I finally got an offer accepted and will be moving soon. This whole dilemma will hopefully be behind me. This is the start of the beginning. My wife is excited and I am relieved to know that I will get this process over with.
I told the new agent (that was my former real estate agent’s ‘assistant’) that “You got more done in one day, than some people could do in months. You are a gifted agent.”
Here’s my celebration song. lol.
Good Lord, you cannot make this kind of stuff up. It has been Monday morning since I last talked to my real estate agent and read him his ass. The conversation didn’t get anywhere at all, because this guy emailed me this morning with an interesting spin on the situation. He personally emailed us confirming that he didn’t do shit for the past two months, and has decided to hand our file(s) over to his agent that’s shown us property in the past two months. He had the unmitigated gall to label the email “Passing of the torch”. This guy is a complete douchebag of an agent. I want to report his ass to the board of Realtors, but my wife wants me to leave the pettiness behind. He only sent his so-called assistant agent a file that we received a counter offer on (“the kings palace”) and left out the other 3 offers we put in. No updates or follow up’s. This guy was fucking me over the whole time. I have another agent that I am flirting with who does everything we ask her to. I just want to leave the situation with the past real estate agent in the past and start over with a new clean slate, but I feel bad because the assistant never dogged me out and we actually loved the guy. This shit has me so jaded I don’t know what to do. Such an awkward ass quagmire to be in. Smh.
Five black people walk into a bar. I will give them a name and a brief description. Its Friday afternoon after work, and election day is coming up. They all have different opinions, some things they agree on, but on more important issues they differ. Story is completely fictitious.
Jeff, a 33 year old White Bartender, who doesn’t wish to be aligned with any political party. He identifies as an independent, but rarely votes at all.
Rashad, a 45 year old Black man, who is pro-black and votes democrat 90 percent of the time. He identifies as Democrat, sternly against Trump, loves Barack Obama, and has a tattoo of the hashtag black lives matter.
Leena: a 40 year old black woman, who is a Black feminist, votes democrat 100 percent of the time, loves Roxane Gay, LGBTQ social justice warrior, black lives matter activist and hates alpha males.
Darnell: a 54 year old black man, who identifies himself as a republican, votes Republican 100 percent of the time, loves Trump, disagrees with #blacklivesmatter, thinks when Trump says Make America Great Again, he is speaking about being a Christian nation.
Joanne: a 32 year old bi-racial black woman, who identifies herself as independent, considers herself to be undecided on who to vote for. She voted for Obama last election, and has mixed feelings on where the country is headed.
Malachi: a 35 year old black man, doesn’t vote at all, only votes when propositions are introduced, but doesn’t trust in the 2 party system. He is what many black people would label as “conscious” or ‘hotep’, but doesn’t consider himself anything but for black people.
Disclaimer: PICTURES ARE NOT MINE. STORY IS FICTIONAL. FOR EDUCATIONAL USE ONLY
Jeff: “So Rashad, What can I get for you tonight?”
Rashad:”Henny on the rocks”
**Leena pulls up and grabs a seat. Takes coat off and gestures to Jeff.**
Jeff: “Hey there, what can I get for you?”
Leena:”Ketel One with O.J.”
Rashad: “Jeff, I know this is a personal question, but what the hell, who are you voting for this election?”
Jeff: (titter) “You know’ I usually don’t talk politics on the job, I’m neutral. I won’t answer political questions on the job, but I don’t mind asking them. Who are you voting for?”
Rashad:”I’m with her.”
Jeff: “Hillary? Why?”
Rashad: “She ain’t Trump!”(in a boisterous, and unapologetic tone)
Leena: ** laughing in agreement** “I know that’s right, sir!”
Rashad: “Ain’t that right, sista?”
Jeff: “And what about you?” (looking at Leena)
Leena: “Hillary all day. Not only because she isn’t Trump, She isn’t as divisive and racist as Trump. Trump is the KKK, I just don’t want to vote for that as president of the greatest country in the world. Hillary knows that Black Lives Matter, she is willing to listen to issues that Black women go through. We need a woman in office because we are past the days of men being in control. We need a woman to run this country! and the time is now.”
Rashad:”I agree with you sista. I am in support of Black Lives Matter, also.”
** Joanne pulls up to the bar and beckons Jeff for a drink**
Joanne:”Yes, I would like a gin and tonic on the rocks. Tanqueray, please. TNT.”
Rashad: “And what do you think about the Wikileaks stuff sista? You know the crap they are blaming Hillary for? the emails?”
Leena: “It’s complete nonsense. The media and Trump supporters are making it a big deal. Hilary apologized and they found nothing that could put her in prison. What’s the big fricking deal? She made an honest mistake, move the hell on.The Feds are Trump supporters anyhow!”
**Joanne overhears conversation and interrupts**
Joanne:”Not to interrupt, but yes it is kind of a big deal. She sabotaged Bernie Sanders and caused distrust between democrats. A lot of us felt betrayed that she divided the party and sabotaged the DNC. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter, and refuse to support Hillary.”
Rashad: “Wait a minute. So you are voting Trump? That doesn’t make any sense.”
Joanne: “I never said that. I am voting for the green party candidate, Jill Stein.”
Leena: (laughing in a dismissive manner) “A vote for Jill Stein, is a vote for Trump. Even my 10 year old knows that. By the way, are your friends voting for DEEZ NUTS. I mean this is ridiculous.”
Joanne: “Good Luck on believing in a proven liar. She is Donald Trump in a pantsuit! I refuse to vote for less of two evils, I’m voting Stein!”
