Do I ask myself why the hell do I write this? Do I question 'Monte's Mayhem' at least once a day?  The answers to all of those questions, is a resounding, and emphatic YES!
Due to which, that's why this Man-Law, is kind of a special one for me.

Man-Law #15: Taking In The Moment

When I publish this post, it'll be my 100th blog!!!

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I'd get past ten when I started this thing.  Hell, I wasn't even sure if anyone would actually read any of them.  I figured if I could get a dozen posts up, with a handful of views, that would be great.  Turns out, I low balled it a little.

In a little over four months, I have almost 7,000 views, been read in about 20-25 countries, and the daily trends are steadily rising.

Is it the biggest accomplishment of my life?  Definitely not in any way.  Is it something to smile and be proud of though?  Damn right it is!

You need to take the small victories, and run with them.  Use it as motivational fuel to do bigger and better things.

At the same time, just enjoy the moment!

Years ago, I would've thought the only way to be read in at least 20 other countries, is to write the next Harry Potter series.

Yet, here I am, just much poorer than whomever will write the next big book series.

But I'm happy.  I'm winning the small battles (posting 100 blogs) and getting ready to win the war (becoming the biggest blogger ever).

I know I call these things Man-Laws, but sometimes they really do apply to everyone.  This is definitely one of those times, and I really hope everyone can take in the moment, to enjoy what's around them.


As a side note, I want to thank Diane Kaye, and Justin Mannato (Blogger of Daddy Knows Less).  Without which, these would've been the messiest, and most idiotic pages on the whole entire Internet. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Come Out & Play

 The calendar is about to turn again.  Quickly, fall will be upon us, and the summertime will be nothing more than a distant memory.  Baseball is winding down, with football around the corner, families are trying to go on one more getaway and kids are getting ready to go back to school.

On Sundays, I like to get things done around the house, and catch up on my to-do list.  Purposely, I planned a mid-day run, just to break up with the monotony.

Sadly, she doesn't run near my block.
I don't belong to a gym.  In fact, I would never sign up for one during summer.  I'd rather workout in my house, and go outside running.  A treadmill can't duplicate mother nature.  No matter what any flashy advertisement shows.

I was actually excited to lace up my shoes, stretch in the driveway, and go on a 3 mile run.  It was me and my iPod.  Just enjoying the moment.  Quickly though, I realized something.  It literally was just me and my iPod.

Throughout my whole entire run, I didn't see one kid running around or playing outside.  Not even one!  Tell you the truth, I can't even remember the last time I saw kids playing in the neighborhood.  

They're being quiet.  So that makes it ok?
Now don't get me wrong.  I wasn't outside every living second of my child hood.  Nintendo and cartoons took up my time.  However, I vividly remember going on my bike to find my friends, and playing rounds of basketball.

Bad parenting at its finest, or worst.
Now, the kids of today can simply find each other on Facebook, or play sports against each other over Nintendo or XboX.  More kids are getting softer, and all some parents like to do is brush it off, or blame McDonalds.  

Thank god this isn't my dad!
Obviously I don't think every kid or family has this problem.  Yet it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure this one out.  Child hood obesity is rising, diabetes are happening at a much earlier age, and no one seems to know why.  Maybe if they just looked outside the window, and see the empty streets or parks, they'll see the connection.  On days I should've been outside, my dad always dragged me out for a game of catch.  Didn't seem like much, but it's the best thing he could've done!

That's why I'll continue to lace up my sneakers, and hit the pavement.  One day, I'll make sure my kid is there for the run with me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Growing Up Is 'ALL THAT'

Well, apparently my invitation for someone to write my blog for a day was too good to pass up.  Tell you the truth, this one is so good, that I’d be a fool not to post it.
So for today, here’s a special edition blog, by my buddy Billy. ***Need more B’s in that sentence :P**

When we’re kids, we can’t wait to grow up and be an adult. Once we’re adults, we wish we could be kids again…it’s a term that we’re all familiar with…Nostalgia.

That’s exactly what starts to set in when we experience something from a much simpler time in our lives. It could be a negative feeling like, “I’m never getting those days back” and if you look at it that way then it’s a shame but sometimes it’s hard not to feel that way. It should; however be a celebration of things that you hold in your heart as important building blocks of who you are today.

My reason for writing this? 90’S ARE ALL THAT! YES, THE 90’S ARE ALL THAT! Some of you may not know what I’m talking about so let me explain.

The cable channel TEEN NICK has begun to run the 90’s Nickelodeon shows that we all grew up loving, every weeknight at midnight! From what I understand, it’s a test to see how well it does, and could quite possibly, become its own channel. The Facebook page iS totally blowing up which is great to see…there’s more like us!

