AD,NB (Poem)

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This month I’ve been doing my poetry a bit differently, I created the titles to the poems and then wrote around those concepts afterwards + I’ve been pretty pleased with how it’s turned out.

Recently I watched a video about Iterative Drawing and am going to be applying those principles to all of my work. This weekend, I’ll be outta town. My Mass Effect series on YouTube has finished as of today, and tomorrow – saturday I’ll be posting some other stuff and working my way up to next week, beginning a steady streamed schedule of videos. More on that later, for now, enjoy AD,NB.

2017.4.19- ADNB

www.linmtba.com

HIMYM Series 52: Even When You’re Annoying…

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This is the last post in this series as we move into December, I hope you guys have enjoyed reading about it all damn day! (rip.) Like I said, next month will be much more stable, much more insightful, and I will be talking about some really personal stuff. For more info, follow my Twitter + Facebook. Link is at the bottom of the post. I love you guys.

In the 52nd episode of HIMYM, Ted brings a new girl that he is dating to the group and they point out that she has a big flaw. That she talks A LOT. This shatters the illusion for Ted and then in turn he brings up a big flaw that Lily has, which is chewing loudly. By the end of the episode the group begins arguing about each of their flaws, Ted being the guy who corrects everyone else, Barney having a handful of flaws, not paying attention, using an annoying high voice, using catch phrases. Robin over-using the word literally, and Marshall, perhaps the most important part of the episode, being that sings nonsense. The parts of this episode that weren’t about the flaws were padded with the news that Marshall’s results from the bar exam were in and he lost his password, so he didn’t know whether or not he would actually be a lawyer. By the end, Robin brings up a nonsense phrase that Marshall sang for hours that got stuck in everyone’s heads. It is revealed that the phrase was the password and Marshall logs on to find out that he passed the exam and was a lawyer in New York City.

This episode and this blog post fell at what I think would be the correct time. I personally spend a lot of time taking into account the flaws of those around me. Someone is too arrogant, too selfish, they make everything about money, they interrupt my sleeping because they want to talk about something useless, they make their hair and nails a priority over everything else in their lives, I could go on, but this is about self reflection. Not about pointing out the speck of dust in everyone else.

There are a couple things I could talk about here, which will pull this blog post a bit longer than usual, I hope you’ll bear with me.

First, I have a friend who has a great heart. Although he is still pretty immature, he means well. When things are good, he is great, when they are bad, he will be there for you. He stands by his word and I really respect that, but he has a knack for going a bit too far with jokes and comments at times. We could be having a normal conversation and he will spit out some joke about something irrelevant that he tries to loophole through to the conversation and nine times out of ten, it’s just offensive. We could be playing a practical joke on a friend and when most of us are finished, he amps the joke up and continues setting traps or over-doing it in some other way. It’s frustrating, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good person. I think that at times, he just takes things farther than they need to go and that is something that he needs to work on.

Second, myself. The other day at the restaurant I was speaking with one of my coworkers about a man at a table she had. This man was much older, and was a drunk. He was saying some inappropriate things about her to her face and it frustrated her, as it should. I had dealt with the same man a few times before and it resulted in me no longer serving him alcohol at any place where I work. It is something that I don’t believe I can do on the grounds that as a bartender, I need to stop people from over-drinking. The man comes into the restaurant plastered drunk as it is, I just don’t think he needs any more.

Still, that is overshadowed by my history with him. I have gotten in this man’s face on two occasions. Both of them involved women coworkers and his lewd comments involving them. I was passing by their table the first time, delivering drinks to another table of mine and he said something about taking the pants off of a friend of mine. And he went into further detail which I will not repeat here.

I turned around and called him on the things he was saying and let him know that he wasn’t welcome in the restaurant if he continued to say those things. After some prodding from another guest at the table, he apologized to me and was told to apologize to my friend at work. The second time I saw him was in a similar setting. I was setting a drink down at their table and he made a crude joke about bedding another girl who I have worked with for years, and asked me how easy she was. Along with a handful of other things that again, I won’t repeat here. I had heard enough. The man was obviously drunk, his face flushed and his words were slurred to an extreme level. I then told him, much more forcefully than I had intended, that if he said anything like that again and I heard him, I would personally take him out to the parking lot and make him eat those words. Not my greatest moment, sure. I could have handled the situation with much more class. A few days after that I told him when he came in and tried to enter my bar and make his own drinks that he was no longer allowed to drink at any place that I work. I would no longer serve him alcohol anywhere in town.