**Darnell overhears conversation, politely jumps in**
Darnell: “Hey what’s wrong with Trump. He may be misunderstood, but he is going to bring this country back to greatness.”
Rashad: “I’m sorry, What’s there not to understand about Trump: Housing discrimination against blacks, the terrible situation with the central park 5, his unreleased footage of him saying racial slurs on NBC, his grabbing pussy remark, what else?”
Leena: “His toxic misogyny, his negative talk about women’s appearance, the irony of him being against immigrants despite being married to one, refusing to denounce violent racists holding him up as a symbol of white supremacy..What else do you need to know? Oh, and he hates blacks.”
Darnell: “He doesn’t hate blacks. He has Ben Carson as one of his advisers.”
Rashad: “Ben Carson is an Uncle Tom, and anyone voting for him that is black is a Tom, too. If the shoe fits, Oh well.”
Leena:**clapping hands laughing** “Yass!”
Darnell: “Ben Carson is a successful Brain surgeon, that has wrote books about lifting himself up from the bottom. He has come from the ghetto, and has risen his way up from nothing, into a presidential candidate. Be careful who you call a Tom.I am a Black Man who has a mind of his own. They used to call Booker T. Washington a Uncle Tom, also. You guys have no clue what a Uncle Tom is! Hillary and the Obama administration are the real problem. The democratic party wants to keep black people poor and desperate. They love having Blacks begging them. By doing this, they keep Black people in their clutches. ‘Here is more welfare and section 8 for the gang bangers and criminals’, but where does that money come from. It comes from the republican’s check. You liberals love all of these handouts, but never think about where it comes from!”
Rashad: “Go back to being a house negro, Mr. Uncle Tom! the white folk don’t love you any more than the supposed gang banger. They will use your name as the token black friend to claim they aren’t racist. As soon as you leave the country golf club, they are making all kinds of racial remarks about your ‘Clarence Thomas’ ass.”
Leena:** sips orange juice and vodka while smirking in agreement**
Darnell: “Hey, I notice a Black Lives Matter tattoo on your arm, Where was black lives matter in Chicago with all the black on black crime happening over there?”
Rashad: “I don’t know, the same place ALL LIVES MATTER were, when Tamir Rice died. Or when Black people were slaves.”
Leena: “Yass! Exactly”
Malachi:** Orders a shot of 151 proof rum, downs it in one blink**
Jeff: “Whoa, easy there.”
Malachi: “I can handle it. What’s good ya’ll , the hell ya’ll yelling about?”
Darnell: “These guys just don’t get it. They are voting Hillary (pointing at Rashad and Leena) and I’m voting Trump. They want the same lies that Obama preached about in 2008, pre-election.”
Malachi:”And what about you?” (looking at Joanne the green party voter)
Joanne:” I’m tired of the ‘less of two evil’ bullshit. I’m voting for Jill Stein. I used to be a Sanders supporter, but after wikileaks, I am not voting for either. What about you?”
Malachi: “I refuse to vote period. It is a waste of time. Especially for blacks, because it is a rigged system”
**cacophony of disagreement from all sides**
Leena: “This is the problem with black men, ya’ll don’t take shit seriously. Our ancestors died so we can vote, and your silly ass over here not using what little power you do have to exercise your rights.”
Rashad:” You can’t say you don’t vote, and then complain when shit goes bad. You have to pick a side, whether you like it or not”
Joanne:” I’m voting for Jill Stein as a protest vote, but I understand where you are coming from.”
Darnell: “what you said is ignorant on all levels of rationality. The system is rigged? were you saying that when Obama became president in 2008? The system isn’t rigged, you just are looking for an excuse not to vote.”
Malachi: “Okay, Leena, the problem isn’t with black men, the problem is a system of white supremacy. Black men and women are going to jail in droves and these are laws that the Clinton’s put in place to make that happen. You guys are so giddy about voting for Hillary, forgetting that she called black men super-predators, and supported the laws her husband implemented to gain conservative votes for re-election. Black people didn’t die so we can vote, they died to give us the opportunity and right to vote!”
Leena: “Just like a Black man, avoiding responsibility for your actions. Always finding excuses for everything.”
Malachi: “What’s your deal with the black man, did you forget about Bill Clinton’s sister souljah moment? You probably was one of the black folks who didn’t believe Barack Obama could be president until whites started getting behind him. You must’ve forgot about the snide remarks the Clinton’s made against Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.”
Joanne: “Yeah, I remember that. It was heated, it was a shocker that he even chose her as Secretary of state.”
Malachi: “Rashad, no, I have every right to complain if I don’t vote, because I wasn’t dumb enough to elect a candidate I thought would be a messiah. If you vote and that person falls short, YOU have no right to complain, because you put them in office with a full vote of confidence.”
Rashad: “You sound crazy right now, Bruh. That made no sense.” (Laughs)
Malachi: “Bottom line is, I don’t have to pick a side. Life goes on.”
Darnell: “Keep on believing that lie, you must be uneducated.”
Malachi:”Darnell, what do you mean that politics can’t be rigged? Did you forget about the Bush/ Gore Florida voting scandal. I am not saying it is one head honcho who calls shots and decides who becomes president.”
Darnell:” That’s exactly what you are saying!!”
Malachi:” Let me finish!, I’m saying that people who are in the upper class that are among the 1% , who control most of the wealth in the world, have money to create change. Each politician is funded by these corporate entities. If one candidate is in danger of losing, the corporations then hop on the leading candidate’s coat tail to get laws implemented. I am saying it makes no difference who is president, if money runs politics, and politics create laws. Money therefore creates bills that get signed into law.”
Darnell: “So why do we vote then, smart-ass?”
