NYCTalking Sun, 22 Nov 2020 08:26:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NYCTalking 32 32 35472972 NARUTO GAIDEN, VOL.1 CHAPTER 1: UCHIHA SARADA Sun, 22 Nov 2020 08:19:58 +0000 I got my hands on a really cool iPad manga app called “Mangaman.” I’ve found nearly all the manga I want to read and then some.

One of the stories I started was some work that was leading us towards the story of Boruto. That’s Naruto’s son. This story focuses on Sasuke and Sakura’s kid, Sarada.

Now the Naruto manga series and anime were both very, very long. I watched one episode of Boruto, and I was enjoying it. But I just can’t commit myself to another decades long story.

That being said, I did enjoy this small spinoff series. Sadly, once again, some pretty bad parenting is leading to kids with some sort of inner conflicts and in this case, daddy issues.

I don’t want to drop any spoilers here, but Sarada is unhappy because Sasuke has been “away” a lot during her life. As such, she doesn’t know him at all and kind of rebels against Sakura. This is more than just teenage angst, I mean the plot, really, really thickens, but if I tell you, then it would be a spoiler.

This was a fun story, but I have to say, these ninja parents really need to get their damn acts together and stop raising messed up kids! Especially when those kids have enough natural ninja powers to destroy entire villages.

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Episode 27 – Accupressure and Dosha Mat with Jessica Rose Tue, 17 Nov 2020 05:12:49 +0000 This week I am joined by the founder of “Dosha Mat.” She tells us about the product and how it can help us out with pain, energy, and all kinds of good stuff. So I actually got my hands on one of these sometime and ago and wanted to share a bit of my conversation with the founder, Jessica Rose. If you’d like to read more about my personal experience, click here!

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I am number four movie. Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:55:29 +0000 First and foremost before you watch this movie, I have to tell you that it is based on a book series. If the film interests you, then I’d recommend you go and read the books first. It’s always more fun that way.

Second, I should tell you that despite this being a fairly good movie, the movie house was not impressed with how much money they made and put it on the back burner for a possible sequel. I have to say that sucked because I did enjoy it and I would love to see a sequel.

So if you want to save yourself the heartache of watching this movie then realizing that there won’t be a part 2, 3, 4, 5 or six of it, then maybe you should just go ahead and pick up the books instead. That’s my plan for the remainder of the franchise.

All that being said, if you have a good two hours to sit and watch a fairly entertaining film with a lot of potential, check this movie out. It starts off fairly slow with the main character hiding. He is trying to avoid detection as he is being hunted by an alien race that wants to kill him and all others like him. He is also a member of an alien race and has some special abilities.

By the time he starts to learn more about his powers and really showcase them the film is drawing to a close. That’s the disappointing part because there was so much more potential to build on with this franchise. However, other films came along and took the big money paydays and they are receiving the focus as is to be expected.

This film came out in 2011 and as of 2020 there were no talks of a sequel. We are talking almost 10 years ago and the sequel hasn’t come out and there is no buzz around it. I think it is safe to assume that this franchise, at least in its current life form is dead.

The question then becomes is it worth watching knowing that you’ll never get a sequel? This is why I opened the article with a recommendation to read the books instead of watching the movie. Or you can watch the movie and then pick up the books to continue the story, but don’t expect a sequel. I’d say either way, read the book as you know movies often change things up.

Based on the film’s content and the story, I enjoyed it and I really wish they had continued it because I’d love to see more. I do recommend the film with the caveat that you ain’t gonna get no more from them.

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Sin City: A dame to kill for Tue, 10 Nov 2020 12:33:27 +0000 I just finish reading the second comic in the Sin City collection and it was pretty damn good.

This one is called A dame to kill for. I kind of like the way that the first comic was tied into this one at some parts. That was pretty damn cool. The story here is pretty damn trippy. It’s about a guy who is trying to get his stuff together and this woman claims that she needs his help and pulls him into the darkness.

I kind of feel bad for the guy because he is trying to get it together but he is blinded by love. Unfortunately for him, he is just another cog in the great machine that is Ava’s manipulation scheme. This woman is evil, after the way she did him in the first couple of scenes of the comic I really wanted her to get what you deserve. I mean she is straight evil with it.

I understand that some women are beautiful and us men being the weak beings that we are can be easily manipulated, but the way she did it was not even on the human level. I’d be lying to you guys if I wasn’t annoyed and looking forward for her to get what she had coming. She even said herself there is a word for what I am, but people don’t like to use it, evil, just pure evil.

There’s so much that happens in this comic and I don’t want to load this review of sorts with many spoilers, but if you enjoyed the first comic then you are definitely going to enjoy this one.

The really cool thing about the sin city comic series is that they are not so long that they wear you out. When I read the World War Hulk comic series I enjoyed it, but it was so long and exhausting to get through. I love The Walking Dead, but it’s also a very, very long series as are many others that I’ve really enjoyed.

The way that Sin City is set up it’s like there are many stories that tie together at some points, but each one is its own story with a beginning and the end that is about 100 pages or so. This way you can get bits and pieces of the story and enjoy it without feeling that you have to keep reading and reading and reading to get to the actual point of the story.

I saw the movie a long time ago and I will watch it again once I finish this comic series. I’m going to look up how many stories there are as I am curious, but I’ll definitely finish reading them all before I watch the movie again. In fact, I thought that there may have been a Sin City 2, but I’m not sure I could be confused.

The artwork here is also very interesting and sometime it’s a little hard to make out what I’m looking at. That being said, Sin City has done something that the other comics have not. This series has gotten me to actually focus on the pictures more closely, to study them more than just reading the content, which is what I usually do. I think I said it in the last one and I’ll say it again, I am loving the Sin City series. These stories are freaking crazy.

These stories are so crazy, that as I lay in bed reading the last one, my head started spinning and I thought I was having a stroke. I left from here to the E.R. Turns out I developed vertigo and haven’t been the same since. Now that’s crazy.

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Episode 26 – Professor, Veteran, Former NYPD Lt. and Screw Deblasio with Dr. Darrin Porcher Mon, 09 Nov 2020 06:18:38 +0000 This week I am joined by a frequent tv guest commentator, Dr. Darrin Porcher. We met several years ago during an appearance on Hot 97 Street Soldiers. Dr. Porcher is an Air Force and Army Veteran, as well as a former NYPD Lt. Listen in for his take on the current climate, Deblasio and more.

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Thanos Infinity Trilogy Sun, 08 Nov 2020 10:06:11 +0000 Sometime ago I read the Infinity Siblings, this weekend I finished the other two segments of the Thanos Infinity trilogy.

The story was pretty interesting overall, but it does gets kind of tricky because they are doing a lot of time traveling. Because of that there is no true story path that is 100% solid because they can always travel back and forth in time and change things.

I mean, that’s kind of a cool power to have, but at the same time, it makes it impossible to “win” when someone can keep traveling back and forth in time. It’s cheap really and removes the high stakes of the story.

In this story, Thanos becomes sort of controlled by future Thanos. He doesn’t want to lose his new found power over death. As such, he is guiding past Thanos on what to do. I won’t give you any real spoilers though.

All that being said I did enjoy this story and I got to know Thanos, Pip and Adam Warlock a bit better. I didn’t really know much about those characters before this series.

If you are a fan of Thanos and can deal with all the weird time traveling back-and-forth confusion then you will enjoy this read.

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Free State of Jones Sat, 07 Nov 2020 07:28:16 +0000 The lady and I watched this movie today. It was the story of Newt Knight, a man who seemingly led a rebellion against the confederacy during the civil war.

Watching this film, you’ll feel exactly how you expect to feel. It’s going to make you angry, the blatant racism, the abuse, all of it is sickening. However, there are parts that will make you go, “YES, YES, YES” as you watch.

This is based on true events, but I’m willing to bet that they “Hollywooded” it quite a bit. You know whenever they make a movie about real life, they adjust it a bit to make it more exciting.

From my reading on the web, if you talk to some people from that area in Mississippi, they’ll tell you he was “white trash” and the story is being exaggerated for Hollywood.

His great, great (not sure how many greats) granddaughters from his freed slave partner Rachel said that the family situation is complicated. Apparently, there are some who are descended from his white wife, and they are Confederate types who want nothing to do with the others. There’s another mixed branch from a cousin, and of course the black and white branch with him and Rachel.

The film was heavy, I liked watching it and found it educational as well. The road for equality has been long and treacherous for our black brothers and sisters, as well as anyone who’s supported them. Seems like some things don’t change too much, eh? The 1800s weren’t that long ago! Considering current events and how the divisions are so similar, have they changed that much? There’s even talk of another civil war, things really do change slowly don’t they?

Check out the film, you’ll see some familiar faces and learn a thing or two about our country.

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Changing comic and book characters Fri, 06 Nov 2020 12:35:21 +0000 I’ve always been a purist when it came to comic book characters in film. What I mean by purist is that I preferred that the actor who plays a specific comic book character resembles the character in every form. Race, hair color, eyes, mannerism and so on.

Queen of the damned is a perfect example of a movie totally ruining, in that case, a phenomenal book. In fairness, I enjoyed the movie, but they could have called it, “Ancient Vampires be Tripping” or something and left the Anne Rice aspect out altogether.

I hate how they butchered the story line and characters, down to their hair color and mannerisms. Marius? Armand? Those men are supposed to be absolutely beautiful, and they looked a certain way. Hello! Marius made Lestat into a vampire? Get the hell out of here!

When the comic book movies started switching up characters, my reaction was the same. I was unhappy and irritated because I want to see the comics come to life as they were meant to be by their creators.

A perfect example is Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

When Samuel L. Jackson was cast to play Nick Fury, I was initially against it because he doesn’t look anything like the Nick Fury of the comics. However, he did such a great job in the role that I actually forgot how the original Nick Fury looks and associated the character with SLJ. After seeing this phenomenon happen, I stopped caring if they cast people who were actual clones of the characters and was more focused on how they did the job.

I’ve even become a bit more flexible on accepting changing story lines, but you can’t be having major deviations like “Marius made Lestat.” That breaks the whole damn story line.

My most recent reaction along these lines was when they cast Robert Pattinson to be Batman. He’s of small build, Twilight, and in my mind was not a good choice to play an iconic character like Batman. However, watching that trailer changed my mind. He appears worthy and I do hope he knocks it out the park!

How do you feel about movies changing up characters from books and comics?

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Dosha Mat Acupressure Mon, 02 Nov 2020 12:55:35 +0000 You folks know that I love to try many different things for my health. I’ve done floating, all types of massage therapy, medical physical therapy, colonics (yeah, they put a tube up my butt) acupuncture, cupping, oxygen, foot soaking and now the latest player in the game, an acupressure mat.

So I got my hands on this cool acupressure mat called “Dosha Mat.” I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I gotta tell you, I’m still adapting to it. It is something entirely different from anything I’ve done before, but in a good way. You know we take vitamins everyday right and you don’t feel an immediate high from taking them, it’s sort of a progressive thing that happens over time?

I kind of feel the same way about these alternative therapies, including Dosha mat. These aren’t magical devices, they are tools that will help you recover, get energized and feel relaxed. I know it sounds counter to each other, but you can be relaxed and energized.

It’s not like you are going to lay down on this thing and everything that is broken will be fixed. I’ll need a much bigger mat for that. LOL. However, progressively over time you should begin to experience the benefits.

As far as acupressure mats go, I’m completely new to them but I am digging this cool Dosha mat. The first day I grabbed it, I kind of disrespected the little blue flower looking things. I grabbed it kind of absentmindedly and stabbed my damn finger. It didn’t cut or puncture me, but it reminded me, “Oh yeah, those things are pointy you fool!”

So, don’t be a silly goose like me, respect the mat and grab it carefully. Do that and you won’t prick your finger like I did.

Laying down on it was a bit painful at first, but I did it without a shirt thinking I was superman, that’s a no no. Put on a layer at first. I’ve also sat on it and stood on it. Sitting hurt the most, but that’s probably cause of my plumpy thighs! Standing on it felt good, didn’t really hurt. I don’t know how to describe the feeling I get laying on it, but there is kind of a release. It’s kind of like what you get from a deep tissue massage or foam rolling. Sort of, I think? I told you, it’s hard to describe. LOL.

I’m going to continue using the Dosha mat and as time continues I look forward to experiencing more of those great benefits. Release is always nice, especially these days when we are so tense and stressed out. I’ve recently started training again as the gyms opened, and I’m hoping that my Dosha mat will help me with the fatigue, recovery and process of training.

Acupressure is said to help with weight loss and that’s really exciting for me as I gained quite a bit of covid lockdown weight.

If you’d like to learn more about the Dosha mat or try one out for yourself, check them out here!

What follows are some of the benefits the Dosha mat provides pulled directly from the source at!

Why Using an Acupressure Mat Can Change Your Life

Studies have shown that acupressure mats can have incredible health effects, including the following:

  1. Reduction of pain and soreness
  2. Deep calm and relaxation
  3. Reduction of stress and anxiety
  4. Improved sleep
  5. Weight-loss
  6. Increased circulation
  7. Rejuvenation of the skin
  8. Improved digestion
  9. Increased energy levels
  10. Reduction of cellulite
  11. Alleviates arthritis
  12. Alleviates fibromyalgia
  13. Aids myofascial pain syndrome
  14. Alleviates sciatica pain
  15. Faster recovery after workouts
  16. Lower cortisol levels

I’m super excited about the Dosha mat. In fact, I’m going to lay down on it now! I think I have more than half of those problems in that list so let’s get to it!

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Episode 25 – Fight depression, suicide and be healthier with Dr. Roger McIntyre Mon, 02 Nov 2020 12:45:03 +0000 Today I am joined by Dr. Roger McIntyre, he’s a psychiatrist and professor who deals in among other things, mood disorders. We talk about seasonal depression, how the suicide rates are up in this country, the dangers of uncertainty and how we can fight all this and stay healthy both physically and mentally!

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Episode 24 – Chat with OITNB Actress on #Feedthevote and Food Insecurity with Dascha Polanco Wed, 28 Oct 2020 05:51:39 +0000 The lovely, multitalented actress Dascha Polanco joins us to talk about a project that she has undertaken along with the company Knorr. Yup, the “Cubitos on polvo nol,” Knorr, that’s the one. Together they are promoting an initiative called #feedthevote. The goal is to combat hunger and food insecurity. Listen in to hear how your vote can have a direct impact on this longstanding issue within all of our communities.

As one of Hollywood’s leading Latina actresses, Dascha Polanco is an independent, driven, mother of two who migrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at an early age. Having gained national acclaim for her breakout role as “Dayanara Diaz” on the seven-season hit Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black (OITNB), she’s shifting gears in 2021 and starring in the highly anticipated film adaption of the famed musical In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Jon M. Chu of Crazy Rich Asians fame. In addition, Polanco will also captivate audiences as the female lead alongside Sylvester Stallone in Samaritan, set to release in theaters 2021. Currently, Polanco is the lead host of Netflix’s new weekly LatinX podcast, Con Todo: Brown Love, which celebrates the multi-faceted US LatinX experience of some of Netflix’s rising stars and their life stories in Hollywood.

Nutritious meals should be a right for everyone in America. And voting is one of the most powerful ways to support that right. This election season, join KNORR along with Dascha, Feeding America and UnidosUS as we register voters, offer families free meals, and make sure access to nutritious food is an issue this election season.

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Episode 23 – Growing up Bronx Interview with Jonathan Tue, 27 Oct 2020 01:25:47 +0000 This week we are doing something different. A young man who is attending City College reached out to me on my “Growing Up Bronx” Facebook page and asked to interview for an Anthropology class project. The subject matter was about what it was like Growing Up Bronx and how the BX has changed. This was a lot of fun to do, especially as I love sharing about the old days in the Bronx. Check it out!

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Episode 22 – Censorship, Gangs, Juvie and 9/11 War with LAV Mon, 19 Oct 2020 21:09:46 +0000 Today I’m joined by one of the illest underground rappers in NYC, my man Luis LAV Vilella. This dude rocks the mic and today we gonna talk about censorship in music, juvenile detention, war, and much more. Tune in!

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Episode 21 – Creating art, Emotional Health, Cyberbullying with Keon Torres Tue, 13 Oct 2020 03:58:08 +0000 On this episode I am joined by fellow creator, Keon Torres. Keon is the one who motivated me to start up my podcast again, so thanks for the motivation brother. This dude has been grinding hard since I first met him. He makes music, acts, has a podcast and is just an all around cool dude. Check it out!

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Episode 20 – Pronouns, Mental Health, Sexual Energy, Zumba with Danilo Silva Tue, 06 Oct 2020 22:37:16 +0000 On this episode I am joined by one of the coolest Zumba Instructors/Nicest people I know, Danilo F Silva. We cover a broad array of topics including depression, eating disorders, mental health, fitness, toxic masculinity, preferred pronouns and so much more! Just listen or watch!