These moments bring us to the other day, this man had said things to a coworker, she handled it appropriately, and I told her some stories about the situation between him and me. She then got all kinds of flustered about something and told me…

“I know how to do my job.”

That didn’t make a lot of sense to me, I wasn’t undermining her position or anything of the sort, but in a way it shed some light on myself. There have been times when I don’t think about the words out of my mouth and I find myself making crude or off color jokes, not understanding how they will sound. I have said many inappropriate things and I realized that day that I don’t get an excuse. I am not allowed to pretend to police others in that scenario if I am not policing myself. I must always hold who I am accountable for the things that I do and the things that I say I don’t approve of.

Granted, I don’t say things with the intention of making friends or strangers uncomfortable, and I will do my best to never make a crude and disrespectful joke. Still, sometimes I slip and that is something we all have to learn how to accept. We are not perfect, we should always remember that we exist as masterpieces in the making and sometimes it takes time to iron out all of the small bumps in our personalities.

I awoke the morning that I wrote this after my apartment had been decorated for Christmas and I was feeling extra holiday cheer, early in the morning after having gone to bed much sooner than I would have liked and I exited my bedroom to find one of my roommates sitting on the couch. I could tell when I walked in that he was frustrated, and I knew why. A practical joke was played on him that went too far. I thought about that, and about how we all have our flaws, but still love one another despite them.

With that sentiment I stepped outside for a cigarette and felt the cold wind whipping at my cheeks, blowing the first snow of the season into my little home town. I remembered something then that I often tell myself.

Allow time to grow. You are not a magic stalk that will grow overnight. There will be times you fail, there will be flaws you hold, and there will be times in which you need more water than you do sunlight.

Sometimes, I think we should recite that to ourselves and remember, we are all flawed. So let’s take the moments we do things right and use them to be water to someone else.

HIMYM Series 51: Stink Apartments

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In episode 51 of HIMYM, Marshall and Lily seek to move out of the apartment and into their own place. Which leads to Marshall discovering Lily’s credit card debt. This episode was one of the handful that I glossed over from the many times that I’ve ran through this series, however, there is a small moment in the show that sticks out that I want to talk about today.

When I was younger, my parents used to tell me all kinds of things about love and marriage, how great it can be, how much work it can be, so on and so forth. One of the most important things that I ever learned from my dad is that when two people get married, they marry all of each other. The good things and the fun things they fell in love with, as well as the things that are bad, whether they know about it or not.

Which brings me to this blog post. At the end of the episode, Lily proposes a divorce lawyer and Marshall says no.

“When I married you, I married all of you. The good and the bad, the stuff I knew about and the stuff I didn’t.” (Paraphrased.)

That message is one that I think gets lost on a lot of people today. I see so many relationships falling apart because people expect their partners to behave like they are perfect or perform as if they can’t do anything incorrectly when the truth of the matter is that we are all critically flawed creatures. We are filled with mistakes that have already happened and whether we intend for it to happen or not, there will always be more bad things on the way. I see it even in relationships outside of marriage. People expect their friends to stand up and be this quasi-perfect person because the first party only sees the good stuff coming from them. When the reality is that we all have downsides. Not every aspect of a person is a good aspect. We all have flaws and we all have mistakes that we don’t talk about. When those things come to light, especially if you have committed yourself to a marriage, you have to accept it and find a way to move forward.

Today, in my generation especially, we are fantastic at making excuses for ourselves. “She just wasn’t what I thought she was.”

“I can’t commit to someone like him, he just doesn’t tell me enough about himself.”

Etc.

You can manage a stable relationship, and you should be honest at all times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to promote the false idea that we should just keep secrets from our partners for the sake of the relationships, what I’m saying is that we all have baggage. We all have bullshit to deal with. We all have things that we do without thinking, it should be up to us to understand that and accept that in our partners as well.

Everybody’s apartment stinks sometimes. You just have to work through it. If you really love that person, then you will.

Mean Shadows is available for Pre-Order now!

HIMYM Series 50: Who Are You Again?