Malachi: “To give Americans the illusion of us actually having a choice. The differences between two candidates aren’t as stark as the media propagandizes.”
Darnell: “So what about the the Supreme court and Judges? Is that rigged also. If we have a liberal President choosing a liberal Supreme Justice, that impacts Americans as well, doesn’t it?”
Malachi: “It doesn’t matter who they choose. You just had Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who white liberals prop up as a goddess, make disparaging remarks about Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee, but not saying anything about the issue he is kneeling for.”
Darnell: “Yeah, that guy Kaepernick is an imbecile. He is a waste of a human being, how dare him disrespect this country and the military that protects it.”
Malachi:”An imbecile for taking a stance against police brutality? For not standing for a country that doesn’t respect lower class African Americans? This is all happening under a black democratic president. I am here nor there, but that goes to show you that white supremacy always wins.”
Darnell: “White supremacy? Yeah the white supremacy is the reason gang bangers keep killing each other more than cops kill them, and yet they want to blame cops? Come on!”
Malachi:” You just equated Cops with criminals. Cops aren’t criminals and they are here to protect the community. Criminals get sent to jail for their crimes, rogue policemen get paid leave and gofundme pages.”
Darnell: “This is sad, that you don’t see how incredibly foolish you sound.”
Malachi: “My point about the president picking a Supreme Judge to impact America is that nothing changes. The issues that exist now, will continue to exist 30 years from now. As long as the candidates need blue-collar union’s election support, they won’t condemn their actions. They will use code words to appear contrite, but won’t do anything.”
Rashad:”Once again, you sound dumb right now. She already said she is behind police reform.”
Malachi: “I sound dumb. Do you know what police reform is?.. It basically means that they will give police more money to train more cops and buy more guns. The problem isn’t police training, they are extremely proficient at their jobs, it is the bad cops who give law enforcement a bad rep. The true problem is all-white juries that can’t help but think the black victim was responsible for his or her death. If you can get away with unlawful lynching without punishment, there will be no impetus to create change. Department of Justice is already doing police reform. They just awarded 20 billion dollars to law enforcement. Hillary refuses to use the word racial profiling, and adeptly says ‘implicit bias’. That word is not by mistake, to say police racial profile would draw ire from the national police union. Nothing is gonna change for black people if she becomes president. Just like nothing changed for blacks when Obama became president.”
(PART 2 coming soon)
Technology has made Americans pretty damn lazy. We have become so damn lazy, that we want everything delivered to us. Google and Amazon now have grocery delivery services.
- I eat food for flavor, not for nutrition– When I chew on my food, I want instant gratification. I want to feel the fat, salts, and sugars rushing through my veins like a crack fiend who is chasing his first high. I am not thinking about how many calories, or how much cholesterol is clogging my arteries. I don’t know how many grams of sugar this McCafe syrup drenched coffee has. My boss is an Asshole, and life sucks, but these salty ass french fries is making me feel appreciated. I am on a blissful high that is incomprehensible for a skinny vegan to relate to. I don’t want to blend a kale smoothie. I already know I am gonna die young, I can’t quit this shit. I wanna stop, but I can’t help but go through the drive-thru to buy some palatable junk. I rationalize the bad behavior by deceiving myself. I can’t view food the way you do. I am a psychopath.
2. I don’t drink enough water– Water to me is the most bland, terrible, emptiest fluid one person could drink. In order to lose weight, I would have to eat less food, and drink more water. Not gatorade, not milk, diet soda, or fruit juice, I would be forced to drink actual water. In order to lose weight I would have to ignore my sugar addiction and be old fashioned. Without paying any attention, soft drinks and sugary beverages can add up to 50 percent of your daily calories. The daily coffee I get at 7/11 with the mini shots of creamer adds up. I would have to drink my coffee black with no additives.
The benefits would outweigh the cons. I wouldn’t be constipated, with questionable breath. More water would mean that my piss wouldn’t be dark as my skin color, it would actually be light colored. I would actually eat when I’m hungry. At this moment, I eat first, ask questions last, when it should be the other way around.
3. I mindlessly eat while watching TV, etc – When I am going through my dvr list of shows to watch, I didn’t even recognize that I ate half a bag of pop chips. If I were skinny, I would have to pay close attention to what I eat, by logging every morsel of food and drink inside my fitbit app. I would have to swap all my dinner plates for my daughters baby plates. I would have to swap buttered popcorn for mashed cauliflower with sea salt and carrot sticks.
4. I buy health junk food, and reason that I’m eating healthy -When I go to my local Trader Joe’s or Sprout’s Market in Los Angeles,Ca. I have a tendency to fall for all the fuckery; Gluten-free Chocolate cake, vegan cupcakes, vegan cookies, brownies, potato chips etc.
Despite walking through Trader Joe’s and grabbing some healthy food, I always manage to negate it with garbage: Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter, Maple butter cookies, ice cream bars, cookie n’ creme spread, chocolate salted caramel candies.
I figure if the food is packaged with all the healthy benefits, it must have no consequences. Im eating so healthy with the other food, this “little snack” wouldn’t bother. And that is another reason why I can’t succeed on a diet.
5. I would have to exercise almost everyday – On top of eating like a toddler and being highly irritable from sugar withdrawals, I would have to find time to exercise. I am so out of shape that a simple jog would feel like an eternity.