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Episode 19 – Meet a Congressional Candidate with Elizabeth Hernandez Fri, 02 Oct 2020 11:45:01 +0000 Join me for a chat with an aspiring Congresswoman. Elizabeth Hernandez is from Texas and she’s trying to bring some common sense accounting and humanity into Congress.

Join us for this talk where you will get to hear her kids screaming, my wife cooking, as well as meet some pets. It’s a grand old time! Tune in to meet the person who might pull an AOC against a powerful, long time Republican incumbent!

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Artemis Fowl Movie Review Thu, 01 Oct 2020 21:25:32 +0000 This movie was fun and entertaining overall, but it felt like that moment of greatness just never came. I think that the story had great potential and they really could’ve done something really amazing with this movie. But as I watched it and I realized that we were nearing the end of the film, I just didn’t feel completely satisfied. It felt like the place we needed to get to was just never reached and that is a damn shame.

I think the biggest problem with the film was the sequencing and how they told the story. There seemed to be a severe lack of direction. It sucks because the potential was totally there, but despite this failure to deliver a theatrical orgasm, it was an enjoyable film.

Artemis fowl had all the ingredients that one could wish for in a cool Fantasy film. They had Trolls, fairies, magic, drama, a super smart kid and giant dwarves.

My family and I enjoyed the movie and I will still recommend it despite the fact that it felt somewhat incomplete to me. I don’t really know how else to express it, but that big “wow” awesome moment just never came. Things happened way too quickly and in an odd way where it almost felt cheap. I don’t know. I enjoyed the film and I still feel comfortable recommending it. I just feel that it could have been so much more.

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Episode 18 – Latino Trump Supporters with Joel C. Garcia Mon, 28 Sep 2020 05:24:48 +0000 On today’s episode I am joined by Joel C. Garcia, a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada who happens to be a Latino who supports Donald Trump. We had a cordial conversation. No hearts or minds were changed here, but respectful communication was accomplished. That’s all that matters isn’t it?

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Traitor Film Review Fri, 25 Sep 2020 01:03:24 +0000 I feel like I saw this movie sometime before, I’m not entirely sure. However, I’m a fan of Don Cheadle’s work and the movie has an interesting plot. So either way, it’s worth a second watch.

Normally, I watch movies in one sitting, but if I am watching with my wife, that often becomes at least two sittings. She gets tired and wants to go to bed half the time. So then I generally, (not always) wait for her to finish the movie together. I waited for her on this movie.

Now that tells you, even though I enjoyed the film, I wasn’t super duper crazy about it because if I was, I would have finished it whether or not she stayed up with me. But it was interesting enough that I did want to finish it. There are some films that I simply don’t care about and lose interest.

Without dropping any spoilers here, Don plays an interesting role in this film. He is a member of the terrorist cell, and as one can expect of a terrorist cell, they blow things up. But it’s so much more complicated than just a terrorist cell blowing things up. But I can’t tell you more about that without dropping spoilers.

Let’s just say that things are not always what they seem. The film shows a very conflicted character and his struggle to do the right thing. The question being what is the right thing, and by whose standard is it the right thing? Right and wrong is often a matter of your perspective, is it not?

At one point one of the high ranking terrorist reminded him, “Don’t forget who we serve!” He replied, “I serve God.” Which again brings us to the question, what is the right thing?

This movie is pretty good and if you’ve never seen it you will enjoy it. I’m almost certain I’ve seen it before but there are a lot of movies that I’ve watched ages ago and I completely forget them, so it’s kind of like watching them the first time. Either way this was an entertaining film and worth a watch.

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Episode 17 – Former Councilman, Congress and Mayoral Candidate with Sal Albanese Sun, 20 Sep 2020 07:20:57 +0000 Sal Albanese has run for Mayor, Congress and is once again looking to acquire a seat in the NYC Council as a democrat in Staten Island. We talk about his new run for council and everything else ranging from government corruption to Kendra’s law.

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Episode 16 – Cobra Kai with Justin Vazquez and Will Collazo Sun, 13 Sep 2020 07:17:22 +0000 On this episode we do a deep dive into Cobra Kai. Fellow podcasters and friends Justin Vazquez and Will Collazo join me as we discuss all kinds of details and conspiracies about Cobra Kai. We briefly discuss the dangerous Karen encounter I recently had. Finally, we close it out with a little talk about working during the pandemic.

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The Old Guard Wed, 09 Sep 2020 03:42:25 +0000 So I recently finished The Old Guard comic. I wanted to read the comic prior to writing an opinion on the film. I wanted to be able to make comparisons between the two.

First, I have to say that comic was a great read and the movie was a great watch. I enjoyed them both. If you are wondering how faithful the film was to the comic, it was fairly close in accuracy.

There are a few differences in the characters, but that is to be expected. We all want everyone to have representation so it is fair to expect that some characters may be a different race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. That is not surprising and it doesn’t take anything at all from the film. It doesn’t bother me when they change characters up, I don’t care as long as the person does a great job.

In any case, aside from that, there were some other really major changes made particularly to one of the character’s trajectory. I won’t state what exactly happened, but it was a bit of a surprise and broke from the story in the 5 limited series comic book. Granted, I have not read the second five comics, the part 2 so to speak. It is possible that they pulled content from there, but I’m not sure as I’ve not read it yet.

Overall this movie and comic were both very entertaining. I really enjoyed them both and highly recommend watching and reading for anyone who is into super hero type stuff. It’s pretty dope. I’ll be reading the next 5 comics before the next movie comes out. (I hope they make it, it was a good film.)

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Cobra Kai thoughts and why communication matters Tue, 08 Sep 2020 11:09:26 +0000 I plan on doing a deep dive on Cobra Kai in the Not Just NYCTalking Podcast in the coming days. However, for the time being, I wanted to just touch on what I believe is the biggest issue on this show.

I don’t think this article will contain spoilers, but I will be talking about concepts that may be perceived as spoilers. So do proceed at your own risk.

First of all, I have to congratulate these folks on doing a phenomenal job with the show. My family has really enjoyed it and we are all glad it made its way to netflix and will be renewed yet again. Woot woot!

As I watched the show, I noticed one glaring issue that led to pretty much all of the drama on the show. The biggest problem here is a lack of communication. If these people would simply stop reacting impulsively, on emotion and just take a moment to talk and clear the air, much of the conflict could have been avoided.

I understand that with the kids that might be a bit more difficult. I was a kid too and I know how at that age they tend to react on impulse. However, Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso are some grown ass men and they have no excuse for getting sucked into this childlike behavior.

You would think that at a minimum, Daniel would have the emotional intelligence to talk and not react so negatively to everything. Seeing as though Johnny Lawrence is a bit of a neanderthal, one can understand him going over the deep end. You’d expect more from Daniel, but that’s not the case, he too gets swept into reacting on impulse quite often throughout the series. So much so that he almost loses all he’s worked so hard for.

I said that there were no actual spoilers here, and I’ll keep it that way. I’ll close with this. If instead of knee jerk reactions, these two guys would just talk during several scenarios that we see in the series, they could be the best of friends and avoid so much harm.

Stay tuned for the podcast where myself and a few friends will deep dive into this show!

High school was a long time ago, it’s about time to grow up boys!

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Jim Jefferies Intolerant Sat, 05 Sep 2020 01:16:27 +0000 I’m a big fan of Jim Jefferies, I think his style of comedy is pretty damn entertaining.

His new special Intolerant was designed in a way that I found fascinating. So what he is doing is that he is telling you a series of six different stories and then within those top level stories he trails off into other stories that are completely unrelated to the top level story. Then a while after he manages to come back and ties it all together with that very first story.

I think that it is extremely funny, clever and very impressive that this man can tie all these things together as seamlessly as he does. That’s not what the entire comedy special is about and I’m really trying hard not to drop any spoilers or give away any of the jokes, but the sequencing aspect of it, I just thought was brilliant.

I thought it was really cool that he gave Dave Chapelle some props and a shout out. I know that these comedians all know each other and some are friends, but you don’t often see them mentioning each other in their comedy specials. Though they sometimes do it on interviews and stuff like that, never on specials.

This comedy special wasn’t hilarious in the sense that it made me laugh out loud or anything like that. It was entertaining and I found it humorous but he didn’t make me crack up like some other specials.

In fairness to Jefferies though, that isn’t something that happens very often these days. I found some of his other specials were a bit more entertaining than this one, but this was still a good and entertaining show.

If you’re hanging out at home like most of us are, especially here in New York City, then take some time and check out the special. Especially if you are already a fan of Jim Jefferies and his comedy, I think you will enjoy Intolerant.

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Episode 15 – Statues, Giuliani, Mod Republicans with NY State Assembly Candidate Tamara Laschyk Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:15:03 +0000 Former Colleague, Woman of Wall Street nominee, Life Coach, Author and now NY State Assembly Candidate, Tamara Laschyk joins us to talk issues, politics, life and her bid for public office as a Republican in NYC on the latest episode of the Not Just NYCTalking podcast.

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Protect your skin when exercising Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:29:13 +0000 Here I have a quick fitness tip for you, hopefully this helps you on your fitness journey.

Are you a bit overweight or did you gain any weight during the covid lockdown? I sure as hell did, I have gained about 30 pounds since the lockdown began. Then as you may know I got vertigo which really put a complete halt to my training and that made things worse. No gym, no weights, no exercise and there is only one end result, weight gain.

Recently, I had tried running for the first time in a few months. Of course you know my legs were sore, and I had a headache, and my lower back hurt, and I was all achy for days which is all to be expected.

One thing that I didn’t expect was that my arms and legs would get all cut up after a run. I mean, why would that happen?

Well if you run long distances you know that your nipples can actually get pretty raw and start to bleed from the constant friction. This is one of the reasons I always wear a very tight undershirt that is made of sweat repellent material such as Under Armour when I train. Since the shirt is stuck to your body it prevents or at least minimizes the amount of rubbing and chafing that happens on your skin.

As I mentioned I have gained some weight, it goes without saying that some of that weight is distributed among my legs and arms. Because I have more body fat in those areas then there is more skin that can rub against each other. I had to be reminded the hard way of something which I had long ago learned, it’s not only your nipples which can bleed and get cut up from running.

The area where my armpit is, as well as the inner thigh area near the groin area have some nice flappy layers of fat that rub against each other and the neighboring skin while I train.

When running for an extended period of time even when I wear those protective clothing items it can still be a problem. It can actually be a very painful problem because that skin actually gets cut and it hurts like hell. Also, you can get infection and so on.

I tried out a little trick and I put some A&D lotion on my skin in those troubled areas before my run. At first, I had put it on there to help my skin heal and recover from these rashes but I soon realized that I can put them on before the run to prevent them altogether.

I have tried this many times and I have been quite successful with it, it really does work. I cannot say whether vaseline or any other type of lubricant product would work the same way, but I can vouch for A&D. Until I drop the weight, I will have to continue doing this when I run.

If you are going out there and working out, or running, or doing any form of repetitive motion and you find that you’re getting skin and rash burns then get yourself some A&D lotion. Rub a light layer on the area that gets hurt and let me know if that worked out for you. It’s worked for me. Good luck.

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Seoul Station Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:06:51 +0000 Preview in new tab(opens in a new tab)

This movie is supposed to be the prequel to Train to Busan. Now to be entirely honest with you I cannot remember how Train to Busan started. I don’t recall if there were already zombies in existence or some catastrophic event happened that brought them to be.

This movie doesn’t show how it starts or what exactly happened for this Zombie infestation to begin. It appears as though once we start watching the movie those damn zombies are already out there.

Seeing as though I don’t remember much from the original film, I do intend to watch it again before I watch the sequel. I really don’t know why they named this a prequel to Train to Busan because I’m just not sure how it ties in with the first film. But then again, I don’t remember much from the first film, so there’s that.

All that being said the film was fairly entertaining and I did enjoy it. I have to tell you there is no shortage of brutality in this movie and don’t come into this with any expectations for a happy ending. The film is crazy and utterly merciless. No one is safe!

The Zombies in this film are not like the zombies from The Walking Dead, these guys are closer to World War Z zombies. These are some fast and really aggressive zombies that don’t play around.

This was an entertaining film and I think you will enjoy it. Whether or not it really ties in with Train to Busan is not really relevant and it could be a completely standalone film.

I enjoyed Seoul Station and I can recommend it for viewing. But like I said, these people are brutal so brace yourself!

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Episode 14 – Homelessness, Crime and Politics with NYC Council Candidate Hailie Kim Fri, 04 Sep 2020 06:07:56 +0000 On this episode I am joined by adjunct professor Hailie Kim who is running for NYC Council. We had a wonderful conversation about a range of topics including how to better deal with homelessness, crime and much more in NYC and society as a whole. Listen in on this great conversation. To donate and learn more about Hailie Kim, check out her campaign site at Hailie Kim For City Council.

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How I fought off a Karen in my building Thu, 03 Sep 2020 22:33:04 +0000 I was in my own building when a woman decided to go all Karen on me and my son. I thought about but I didn’t record her, I decided to be nice. Here’s the story of what happened.

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Episode 13 – BLM, Umbrella Hotel, Boro Jails with NYC Council Candidate Evan Boccardi Wed, 02 Sep 2020 23:06:48 +0000 On this episode of the Not Just NYCTalking Podcast, I am joined by a man I met at a protest/rally in Queens against the Umbrella Hotel. Join us as we have a candid conversation about the issues facing the community and NYC as a whole. Evan shares why he’s running for council and what he plans to do whilst in that position.

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Episode 12 – Disability, BLM, Tech and game with Paul Amadeus Lane Sun, 30 Aug 2020 23:28:10 +0000 Fellow Podcast Host Paul Amadeus Lane joins me to talk about a whole lot of stuff. He shares his disability story, we cover BLM, Tech and then we play a music game!

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Project power Sat, 29 Aug 2020 19:01:51 +0000 Jamie Foxx delivers yet another great performance in his role on the movie Project Power. There are other actors on here, some new to me like Dominique Fishburn, and some you may recognize like Machine Gun Kelly and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. They all did a pretty good job.

This movie is about individuals who can awaken special super powers for about five minutes. However, in order to awaken these powers they must first take a pill. The powers only last for about 5 minutes . But, if the pill doesn’t agree with you, you can sort of explode. So there’s that. The powers you get vary from person to person and are based on animals in nature. The 5 minute thing is kind of wack, but it’s better than nothing.

As is to be expected, there is some evil, powerful Corporation behind the pills. Duh, there’s a surprise. But they are also behind kidnapping people and using them as test subjects to develop and test this damn superpower pill. Wait, that’s not a surprise either is it?

The plot is the same as most films as you’ll see. When I finish the comics and cover The Old Guard film and comics in a future piece you’ll see yet again, that it’s the same thing. Giant, Evil corporation, kidnapping and testing on human beings for their own good and profit. Sharing that doesn’t even feel like a spoiler, it’s such a common thing!

That being said, even with the tired old plot the movie was pretty dope and I really enjoyed their take on it.

Jamie Foxx is a pissed off father who is looking for his daughter who was kidnapped by… You guessed it, the evil corporation. LOL. He recruits a young lady who was involved with the selling of the power pills to help him out.

They are a truly the odd couple. One thing that I really liked is that during the film they managed to squeeze in some really important life lessons and motivational scenes which were meant to speak to the youth directly. I thought that was really awesome.

There is one scene with Jamie Foxx that was so freaking cool I have watched it about four times already. That one scene is so damn satisfying that you just gotta see this movie and check that scene out. I won’t share any details because those would truly be spoilers. The movie overall was really good and I enjoyed it, but the satisfaction that I got from that one scene that I’m referencing was like the icing on the cake.

I highly recommend you watch Project Power it is really good. If you happen to be into hip-hop and or the spoken word then this film will have even more treats for you. Check it out! It’s dope.

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Episode 11 – Living with HIV with Joba Fri, 28 Aug 2020 02:28:38 +0000 Sometimes life is not fair. We have all heard of the terrible stories where a 3 year old baby catches a bullet that was meant for the gang banger next to them. Or the 15 year old hero who died while jumping in front of 3 girls to save them from being hit by a hail of bullets.

Things like this have never, ever made sense to me. In fact, they infuriate me. They show me what kind of messed up world we live in.

This brings me to today’s podcast guest. My guest is a young man whom I met on the Blab platform a few years ago. We have since then become friends. He was gracious and brave enough to join me on the podcast where we discussed how it really is living with HIV.

During our conversation we get to know Joba, his fears and some of the challenges that he has encountered throughout his life. I opened this post up by writing “Sometimes life is not fair.” Joba was born with HIV, through no fault of his own he was born with a virus that many people fear. However, once you meet and listen to this young fella, I’m sure you will agree that he has risen to the occasion!

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Episode 10 – Fifty Shades of Gay with Iwante Thu, 27 Aug 2020 17:42:24 +0000 Musical Comedian Iwante joins us to talk about one of his albums, Fifty Shades of Gay. He shares on why he left standup comedy and fills us in on why he does what he does. Iwante is a very fun and entertaining interview. We had a lot of laughs. Listen in!