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In the 50th episode of HIMYM, Barney finds a porn film starring “Ted Mosby” and they launch into the quest to find him. Meanwhile, Marshall gets a job with an environmental company and also has to go to an interview for a law firm that represents everything he is against. While behind the scenes, Robin finds out about a huge sum of credit card debt that Lily has, causing her to root for Marshall to take the high paying corporate job.

There is a lot in this episode that we could talk about, Credit card debt, the process of becoming a lawyer, the porn industry, but the thing I want to focus on is the struggle for Marshall. The choice between what you want to do and what is best for your position is such a difficult struggle to endure.

As some of you know, I am planning a monolithic experience to unveil with my writing. I am staging things with my work so that it comes across as one grand story that you see filled in piece by piece, in essence. Not that I’m trying to reveal my hand too early or anything, but the numbers and the hours I will need to put into these things are astounding. It’s what I want to do.

At the same time, I have been offered numerous jobs, a few of them have offered me great pay and benefits for what I would be doing, albeit not a lot of free time. Which means that I would have to put my writing and such on the backburner until I find myself in a more stable position financially.

I don’t agree with that right now.

This stage in my life requires me to only pay for and care for myself, I have no significant other and no children to care for. That will change sooner or later, and I will need to find something that I can use to provide for my family then. Right now, I want to have all the free time that I can to work on these books and this blog and so on. I have large and ambitious dreams, which puts a damper on the whole “getting a job” thing.

A concept I will likely talk about more in the future, is ikigai.

Ikigai is a Japanese concept. “A reason for being.”

What this boils down to is the idea that everyone possesses a reason to get up in the morning. Finding that purpose often involves a complicated search inside your heart for what you truly desire and what you are truly capable of. I will speak more on ikigai in the future, but the small definition will lend enough for the purpose of this blog post.

This struggle, where Marshall finds himself and where so many of us real people find ourselves between the “dream” and reality can poison your insides. It can eat away at you for years because you constantly give up what you love for what you need.

The reason I like the concept mentioned above so much is because it lends to the thought that what you need is what you love. You take those two things and put them in a different order and it makes searching for work and doing the “hard” stuff that much easier, because everything you do becomes a stepping stone to your future.

On the path of doing what you “need” and not what you “love” it is easy to lose touch on who you are as a person. It is as simple as committing to something that is not inherently a passion and you can lose sight on your goals, your personality, your aspirations and your dreams. When that happens you will slip and become someone you don’t want to be.

Think of every burden, every sing thing you don’t want to do or don’t want to experience as a stepping stone.

Take this shitty job now so you can have a higher paying one in the future, it will be easier to care for you family.

Take this busy job right now so you can end up with a more flexible one.

Relocate yourself now so you won’t be trapped in a city you don’t appreciate.

Transfer your belongings now so that you don’t lose them.

Etc.

Everything in this life can be used as a platform for you to push off of and turn your life into something amazing. Situations you don’t’ expect will always rear their heads, but you should be sure to always fight back and take control of the world around you. There will be no bad surprises if you prepare yourself for anything. Before you know it you will be skipping stones from the height of the river and looking out over a kingdom of your own creation. Then you will know how it feels to be strong, to have fought for something you loved, and you will know what it means to be at peace with your life.

Follow me on Facebook + Twitter @alvatobiasbooks for more info on opcoming releases, blog posts and more!

(Mean Shadows is available for Pre-Order right now!)

HIMYM Series 49: The Other People

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I promise you guys I will get my act together and get these things posted when they are supposed to be posted. November was a crazy month full of constant ups and downs and I am just happy that it is coming to a close. This year is going to be a big year for me personally, and there is so much that I am looking forward to/dreading. I hope that you will still be along for the ride as I continue onward. Thank you my friends, Next month will be a much cleaner ordeal.

In the 49th episode of HIMYM, Ted introduces the gang to a girl that he had met, whose name he couldn’t remember. This episode brought us the great “Hot, Crazy Scale” from Barney. During the episode, they reminisce about the ways each of them met one another and it ends with them realizing there was a possibility that Lily kissed Ted before she had kissed Marshall.