I work 60 hrs a week, and finding time to exercise would have to be more important than any other task I enjoy. More likely than not, I would have to go straight to the gym after work, and get it in. 30 mins is cute, but to get great results, I would have to do 45 mins to an hour. By time I get finished, I would feel a sense of self-accomplishment and better confidence. I would feel my serotonin levels increase, which would bring down by bouts of depression and anxiety. I would have no time for family and my wife would complain about me not sharing responsibility for our daughter. In other words, “I want to exercise and do what I want to after work too! Why should you get the autonomy to do what you want to do without repercussions? I am handling too much of the load.” and the nagging would be incessant. When I get home from the workout, I would have to prepare my meal and cook my dinner. Anything that could be microwaved, or inside of a package has too much sodium or sugar to consume, so I would have to cook.
6. I would have to prepare and carry my meals – Every night after my work out, I would have to cook my meal and prepare my lunch for the next day. Most of weight loss is about preparation. Cooking and planning my meal would probably take another hour and a half, 3 times a week. I really enjoy convenience, so this would be a pain in the ass. I like to get up and go, stop at the 7/11,get my coffee and hit the road. I like to stop at wherever my hunger leads me to. Every day I have a different place I like to stop and get my lunch, this would eliminate that routine. Broccoli and wild-caught salmon with blueberries and plain greek yogurt every other day would be challenging. Yes, I would be dropping pounds, but the constant hassle of unlearning bad habits would be tough. In the event I forget my meal, what would be my emergency plan? These would be things I would have to figure out.
7. I would have to ignore the midnight cravings – When you exercise and burn calories, you lose fat, but you also become more hungry. Exercise produces a hormone inside of the body called ghrelin. Ghrelin, is simply a hunger hormone. You produce more ghrelin in your body when you are more active. I am already prone to midnight snacking, so I would have to plan a healthy midnight snack that wouldn’t destroy my entire diet. Sugary carbs would destroy my diet and still leave me hungry in the morning. Having limited choices, I would be forced to ignore these cravings and go to sleep.
8. An un-participating spouse that is oblivious – Starting a new diet is always hard. You declare for the millionth time, that you are finished with eating bad. You rid your pantry of as much fat, salt, and sugar as you can find, and explain to your spouse that you would appreciate it if they don’t bring any junk food in the house. Sensing that you are gonna fail for the 512th consecutive time, your spouse dubiously sighs in disbelief. In the spouses mind, you are gonna start this p90x dvd and quit again like you always do. You will blend ninja smoothies for a month, and go right back to chocolate milk and glazed donuts. You are just on another health kick cause you’ve seen the “Food Inc.” and “Fat, sick, and nearly dead” documentaries on Netflix. When you come back home from work, guess what is on the kitchen counter:
“Jesus Christ!!, Sprinkles cupcakes!” you exclaim. “I got these from a friend at work. She was gonna throw them away, but I decided I was gonna take them home, because I knew you would eat em” the spouse says. Next thing you know you are 3 cupcakes in feeling like this.
9. I wouldn’t be able to use Eat24.com or GrubHub – Technology has made Americans pretty damn lazy. We have become so damn lazy, that we want everything delivered to us. Google and Amazon now have grocery delivery services. Driving to pickup some local food at the Thai restaurant is optional. Eat 24 offers a weekly code that takes 2 dollars off whatever you want to order. Between a couple, that is up to 4 bucks off every week to sit on your ass and wait for the delivery to come to your door. These companies are paying you to stay in the house and eat like a slob. Being that I couldn’t eat any thing that I don’t prepare, takeout or delivery would not be a viable option. Even the so-called “healthy” dishes have obscene amounts of sodium and hidden sugars. Every once in a while I could order, but my spouse would have to be in on it as well. It is no way my wife is giving up her favorite Brazilian “Bossa-Nova” restaurant food, once a month. It just ain’t happening.
10. Food is ubiquitous – There is no escaping food. When you pump gas you have to enter the convenience mart to pay the cashier. Frito-Lay and beverage companies know you are stressed out and looking for instant gratification. They purposefully stock Am/Pm with sweets and fatty foods because they know you are in a weak mental state. Food trucks that sell tacos, burritos, burgers and lobster sandwiches are on every corner, trying to lure you in. Food is a form of communication and celebration, it is at your workplace when co-workers offer to go on a group lunch. It is the after work happy-hour that is hosting a Taco Tuesday you feel obliged to attend. You cannot escape food, because it is EVERYWHERE. You probably will eat something immediately after reading this article. Food is in different cultures and flavors. There is an advertisement that will pop up afterwards when reading this page, that will promote a restaurant deal. A holiday or birthday is coming up where food will be presented. For a fat person, he or she cannot escape food, he or she has to learn how to work around the problem. Alcoholics and drug addicts can cut the drug out by re-routing the streets they take. A overweight person cannot avoid food.
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Observation #1.) Anything Goes
All the fat-shaming and looks of disgust will be left at departure. On the boat you will see almost everything that you usually wouldn’t see. People will drink, let loose, relax, and romance like you’ve never seen before. There is a night club on the boat where people go after hours to party hard and let it hang out. I happened to go on a boat cruise that was packed with college kids during spring break. I seen a guy who looked like Tom Arnold attempting to do the “Wobble” with his barely 18 year old girlfriend. If you don’t know what the wobble is, here you go. If you don’t dance to this, you just don’t have a pulse.
Pitbull and Flo-Rida was jamming all through the night, with sprinkles of old-school hip-hop to please the crowd. You are liable to see anything, at any moment. I am thankful that I had someone babysitting my toddler daughter back home. Not for the reason of the Nicki Minaj shaped woman with a thong bikini walking around, but for the next observation. I digress, however, this is why I dislike going to Las Vegas, NV during the weekend. The younger and immature crowd are there -walking along the streets with their eyes glazed like a morning donut- looking for some late night nookie. That’s another blog. So lets move on to the next observation.