Now when I first heard this I was ecstatic! Salute Your Shorts, Doug, All That, Hey Dude, Wild & Crazy Kids, Double Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple etc… I even have every season of “Are You Afraid of the Dark” on DVD (Yes, they do sell them on Ebay!)

I sat with my fiancĂ©e Christina, and our friend Jenna, to watch Doug for the first time in years last week. It didn’t really hit me until watching it, but I realized how much time has passed since those first aired.

Now to be honest, it was a bittersweet experience. It made me realize, Wow I’m in my mid-20s already, and yesterday I was 12. I know a lot of people scoff at this coming from a 25 year old but I think we can all relate to this…When you’re a teenager, it feels like it’ll last forever and it seems to; then you wake up one day and your done with college stuck in the middle of the rat race of life.

So, watching these shows takes me back to a simpler time, and while I miss those days, I also appreciate them for making me the person I am today…and HEY! Being an adult ain’t that bad, but nothing compares to SNICK! I know I’m not the only one who made sure he was home for that every Saturday!

So those shows are important to everyone in and around my age for that exact reason, these are shows that meant the world to us and they always have a special place. So definitely check it out if you can everyone, it’s a trip and if you’re having a bad “adult” day, watching these shows will make it all seem less important somehow.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Non-Smoker: Butt Heads

This is the second blog of "Smoking POV".  Yesterday my friend Nicole wrote a blog based on the POV of a smoker.  If you haven't read it, check it out here...

Yesterday's Blog

Today, we're going over a point-of-view from a non-smoker.  Which is me...


Cigarettes had a big impact on me, early on in life.  I think I was around seven or eight years old.

My grandfather was slowly dying from cancer.  Everyone around me wasn't telling me what was going on with him. "Poppy is just really sick sweetie.  Don't worry about it, and go watch cartoons", what they didn't know, and I don't think they even know today, is that my pop told me everything.

He said that smoking when you were a little older than me was normal growing up in his day.  All the kids did it.  Then he said something that really stuck with me, "I've been making the same mistake, everyday for 55 plus years. " I had no clue what he meant by that.  It's a lot to take in for someone who was that young.

Flash forward to a future point in time.  My mother was hysterically crying in the kitchen.  I asked my dad what was wrong (even though I knew the answer).  "Pop died this morning."

I'll always remember that scene.  My mother was feeling such hurt, pain and sadness.  At any age, you never want to see your mother go through something like that.  It bothered me that little Nick couldn't do anything to make the pain go away.  It also angered me that a stupid little stick can cause so many problems.

Today, a little over 20 years later, I hate the damn things just as much.  I've never tried smoking a cigarette, and at this point, I likely never will.

Of course, some of my friend's smoke.  Every time they do, I cringe a little. It probably goes back to my grandfather, but I'm always afraid I'm going to lose them to the damn cigarette they're lighting up.

I don't lecture anyone about it, but they definitely know I don't approve of it.  Even when it comes to relationships, smoking is a big deal.

I REFUSE to date or even talk to someone that even smokes.  I don’t care how hot they are, or for that matter, think they are.  If someone smokes, they go from a 10, and instantly drop into the negatives. 
Now these are my personal feeling how I feel on the topic of smoking.  So no one can really argue with me on them.  Now, here’s the broad spectrum of the topic…
I feel like the two main points of cigarettes are regulation and allowing in the public eye.  In terms of regulating, I mean the way they’re packaged and sold to somebody.  This is also kind of perfect timing, since this is a topic at work yesterday.
Cigarette companies are suing the FDA based on their new packaging requirement.  Basically, the FDA is implementing a scare tactic onto packages.  Now even though I hate cigarettes with a passion, in no way should they be required to do this.  It doesn’t feel right for our Government to force a company to say, how they should, and shouldn’t make something look.
They’re not enticing anyone under 18 to smoke, so I don’t see the problem with their current packaging.  Besides, by this point, I think everyone knows what cigarettes can do to someone.  All this will do is desensitize people even further.
At the same time, I definitely wouldn’t argue that the smoking age should be raised.  Personally, I feel like if you're able to fire a gun in war, then you should be allowed to have a cigarette.
In terms of allowing it, I LOVE the fact people can’t smoke in buildings and bars.  It’s fine if you want to take the risks of smoking a cigarette.  However don’t force me on taking on the risks of second hand smoke. 
Lastly, and I’m saying this at the risk of sounding like a hippy, but it causes problems for the environment.  How many times have you seen a smoker flick a butt onto the street?  How many times have you seen a wrapper flying in the wind?  How many times have you seen an empty carton laying on the sidewalk?  This stuff is not biodegradable.  The Texas Department of Transportation has cleaned an estimated 130 Million butts a year, AND THAT’S JUST IN TEXAS!!!
I’m not trying to convince someone to change their habits in a day, or to enforce my beliefs onto them.  But this is something that I’ve had an opinion about since first grade.  I doubt it can change.  The only thing I know for sure, is that I would have loved to have had 20 more years with my grandfather.  So I guess I can thank the Marlboro man for the few scarce memories I do have.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Smoker: Puff Off

There's always two sides to any argument.  It starts when we're kids, with something like, who broke the lamp during playtime.  However, as we get older, the debates/arguments get a lot more serious.