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Lucky Day Mon, 24 Aug 2020 11:19:24 +0000 My wife and I started this movie today merely by chance. We came across it on prime and decided to give it a try. Admittedly, I was on the fence about it right from the gate. It looked so so based on the trailer, but once I started the movie started it was fairly slow.

It kind of feels like the story could get better as it continues but halfway through the film my wife got bored and decided to go do some stretching instead. Seeing as though I didn’t care whether or not I started the film I just stop watching.

So you got this dude who just got out of prison for breaking into locks and stealing money. You have another crazy guy who’s going around killing everyone with no rhyme or reason. And I suppose that at some point their paths would cross and it would be mayhem. But I never got to that part.

I can tell you that this film is fairly slow and it doesn’t create any vested interest in the characters. The most interesting person up to that point was the jerky parole officer who was a crazy Latino and he made me giggle with his crazy antics. The crap he pulled would never fly in the real world.

Based on the standards that I use when recommending a film then I cannot recommend this one. I couldn’t even finish it as I was so bored. I may go back and finish someday but I don’t particularly care to do so.

Though do I spend a lot more time at home these days, there are so many other movies, books and tv series that I could be watching which I’d probably enjoy more.

Based on the trailer this film had kind of like a “pulp fiction” vibe. Yet, I was met with disappointment and as I mentioned before I didn’t care whether or not I finished it. You can give it a shot, but I really don’t care enough to invest any more time in it.

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Robert Pattinson as Batman Sun, 23 Aug 2020 23:24:16 +0000 So I recently saw the new Batman trailer with Robert Pattinson as Batman. I have to be honest, when I heard that he was going to be the new Batman, I thought it was a joke. When I realized that it was for real, then I simply wrote the film off. No way I’m going to watch a Batman movie where Edward plays Batman.

That’s the problem that many of us have, that right there. We forget that it is not Edward who will play Batman, it is Robert Pattinson. Despite having seen him do a great job on Harry Potter, I’ve always judge Pattinson off of Twilight.

Look at what a friend of mine wrote in response when I posted how surprised I was that the trailer looked good.

“Why were you upset? It seems like people were mad just because he was in Twilight, but never recognized his other work. Twilight isn’t my cup of tea, mind you… but neither was the treatment of the actor who was just performing his role. If this isn’t your reason, Im curious to know why?”

Oh hell yeah that’s my reason! 100% Mind you, I watched all the Twilight Saga films and I enjoyed them as much as I hated the ridiculous back and forth dialogue between Bella and Edward.

In fact, I also have all the books and I’ll restate that I did dig him on Harry Potter. My son has been telling me the same, “Stop judging him based on Twilight and watch his other work like ‘The lighthouse’ or ‘Good time’ and stop going off of twilight like the rest of em.”

So yes, the thought of him as Batman, that did not initially sit well with me. However, I think he’s about to teach us all how good he really is and if he does succeeds in this role, this will take him to another level and expose him to many of us who never really followed his other works yet judged him harshly for Twilight.

Good luck, Edward…

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Running with vertigo Sun, 23 Aug 2020 22:10:30 +0000 So for days I’ve been trying to find any posts that had to do with people who had vertigo and whether or not it was okay to go running. I couldn’t find anything at all, just a few articles about people getting vertigo after a long run.

I decided to become the test subject for this and to write my findings for others like me who may be looking to run or train after developing vertigo.

I should first state that I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert in anything. I am sharing my anecdotal experience and it is entirely up to you and your medical team to determine if this is okay or safe for you to do.

One of the first questions I asked each of my doctors, the PT, the Chiro, the ER, ENT, Neuro and my primary physician was whether or not I could train after this nasty bout of vertigo. 4 out of 6 told me that I could train, the other 2 told me to take it easy and rest. All of them did express that I should be careful because a real danger with vertigo is falling. This is particularly dangerous for older folks. The falls are the biggest risks we face. I mean, obviously, don’t drive or operate heavy machinery if you are dizzy. That should be a given.

So after 2 months of rest and recovery, I decided that it was time to get back to running. At least until the gyms open soon I hope. I have to say, during my run, I didn’t really feel dizzy at all. It was no different than when I walk around.

At some points I felt a little weird, but you have to consider that not only have I been idle for nearly 2 months, I’ve gained nearly 30 pounds, and the weather is extremely hot and humid. These are all factors besides the vertigo that could make me feel weird.

Physically I am sore, my legs and lower back hurt, but again, this is to be expected as so much time off. It should also be noted that I did not ease back into it. I mean, I intended to run 2 miles and take the easy path. However, once I started running and reached the 2 mile halfway marker, it got good to me and I kept going. I also took all the hard hills and pushed myself the whole time.

I don’t recommend doing things this way, I’m just a savage when it comes to quitting. My mindset is not the healthiest when it comes to training. Here is a taste of my self talk as I struggled up the hills, “Are you going to die? If you are, then die already! Otherwise you will not stop! You will not stop! Better to die than live this disgusting way!” Yeah, I’m not very kind to myself. In fact, I’ve censored the words and language I actually use.

After my run, probably due to this aforementioned approach I had a terrible headache. It took two rounds of advil for me to be able to fall asleep. To be transparent, whenever I do that hard run, even before vertigo, I got really bad headaches. I don’t think they are related.

In summary, I was able to run and felt steady for pretty much the nearly 5 miles that I ran. I felt nice and steady even on the hills. Before doing this, you have to gauge how you are feeling lately. My vertigo appears to only happen on certain head angles, though somedays its just feisty and kicks my butt. But lately I have been well enough to try. If you are having trouble walking about, perhaps it is not yet time to run. As I mentioned earlier, check with your doctors. In my case, I had no issues and was able to run the “hard” run I was running before I took ill. Though my legs and back are paying the price today, the vertigo seems to be under control.

As a matter of fact, today I went to a zumba class at the park and didn’t feel any dizziness whatsoever after yesterday’s run. With the gyms opening soon, and the fact that I am instructor, it’s really time for me to get my act together.

Let me know your thoughts or experience with training and vertigo. Also, please remember, I’m not a doctor or expert. Do not neglect medical advice around this, it’s serious stuff. Stay safe and best of luck on your journey.

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The Joy Luck Club Sat, 22 Aug 2020 18:32:12 +0000 I watched this movie with my wife. I recognized the name when she mentioned it to me, but I had never seen it. Though this film is from 1993, it could have easily have been filmed and still be relevant today.

I have to say, watching this movie was extremely hard. There is so much messed up stuff that happens that it will have you rage moding and sobbing your heart out within a 5 minute span.

You have a group of Chinese women, some older and some younger who share their life stories with us. I’ve seen many movies that make me cry throughout my life, but this one, it made me cry on another level. It is so tragic and heartbreaking.

There is very little joy or luck in this club. If you haven’t seen it, I think the movie is very educational and really sheds some light on the realities that people, particularly women in China have had to deal with over the years.

Amy Tan is a popular author and she wrote the book the film is based on. I helped a friend with a paper on Amy Tan years ago and that’s how I learned of her work.

The film is sort of like a series of mini stories that all tie into whats happening in the present of the film. Check it out, it’s worth a watch. But I warn you again, the movie is tragic, so have some tissue and ice cream nearby.

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Episode 9 – Music and real talk with DJJHooks Sat, 22 Aug 2020 04:06:08 +0000 A long, long time ago, before the pandemic, people used to get together and dance. The person charged with providing the tracks for those people to dance to was called a DJ. This may have been before your time, but do you remember those? Meet Rapper, Mental Health Specialist and music producer DJJhooks. This is a short one, but worth a listen.

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Episode 8 – Mental health with Freddy Baez Fri, 21 Aug 2020 07:59:01 +0000 When I was a teenager, I was an emotional mess. Mama bear noticed and she got me the help I needed. Meet Freddy Baez, the man who helped me get my life together. Listen in as I speak with this amazing man whom I credit with helping me become the person that I am today.

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Magneto: Testament Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:47:33 +0000 I recently finished reading Magneto Testament. This story was a very hard read as it covered in depth the atrocities and horrors of the Holocaust.

The story is called Magneto Testament but it appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the Magneto that we know, except for the fact that he had historically been affected by the holocaust. I’m not sure how old Magneto was before he realized he had powers, but in this comic, they were never a factor.

This story could have easily just been called “Memoirs of a Jewish boy in Auschwitz.” The story was very heavy and educational as well as emotionally draining. It is so hard to read about the horrible things that the Nazis did to the Jewish people, gypsies and whomever they deemed undesirables. It is very troubling and difficult to read this. It makes you angry at the lack of humanity Nazis displayed. Its sickening.

I’ll reiterate that this really had nothing to do with magneto as I know him. In fact the guy’s name wasn’t even Eric. I’m really not sure why they called this story Magneto or why they associated it with him because it really doesn’t follow his story as far as I can tell. But remember, I’m a comic book noob and the argument could be made that this was his backstory before he actually became Magneto. But I think that his name was used just for the recognition because this story was good enough to stand all on its own.

My only real complaint about the limited comic book series is that I was expecting that at some point Magneto would become Magneto and rain metal hellfire upon that Nazis! But that moment never happened and I found that rather disappointing. Aside from that, this was a very good read and I do recommend it. Just be aware that it is very heavy and emotional reading.

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Sin city: A hard goodbye Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:33:45 +0000 One of the comics that our friends at Variant Comics recommended that everyone read is the Sin City run. I just read “A hard goodbye” and I do remember much of this from watching the Sin City movie. Sin City is a collection of comics and different stories that sort of tie together. After reading one series, then in next you will see the characters cross paths, its pretty dope.

This comic just like the movie it inspired was weird as fuck and had all kinds of craziness. No wonder the Frank Miller series gave Quentin Tarantino the vision to make this into a film.

Right from the beginning there’s murder, sex, mystery and craziness. This guy Marlon is a damn beast. The dude is huge, strong and damn near almost has superhero strength. My man could take a bullet, hell, he can take several bullets and still keep going. The dude is damn near unstoppable. I immediately became a fan of this mad man.

So he meets a woman and somehow she gets killed while in his company. As is to be expected, they try to frame him for the murder and he goes on a mission to not only avenge her, but to prove his innocence as well. Though if you’re familiar with Sin City, then you know full well that there is no happy ending coming here.

I enjoyed this read very much and I totally understand why it made the variant top recommended list. Now it is my turn to highly recommend the read. Though it is fairly old, and the art is kind of different, you will definitely enjoy this series, I know I did.

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Episode 7 – Latino Identity, Gentrification and equality with Will Collazo Wed, 19 Aug 2020 07:16:16 +0000 On this episode of Not Just NYCTalking I am joined by federal officer, movie producer and MMA fighter Will Collazo. We will talk about white privilege, transgender porn, our latino identity and much more.

Gentrification has been a problem in our communities for as long as I can remember. Don’t believe, take a ride down to the Bronx and look around. We get to talking about Williamsburg and the hipsters who are trying to take over and rename our historic streets.

We get into some of the Puerto Rican leaders and how the United States has silenced them over the decades. We briefly touch on Pedro Albizu Campos and Oscar Lopez.

Next up we tackle our Latino identity as light privileged Puerto Ricans. This topic is heavy and could be an entire podcast of its own. I explain to Will how going to Capicu events has helped me reconnect with my culture.

Next up we enter the LGBT space as I share with Will how I have watched transgender porn. I share how I was called a “f*g” while walking my little puppy. Our LGBT brothers and sisters encounter many challenges, we should seek to enlighten and expand these small minds that are filled with hate.

During the segment we spent a little time talking about a man who beat a rapist to death with his hands. This leads us down the dark path of how to deal with pedophiles. I tend to measure my words there, but anyone who hurts a child deserves to be punished in the worst of ways!

An idiot from the gym told me, “Women are inferior to men, the bible says so.” So I ask Will a very simple question, with a very simple answer, “Are women equal to men?” He answered correctly. Lol.

Finally as we close out this super long episode, we talk about how it was filming “Theatre of horror.”

This was a great chat with a good friend. He’ll be back on soon!

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Podcast Player – Your Podcasting Companion Tue, 18 Aug 2020 11:25:30 +0000 I had a vision where I wanted to create a “post” for each one of my podcast episodes. I had done this before, but I ran into a bit of a problem. The problem was that when you embed a player from a specific “service” on your site, if you happen to leave that service then the embed no longer works. Then you have the distinct pleasure of going in and manually updating every single embed you created on the site.

For instance, at first I was self hosted on my own website, this means that my iTunes feed, as well as all my embeds relied on the mp3 files on my server. Once I decided to host externally, I came upon the question of how to do this only once more without ever having to manually edit each page again.

So now let’s say you move to Buzzsprout, they give you the ability to embed their beautiful custom player into your posts. But if you ever leave their service, then its bye bye embed. It will break. Say you move to podbean, well, now you have to go and edit each post to reflect a new embed for that episode. If you have a lot of posts, that’s just very painful and there had to be another way.

Believe me, I tried this manual way, but it was just too painful, and then I realized, wait a minute, what if I switch yet again? I’ll have to repeat this laborious process once more!

At that point I had given up and decided that I would not create a specific post for each episode, but rather one page where I’d display all the episodes together. Then someone mentioned this plugin to me in a facebook group. I decided to check it out and I think this plugin actually meets my need.

See, like the builtin wordpress audio player, this plugin is a standalone plugin. The plugin itself uses the “feed” to pull in the episode embeds. So if you were to leave or switch to another service, you could just setup a redirect, which in theory should keep that existing embedded “feed” link intact and functional. Since you are not embedding from any specific site’s tool, but rather from a feed, as long as the feed works or properly redirects, your embeds should function.

I’ve tested this plugin using different feeds that all go to the same place to see if it still works and it really does. Since it pulls podcast episodes from the feed info itself, regardless of where you are hosting, the embed doesn’t break. That’s is fantastic!

Of course, you are now married to the plugin, but hey, it works great, it’s free and even if it were not free, I think its worth it.

There are a few things you have to configure every time you use the plugin on a page or widget as it doesn’t “remember” any of your configuration settings such as iTunes link, spotify link, social media links, etc. But it’s fairly easy to setup and works really great.

The only improvement I’d like to see would be if you could save those aforementioned settings so that you don’t have to look them up every time you setup the widget again. But that aside, I’m a really big fan of this tool and I highly recommend it. Also, it looks really good and is highly customizable. I love it. Great job Vedathemes, this is a winner!

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Zoom Meeting Vs Webinar Tue, 18 Aug 2020 04:06:45 +0000 With Covid19 running rampant, most of us have had to change the way we do business. The majority of you are or have been working remotely now for a good deal of time. Somehow Skype, Teams, Google, GotoMeeting and pretty much all remote conferencing software companies dropped the ball and Zoom which at the time was fairly unknown has become the product of choice for most people. Everyone knows about zoom now. What happened out there?

Not only are people using Zoom for the online meetings, but to lead and teach fitness classes, socialize, podcasting and much more. For years now my organization has held webinars to discuss and share important topics with our community.

Lately, we have pulled away from Webinars and shifted towards podcasts, but on occassion we still hold a webinar. Zoom meetings are great, but they are just that, meetings. What that means is that you and everyone in the meeting can participate and interact in the meeting. But what if you want to have a proper webinar as you could do on GoTowebinar? What if you want to use a format where there are only a few people on camera with more of a “one way” communication feel to it?

Well, Zoom actually has a tool for that, their webinar platform. It’s not available by default and you will have to pay for it, however it works similarly to the other webinar platforms.

Unlike a Zoom meeting which has a host, cohosts, and participants, the webinar format has attendees, a host and panelists. On a webinar, the only individuals who appear on camera are the hosts and panelists. The attendees are in a “view only” format. There is a way to allow them to “talk” with the panelists, but without being panelists, they do not get the camera or mic indefinitely.

Webinars allow you to have a Q&A session. Zoom meetings have a chat room, but you do not get the management capability that you have with the Q&A option in a webinar.

The desktop or web client that you use to run the meeting is pretty much the same as you would use in a webinar, if you are familiar with one, you will be good with the other. The only differences are the aforementioned roles, the Q&A and a few other settings that don’t show up on the meetings format.

I hope that this clears up some of the confusion between these two Zoom offerings. Think of it this way, it’s basically the same thing, but only panelists are on camera. That’s the biggest difference and a reason people may use it. If you have any questions, you can always reach out.

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Hulk Vs Wolverine and Thor Tue, 18 Aug 2020 03:39:36 +0000 This movie was fairly entertaining and pretty interesting. It had pretty much my favorite characters from back in the days. We all know that I’m an Incredible Hulk fan and you may or may not know that I have been a long time wolverine fan. I’m fairly new to Thor, but I do love his character in the Marvel cinematic universe. These movies were basically just a big old fight fest with these guys going at it.

As always, Loki was behind some of the drama between the Hulk and Thor. Once he realizes the terrible mistake he’s made by trying to take control of the Hulk he then has to make amends and save Asgard. It’s pretty wild with Banner even ending up in hell. Don’t worry, it will make sense once you watch it.