Observation #2) Sex
I can only speak for myself when I say this, but man, it felt like we just met all over again. We were jackrabbits. I won’t get too “50 shades of grey” on you guys, but I will say it felt good. When you have the constant pressures of a demanding job/career and raising children, sex becomes an accessory. If you can get to the bedroom and get some while you are both are awake and the kids are sleep, congrats. In cases like me and my wife, we have to get it when its apropos. Having the freedom of no responsibility for 3-5 days felt incredible. I missed my child, but I damn sure miss the “first apartment together” sex we used to have. As I alluded to in the previous observation, ANYTHING GOES!!
Observation#3.) Free Room Service
“I’m gettin’ tired of this sorry mutha$#*ka callin’ me, this about the 20th time in one hour!”
You damn rite, I want the grilled cheese sandwich with the tomato soup, and some chocolate chip cookies on the side. Oh, and before you get off the phone, can you grab some fresh cookies, last time they were stale.
Yes, that was me. It was another opportunity in my life where I had that much more reason to be an obese slob, and mail it in. The food was a 6 out of 10. Nothing that would make you stay in the room and order all day, the dinner service is where the cuisine food is at. Most of these observations depend on what boat you choose to cruise on. They have luxury boats that are sumptuous in taste and design. I just happened to take Carnival; the company that is the McDonald’s of boat cruises. There are some fancy luxury cruises out there that are built like The Venetian on water. So experiences may differ.
Observation #4.)Awkward ass dining situations
Carnival, believes in inclusion when guests come on their boat, and it is no escaping it. I am totally into being a hermit, so this was a challenge. First of all, I had no shoes to wear to the formal dinner. So, my wife went to the local souvenir shop where they only had boat shoes. I looked a hot mess, I felt like a Black version of Skipper on Gilligan’s Island. The only piece missing from my costume was his hat. I felt like a complete clown.
So, there my wife is looking fancy, while I walk into the restaurant looking like the guy above this sentence. Secondly, when I arrive there, I am disgruntled and stoic. I want no parts of a friendly conversation, and they put me next to Mr. Loquacious himself. Boasting gleefully to his wife about all of his accomplishments, as if they just met, he would pause the conversation (while staring directly at us) and wait for me or my wife to interject. I just continued eating my frog legs, while acting deaf, dumb, and blind. This actually worked for me, and the couple eventually left, while me and my wife laughed boisterous and wicked. My wife knew I was being an asshole, and played along with me. lol. Lastly, the breakfast was twice as awkward, but I knew how to break the ice. With me being the only token Black, the table was completely awkward. I could read the biases that were on their faces when they arrived at the table. A white couple from a rural town near Buffalo, NY. sat tense from across the table. I introduced myself and chatted about the NFL with the husband, while having laughs about trivial inquiries. Another foreigner couple who barely spoke at all arrived at the table. Then another couple from Florida arrived. They were friendly and nice. I felt like saying, see it wasn’t that bad. Knowing damn well that I was just as nervous as them. We all exited the table being friendly when passing each other later on.
Observation#5.) Short duration of time spent at destination(s)
You buy an excursion package in Ocho Rios, Jamaica for snorkeling and whatever but only have so many hours to enjoy it. By time you get finished with the rock climbing and your “Eat, Pray, Love” antics, you have an hour and a half to get back to the boat. The boat will be jam-packed before departing, and you need to buy some souvenirs and take selfies to make everyone on Facebook know you’ve been there. The scenery is beautiful and the sting ray farm is amazing, but now it is time to go. The ship is taking off as you look at the people who are basking in the elegance of a magical resort at the beach. They get to stay for the whole vacation. You privately begin to stew in envy as the boat takes off. They get the REAL vacation on the beach. The inverse of that argument is that you may not be a Resort kind of person. Resorts are ran differently. Ships are inclusive, resorts are exclusive. The culture of cruise ships are to mix and mingle with everyone:Make new friends. Good times, Celebrations, Salutations!!. While resorts are more suitable for people wanting privacy and savoring the beauty of the culture. They both are awesome, it just depends on your personality.
Observation#6.) Talent Show
If you had a failed attempt at that 90’s rock band as lead singer, or you are a professional shower singer. This is your chance to get your Alanis Morrisette on. It is the most entertaining thing on the boat.
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Raised in South Central, Los Angeles -now known as South Los Angeles- Ross witnesses a traumatic incident inside of his household. He witnesses his Uncle’s Murder. Moving to the other side of town, he resides on a street called Flower St, a street that runs parallel to the 110 fwy. Therefore, Ross and his friends became known as the “freeway boys”. He attended the local schools during a time when gang wars were at its prime. According to Ross, he never joined any gangs, even though he lived in the territory of the crips. He attended Dorsey High School and became a tennis star. He had played tennis so good that he was offered a scholarship, until they found out he was illiterate. Once scouts found out he was illiterate, he was of no use to the potential colleges. He ended up like just another Black 18 year old kid with no job or school, looking for a way to fill his idle time.
He started off small, then sold the narcotic PCP, then graduated to cocaine. He made a connection with a Colombian and the rest is history. You already know how the story ends. Drug dealer goes to jail and ends up broke. Well, he went to jail and came out blaming the informant who put him in jail, and the secret service that employed the said informant. The Contra Scandal was the real deal, and it had a catastrophic effect on the Black and African-American community. I was born in 1984, the era of “crack-babies”. So, I am not saying that what he claims happened is false; my gripe is that he diminishes his role, when compared to the macro level. The remorse for the actions he took were minimal, making it seem as if he was only a middle man. That is something that I vehemently disagree with him about. Conscientiously selling drugs to your own people, while seeing how the product affected families, was FUCKED UP. As any true drug dealer would privately admit, the bottom line was money. He apologizes, but only before making it seem accidental. That was what irritated me about the book.