Within the last five years or so, the smoking debate has become a big issue in the NY/NJ area.

So I figured I'd create a debate blog of sorts.

Today's blog is by my friend Nicole.  She's a smoker that lives in the tri-state area, and has something to say about smoking as a whole.  Tomorrow, I'll post a blog from the point-of-view of a non-smoker.

If you're a smoker, or someone who feels passionate about the topic, don't forget to post your response on her view...


Recently, society has all of a sudden begun to turn their attention to the harmful effects of smoking, secondhand smoke and precautions against smoking.

“Disgusting, vile, obscene, horrid, obnoxious,” those are the words I can read off of the faces of streetwalkers and onlookers as I enjoy my morning cigarette with coffee. I can’t understand why doing what makes me feel good, unstressed and calm be such an objectionable issue..

When I inhale and feel the hot smoke rushing down my lungs and my head lightens up, I feel at peace and calm. Many times, I’ve stopped myself from cramming my fist in someone’s face, shoving my foot up someone’s ass and tamed the beast of my anger with a single cigarette.

If people find pleasure in the things they do, there shouldn’t be a reason to stop them. That is unless they’re causing serious injury or damage to others both physically and psychologically.

It has been brought to my attention numerous times the harmful effects of smoking such as: cancer, emphysema, heart attacks, etc. Especially CANCER.

Cancer can be brought about by mostly anything. Genetics, pollution, radiation, toxic chemicals (such as ones in power plants, etc) the sun, and your own diet and exercise.

The media highly advertises that you take your spoiled brat of a child to one of the thousands of fast food joints to put a smile on their face. They create catchy jingles for you to keep in mind, sweet deals and if you’re lucky, an indoor jungle gym. It’s like killing two birds with one stone, feed your child for cheap, they get the joy of getting a toy and to run around freely with other children in the play area.

The high in fat meal, loaded with sodium, salt, grease and preservatives is what puts your child at risk for diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart failure, breathing problems, etc. But not even THAT will stop big buck industries from promoting.

I rarely see children riding bikes, at the park, playing sports of being active. Nothing like when I was a child. If we train our children early on to eat freely and not engage in activities we will reach an even higher obesity rate.

But that issue isn’t surpassed by the least to the “serious dangers” of a fucking stick with tobacco in it.

What about the millions of American men and women who work in power plants, in pharmaceutical companies, in construction and the many others who handle lethal toxic chemicals first hand? Nobody wants to speak about the danger they put their lives in.
Do you know why? Anything that will help make America an even better place is all worth the risk of all their lives. I admire and appreciate the effort and time they put in so that my life can better, but is that worth it? No.. They will face far more serious damage in the future.

But, for me to pick up a cigarette each day is a crime so bad that they’ve banned smoking from public places like bars, diners, clubs and even New York City, all in order to protect the public from the harms of smoke..

I remember a time, many years ago when they would have commercials of young people smoking at a club and having fun. They no longer have these commercials. But they do have thousands of commercials of young children laughing at the joy of a fucking cheeseburger. My opinion, “what has this world come to?”

I sat through a 2 hour seminar at school given by one of the world’s leading cancer researcher. He had many important things to say. Here’s a fun fact, did you know that only 10% of smokers get cancer? Did you know that the chances of getting cancer are way higher when dealing with toxic chemicals and radiation? But the only thing you see as a con by society is smoking.

If society really gave a flying fuck about the safety of people and preventing them from harmful diseases, they should start by taking the many products loaded up with crap off the shelves in stores. That’s how you’ll protect them.

People ask me if I am aware of the harmful toxins in cigarettes. I can assure that I do. I’ve been smoking for 3 years going on 4. Not once have I had issues breathing, coughing, growing, etc. If you smoke responsibly you are pretty much in the clear. But if you smoke in surplus, you might have a few issues. People always forget to remember that ANYTHING IN A GRATUITOUS AMOUNT IS BAD FOR YOU.

But until then, I’ll keep blowing smoke your way…