Wolverine on the other hand was kind of manipulated and tricked into fighting The Hulk. Once again, The Hulk is the the victim of some pretty evil people who are trying to capture and take him down by using The Wolverine.

I don’t get it, why is everyone always trying to take down or capture the Hulk. How is it that after all these failures none of them realize that this is no easy and I daresay a futile task? Not Loki, not the government, no one seems to get it, you cannot capture and contain The Hulk. Leave the man alone!

I love animated movies and these were fun. Check them out. It was some sort of two in one film bundle on Netflix if I recall correctly.

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Thanos A God Up There Listening Tue, 18 Aug 2020 00:40:29 +0000 This story was fairly interesting. The title is fairly misleading as the story does not follow Thanos, but his son, Thane.

This was the first time I ever came across Thane. Actually, I didn’t even know Thanos had a son. Let alone such a powerful being. In fact, judging by how seemingly effortless it is for him to kill an entire room full of people, it appears as though Thane may even be stronger than his own father.

In this story we follow Thane on his journey to learn about his father. At some point, one of his father’s loyalists appears to him and offers to take him to see moments and memories of his father’s life.

After some initial reluctance he agrees and travels with his companion to learn all about his father. But he isn’t interested in Thanos to emulate him, he wants to study his father’s legacy so that he does not become like him.

They never show exactly how, but every time someone tries to harm Thane, they die a brutal death. Unfortunately for his opponents, Thane may be more like his father than he wants to be, cause they all end up very, very dead.

In the comics, people think that Thanos is mad because he is often seen talking to Lady Death who no one else can see. As you read on in this series, something similar is happening to Thane because no one else can see who he’s talking to. “What do you mean the ‘two’ of you?”

In fact, many of the people that Thane talks to have apparently been dead for a long time. Yet, somehow he is receiving all this information. The one thing that one can conclude is that his father is somehow telepathically linking up with him from beyond the grave. I was a bit confused for a bit.

As I’m trying to put this together I realize that I have to write these breakdowns much sooner because if I allow too much time to pass then I tend to forget the stories because I read so much. Although there is something to be said about the fact that I don’t really remember much of the details from some of the stories. Perhaps I need to read the more slowly or read them more than once or simply, they might just not be memorable.

All that being said, if you are a fan of Thanos, then I think you will enjoy reading about his son Thane. I’d love to learn more about him and will do some more research and reading on him.

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Episode 6 – Let’s talk about sex with Justine Llanes and Elena DeLuca Mon, 17 Aug 2020 16:00:42 +0000 We are joined by a standup comedienne and a professional dominatrix. Listen in as they share their old show experiences, sex tips and tease the shy vanilla host. 

When these folks expressed interest in doing a feature on NYCTalking, I had no idea what I was walking into. In fact, I still don’t know what I walked into.

Being unfamiliar with the ladies I did what any self respecting writer would do in this day and age, I googled them. I visited each of their links and familiarized myself with them.

Truth be told, once I confirmed that these were all real people and that it was highly unlikely that I’d wake up missing a kidney or something, I knew that I was interested in talking to these ladies. Any further research was simply to check out exactly how they interacted, and to be frank with you I wanted to see how hot the girls were.

When the time finally came and I met the ladies, I was initially intimidated and uncomfortable. However by the end of the recording I felt relaxed and comfortable talking with them.

Without taking away from their own style, and their own methods, if someone asked me “Angel what was it like talking to them?” The most popular name that I know that could possibly be used as a reference would have to be Howard Stern. I am sure that their producer and the hosts would all acknowledge that Howard Stern definitely pioneered this genre of talk radio.

On first glance the producer struck me as a quiet, rather reserved gentleman. He was soft spoken and gives off a very mellow vibe. Aren’t these the exact qualifications for someone that produces an adult themed show? When I asked him if he wanted to be on video he said “Nobody wants to see me, film them”. I will say that despite the mellow appearance the man is sharp, observant, concise and clear on what his vision is. He noticed and expressed his view on some details and items that I barely even noticed.

The ladies, now that’s a completely different story. These women are each outspoken power houses in their own rights. Following is a little background on the ladies:

“The show is hosted by three females– stand-up comic, Justine Llanes (which has also joined NYCTalking with a dating and sex advice segment), actress, Tamara Thelander and professional dominatrix, Elena De Luca.”

Unfortunately Tamara was unable to attend the interview, but we spoke on twitter and she was with us in spirit. I look forward to meeting her in the not so distant future. The two ladies that I did get to meet, Justine and Elena were exactly what I expected, 2 lively, spunky, funny and sexy women. Both of them were vibrant and ready to go!

After some brief introductions, discussing where to sit, and providing some idea as to where to go during our talk I took out my camera. In fact I wanted to catch them in their natural state so I started recording earlier and didn’t say anything. #Creepermode 10!

So none of us really had a plan, I sure as hell didn’t, we just went with it and it worked out great. We spoke about the show, about what each of them did and how they contributed to the project, among many other things.

Elena is a professional dominatrix, which is basically what you think it is. Slaves, whips, and all that good stuff. I checked out her site before meeting her, it’s definitely dominatrixy (is that a word?). This aspect of her life isn’t apparent in regular conversation though, I wonder if that is a good thing or a bad thing? Considering that this is her livelihood, I think it’s a good thing, it is only logical that she doesn’t just give away her dominatrix skills for free. I confess that I was a little nervous about meeting a dominatrix in real life, they are a bit scary in porn. (Wait, I don’t watch porn, what am I saying). Hah! whip sound

Justine is a standup comic, and that does come across in speaking to her. In fact both Justine and Elena are hilarious in their own ways. During our interview we discussed a segment from the radio show where Justine shared an intimate encounter with an asian guy and her walk of shame out of his place after words. There is a lot more to Justine though, she’s been all over, from acting to pageants and now talk radio.

Midway through random discussions and laughter we somehow entered the topic of how to successfully gain back door admission from your partner. The ladies had two very differing views on this topic. We discussed beginning with finger insertion, Elena favors discussion before hand or she’ll introduce you to some pliers that she keeps just for such occasions. “Even if I want it there are like 10 minutes of warmup that need to happen before we begin”. Justine on the other hand feels that discussion kills the moment and prefers that you just go for it, “If I don’t jump away and squeal, then I like it, just go for it”. So you have a 50/50 chance here. She may be down, or you may lose the finger. Attempt at your own risk.

We spoke a good deal, I’d say we spent close to an hour of chatting. I received an invitation to visit the show with my wife, an invitation my wife promptly refused. Hah. She’s very shy and reserved about anything sex related. However we have introduced a “sex advice” column for NYCTalking, at this time Justine is writing these for us. Great articles by the way.

An honorable mention goes out to the silent friend which patiently sat and watched all the madness between me and the hosts.

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ENT Michael Burnett, MD Review Fri, 14 Aug 2020 06:50:52 +0000 As I’ve said before, during my initial bout with vertigo, I was extremely desperate to treat and figure out what was happening.

Dr. Burnett is based out of the city and not normally a place I’d visit as I’m so far in Queens. However, I needed to see someone and he was the only one available.

Most of the initial setup was done on Zocdoc and later over the phone as his admin is remotely working. She seemed to be on her game and got everything handled well from home.

The doctor himself is a fairly nice man and he seemed interested in helping me out. He looked at my ears, performed some maneuvers to try and see what was up, then wrote me a medical prescription that should have helped.

He didn’t believe that I was a candidate for the Epley maneuver, but it seems that I do have bppv vertigo and that might help me. I have a physical therapy appointment tomorrow to see what can be done.

Overall, I’d recommend this doctor, he seemed okay and caring enough.

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Chiropractor Martin B. Gillman NYMDC Review Fri, 14 Aug 2020 06:39:29 +0000 During my horrible initial episode of vertigo I went to a few specialists to try and address the problem. One of the specialists I saw was chiropractor Martin B. Gillman at New York Medical and Diagnostic Center (NYMDC) as it’s called.

Dr. Gillman was extremely attentive, professional and seemed to really express an interest in helping me resolve my issue. I explained to him what I had been feeling, including my issues with blood pressure and we tried to lay out a plan of treatment.

Dr Gillman took a more conservative and cautious about getting too involved with any treatment until we made sure I was not in any major danger due to my vertigo issues. He advised that I see a neurologist, my primary care doctor, and an ENT before doing any form of chiropractic work on my neck.

I respect that immensely because he wasn’t in it for a money grab. My past experience with chiropractors has been all about milking me and my insurance for money. I like and appreciate this man, he seems honest.

He took his time talking to me and he explained how this particular facility worked and everything about it in depth. I was very impressed by Dr. Gillman and I’ve booked another appointment with a PT at the same facility due to this great experience with him.

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Neurologist – Dr Marina Dolgovina Review Fri, 14 Aug 2020 06:22:23 +0000 Right from the gate, this place was a bit of madhouse. The first red flag should have been the reviews. Though my instincts told me to be wary, I decided to chance it and booked an appointment.

Besides the reviews on Zocdoc, another cause for concern was that my appointment request wasn’t even seen or confirmed up until about 1 hour before my appointment time. As they never confirmed it, I became concerned because I didn’t want to show up and not be seen. So I decided to call them up to make sure that they saw it, they hadn’t. If I hadn’t called them up, they wouldn’t have booked it and the trip out would have been a waste of time.

I should have listened my instincts then, because they told me, “Angel, go elsewhere.” But I was desperate to determine what was going on with my head. I was scared and anxious so I wanted to be seen asap and this was the only place with an available time slot.

When I walked in there were people screaming at each other. I couldn’t understand the language, so I don’t know if they just speak loudly, but this sounded like not very friendly screaming. Once again, my instincts told me to get out of there, but again, I was desperate.

I stood on what I perceived to be the line, but no one looked at or acknowledged me. I figured they were busy and just waited. I waited, and waited, and waited. Then some person came in, walked right past me and went to talk to them without being called. That’s when I realized that trying to be polite and passive wasn’t going to cut it here. So I just walked towards the admin area and said “Is anyone going to register me or whatnot? I’ve been standing there a while.” That’s when someone took up my cause.

I don’t remember exactly how long I waited after they took my info and stuff, but it was quite a long time. Enough where I thought about leaving many times.

Eventually, I was called and taken by a young tech who did some vertigo tests. I felt that this young lady was attentive and helpful. Though I could tell, despite her best efforts to conceal it, that she was being overwhelmed with work.

The nurse or assistant who took my information after those tests rushed me and she was on her cell for a while not really paying attention to me. She made me feel like just getting up and walking out yet again. She’d ask me a question, make some annoyed sound, write down the answer, then get on her phone for a few moments before the next question. She repeated that cycle a few times and then told me “the doctor will be with you.”

So the doctor herself appears to be competent. As she examined me, she performed the standard tests that I had researched to determine if this was a stroke or something of that nature.

I suspect that she has too much going on to really be able to devote the kind of attention that should be given to new and existing patients. Particularly when we are so vulnerable and afraid for our health. I mean, when things are spinning for the first time in your life, that is a terrifying experience.

After I spoke with her and she walked out, I remembered another question I had. As I asked it, I had to basically ignore the nurse as she was trying to rush me out. I raised my hand to signal her to wait because I had to ask the doctor a question. I’d been there a long time and I wasn’t going to leave without asking my questions. I don’t like to be rude, but these guys weren’t being very hospitable anyway. So whatever.

After my MRI’s and all that was done, I expected to speak with the doctor. Nope, like I said, I think she’s got too much on her plate or she just can’t be bothered. I believe it was the texting nurse helper again and I didn’t really get any clear information from her. I’ve been meaning to call back to try and determine what the course of action should be, but I really don’t want to deal with them again. I believe she said I had vertigo in both ears and needed physical therapy. The tech told me one ear, but again, the information was unclear and I don’t really want to deal with them anymore.

This was a fairly disappointing experience and I only saw it through to the end because I needed them to look at my MRI and tell me whether my brain was fried or not. In my humble opinion, I’d say go somewhere else.

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Do you always respond with a relatable story? Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:43:42 +0000 Someone is going through a rough time and they reach out to you as a friend. They start to tell you about said difficulty. As you listen to their story you realize that you experienced the same thing 3 months ago. So you start to share this story with them.

Today I saw this post…

When I read it, I thought to myself, damn, I do that a lot. I do this all the damn time. I guess that we believe that it will make the person feel better if they know they are not alone. However, the point being made has been duly noted! I have been aware of this and I have been trying to improve on this for sometime. But that post drove the point home.

I know that in my case, it’s never meant in a bad way. I just want to help by being relatable. But, sometimes they just need someone to be there and listen to them.

I’m 43 and I’ve only just recently come to realize this. Prior to even coming across that post, I kind of noticed that I always had to speak and respond and try to relate when someone was sharing.

A few days ago, as a friend spoke to me about something, I simply listened, I stayed quiet and nodded. I allowed for that awkward silence after they finished. We just sat there marinating, with the understanding that I heard and listened to them. I feel like that was maybe helpful to them.

I’m starting to get it and hopefully you do too.

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Youtube vloggers help Phil Collins sell records? Wed, 12 Aug 2020 01:44:15 +0000 Yup, you read that headline right. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Phil Collins’ song “In the Air tonight” has seen an 1,100% increase in sales compared to days before.

Yo, even when DMX sampled this song, I don’t recall there being so much noise about it. This is a great song and I’m glad it is getting the recognition that it deserves all these years later. However, I find it crazy AF that a video of two young men reacting to it on youtube could make it happen. That is wild.

I actually watched their video on twitter prior to hearing about this resurgence of the song, and I have to admit that there reaction was freaking awesome. I retweeted that tweet then thought nothing more of it. Then I hear that the song is getting famous because of them. Isn’t that something crazy? A famous guy is getting famous again because of some young youtube guys. That’s so wild to me.

If you’ve seen the video, you have to acknowledge that their reaction was one for the ages. That beat drop got them good! Welcome to the 80s fellas!

I think Phil Collins and those music platforms owe these young men a cut of those profits. This surge is a direct response to their video. Do the right thing people, hit them off with some of those profits!

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Mike Tyson Legends Only League Tue, 11 Aug 2020 04:25:16 +0000 I just watched an interview where Tyson was talking about his return to the boxing ring. I covered that in this article.

In that interview he mentioned this new Mike Tyson Legends Only League. His vision appears to be around getting legends in all sports and capacities to come and participate in his league.

I’m not sure if they are meant to come and participate in their respective areas, or box, or what exactly? But I think the idea is brilliant and just shows us how Mike Tyson is really trying to diversify his portfolio. Most people would take part simply to be involved with such a great champ like Tyson.

I’m really interested to see where he takes this league. How dope would it be if he had Joe Rogan calling fights and matches for him? They are homeboys after all. Now with Tyson doing his Hotboxin Podcast he’s got so many people he could involve in this league.

As he spoke with Jimmy Fallon on an interview they both agreed that just because someone gets older doesn’t mean that they die. Most of these people are still amazing athletes! I tell you, I’m super excited about this, not only for his career, but as a fan who has always wanted to see the champ succeed. I always have and always will root for Mike Tyson.

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Mike Tyson Vs Roy Jones Jr Tue, 11 Aug 2020 04:17:13 +0000 Y’all know that this is an “exhibition fight” right? I don’t think that the public has yet been made privy to the rules of this match.

This has me worried for two reasons. One of my concerns is that Mike and Roy are just going to step in the ring and play around. Who cares for that? I’m not interested in seeing a play fight.

On the other hand, as a fan of Tyson, who wants to see him continue to do well in life, I worry what this return to the ring could mean and how it could affect him.

Not long ago Tyson said that he doesn’t even hit a heavy bag anymore. He said he doesn’t have anything to do with boxing because of the fear that his ego may return and bring forth that person he was, a person he fears.

The other option is that Tyson has transcended that darkness. That he can now be that fighter, but without becoming that monster that he once was.

There is a selfish part of me that wants to see that pure, raw brutality of the old Tyson. As a fan of his fights, I can’t help but crave for that. However, as a human being who cares not only about his well being, but also for the safety of Roy Jones Jr, I know that this Tyson of the past coming out is not a good thing.

Mind you, I don’t mean to downplay Roy’s ability. I’ve never seen him fight in other than snippets and I’m not really familiar with his style. I know the name and I know he’s been a great champion, but I can’t factor his fighting style against Tyson as I don’t know it well.

The fight is going to be Pay per view at $49 I believe? That’s a stiff price to pay to just watch some former fighters dance around the ring, so I’m not sure what the deal is here? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I wish both fighters lots of luck, success and health.

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Umbrella Hotel Kew Gardens Shootings Mon, 10 Aug 2020 23:47:53 +0000 I have lived in the Kew Gardens area for about 9 years now. We moved in around 2011 and the neighborhood was fairly quiet and quite nice. We do have the courts close by, so there is foot traffic, particularly during the daytime, but even so it has always been fairly calm around here.