When he got out of prison, he saw that someone stole his alias and moniker. Parading around stage, and doing world tours, a rapper was using his name and image to make entertainment money. He got offended by the business move and took the rapper to court. Wow!!! The irony of it all.
This book is based on an inner-city corrections officer who goes rogue. He talks about the ugly realities that exist inside the American prison system. Drugs, sex, murder, and hard liquor all wrapped into one book. He is vulgar and bawdy throughout the whole book. To be honest, you will need urban dictionary more than Webster’s Dictionary. He keeps it hood and gutter. It is very short and easy to read. By time you get to the part where the female officers are being auctioned off as prostitutes to shot-callers, you will become engulfed in the salaciousness of it all.
As I read the book, I could kind of tell he was pulling stories out of his ass to add shock value. I honestly cannot believe everything that was in this book.
Interesting read considering that nowadays, you have 4G cell phones being smuggled in prison for the right price. It is so rampant at this point, that many women on dating sites have to post “NO GUYS IN JAIL” on their profile.
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For the past 3 years, reading has become my new hobby. For certain books I read the actual text via e-book. Other times, I use audiobooks. In this quest, I have given many books the time of day. If a book cannot capture my full attention with meaningful substance within a chapter or two, I am out. I have thugged it out with some of the most celebrated books, just to say I have read it. In my mind, I will one day go to some pretentious wine party. At this festivity they will serve wine and cheese, with caviar and crackers as appetizers. We will have a conversation about the greatest books ever, and they will ask me if I have ever read “Ulysses” by James Joyce, or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. And I will reply with “Why, Yes. Madam, may I suggest The Great Gatsby or Mark Twain?”
Get the hell out of here!
On the other hand, I don’t wanna be that guy who reads the baseless books that are no better than an American infomercial. “Hey, Eddie! have you read the Kim Kardashian Selfie book?”
Im not trying to be a snob, I have no animus towards the Kardashians. I am just saying that we can’t have a civil conversation about books, if you’re coming at me with these kind of book suggestions. Saying you read a selfie book, is like saying you take medical advice from Dr. Oz.
There are way too many books out there that I haven’t read to be reading mundane books. I have read books that were absolute money grabs. I just read a book today that talks about how athletes are performing better. I am reading the book under the impression that he will provide an aspect that will change what I already know. The ultimate point of his book was that they challenge the odds. 7 hrs of book reading, sums up to him writing about different athletes, who said they were gonna challenge the status quo. Another historical book with 4 star reviews, talking about how immigrant meat factory workers were in disease and death plagued workplaces. Sounds interesting, only problem is that it is written in an antiquated style that takes the strength of 2 Adderall pills to understand. I completed another book of a celebrated cocksure guru, who writes in a book to “Give maximum effort, to achieve maximum results!”. Not only does he give common sense advice, he talks to you like a Pop Warner coach while doing so. I can go on and on. Books are anecdotal. Hence, whatever book causes an epiphany for you, may not cause a breakthrough with me. This is why those “20 greatest books” lists always pisses readers off. No more tedious books for me. I hope you gather the courage to discontinue books that don’t inspire reflective thoughts.
This can be either a positive or negative. If you had a part-time business that you never had time for, now you have a full 24 hours with no excuses. When you are at work all you think about is home. Home is the ultimate goal of the day. Escaping the cubicle, Uber-Car, restaurant, or commercial truck is what we strive to do. When you no longer have the excuse of work clogging your schedule, you are challenged to find ways to utilize time. Idle time can have the most negative impact on your mind. Couple that negativity with anxiety and you have doubts hovering over you like wolf clouds. You now have time to exercise, drop off and pick up the kids from daycare or school, and meet with your spouse for lunch. The converse is that time is working against you. Bills need to be paid on TIME, and unemployment is only temporary. It will run out.
Touching up the résumé
This should be the number one thing that you should do. For most people who have recently faced a job loss, this is essential to the whole process. Your resume is easy to make and gives the future boss a glimpse of the potential employee he or she is getting. If you have no clue on how to make a resume and you are confused, you can always get your 20-something old cousin, or spouse to complete the task. Remember to create another email that is appropriate for a resume. For example, Dirtbike_dan666@hellsex.com is not a good look for that administrative assistant job. JohnSmith@applepie.com is more suitable. Use up to date phone numbers that are current, and use job references of people who are LEGIT. No potheads or alcoholics who can’t hold a decent conversation with someone. You need people who can vouch for you, and speak the language a prospective employer wants to hear.
“Wassup Sir!! Oh that boy Kevin is my Dude. When it comes to his gig he is a beast sir!”
Getting a job is a job
You have to spend countless hours of the day in front of a computer, filling out applications for jobs that you feel you have a 2 percent chance of getting. The job post says that you need over 15 years experience with a PhD in Pseudorectomy (lol), and you only have two years experience at Shake Shack with a Master’s Degree in Zoology. The odds are slim, but you never know. You must be on alert for emails that kindly deny your job application by saying “We appreciate your interest in our company”. There will be constant phone interviews and awkward in person interviews that will be the biggest waste of time. Jobs that will hide the hourly pay or salary from you, until the interview, what is usually less than the unemployment that you are already receiving, before tax. There will be days when you will have to take a city job test for an open job vacancy. Lines will be as long as Black Friday before store opening, and the test will be all the questions you studied for. The guy or gal who aced the test to make it on the top of the availability list, just so happened to be a cousin of the city supervisor. Yes, you will have to accept the fact that nepotism may have played a role, but what can you do? Right before you give up the fight and say “To Hell with this, I’m going to the Army!”, another job you were seeking will finally call you and you will move down the yellow brick road.