It’s nice to reminisce on old stories. I personally love telling them. The tales about things that made my friends what they are to me today. For example, in sixth grade, my best friend Travis was really into this girl and I was also into the same girl. We began the race for her attention honorably, but as they always do, that race turned into a bloodletting competition between us. Travis was getting all of the attention and I was pissed about it so one day I decided that I wanted to fight him. On the playground, just after lunch, I got pissed and popped Travis in the mouth. Shortly after that he turned around and planted my ass in the woodchips because he didn’t want to fight me. ,I was insulted and in pain, but I regained my footing and promptly leapt onto his back, taking him to the ground with me. That was about when the teachers broke us up and put us both in detention. Not long after that, Travis and I made up and we became friends, the girl was essentially out of the picture because after that day it was clear to me that she wasn’t into me, Travis had a cooler sweatshirt.

Or a time with a couple of my other wonderful friends. We were in choir and on a trip to San Francisco. In the hotel room, a bunch of us lined up in the hallway and started singing songs together for the other guests and to impress some of the cute girls without singing talent. (A short sighted plan as they were also in the choir with us and it wasn’t that impressive to them.)

I hold a fond memory on the night of my 21st birthday party with two friends, one of whom took a shot of Patron for every year that I was alive and ended up braining himself on a garage door while my other friend and I looked on in a state of drunken euphoria.

I hold all of these moments so close to my heart, and while the stories may evolve and change over time, that is because I am a story teller. The devil is in the details, and the details remain the same. Every story I have spins a small yarn about one or more of my friends and I would not exchange those memories, even the bad things, for the world.

Make sure to follow my Twitter + Facebook @alvatobiasbooks for more info on upcoming projects, blog posts and the like!

(Mean Shadows is available for Pre-Order right now! Don’t miss out!)

HIMYM Series 49: Everyone Has a But…

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In episode 49 of HIMYM, Robin begins dating a guy who has a kid and it brings to light something that gets talked about a lot in life but in a sort of misty confusing way. Everyone has a but…

The means that when you’re setting someone up on a date you will feed them all of the positive qualities about the person and avoid the negative. i.e.

“He’s super kind and compassionate, he will stand up for you and he loves going on adventures…” Then their voice will trail off for a bit while they debate the ‘but’ Which, in this case, “…but he bottles up his emotions sometimes and he might seem really angry. Plus he spends like 90% of his time working in his bedroom and not saying anything to anyone.”

If you hadn’t noticed, that’s my but. I may not have gotten it exactly right, but you know what they say, you can never judge yourself. Your perspective is skewed.

Still, it is good to remember that you do indeed have a but. It could be huge, or it could be a collection of things, but I want to remind you (and myself) that we are not perfect beings. For all the amazing qualities that we have there are bound to be a few buts sprinkled within. You could be compassionate and sweet, you could love to stay in and read, you could be whatever you want to be, but you but is there too. You’re a whole package and when it comes to relationships we aren’t allowed to pick and choose.

…but she is immature.

…but she has commitment issues.

…but he is selfish.

…but he is always working.

…but she has 16 cats that she calls her “kids”

Etc.

You can see how this list would pile on, and that isn’t meant to be hopeless either. What is a but to you might not be a but to someone else. As I seek love and I think as we all seek love, we just have to find people whose buts harmonize with ours. I spend 90% of my free time locked in my cave sleeping or writing in spurts and then the other 10% is spent at my job. I don’t often have free time to spare and my friends are all aware of that, so it would be foolish to chase after a girl who feels the need to go on a date every other day and it would be more wise to find one who is comfortable being at home and who has their own projects or things that they are happy to do while I work.

What is a but to me, is not a but to someone else. I have friends who would love to constantly be running around with their girlfriends getting into trouble or doing all kinds of silly things together. I enjoy those things too, but it isn’t a primary concern of mine. Next to my partner, my books are the most important thing to me. If I can’t work on them because the girl I’m with needs me to give her my undivided attention 24/7 then the relationship isn’t bound to work out. My mind does not function that way. At all times I am spinning new story ideas or plans/concepts for new projects. It’s something that is important to identify because a relationship will not go over well if you can’t see the other person’s but.

Consider finding out your but, especially if you have gotten into a bunch of relationships that don’t work out. Once you know what your but is like, you can move from there.

But.

If you enjoyed this month’s installments in the HIMYM Series, please like my pages on Facebook + Twitter @alvatobiasbooks!