Once this “new” Umbrella Hotel went up, things began to drastically change. I was once under the delusion that a new hotel would make the area more valuable and help out the neighborhood economy. This was before I knew that the city likes to make hotels into shelters. I thought this might be a good thing as well, you know, help out the community. Now it feels as though I may have been sorely mistaken.

While I’m not entirely sure how the shelter protocol works here, I did start to notice an increase in grown men “hanging around outside.” Okay, that was a bit concerning, but I figured, hey, they are just helping people in need, they have to go somewhere, all good. Right? Wrong…

At one point, there was a group of men regularly drinking by the steps at the old Pasta Lovers site. I happened to glance in their direction once and one of the drunks threw something at me. He missed, but I paused and thought about going over and chocking him out. Then I considered that this clown probably has absolutely nothing to lose, he is after all a grown man sitting outside an abandoned business drunk during a weekday.

On the other hand, I have a family and plenty to lose. Even if I win in a confrontation, I could hurt him or get hurt myself. Either scenario is not desirable. The laws of the street dictate some form of response, otherwise you will forever be punked. So I turned and I looked right at him, I made eye contact, shook my head and then I continued walking. I saw him a few times after that, but he never tried anything further.

Though I have continued to see people, things appeared to have calmed down for a while. No groups were hanging out by the stairs and no one was publicly drunk and throwing crap at me anymore.

More recently something has once again changed at the Umbrella hotel. I want to say it began in parallel to the coronavirus lockdown, and while I don’t know exactly what changed there, I’m starting to notice a much younger crowd by the hotel and more groups of people hanging out on the block again.

This neighborhood has never been one where people “hang out” on the street to smoke or drink. This is a quiet neighborhood that doesn’t have that kind of vibe. But this damn hotel, well it’s changing all that.

As if to drive the point home that the Umbrella hotel will be this neighborhood’s undoing, during early July there was a shooting at the hotel. I understood that some of the residents were having a house party or something, some words were exchanged between a guy and some group, then the dude who was there got shot in the leg as he walked away. I read in some articles that a 15 year old was arrested in connection with the shooting, but the gun was never recovered.

Not to be outdone, the month of August brings us an even bigger shooting, this one was a drive-by shooting directed at the front of the hotel at about 4am over the weekend. This time, I believe about 5 shots were fired. Thankfully there were no casualties except for the glass door. I have no idea what the cause of this shooting was.

I don’t know what the hell is going on there, but I am extremely concerned that this once quiet neighborhood is now becoming a hotspot for gun violence. Hell, even when I lived in the South Bronx, we allowed about 2 months in between shootings, it’s just common courtesy. Geez. Seriously speaking, we had lots of shootouts. In fact, I was used as a human shield in a shootout once, but I don’t remember seeing them back to back like this.

If I was renting out this apartment and I noticed this happening in the area, I’d move out right away. I’m not sure where I’d go because NYC as a whole is going to hell in a hand basket these days. Lots of shootings happening all over the city. But I figure the harder it is to get to your neighborhood, the safer you are.

Anyway, I don’t know where we go from here, but I’m really not happy and I am really tempted to just abandon this ship. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Not only do my wife and I own a place here, her parents own a place here as well. We’d have to sell two separate apartments in order to move. And like I said, where could you go? Gun violence is everywhere these days.

I’m all for helping people in need, I’ve been there, my family has been there. We should be willing to help out people in need, some of us are one paycheck away from being homeless. Never forget that.

The thing is, when the shooting starts, I can’t help but take notice and become concerned. To make matters even more exciting, they are putting up yet another building nearby. Will this be another shelter? Will it bring more drive by shootings? I really hope we get a handle on this thing and really fast.

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Hakchi C8 error NES Classic Mon, 10 Aug 2020 11:24:00 +0000 A few years ago I purchased an NES Classic for myself. I’ve been playing these Nintendo games since childhood, but when I saw this little money grabbing gadget coming out, with the original style game controller, I just had to have it. Call me nostalgic I guess.

In any case, the NES Classic comes with whatever games they felt like giving you, some which you might not care for at all. That’s where a nifty tool like Hakchi comes in.

I used this app to simply remove the crappy games and just kept the games that I wanted to have there. Hakchi does hack your NES classic, so you have to be careful. I know that some people add other games to the system using this app, but I don’t know anything about ROMS and the sort.

Right, so Hakchi has some pretty good sorting features for your games. For instance, you can break them down by console type, assuming you had other console games, first name, etc.

I wanted to put all my games at the top level menu so that they would all just be listed by default and I could just scroll across and play them. However, my list of games was too big and I broke the system.

Doing it that way gave me an error. The “C8 Error” kept coming up every time I was shutting down the device. It never shut down properly and required manual intervention.

I did a bit of research and digging and I found out that the problem was putting all the games on the root, as opposed to setting them up in folders sorted by first name or some other variable. If you have too many items listed on the main menu and not organized by some variable it crashes the system on shutdown.

I’m not sure what the max number of games is before it crashes, but I decided to sort them by first name. So now I have a series of folders beginning with A, B, C and so on.

It’s not what I wanted to do, but doing it this way has resolved the C8 error. Another option would be to delete any games you don’t use and see if you hit the minimum. But this was faster and easier to do at the time.

I thought I’d share this information with you all as it took me some time to find the error code.

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Magneto Not a Hero Mon, 10 Aug 2020 11:17:00 +0000 Magneto is a character who I have been a fan of for a long time. Full disclosure, I’m not a comic book expert and I know the character mostly from the movies. But lately I’ve started to read more and more comics and I’m learning more about these characters from the original sources.

I just finished reading one called Magneto Not a Hero. It appears to me that in order to fully appreciate this limited series there was some history that I needed to know. Some comics that it was presumed I had already read.

That’s my big problem with picking up comics now and one of the difficulties that I have encountered as a new comic book fan. I have no idea what comics I’m supposed to read in order to get up to date or to know what’s going on in the other comics that interest me.

It seems that before reading a comic, I might have to search online to see if there are “prerequisites” to that one. Such as what happened with this one.

That being said I was able to read and follow along for the most part. Things started to fall into place as I read on. I caught on with very little difficulty.

This comic involves cloning and bringing people back from the dead. Like most X-men comics, it addresses the concept of what happens in society when dealing with “the other.” In this case, humans vs mutants.

I don’t want to put any actual spoilers on here okay? So Magneto encounters a character and apparently they’ve met before. Of course I have no idea where or how because like I said, I am new to comics and haven’t read any the prerequisites. In fact, I had no idea that there was some prior reading that should have happened to fully get this comic.

Overall, I enjoyed this comic and it simply goes to show just how powerful Magneto is. When I was younger I loved Wolverine, but as I got older my interest shifted towards the master of Magnetism. Even though he is usually a villain, I’ve become a big fan of Magneto.

In the films, I loved how Ian McKellen portrayed the character. He did an absolutely splendid job as Magneto. I did also enjoyed Michael Fassbender in the role, but not as much as Sir Ian!

The same can be said for Thanos. I’ve definitely read more comics about The mad Titan than any other character in the Marvel universe and I’m most definitely a fan despite him being a villain.

Magneto Not a Hero was a pretty good story and if you are a fan of Magneto I think you’ll enjoy it too. Check it out on comixology or wherever you get your comics. It’s pretty dope.

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Does society respect fit people? Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:24:33 +0000 In an ideal world, society would treat all of its citizens well and with respect. We all deserve to be treated with dignity and we are working towards that end these days. There are groups and organizations that advocate for all of us despite any of our differences or physical appearance.

I was talking with a fellow fitness instructor and he was complaining about people who judge and criticize instructors who are overweight or don’t look fit enough.

This led to an entire conversation about society and how it perceives an overweight or out of shape person as opposed to a fit looking person. Having been on both sides of that coin, including now where I’m on the heavier side, I have experienced it both ways.

So let’s be brutally real here.

Society treats fatter people like crap. I’m experiencing this now due to the extra weight I have put on. I’ve had people touch my stomach and say things like, “What happened man? You are all soft and round?” Others aren’t as blatant, but I see them staring at my gut while judging me for the weight gain. I see the look of disgust on their faces when I bought ice cream or snacks.

I suspect that the energy that I subconsciously project now is also less confident. Consequently, the energy that I receive back reflects that lack of confidence. This is not how it is when I was fitter. Having lost and now gained some weight relatively recently, I definitely noticed that I was perceived differently by men, women and society in general. When I am fitter, I am treated differently.

When I’m in better shape, I feel as though they acknowledge me as a force to be reckoned with, someone who commands respect. As opposed to now where I feel like I am not as respected and simply written off as some average fat guy.

I’m not saying that this is right or that I support it. I’m saying that this is how it really is whether we like it or not.

Now if you apply that logic to a trainer, imagine how much more harshly they would be judged? They will judge you as I mentioned before, but then they will consider, “How can he teach me to be in shape while he looks like that?” In fact, I have heard people say that in classes, the gym, and outside. Some jerk even said it to me once.

That’s one of the reasons I have always strived to be in shape while teaching. If I had to teach now, I’d feel very self conscious and embarrassed because I hold myself that standard. I’ve been conditioned that way and I am much more harsh with myself than I’d ever be with anyone else.

It’s a shame how society treats others based on appearance, but I believe wholeheartedly that society respects us more when we are in better shape. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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HBO Max on Amazon Firestick Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:50:06 +0000 For a long time you could get HBO on your Amazon firestick with no issues. Admittedly, though it did work, the firestick applications are not that great and they often do leave a little something to be desired. Crappy apps aside, you might be surprised to find out that there isn’t even a crappy app for you to get HBO max on your firestick.

You would think that a company like HBO would want to make their platforms accessible to everyone regardless of the hardware they are using. The more easily you make it to access your stuff the more people will use it. It’s quite basic and logical to me, but for some reason these guys don’t have HBO max for the firestick.

We got around this limitation by installing HBO Max on my PlayStation 4, but it’s not an ideal way for me to watch the channel as I’d rather just watch it on my fire stick like uhm, EVERYTHING ELSE I WATCH!

This reminds me of how BlackBerry dropped the ball big time with blackberry messenger by making it only accessible on their devices for a very long time. Back then everyone loved Blackberry messenger and they had the potential to corner that market even with users who were not on their platforms. However, due to their desire for exclusivity they opened up the door for other programs such as WhatsApp, line, WeChat and all the other competitors out there to come take a slice of that pie. By the time they realized that they should make the app accessible to all of us, no one cared anymore. We had all moved on to one of the other apps.

This isn’t exactly the same but I can’t help but wonder why these people don’t make their stuff easily accessible to everyone. As it stands you cannot get HBO max on your Firestick so you’re gonna have to find another way to make that work. In fact, I think I read that the HBO app may not work soon either, but I’m not sure about that as of this writing.

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The Galactus Trilogy Mon, 10 Aug 2020 03:49:18 +0000 So first and foremost, I didn’t know that this story would be a Fantastic Four comic. I’ve never really followed them on comics so I’m not very familiar with them or their enemies. I will say that I find some elements of how they talk and engage a bit annoying. But, keep in mind that I am new to comics overall. So I’m reading something that was written a long time ago through the lens of a 2020 movie noob fan.

This story was quite a bit different than I expected. I think that I have set expectations based on the films I’ve seen not realizing that they are fairly different from the comics which inspired them. I mean, even the Infinity Saga didn’t have Warlock as a main character and he is key in the comic version of it. Thor instead of Hulk was the main focus on “Planet Hulk,” and on and on it goes.

I came across this trilogy as it was also recommended by our friends over at Variant comics. It’s a pretty good story, although it is also one of those older comics like the story I mentioned about Peter Parker and The Night Gwen Stacy died. The story is still entertaining and it’s pretty good but the art and the way it reads is significantly more dated than some of the modern day comics.

In this original comic version, The Human Torch along with The Watcher play a huge role in saving the earth. I do remember that in one of the old Fantastic Four movies it was the Silver Surfer who was shown as most important player in saving the world.

One of the most interesting things I found about this trilogy was that Galactus is not a bad being in the traditional sense of the word. He eats energy the way we eat food for energy. It doesn’t “make us evil” to eat per se, we are just eating to survive.

Well, Galactus sees planets and the energy they contain the same way. To him, he is not doing anything wrong, he is just eating. He is definitely an interesting character and I’d be curious to see how Marvel handles it if they ever make another FF4 film. In one Galactus was like a cloud of dust or something. What the hell was that about?

As mentioned above, it is understood that the movies do take plenty of liberties and are not always faithful to the comic stories. Also, I think that there were issues with who owned what for a while. We recently saw some issues with that on the Spider-Man front.

I will admit that I felt slightly disappointed with this story as I had a different expectation of how the battle would go and how Galactus would be presented to us. I still found it entertaining and I do recommend reading it if you are a comic book fan.

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Episode 5 – Music, domestic violence and life with kfHox Sun, 09 Aug 2020 16:00:54 +0000 I had the pleasure of  spending sometime with singer Kathryn F. Hoxie before she moved out of NYC. Singer Songwriter kfHox joins Not Just NYCTalking and shares a little about bit about her journey as a musician. She also talks about domestic violence and the challenges it presents. Finally, we close out with a quick game of “Guess that 80s tv theme show song!”

I met kfhox during a Bronx Stories event at the museum of natural history where we connected and kept in touch.

She agreed to meet up with me and share some of her story with my NYCTalking audience. During our time together we discussed her journey throughout life and in the music industry.

This woman is a trooper in every sense of the word. She has lived out of her car for months at a time to make sure that she could reach her musical goals. This was the case during the release of her first EP “Light shines through me”.

She traveled to Jamaica using funds she raised using indiegogo and fulfilled one of her dreams which was recording a reggae version of her hit single “Screaming to be free.” She was able to record it at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong studios! How cool is that?

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Episode 4 – Former Officer, Group Homes and Grand Juries with Sam DelRosario and KatieKay Fri, 07 Aug 2020 16:00:59 +0000 I’m joined by my childhood friend, Author, Veteran, Former Officer, Civilian and Military trainer turned Real Estate Mogul Sam DelRosario. Photographer and fellow podcasting enthusiast KatieKay joins as we do a deep dive into what a grand jury really is, what it’s like growing up in a group home and discuss officer involved shootings.

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The Night Gwen Stacy Died Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:05:00 +0000 I came across this comic on a list of recommended reads from a YouTube channel called Variant comics. The Night Gwen Stacy died was one of their top listed recommendations.

If you have watched the Spider-man movies, this one loosely ties in with the Toby McGuire versions. The comic story is actually pretty damn tragic and somewhat troubling. I can’t believe how brutal Stan Lee could be! There are some major differences between the movie and the book, but the story is very similar.

If you’ve only watched the movies, then you’d think that his love interest was always and only MJ. This is actually true across most of the movies I’ve ever seen. However, as is evident by this comic, that has not been the case. In fact, I don’t know if Peter Parker and MJ are ever together in the comics. I haven’t gotten that far into them.

So one thing that I didn’t really understand was why everybody in this comic book series is so damn angry. If you look at the expressions on all of their faces, including Peter Parker, the police officers, Norman and Harry Osborn, I mean everybody has these crazy freaking expressions on their faces.

Look at that cop’s face, dude straight up wants to shoot Spider-Man.

I will admit that I was also surprised to see that even Peter Parker was a bit of a jerk to some people. Harry is all strung out on drugs and Peter treats him pretty nasty. I didn’t expect that.

As the comic progresses, I understand that he’s pretty upset about Gwen Stacy dying, I get it then. But overall, Parker needs to get that anger under control.

I’m fairly new to comics and I think that some are better than others. I would love to see an updated version of this story with some current art and perhaps updated language. This one is fairly old and some of the language and references are kind of dated, but that doesn’t stop it from being a magnificent read. This story, though tragic is still pretty good and has given us some great films over the years. Even if they changed his actual love interest.

If you are a fan of Spider-man then you will enjoy this story. Though like I said, it is pretty damn dark. Don’t go expecting any happen endings around here.

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Are you earning more on unemployment? Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:36:00 +0000 I have seen quite a few people state that they would rather not be out there working because they are actually making more money collecting unemployment. In addition to that, they are also safer while collecting unemployment.

So let’s take a moment and put aside the sanctimonious holier than thou attitudes and be all the way real here. I don’t know about you people, but if I could get paid more to stay home for awhile, stay safer myself, while simultaneously protecting my loved ones, heck yeah I’d totally do it too. Why the hell would I not?

I’ve been paying taxes for decades, much of which have gone to benefit the prison-industrial complex, unnecessary wars, corrupt politicians and their real estate buddies, corporations and anybody and everybody except the people and my community.

I don’t know exactly where that unemployment money comes from, but I’d bet that if it wasn’t going to these people, it certainly wouldn’t be redirected to help our communities. The lord knows that these scumbag politicians won’t be using any of that money to help our people, our community, or anyone but themselves.

So you know what? Yeah, I’d do it. I’d stay home and collect unemployment for as long as I could. Then, once deemed necessary, I’d return to work as I have been doing for all these decades. I’m not lazy, I don’t need or depend on the government, but I’m not a fool either.