Harbor no ill will
Yes, Danny, your ex boss, was an asshole. He would never greet you with the proper respect, when in his vicinity. He would berate you in front the cute secretaries, when he could’ve talked to you in private. Unprofessional as he may be, never talk ill of a past boss or superior. Most industries are connected,i.e., medical field, package delivery, restaurant, or transportation. With the economy being in a frugal state, most companies are becoming conglomerates and merging with each other. With that being said, some employees may have siblings that work for opposing companies. Cousins who are both in sales, one works for Verizon, the other for Sprint. Everyone talks, whether they admit it or not. If you slander Danny, it may offend his brother-in-law Eric, the quiet guy who is assistant operations manager at a job you are trying to score. He will smile gracefully in the interview room, and brood in silence as you exit the premises. Be careful, you never know who knows who.
Become financially literate
As you deal with this stint of unemployment, you will go through some financial turmoil. That fly car with the bells and whistles will most likely be repossessed.The credit score will take a hit. Everything that you rationalized spending crazy money on will go out the window. That 40 dollar cricket wireless phone plan will look more appealing than Sofia Vergara in a scantily clad bikini. You will learn that a quarter will get you a gallon of water, and 5 dollars will stretch far in a Spanish Mercado Carniceria. Ralph’s market will become too snooty for your taste. You may have to hop off the hipster-train and eat non-organic fruits until the checks come back. The ridiculous gym club membership that you never used needs to be cut. The 200 dollar spa retreats that you went on must cease. You may have to go a season without the NFL package until things get better. It stinks, but you have to find a way to make the dollar stretch. This is the time to go to the library and soak up as much knowledge as you can about money. I am not telling you to become a cheapskate for life. I am stating that value becomes more important than price. Unemployment will teach you a lot about money. Its not a way you should be forced to learn, but it will make you more aware.
That’s what friends are for. Right?
Going to an in-laws on Thanksgiving is as embarrassing as undressing in front of a crowd. When you are unemployed it feels like the whole world knows. Random people that you never have met before will approach you with the whole “UPS is hiring!” or ” The coffee shop on Winston Ave, and Bloomington Blvd are hiring”. Of course, they mean well, but it doesn’t sit well with you, when you know that you have been busting your ass putting in applications. Some baby boomers are completely dumbfounded when it comes to job searching on the internet. They make getting a job sound like getting a Snicker bar at a candy shop. They’re all like “Hey, When I was your age, I went down to the Post Office and talked with an Irish fella named Jim O’Malley. I didn’t even have to interview, I was driving a big-rig the next day with no license. Back in my day, you learned on the spot! None of this computer crap.” I’m like “Yeah, you also could snort coke and drive drunk in your day too. Where’s the honor in that?!” The insecurity will be constant, but if you let the right person know, you might be able to land the decent job you’ve been searching for.
1.)Read Books as often as possible
I totally understand that you are into baggy FuBu clothes and Air Force One Nike’s. I even got that you have a fascination with blackplanet.com and Yahoo Messenger. The problem you are failing realize is that you are not reading any books. You don’t need any money because there is a library located immediately across the street from your high school, filled with invaluable knowledge. Reasons you need to read books is because you have no idea of who you are as an individual. Black History is just another month where you accept the cliche stories with polyanna dialogue. You have no knowledge about racism other than Spike Lee movies, and have no idea how diluted the presentation of Slavery is. A book has no cut scenes, or time limits. Depending on the author you choose, a book will give you the unadulterated truth about anything you wish to learn. You have to learn about a lot of stuff that your parents are filtering out of your life. When you read, you create a mind filled with perspective. You develop from a boy into a man.
2.)Recognize Family mortality
Unfortunately, most of the family members you grew up to revere will perish, and your parents will become disabled and sick. I hate to be terse, but you need to come out and speak to your family, because heart disease, cancer, and other afflictions will take them away. Humans only have so much time on Earth before the next chapter. Nobody is exempt, e.g.,the King of pop and Whitney Houston will punch the time card soon also.
3.)Friends are temporary
I understand that you grew up with each other since childhood, smoked chronic, and called the party-line together. Yes, those HALO multiplayer tournaments on the XBOX will be epic. Your friends are NOT forever. One day you will meet that special woman who will carry your child, and co-found a household with you. That whole “Bros before Ho’s” shit will be out of the window and you will catch the cooties. Despite the occasional argument, you will want to spend every waking moment with that person. Hitting the club to chase some bourgeois broads will become old. Making passion to someone you love will become more than just “gettin’ sum”, it will feel special. Hanging out to have occasional talks will always be there among true friends, however, life will split the bond into different trajectories.