Hey, let me go out there and bust my butt, risk my health, endanger my loved ones, and earn less money all in the name of pride. Yeah, I’m such an amazing person. Woohoo for me.

Yeah, I don’t think so. One of my friends told me that he actually wished he was fired from his job because he was making more money collecting unemployment while furloughed.

To me, that doesn’t speak ill of him, it speaks ill of his employer. I know this guy and he has tremendous work ethic. He’s never late, never out, and is extremely professional at what he does. So for him to say this, it’s extremely noteworthy and people should listen. There is a real problem there.

I’ve been fortunate to still have my day job, but all of my gym work and much of my side hustle has come to a complete and grinding halt. I can’t collect unemployment, but if I could, I would.

I understand how some of you will judge them as lazy people who are “getting over.” In fact, I think that some of them are actually lazy people who are getting over on the system. Though for the most part, when it comes to guys who have the mentality of my aforementioned friend, I do understand.

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Napoleon Dynamite Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:25:00 +0000 We watched this movie again a few days ago and it’s one of those movies that just gets better and better every time you watch it.

To be honest, I didn’t care much for it the first time around. When it first came out I remember hearing about it, but I was all like “meh.” But somehow I got roped into watching it. I don’t even remember how or by whom but I thought it was just stupid.

Some time later, on a whim I just decided to pick it up and watch it again. I really enjoyed it a lot more the second time around. Since then, every couple years of years I just sit and watch it again. Every time I watch it I notice something new that makes me enjoy it even more.

The absurdity of this film is beyond comprehension. But that’s what makes it so damn funny. Napoleon dynamite is a weird freaking dude but his character is extremely entertaining. He’s not alone on that because you also have Pedro, his Uncle, his grandma, his brother, his girlfriend, his brother’s girlfriend and their dynamic, Pedro’s cousins, Rex kwon do, his wife and so many more. It’s just a film of epic proportions that you need to watch.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time detailing the film because that would be nearly impossible to do. Also it is an old film and if you want some reviews you can easily find those online.

My objective in writing this is for those of you who’ve never seen the movie. I’m writing this not so much as a review but more as a recommendation for you to get in gear watch this film. If you are a fan of ridiculous comedies and dry humor, you won’t regret it. Also, if you watch this film, your wildest dreams will come true and Pedro offers you his protection.

By the way, I recently found out that there was a tv series too? I’m going to check that out! Oh snap!

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How I lost a domain name Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:17:00 +0000 Sometime ago, I made a huge rookie tech mistake. Now, in the grand scheme of things, it is not really affecting my life and probably not that big of a deal. However, in principle, and when it comes to “You never know,” I messed up.

So here’s what happened, I had a few domains expiring. I thought to myself, “Meh, I don’t use them anymore so I’ll just let them go, there’s no point in continuing to pay for these things annually.” So against my better instincts, I didn’t renew them.

Later that week I thought to myself, “You know what, I kind of like the names, I should renew them.” Not a few moments after I had that realization, some random guy emails me stating the following, “Hi, I am the new owner of the domain “hiddenreportdotcom” and I’ll gladly sell it back to you for 6k.”

What the hell just happened? This guy just bought the domain within a day or so of its expiring and then tried to sell it back to me at a huge profit. I was surprised, pretty pissed off, but I knew that I had no recourse. This behavior, though seemingly in bad taste is perfectly legal and very smart on his end. Well played internet domain monitoring guy, well played.

Anyway, after this rude awakening I immediately ran back and purchased back all my other domains that had expired. I bought them all including “thehiddenreportdotcom” and “hiddenreportdotnet” among a few others that I had.

I’m extremely bothered by this and I really want my domain back, but that’s what he’s counting on, isn’t it? He wants me to buy it back, but I ain’t dropping 6k for a domain name. I own way more valuable names, plus I ain’t rich to be dropping such ridiculous amounts of cash on something that is just gonna sit in my domain manager. I don’t think so, but that blows. In any case, there’s nothing I can do about this now, its just over and done with. I simply messed up on this one.

In an unrelated domain matter, I almost donated “aroddotorg” to a non-profit. You know how I’m all nice to people and someone asked me to donate it. I almost did it too, but I’ve had that domain since 2001 and I just didn’t want to part with it.

Anyway, I’m sure that those of you who own many domains wouldn’t make this same mistake, but I thought I’d share this story for the benefit of those of you who may not know or even consider that this can happen. If your domains are expiring, especially one and two word domain names, pay the money and keep it active. Apparently, you might be able to sell it for over 6k one day.

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Episode 3 – Being Muslim in America and Extremism with Gibran Malik aka King Sage Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:06:21 +0000 American Pakistani Muslim Rapper and Activist Gibran Malik joins us and talks about being a real Muslim in America. He shares his views on the extremist factions of Islam. Many Americans are afraid and concerned around the religion of Islam, Gibran tries to eliminate some of those fears.

Please listen to this candid, heart felt conversation with an artist who considers himself a devout Muslim, a Pakistani and an American patriot!

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments! I hope that we can shed light on some areas of confusion which are shared by so many of us.

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Add your podcast to Amazon Audible Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:12:00 +0000 We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but Amazon is taking submissions from those of us who have a podcast to get listed in their directory.

I’m listed on as many places as I can find but getting added to another platform can’t hurt. I think the number was about 75% of podcast listeners come from apple and the others come from different platforms. You should try to get listed in as many places as you can. All it takes is that one share from that one person to push you over the top.

In any case, use this link to launch the amazon audible listing process, follow the very straight forward prompts and I suppose they will let us know once it is listed.

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Episode 2 – Growing Up Bronx and Police brutality with Author Ivan Sanchez Tue, 04 Aug 2020 16:01:17 +0000 We start with a quick game of “Name that video game” with my son followed by “Next Stop” Author, Ivan Sanchez who grew up in the Bronx in the 90s. Join us as we chat with Ivan about his book, what it was like Growing up Bronx, police brutality and more.

Bronx raised Latino author Ivan Sanchez is no stranger to the streets. As a former gun runner who grew up pretty much the same way I did, he knows all about that life. His book “Next Stop” is by far one of my favorite memoirs of Growing Up Bronx and a must read for anyone who wants to understand our world.

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Episode 1 – Parasite, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Nelise Tue, 04 Aug 2020 16:00:31 +0000 On this special episode of the podcast, my sister Nelly joins me. First of all, I should say that I love, love, love having my little sister around. I’m very happy and alive when I’m with her. I love my baby sister.

So we had watched two epic films, Parasite and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind. We go into real heavy discussion about both films and the parallels to real life.

This episode is very spoiler heavy so proceed with caution. We had a ton of topics to discuss, but we got so involved in these two movies and we expanded into so many subtopics around them that we didn’t get too far with anything else.

Parasite was one hell of a wacky film and in my opinion, the family’s greed led to the events that took place at the end. Totally unnecessary and entirely avoidable. Listen to my sister and I discuss the poverty we came from and whether or not it can be used as a justification for immoral and criminal acts.

Eternal Sunshine is a timeless film that I have watched over and over. It is truly one of my favorites films of all time. We’ll get very heavy into a discussion about whether or not you’d erase any part of your past or memories.

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Ridiculous real estate rental Thu, 30 Jul 2020 11:40:00 +0000 Before this covid-19 insanity hit, one of my friends was looking around for an apartment. She reached out to me and asked me if I had any leads or names that I might be able to recommend to her?

She was telling me about the types of places that she’d been seeing and one of them in particular stood out. She told me about this “garage apartment” that was being rented in Kew Gardens. It had no doors and some sort of blanket in the doorway. There were no partitions or covers anywhere in there either.

The real kicker though, the homerun for this “garage apartment” and all involved was that it had no bathroom at all. Allow me to elaborate on that please. This “apartment” had no shower, no bath and no toilet. The realtor told my friend, “Oh, don’t worry, you can pee in this makeshift sink and then you can shower at the gym which is really close by.” That was the response that this dirtbag had to offer. Can you believe the gall of this individual? Trying to convince my friend that peeing in the sink regularly was all good.

Mind you, they were asking upwards of $1,000 for this “apartment.” Again, can you believe the audacity of not only the homeowner, but the real estate agent who’s trying to peddle this trash? I know they are just doing there job, but if you are going to tell someone to pee in the sink, especially a female, at least have the decency to not try and pass it off as an okay thing. Be honest about how you really feel and work from a place of sincerity. “Oh, just pee in the sink and then shower at the gym” is not that place by the way. “I know this sucks, but it’s temporary right, just a place to sleep for now?” Now that would be a more honest and appropriate way to rent this “apartment.”

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Revel shut down in NYC. Wed, 29 Jul 2020 11:46:00 +0000 I only realized a few days ago that we had a scooter service here in NYC. How did I find out? I found out through the same means that cause it to be shut down in NYC.

I was walking on Queens Boulevard towards CVS with my son and we saw three young guys zipping down this road which is often called the Boulevard of Death without a care in the world. They were looking back, goofing off and playing around recklessly. I believe I said, those fools are going to get themselves killed.

Not even one day later I am reading about how Revel has been shut down in NYC due to 2 deaths in about two weeks. There are also several lawsuits and quite a few reported injuries.

Now please don’t get me wrong here, I feel for the people and the families who lost their lives. I feel for the people who have been injured, and I feel for anyone affected. But let’s be real here. I just told you guys what I saw, and how only 2 seconds was enough for me to predict the unavoidable outcome here. The company, Revel, is not entirely to blame for this, though of course they will get blamed.

The real problem is that us New Yorkers are going to think that these mopeds are like bicycles or toys. Most of us will not respect the danger involved in operating one of these mopeds because we’ll think it’s a toy.

We’ll get on it and think that we can joyride them and it’s all goody. But these are not bicycles or toys, they are licensed motor vehicles. One of the individuals who lost their lives crashed into a post. That should illustrate how dangerous these things can be and why we should not underestimate them.

If you are riding one of these, you should at a minimum be wearing a helmet. You should realize that you will be in traffic with large, heavy vehicles that can kill people who have the protection of being in other large, heavy vehicles. Now imagine what they could do to your little, itty bitty moped riding body. That’s not to mention the objects you can hit or taking a fall from one of them at high speeds.

There has be some form of training or way to ensure that the person who operates it is responsible and properly knowledgeable on how to operate it. You can’t simply just release one of these to a bunch of New Yorkers and expect them to be safe. This isn’t DC, and we have roads like Queens Boulevard and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Having these roads shared by these mopeds is a huge risk in an aggressive motorist place like NYC. I’m curious to see how they handle this in the future.

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iPhone SE 2020 Review Wed, 29 Jul 2020 05:18:39 +0000 I got a chance to test the iPhone SE 2020 for a few days. For a while I was considering leaving the iPhone 11 and moving over to the SE permanently. I’m glad that I was able to setup someone else’s and didn’t actually get one for myself. I’ll explain why in this post.

Let’s talk about the screen

One of the first disappointing things that you’ll notice is that this phone does not use the entire screen space like the 11 does. It has a bar at the top and the bottom that takes away from the already limited screen real estate. So you are going from a full, humongous screen, to a much smaller one that doesn’t even use the full screen. You really lose a lot of screen room on this phone.

I didn’t think this would be a problem for me and I really wanted to get on a smaller phone as I find the 11 rather difficult to use with one hand. But the fact that the SE 2020 does not use the entire screen real estate makes it way smaller than simply just getting a smaller frame phone. You lose a great deal of space because of the bars that it has. That was pretty much a deal breaker for me at that point. I’ve really gotten used to the bigger screen.

The phone speed and functionality

The SE2020 is a relatively newer phone so it’s fairly fast compared to most iPhone models. However, coming from an iPhone 11 that I’ve been using for quite some time now, I noticed a (bad) speed difference right away. Simple functions that would move with lightning speed on my 11 would have just enough of a delay on the SE for me to perceive it.

This is not a dealbreaker for me or for most people as you will not notice any difference whatsoever if you are coming from any other phone. But if you are coming from an 11 or an 11 Pro you’re definitely going to notice a slight lag in response.

Usability and Siri

The iPhone SE functions fairly similar to the 11 but it does have a few differences. You’ll notice that the SE has a home button, due to this some of the usage gestures are different. If you’re coming from one of the phones with a home button you will notice no difference whatsoever, but if you’re coming from one of the phones that does not have a home button then you will have to become reconditioned to the home button phone gestures once again.

In addition to that there is the matter of Siri. One of the things that I had gotten used to with a Google home mini was issuing commands even while music is playing. This seems like a very basic thing that should be available on all iPhones that use Siri. However, this was not the case on the SE or my iPhone 8 either. “Hey Siri” works just fine if nothing is on, but Siri will not function if you are playing music. This is not the case on the iPhone 11. “Hey Siri” works even if you are playing music. This is important to me as I issue “Hey Siri” commands all the time and I’m nearly always listening to music.

Let’s talk Battery life

Sadly, the iPhone SE battery leaves quite a good deal to be desired. Especially when it is compared to the crazy long lasting battery life of the 11 and the iPhone XR. In fact, the first SE battery life was better. The batteries in those aforementioned phones pretty much lasts all day, unless I’m really tearing into it.

I expected that this battery would last most of the day, but by 6 PM my battery was almost dead. I was using the phone with the exact same settings that I had on my 11 and the battery life was about 4-6 hours less for the same exact type and duration of usage. Even if I reduced usage, the battery is horrible by comparison.

Since we are still pretty much locked at home for now this isn’t a huge deal as I’m always by a charger, but it’s worth noting as we will return to the real world at some point. Bottom line, this battery is nowhere near as good as the 11 is and battery life is extremely important to me.

Final thoughts and conclusion

I’m glad I did not order this phone for myself, I’m even more glad that I was able to test it out for a bit before shipping it to my user. Overall, I was disappointed with this device. I had some high hopes and I was really considering switching to a 2020 myself as I wanted a smaller phone for my not so large hands. But this flimsy feeling, crap battery life, lag infested phone is not the one for me. I’ve decided that I am 100% going to stay with the 11.

Have you had a chance to play with the SE? If so, do you agree with my assessment?

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Police Encounters: Precinct Car Thief Tue, 28 Jul 2020 11:13:34 +0000 “Come here you little punk. What the hell are you doing around here?”

Good afternoon Officer, I live up the block, I’m just waiting for a few of my friends. This is our meeting island. Heheh.

Long before the precinct was there, we hung out here.

“Do you have any tools? Anything you can poke or stab me with?”

At this point, he had already invaded my personal space and was patting me down in the torso area with absolutely no cause at all.

Not at all officer. I’m not one of those type of guys sir. I’m cool and just waiting for my friends.

“You’re cool? No, I’ll tell you if you are cool! Come here and get up against the car, let’s see about those tools. If I find anything at all you are going inside.”

As mentioned before, he was now doing a full frisk of my person. Again with zero reason to do so. I was polite, respectful, and up to that point entirely naive as to how much of a jerk this guy actually was.

As he frisked me: Officer, who would be stupid enough to come to a police precinct to steal cars or car parts? I’m not one of those kids, this is just where we meet and you guys happened to move in. That’s all.

“Shut your mouth punk! You need to get the hell away from our cars or I’ll take you inside and you won’t like that. This is not your spot anymore, do you understand what I’m saying to you, punk?”

This guy seemed to be awfully fond of the word punk. At this point I still didn’t perceive any danger. It didn’t occur to me how easily this dirtbag could have set me up. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, so I was absolutely unconcerned about getting into any trouble.

Yes sir, I’ll meet my friends over by White Star fried chicken.

“Kid, you are really trying my patience with your smart mouth, be happy that I’m letting you go and just get the fuck out of here right now before I change my mind. Don’t let me catch you or any of your friends around here again, I’ll remember you.”

So yeah, I say all this to say that I didn’t perceive the danger I was in and what that cop was implying about me at the time. I was a naive kid at times and back then I was still young and innocent. However, at that point I started getting kind of mad and realized that no matter what I said, this jerkoff was entirely convinced that I was there to steal. I felt offended and insulted by him.

Still, I just figured that I had to respect and obey the lawman, so I kept humble and docile and I just walked away from their personal cars which they now parked in my neighborhood meeting spot. That precinct came around long after we’d been playing there and I thought it would actually make us safer, not open up a brand new avenue of danger from those within.

Early on during that interaction I never feared that he’d shoot me or harm me, it wasn’t even a thought in my head. I wasn’t doing anything wrong and I was honest and polite. This man was supposed to protect me, right?

Towards the end of the interaction, I felt frustrated, insulted and humiliated about how this guy treated me with no justification at all. This dude didn’t believe me and that irritated me. But he was pretty high strung and aggressive, as naive as I was, I knew that I had to get away from him.

In hindsight, as I remember how he pushed me around and slammed me on the car, I think that this bully was looking for a reason to arrest me or kick my ass. He was so accusatory and nasty to me, but I was a naive kid and simply stayed compliant and respectful to him. I didn’t give him the reason he wanted, but had I made one false move, I’m sure he would have had me in cuffs and bruised up. Fuck that asshole.

During my entire lifetime, I’ve only had to call the police two or three times that I can remember. They weren’t useful or able to help us any of those times. They showed up, allegedly did their jobs, then left. But the crimes were not resolved and when I tried to call or follow up, no one cared.

I’ve negatively interacted with the police a handful of times. Each one of them, I ended up facing the wall, a car, a gate or being interrogated in a small hidden room in the subway. 4 out of 5 times I wasn’t doing anything wrong. That one time I was on the wrong side of the law, they caught me hopping the train. That’s Fare evasion for those of you who don’t speak hood.

It is my belief that knowing I wasn’t doing anything really wrong most of the times they stopped me is why I was so calm and unworried. I’ve never feared the police, as I mentioned before, this was not something that occurred to me. Fear them? Why? They are here to protect us, why would I fear them when they work for our protection?

That one time I was up to no good and got caught by the cops I just cooperated and got off with a ticket. I have never being arrested in my life. I’m pretty sure that it’s partly because of my reverent behavior, but also due in part because of the way that I look that they didn’t treat me worse.

Yes, I know you might disagree with the concept of white privilege, but my light skin Puerto Rican ass saw the difference in how I was treated compared to my other friends, especially the dark skin ones, both Latino and Black. Yes, I got roughed up a few times, but my darker friends nearly always had it worse when it came to police interactions.

Granted, some were shooting off at the mouth, but wouldn’t you if they were constantly messing with you the way they did with me at the beginning of this story? Maybe even worse? It wouldn’t take too long to develop animosity and distrust towards the police if they treated you like a damn criminal every time you encountered them. I only had a small taste of the abuse that one day and a few other times. Even so, when I think of it now, it really pisses me off. Now imagine a lifetime of that abuse, or worse?

Think about that the next time you judge someone who is out there marching with Black Lives Matter due to police brutality. Not all cops are bad, but if the ones you encounter always seem to treat you like crap, what do you think your opinion of them would be?

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Vertigo Sucks! Wed, 22 Jul 2020 11:45:00 +0000 Two weeks ago I was laying in bed and I got really dizzy. I saw my ceiling fan flicker and move about 5 or 6 times though I was perfectly still.

At first I thought that maybe I just moved too fast and that it would pass. However, as the minutes continued to pass I continued feeling movement, and though there was no flickering I was still dizzy as all heck.

I got up and jumped on the computer to see if could find an open citymd or something, no such luck. I did find a teledoc consultation available through citymd and I spoke with a doctor. After a few questions and some routine checks he advised me to go to the ER in the event that I had a stroke. He said it was unlikely, but that I shouldn’t take a chance.

I went to the ER room at Northwell in Forest hills. Long story short, I spent the whole night there. They did some blood work, cat scan, EKG, and gave me some medicine called Meclizine which is like dramamine on steroids and is supposed to help with dizziness. Well, it didn’t work for me. In fact, I’d argue that this medicine made me even foggier and more hazy. I’m not a fan of losing control of my faculties, and between the dizziness and meclizine I was totally not myself.

After spending the night there, terrified because of Covid and the fact that I thought my brain could be exploding, they sent me home. Nearly everyone I worked with there was nice, though you could tell that some people were nicer than others. And despite the likelihood that this problem originated from my ears, no one looked at my ears even once. Mind you, I suggested it, but nah, they good on that. Also, I had to send my son back home, they wouldn’t let him in with me due to covid so I saw no point in him sticking around all that time. This visit yielded no results other than to rule out any “immediate” grave danger.

So as my stay in the ER didn’t produce any good results, the next day I took my dizzy self to the city to see the only ENT that was available that day. He was a nice guy but I don’t think he was very thorough. At least he looked at my ear, but I felt the Epley maneuver check was a bit rushed. I’ve tried to get a hold of him a few times since then and have been unsuccessful thus far. He did call me back once but I was in the shower at the time. He prescribed me prednisone to see if that helps and asked me to get a covid test. He wanted to rule covid out as a little known, rare effect in asymptomatic people is random dizziness.

So, the next day I went and stood in the blazing heat to get a covid test to try and determine if it was possibly covid related, I also did the antibody test, cause, why the hell not? I’m still waiting on both of those results. LOL.

In any case, a day or so later I went to another doctor, this time I went to see a neurologist. That place was one of the worst run medical practices that I have ever been to. Except for one person there, one of the techs, I feel that everything there was a chaotic mess. People were screaming, staff was screaming, no one acknowledged me though I was standing on line alone for a long time. I came so close to walking out several times. They eventually acknowledged me once I got fed up and stopped waiting for them to call me and went right up to one of the clerks.

“May I please have some direction, I’ve been standing here and have no idea where I’m supposed to go?”

She spent like 2 minutes on the phone texting during my intake. SMH.

I’m sticking with them because they already ordered my MRI and I think I’m kind of stuck with them. At least you would hope that the doctor is competent enough to tell if my brain is exploding or not. I will not remain with them after this at all, but since they’ve already started the process, I’ll ride it to the point where I get my MRI results. Then it’s adios. Horrible place. I’ll review them specifically at a later time.

The last few days I’ve been doing brandt dorf exercises to help with the vertigo. I’m doing better overall, but still have moments where I feel dizzy. However, none has been as bad as those first few days. Also, knowing that this is vertigo and not some brain explosion helps me wait it out and stay calm. I was able to workout for the first time in weeks yesterday, and though I felt a bit uncomfortable, overall I’m much better. I hope this goes away completely and very soon.

Vertigo sucks!

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Kew Gardens Deli and Grill Tue, 21 Jul 2020 11:58:00 +0000 Sometime ago we lost our 24 hour deli in the corner. After many months of work and nothing there, we now have this new spot called Kew Gardens Deli and Grill.

The place is just your average deli with chips, drinks, cold and hot food and basically that’s it. There’s nothing special or bad about it.

Few things to note, they are not 24 hour like their predecessors, I think that they close around 10pm. They take cash and credit cards with no minimum limits which is always nice. They also take EBT as well. If you want ham then you are out of luck as they don’t serve pork here. The new owners aren’t with it and this is presumably due to their religious beliefs. I didn’t ask but its the only reason that makes much sense.

I had the above sandwich and I asked for ham. The gentleman making the sandwich said that they don’t carry ham and that he’d use turkey. I said sure, I’m good either way. The sandwich was a pretty good sandwich and cost me $6. When they opened they had 40% off, but I’m not sure if that’s happening anymore. This means the sandwich may cost a bit more, we’ll see.

Hey look, if you want a sandwich or some chips and drink, well, you now have another bodega option.

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Jetpack won’t connect to WordPress on Mac Chrome Tue, 21 Jul 2020 05:48:41 +0000 This happened to me twice so far and both times I had to think about it for a few minutes.

The first time I encountered this issue I didn’t know the solution and I spent a good deal of time troubleshooting. Disabling Duo Security, Wordfence, individual settings, and all kinds of crap while still being unable to connect.

If you are wondering why I would disable it in the first place, it was because I was trying to determine if Jetpack was slowing down my blog, it wasn’t. Turns out that the Namecheap stellar plus plan is just really slow. I’ll speak more on that and why I moved to Cloudways hosting as a result on another day. I’m getting sleepy now.

Now as this happened a second time, I thought about it for a few minutes. I searched my Evernote to see if I jotted anything down as I usually take notes on weird issues. I suppose I thought that I’d never see this again or that I would remember cause I didn’t find any notes anywhere. Remember? Wrong. Sure, I didn’t spend as much time on it the second time around, but it did take me a few minutes for me to think, “Try another browser.”

If you are wondering why I went ahead and disabled it again, this time I felt that jetpack was acting a bit weird after my website migration, so I disconnected and wanted to reconnect it again in hopes it would stop being wonky.

So yeah, I’m using Google Chrome and I try to reconnect jetpack to my blog. I put my username, password and proper dual factor information in as prompted. The screen flashes, does it’s thing and then it comes right back to the logon screen as if none of what I just did mattered one bit.

I’m not sure why this happens but if I close out Google Chrome and launch safari, repeat the same exact steps, then after I put my information it brings up my happy little avatar and connects all the way with no issue.

Like I said, I’m not sure what this glitch it about, but I thought I’d share the solution or workaround with you folks as I couldn’t find anything on this. Should you encounter an issue connecting Jetpack to your blog while using chrome on an iMac, try safari. You now have a potential solution! Good luck.

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Remember Zaevion Dobson Tue, 21 Jul 2020 05:05:15 +0000 I really don’t think that this hero has received the level of recognition that he deserves. I never met him, but I suspect that he’d tell me something like, “Leave it alone man, I did what was right and that’s all.”

Here’s the thing though, he’s not here to tell me or anyone that. Know why? Cause he was killed in a random drive by shooting. He was killed while shielding three girls during the shooting.

If I post something controversial, everyone has something to say. But I post about this hero and I only encounter crickets. A Tiktok video I posted about Zaevion has under 10 views! But if I post a video of people fighting, it blows up. That’s just disgusting.

Zaevion Dobson should not be dead. He’d be my son’s age now if he were still alive. He was 15 years old when he died in 2015 while performing a heroic act that very few of us would have the guts to perform.

This speaks to the problems we have in this country with gun and gang violence. It speaks to our character that we prefer to see stupid fight videos than to honor this hero.

I don’t care what society wants, I’m going to remember him and I’ll continue to speak about him and his heroic acts. Zaevion Dobson is a real life true hero and he should be remembered as such.

At 15 years old, he used his body to shield girls from a hail of bullets. Did you get that? He used his body, his body, to shield girls from gun fire. How many of us could say we’d do that? I mean, for real? Could you?

Rest in peace, hero. You are remembered.

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Trader Joe’s Chicken Doggy treat danger! Tue, 21 Jul 2020 04:24:25 +0000 You should always be careful with your food and what you feed your loved ones. Obviously, this includes our fur babies.

So yeah, I was feeding my Peppa a Trader Joe’s chicken treat as she freaking loves those things and as I cut the piece for her I came upon a really hard spot. I examined it more closely and quickly realized that it was a very sharp piece of what I presume has to be chicken bone.

As you can see from the image, that bone is fairly big and can get lodged in a dog’s throat or stomach hurting them really badly. This would be disastrous to a tiny Pom like Peppa!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to give them to her, but as I always have I will continue to closely examine the treats to ensure no bones get by. I know that no one is perfect, I mean I’ve found freaking rocks in my food before.

Hey, sometimes things get by. But this is really dangerous for dogs and then you’d probably just assume your dog ate it from the floor during a walk or something and blame yourself if something happened to the poor furbaby.

Look, I’m sure that most of you already are, but just be careful and closely examine the treats when giving them to your doggos.

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Trader Joe’s Renaming Racist Products Tue, 21 Jul 2020 00:06:28 +0000 Sometime ago I went to Trader Joe’s with my wife. We were looking at some of the products and I saw their “ethnic based names.” I thought that “Trader Jose” was a slightly clever play on the name Trader Joe’s, but at the same time I said to her, “One day they are gonna get in trouble for this.”

I’m not that sensitive, but I understand why these names were perceived as offensive by some people. I get it. In this new world, we are trying to make everything politically correct and though it is a common name, not all of us Latinos are named Jose. Real quick, my middle name is Jose, my father’s name was Jose, but yeah, not all of us are Joses!

So was it wrong of them to use those names? By today’s stricter standards, yes. Do I think they did it maliciously? Nah.

This wasn’t the only name, as you can see by the featured image in this post, they also did the same with Asian themed food and a few other ethnicities as well.

Trader Joe’s appears to be a forward thinking brand, so they said that they already had it on the table to rename the packaging and they offered no resistance to the online petition to rename.

Hey, Trader Joe’s knows that they have a good thing going on over there and they ain’t looking to lose any of that big time money over something that they can simply and easily correct.

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NYC Subway stations are frozen in time! Mon, 20 Jul 2020 04:51:54 +0000 Most New Yorkers have been living in the twilight zone since about March of this year. The city came to a screeching halt because of Covid and the shelter in place order that was issued by Governor Cuomo.

Recently, I took the subway for a routine visit to the vet with my pup. After that I had to once again ride the train to go to a few doctor’s appointments and I noticed the same thing!

The day I went to the ER it was a Sunday at 1am. The streets were abandoned and quiet, it was a bit drizzly and I came across these things. Check out some of the advertisements on the subway, they are several months old and seeing them that night kind of felt like when I watched Planet of the apes and they discovered the old cities from before their time.

If you are from NYC, you know that our posters and advertisements are changed often, but with nonessential workers forced to stay home, NYC subway displays have been at a standstill! Fascinating, isn’t it?

I will say, it is pretty funny, telling and ironic that the one company I noticed which had an updated advertisement was zoom. If anyone has benefited from the covid pandemic, it has been zoom. Their newish presence in the vacuum of a time warped NYC subway station only solidifies that claim.

Stand clear of the closing doors!

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MFKZ Review Mon, 20 Jul 2020 04:12:03 +0000 So up until today, I had never once heard of this film. I knew nothing of it, the story, the character, nothing. So I came in with zero expectations. The world was their oyster.

My son asked, ” Have you heard of MFKZ?” I was like, huh? Sounds like the word mofo. Yup, he said it was and suggested that we watch the film. He said “You are gonna love it pops, it’s right up your alley.”

So we sat down and watched it. He wasn’t wrong, the film was fairly entertaining, and though it was clearly exaggerating the level of violence and nastiness we see in the hood, I could appreciate the sheer madness and humor of it all.

I don’t want to drop any spoilers, but overall I was disappointed with the way they laid out the film’s direction. Don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining, but it was a big freaking mess that never reached its full potential.

There were characters who I felt were not used properly or given the recognition they deserved. I even feel like the main character’s story, Lino’s wasn’t properly setup. I also feel that Luna was not properly laid out, I felt more could have been done with her.

Meet the beautiful Luna.

The Luchadors, Machos and even the smaller nameless villains. Like what exactly the hell were those things and why did they want to kill Lino? I liked Vinz and I freaking hate Willy, that dude is a straight up damn coward.

They set the movie up for a sequel, and I’d watch it, but only to see if they improve the direction. I might try to see if I can find this comic and see if its laid out any better. The movie was okay, but it never reached that amazing moment that it was meant to have.

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The Monuments Men Tue, 07 Jul 2020 02:07:35 +0000 On paper this film looked like it had all the ingredients for a great hit. It is packed with very familiar faces, some of whom are the masters of their craft. It had a fairly interesting plot, which if I’m not mistaken is based on a true story. I mean, everything was there. Even Nazis, an enemy that we can all get behind hating.

Unfortunately, the film fell flat on its face for me. I watched about 45 minutes of the movie, waiting for the awesomeness that never came. After all that time I looked at my family and asked, “Would you guys mind if we move on? This thing just isn’t picking up and I don’t want to invest anymore time on it.” They agreed and we carried on.

I didn’t hate the film, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it. I found it super slow and boring. Perhaps, if we hung on just a bit longer it would have gotten better? Maybe? Maybe not? With so many promising options at our fingertips, I just couldn’t get myself to invest anymore time into this movie.

If you are aware of the time you are not enjoying yourself. If you are getting bored, then perhaps it’s time to cut your losses and move along. That’s what happened here and that’s what I did. Sorry, all star cast, but perhaps the book would be a better option?

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My Spy Film Review Mon, 06 Jul 2020 03:58:53 +0000 You know, a few days ago I wanted to watch something cute, light hearted and funny. “My Spy” was just what the doctor ordered.

It was the perfect combination of big, goofy tough guy being paired with young, defenseless yet extremely witty little kid. That aspect of it was slightly reminiscent of Hulk Hogan in the role of “Mr. Nanny.” Nothing like seeing these huge monsters getting reigned in by tiny kids.

Back in 1993 Hulk Hogan put on a tutu for the film Mr. Nanny.

The premise of this story was different, but it also involved a former wrestler in Dave Bautista. Bautista played a former soldier who became a CIA spy, and he’s so good at killing that it makes him not so good at being a spy.

Due to one too many screwups, he ends up with a tech working a surveillance case. The targets of his surveillance? You guessed it, the little girl and her mom who happen to be related to some very bad dudes.

Walk away from an explosion and don’t look back!

The little one sneaks up on Bautista and his partner then proceeds to blackmail him for CIA training. The rest you’ll have to watch. It is a silly movie, but I laughed quite a bit and I did enjoy it.

If like me, you want something fairly light and entertaining, take a break from the madness of action cinema and watch this film. There is action, don’t get me wrong, but its more light hearted than most in the genre.

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One crappy side effect from gaining extra weight Mon, 22 Jun 2020 03:57:34 +0000 I’ve gained some weight over the past few months in quarantine. I’m not happy about it and I am trying to do something about it. My energy levels are low, my body’s getting achy again and I’m just fairly uncomfortable with all this extra weight.