4.)Think broader than being an ATHLETE or RAPPER
So, you got your Rocawear T-shirt on with your Sean John Velour suit, you think you got bars that will change the world. You feel like you can spit in a cypher with Ludacris and Busta Rhymes and they will sign you. Eminem is the rap version of Tiger Woods and you feel inspired to be the next big talent. The problem with that logic is that everyone in the ‘hood’ is trying to do the same thing. The market for trying to be an athlete or rapper is shamelessly over saturated. Everyone is trying to do it. It’s so many artists that are working three times harder than you, and fail miserably. That is not to say that you cannot make it. If you figure out how to come out with a catchy dance with a song, you will become popular and attain fame. For how long?.. Then you become a one-hit wonder who never gets heard from again. If you wish to be long-term, prepare for lots of thieving and song stealing from people with more clout. Prepare for performing at shady clubs with no crowds and no money. How about meeting prominent people in the industry who make false promises to you? Guys who promise they will listen to your CD in the club you performed in, only to find it thrown in the garbage or even littered in the parking lot. The rappers that are in front of the camera, have a combination of extreme tenacity, talent, and luck that makes them exceptional. So, I ask you, how do You want to be a rapper, and never attempt to read a book about how the music industry is. Being a rap artist is business, and you have no knowledge of the industry. Think about all of the rappers who never made it because they never understood contracts. Think broader than rap. The manager/agent who is behind the scenes making 10% of all of the commissions of popular artists are making a steady income. The rapper is constantly under pressure from fans and record labels. If the next song is a flop and your album goes foam, adios amigo. Think about the guy working behind the scene who owns 40% of the shares of the label. He sits on his ass making mailbox money, while you slave and dodge gang-member club fights every night. This is where reading books comes into play. Being a Dentist or Engineer may sound boring, but it will probably place you in a more secure position, than a volatile music career.
5.)You have been lied to
Being the diligent and good boy that you are, you believe everything that your mommy and daddy tell you. Even Tupac lied and said America is not ready to have a Black President. All of the cliche sayings that you hear, i.e:”hard work pays off in the end”, “great things happen to those who wait”,”rich people are the root of all evil”, and “Go to college and get a degree to be something in life”, are at best half-truths. The reason you believe in God is because of what your parents taught you, which was the result of what their parents taught them. For instance, were people who existed before Christ, spurned to hell, because of not knowing him and accepting him as their Lord and Savior? Its not to say if he is real or not, just an interesting question to ponder. Great things don’t happen to those who wait. If you procrastinate long enough on a opportunity, it will pass you by and you will fail. Rich people are not the root of all evil. Contrary to popular belief, rich people that you assume are assholes are not evil. Most rich people voted for Bush because of tax and financial purposes. Yes, there will be greed among the highest businessmen in America. The billionaires will be in a category called “one-percenter”(not the bike club, more like the yacht club). 2008, will be the year that the economy tanks and media will sensationalize the wealthy as crooks. Collectively as a group, the wealthy are some of the most altruistic people you could meet. They donate to many causes that the government doesn’t interfere with. The opulent businessmen of America create full-time jobs for the middle and lower-class society. A rich person loves a country ran with less government and more autonomy. A millionaire wants to feel that he can operate his businesses and make money without government interference. Rich neighborhoods are usually safer than poorer ones. A poor person has pent up aggression towards the world for people not showing compassion for his or her struggle. A poor person will rob and steal from another person, not for the sake of enjoyment, but for survival. Lack of money brings in stress. Stress begets anger, and anger impels a man to do something he may later regret. These are reasons why crime rates are higher in poor neighborhoods. Go to college and become something is anecdotal. For some it may be a rite of passage, And for others it was an expensive waste of 4 years for a defunct or obsolete education. I personally feel an empty void for not going, so its something you should do. Go and study computer engineering because it will be a booming industry. Get an MBA afterwards and combine the two. Hard work does not always pay off in the end. I work 60+ hours a week and yes I make decent money, but the lifestyle is overwhelming. Smart work pays off in the end. Work hard if you have a personal business that you building from scratch. Work smart if you want to be wealthy. As a garbage man, you will encounter plenty of rich people who let their money work for them. They are not stressing over retirement savings, because they own apartment properties and franchise restaurants.
6.)Technology will make everything better
Anything that you will imagine will become better. No more newspapers for information, news literally popping in front of your eyes in real time, as it happens. Camera surveillance that will be ubiquitous(everywhere) with videos going viral of scandals. From dating to doctor visits, the internet will make life very easy. The Nokia phone with polyphonic ringtones will be dead. The mobile phone, however, will be almost more important than a wallet. The mall that you frequent will only be of use during “Black Friday”(after Thanksgiving) sales. E-Commerce will take over the hassle of waiting in line at a brick-and-mortar store. Circuit City will be replaced and everything will be digital. Cars that have GPS navigation, just in case you get lost. Downloadable video games and their will be a solution for everything. Hence, the reason I alluded to studying the computer field when I spoke on broadening your occupation choices. The future starts now.
7.)Enjoy your naiveté
Enjoy your youth and innocence. Smoke weed,clown and joke as much as you can. Meet as many women and partake in any activity you wish. Travel across the globe and meet different cultures. Appreciate the times of laughter and feeling immortal. Make no rush into growing up and becoming an adult. You may hate being told what to do 24 hours, 7 days a week with nonstop nagging. It will be awkward coming home smelling like weed and being paranoid that you are sticking out like a sore thumb. You will hate your parents insinuating what jobs or major you need to take, so they can impress their friends. Whats worse, is when they start asking you to chip in on groceries! Wow! the gall of your parents, how insensitive and cruel of them. Now, fast forward your imagination to a future date to where either I am at, or later. As you grow older you will lose hair, gain weight, be responsible for twelve times as much, and won’t be able to ask your parents for money; they will be on a fixed income. You will endure new jobs, job losses, bad bosses, bad jobs. No drug use whatsoever, compounded with the stress of being responsible for a whole family. You will have days where you will want to chase opportunities, but will likely consider them unrealistic. Between the fact you have a family you barely get to spend time with, and a demanding job, you will sulk in shame. The more gadgets and bullshit you buy, the more bills you get in the mail, and will be forced to go to a job you don’t love. Enjoy the freedom of not paying rent, and taking the little money you do have to buy off the dollar menu. Life is about to get hard, so age as slow as you can.