Aside from the usual side effects that come from gaining weight, I have discovered a special and rather unpleasant one. I know I experienced this before, but its been so long that I totally forgot about it.

So do you know what happens when you get extra skin fat on your thighs and your arms? Well, they tend to rub against your body. You see it all the time when heavier set people walk, their thighs are rubbing together. When they wave the back of their arm flaps.

Well, when you have all that going on and you go for exercise, be that teaching Zumba, running, the elliptical, possibly even lifting weights, there is a repetitive motion where that extra skin rubs and rubs against your body and that friction creates a very uncomfortable and painful skin burn or rash.

That’s how I know that I have definitely gained substantial body weight. As if just looking at my massively bloated gut wasn’t enough of an indicator. As if the scale showing me 230 pounds isn’t enough. Let’s go ahead and add insult to injury by making some physical pain to accompany the psychological torment I already put myself through. Now, as I try to recover from this weight gain I get the added benefit of little nagging and painful skin burns, isn’t that wonderful?

Fortunately, I have found a bit of a workaround to keep me going as I drop the extra weight. It used to be that just wearing tights underneath would protect my skin. You know those non-sweat tights from Tesla or Underarmour, those would do the trick for me, but not so much now that I’ve gained this much weight. It helps, but it still does happen to me, even with the tights.

Enter A&D first aid ointment. I’ve taken to rubbing some A&D on the area of my body that tends to rub and cause me pain after a long workout. As of now, that has worked for me. So if you are running or just working out and getting some of those skin burns, go ahead and try putting some of that A&D first aid ointment on the area and see if that helps. Its worked for me and is also pushing me to more quickly drop this damn extra weight.

Yep, letting myself go during this quarantine has proven costly for me in more ways than one. So, listen, if this tip helps you, I’d love to hear about your experience. Stay healthy my friends.

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Who’s the Master? Mon, 22 Jun 2020 03:22:13 +0000 If you watched “The last dragon,” then this post may resonate with you. How can you ever forget Sho’nuff and his chants of who’s the master? In the Bronx, we had our own version of who’s the master, read on for more.

When we were kids my friends and I used to wrestle and basically try to dominate one another. We would playfully attack each other and continue the onslaught until the other person submitted to your physical superiority.

One of the things I liked doing to them when I got the upper hand was making them say that I was the master. My technique was that I would smash their head into the floor and ask “who is the master?” I’d crush them until they said I was the master. I also had this thing called the “chin attack,” that was basically my power move when we were wrestling.

Of course I wasn’t invincible, and if they got the upper hand on me while play fighting, then they would get their payback and make me say that they were the master. But that rarely happened.

That’s just the way us kids played in the hood. Yes, in my little circle of friends, most of the time I was the master. But there were times were I had to submit to one of my older or stronger friends. Life is funny that way, you might be the king of your hill but all it takes is that one outsider to dethrone you or make you look weak and exposed in front of your subjects.

I still remember the shock in my friends faces when one of my buddies who actually wrestled in high school rag dolled me all over the floor. This dude completely dominated me and kicked my ass in my own freaking bedroom. That’s when I learned the lesson that training generally makes you superior. On that day, he was the master. My friends mockingly asked the question as he whooped my butt, “so who’s the master now?”

It should be noted that this statement wasn’t only used when we were wrestling. We’d also use it when one of us needed something from the other and they were being difficult. It was our way of making them beg for it and tormenting their ego.

In addition to that, we’d use it while playing video games and winning. After you destroyed someone or got a difficult win, you’d say: “Who’s the master!”

I didn’t know it back then, but “who’s the master” was preparing me to be a man in the adult world. It’s a bit more covert, but most of us are out here trying to make the other say, “Who’s the master?”

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Dragon Naturally Speaking Versus Apple Dictation Sun, 21 Jun 2020 05:26:47 +0000 Let’s see how this text to speech works on Apple by default. I do have an installation of Dragon but I’m trying to keep my computer as simple and basic as I can. I have been testing Evernote with Apple dictation. Using the iPhone built-in dictation functionality works pretty good, but there are limitations on how much text you can record at a time. Even as I am creating this post trying to explain my experience using Evernote on my iPhone and my iPad I am once again experiencing the same “problem” that I saw on those two systems.

The thing is that it appears as though this is built into the system and not necessarily a “flaw” per se with Evernote. I actually thought it was a problem with Evernote so I opened up a trouble ticket with them and they were able to re-create the problem. I was able to re-create the problem on my iPhone, iPad and now on my desktop computer. However, I am inclined to believe that this is an Apple design and not an Evernote error.

It works fairly well, but if I’m trying to do a blog post such as this, it becomes a bit annoying. Consequently, blogging is the primary requirement that I have for this builtin function. As I said before, it is a bit annoying because I have to keep pressing the record function as it stops recording after about 40 seconds or so. I did a quick google search as I wrote this article and I see for sure that this is by design. It looks as though Apple sends the bits of text to their servers and then back to your device. That’s kind of weird and I’m not entirely sure why they do things this way as of yet. I’ll have to research this a little more deeply, but I presume that its just their way to collect data and do things.

Based off of this discovery as I was trying to dictate this blog post on my computer expecting that it might work differently, it is my understanding that I will indeed need to install Dragon on my computer for creating blog posts. I will do some extra research to see if there’s a way to extend the time that dictation lasts, but based on what I’ve found, that’s not going to happen.

I guess in fairness to the team over at Evernote I will inform them that this is not a problem with their product but it is a design limitation with the Apple ecosystem. It is what it is, as such Dragon dictate will remain on my computer.

One final point if I may. Do note, that if I didn’t already have Dragon, which I paid for then I’d be perfectly fine using Apple Dictation. In fact, I will continue to use it on my phone and iPad for mobile blogging. In essence, though I will be putting Dragon my iMac, most of my work has been happening on my mobile devices. Dragon is not cheap, and if not for the fact that I already have it, this discussion wouldn’t even be happening.

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Savage things Mon, 08 Jun 2020 11:13:07 +0000 This story is built around an organization who kidnaps young sociopaths and then trains them to use their skills to carry out their desires. “Hey, we know you are going to grow up to be a serial killer, so why not use those talents for us?” Right from the start this comic is pretty brutal and vicious. I mean, it is like, “Damn bro, what’s up with that” kind of violent.

The main character’s mindset, Abel, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. He isn’t driven by any desire for revenge or payback for what is done to him at all. Even though he is technically incapable of feeling, I figure he should still be able to think from a practical standpoint and at least want some payback for being wronged by this secret government organization. But he doesn’t seem to care, not on a personal level anyway, and that’s what I don’t understand. I guess that detachment is just the way the mind of a sociopath works and that’s why the wanted them for their crew of killers.

As far as the main villain, (you guessed it) Cain, that’s where it gets a little tricky. See, I can identify with him and his crew because even though they are the “bad guys,” they became that way because they were betrayed by this organization. I know that if I were in their shoes I’d also want revenge. I half expected Abel to join them and help them take those government guys out.

As I read the comic, while I did empathize with the villains, they were targeting innocents and that’s where I become at odds with their agenda. The government guys in this comic were deserving of severe punishment, they were trash. However, the problem here is that Cain and his crew attacked innocent people who had nothing to do with what happened to them.

Overall, I enjoyed this comic. I thought it was action packed right from the beginning and it was quite exciting. There is the Jason Bourne type of feeling to this story. The story is somewhat similar in its nature. I like that the comic had an actual ending and didn’t drag on and on like some comic stories do. Still, the ending could have been a bit more satisfying to me. I was left wondering if there would be another series to continue after this one? But it seems as though this came out quite a while ago. Noting that, I don’t expect any further volumes to come forth. But hey, you never know, right?

I totally recommend getting your hands on this comic, it is a good and fairly fast read.

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Ironman Extremis Sun, 31 May 2020 05:43:28 +0000 We are back and today we are going to talk about comics. I took a break from watching Netflix shows and finally got around to doing some reading that I’ve wanted to do during the entire lockdown. Over the years I have amassed a huge collection of comics and there are quite a few stories that I’ve been meaning to read for some time now.

Ironman Extremis happens to be one of the top rated Ironman comic series that everyone recommends we should read. I have watched many YouTube videos listing to the top 5 DC, Marvel and independent comics that are recommended readings for comic book newbies.

Extremis happens to be one of them and it features one of the more popular characters from the Marvel cinematic universe. It’s so interesting because I still remember when Iron Man part one came out and I felt kinda frustrated that they would pick this character of all the characters that could’ve been done. I didn’t know anything about Iron Man and I didn’t really care about him or The Avengers at the time. I was more of an X-Men fan and the few comics that I ever read or looked at involved the X-men. I recall having no interest in watching this movie.

That being said, Marvel did such an amazing job with Iron Man that I was instantly sold! I’m not sure how I did end up watching it, probably because my son wanted to see it, but wow was I amazed! From the story line to the casting, it was perfection! I mean Robert Downey Jr gave such a great personification to Iron Man that I totally fell in love with the character and wanted to see more!

So now I read Iron Man comic books. In any case, Extremis has to do with a futuristic super soldier type of project that falls into the wrong hands. As would be expected it ends up on Ironman’s plate to address the situation. What he doesn’t know before diving in to the rescue is that he is in slightly over his head. But if you know Tony Stark you know that he doesn’t take too kindly to losing and so the show continues.

If you’re coming over to the comic book world due to the movies as I am, then his comic book suit will be a bit of a disappointment to you. But he manages to make things work out one way or the other I suppose. It’s just not as dope as it is by the final Avengers film.

The artwork on this series is not like the other ones I’ve read. It looks and feels significantly updated, it looks really damn cool. The story does include what I perceived as some political leanings so to speak, but you will not get too wrapped up on that, it’s just in passing here and there. There is a bit of darkness and weight to it as Tony struggles with what his company does regarding weapons of war. Much like he did in Ironman part one.

When I picked up this comic I didn’t have too many expectations. In fact, I had no idea what to expect. So reading this did not let me down. Despite coming in with zero ideas or expectations, it was not quite what I thought it might be regarding the story telling. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, I did enjoy it.

I just felt like it could’ve had a little bit more development in terms of the story and characters. For instance, at one point they are talking to some guy, even after finishing it, I have no idea who the hell the guy is, and they were with him for quite sometime. But even so I think it works and I’m certainly not going to come on here and disagree with all of the comic book experts out there recommending this. It was an enjoyable read and I’m definitely going to recommend you pick it up if you are a fan of the character. By the end of it, I was like, “That’s pretty dope!” Go read and you’ll see!

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Call of the wild Mon, 25 May 2020 20:08:59 +0000

As if Togo wasn’t enough of a tear jerker, here comes another doggy story. This one takes place in a similar snowy, mountainous terrain and also involves a huge adventure for the main characters and a cool doggo.

At some point I mixed up the preview of Togo and this one. I was surprised when I was looking at William Dafoe on screen instead of Harrison Ford when I watched Togo, but I figured it was just an oversight on my part, it happens. I just accepted it, that is until I came across the preview to this film once again, just by chance! I was super happy because I realized that I damn near missed out on this awesome movie by mixing them up. Thank goodness for “chance.”

One of things that I did remember from the previews was that Buck was barking at a big bear, and that was one of the scenes of looking forward to seeing how it turned out. When I watched Togo that scene never came to pass. I just figured that it probably just got cut from the main film.

*Maybe spoilers follow here, I do speak of the story.*

This story is kind of messed up because Buck is stolen from his home. Buck is kind of a crazy dog, at the end of it all maybe he was better off leaving the people he was with. However, as a dog owner, I think it kinda sucks real bad to have a dog stolen. I remember when it happened to one of my buddies. Some thieves took Munchie (Super’s Pitbull) and probably used her for breeding. She was such a beautiful and sweet pit. That really sucked, we all loved Munchie.

So in the film they never showed any punishment or retribution for the POS who stole the dog, I would have liked to see that. Once Buck is stolen, he’s moved into the snowy wild and he encounters some pretty nasty people, but he also comes across some good people and begins to embrace his new life. The dog is amazingly loyal and the film is totally worth a watch. It is kinda heavy and you might want to have some tissue handy, but it’s worth it.

Hopefully I didn’t drop too many spoilers but have given you enough of an idea to create an interest in the film. I think that book is actually animated and not a real dog as it looks that way some of the scenes. But after a few minutes you know you noticed that anymore, it feels very real. Totally check this out is a great film.

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Narcos on Netflix Sun, 24 May 2020 18:50:59 +0000 So I finally got around to watching the rest of Narcos on Netflix, I started a long time ago but never got around to finishing. During this pandemic we’ve all had plenty of time to get caught up on movies and shows at home. Time that we would normally spend teaching at the gym or training, even time that would be spent eating out is now spent at home.

I have to say that this is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen on Netflix. Overall the story was fascinating, and though at times I found it extremely frustrating and rather unrealistic, I have to say it really was a great show. I’m about to start Narcos Mexico next, but I decided to take a break after so many seasons of the original show.

I find it so fascinating that Pablo Escobar threw away his entire life, his fortune, his family’s safety and so much more over pride and ego. It just blows my mind that this man accumulated so much wealth and fortune as a criminal, AND he was in essence going to get away with literal murder! I mean, he was actually going to get away with all that he did while being the world’s biggest drug kingpin, but he couldn’t keep his ego in check long enough to serve his time in prison and then have the chance to live a “normal” life as a billionaire.

If you know the story of Pablo Escobar from the shows or from documentaries you know that he was allowed to build his own prison and he would’ve been allowed to serve his sentence in there and then he’d get to keep most of his assets as a free man. All he had to do was serve his sentence.

His prison was literally a luxury resort, he had his friends there, he had women, he had tennis courts, entertainment, his own security protecting him, his family could visit him, he had access to everything there!

In fact, he was even running his drug empire from behind bars in the prison. But then he messed up his chances to get away with it all when he tortured and killed some of his own lieutenants within the prison walls. That act basically sent everything off the deep end. Unbelievable.

Please don’t misunderstand me as rooting for Pablo Escobar, I just can’t believe that quite possibly that one bad move, that decision that he made cost him everything, including eventually his own life. That was what blew my mind most about the first two seasons of Narcos. The following seasons move on to the Cali Cartel, by that point the Medellin Cartel (Escobar’s group) was pretty much over and done with.

While doing some reading and research I found that plenty of what we see on the show is fiction and drama for the entertainment of viewers. But having some familiarity with Pablo Escobar and his actual story I know that some of it is also accurate. This is a great show, it is action-packed and just overall a wild few seasons of dramatic entertainment. It’s definitely worth a watch if you haven’t already done so.

Finally, the actors did a phenomenal job. The dude who played Escobar, he sounded like he wasn’t a Spanish speaker to me, I could hear a hint of accent so I looked him up. Turns out the man is from Brazil and had to learn the Spanish language as well as the nuances as to how they speak it in Columbia. Kudos for that work. Great work all across the board.

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Beastar on Netflix Mon, 04 May 2020 20:55:00 +0000 I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this manga to netflix show. Part of me enjoyed and loved it, while another part of me hated every second of it. I’m torn on this one.

When I saw the previews, I came to some expectations, but the show was nothing like what I expected. By the end of the series, I was left with plenty of unanswered questions. I will address those if I choose to continue on and read the manga. I’m not sure just yet.

If you have seen the Twilight movie series or read the books, this is similar in the sense that they are so unsure and indecisive in doing things. In fact, one could create a parallel between Edward and Legosi, as well as Bella and Haru. Think about that.

Don’t get me wrong, for what it is, the show is entertaining. But I suspect that I had some preconceived expectations that never came true. In any case, I did watch the entire series, I’m considering reading the manga, and I do suppose that I will watch season two when it comes out. So I guess that despite the similarities to the insufferable dialogue between Bella and Edward, it seems I did like it. Do note, I have all the twilight books and films. LOL.

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Godless Sun, 03 May 2020 23:07:46 +0000 This show came across my radar sometimes ago, but my wife was pushing me to catch it sooner than later. I’m glad that I did.

The show takes places in the olden days, like the time of the wild west when cowboys, posses, and shooters ran the street. It’s funny that a term like “posse” which is from those olden days would have been used when I was a teenager to represent gangs. “I’m down with his posse” was a term often heard to describe being a part of someone’s gang or crew.

The show is good in the sense that its not overly long. I have found that the longer a show runs, the more likely that the show will go to crap. Take “Into the badlands,” I was loving that show and thought that it had great promise. But now, it’s getting too convoluted and confusing. Sunny has done some stupid stuff, and that’s why I moved on to “Godless” prior to completing it. I moved on to Badlands because I couldn’t take Van Helsing anymore.

So yes, the longer the shows run, the more stupid they get. That’s why a show like Godless is great. They can set up the story, get to the plot, and eventually finish it before it all goes to shit.

I enjoyed this show. It was entertaining in every way. There were times where it was funny, tense, sad, and so on. The plot revolves around a town which is inhabited mostly by women, an outlaw hunting his chosen outlaw son, and everything else that can go with that.

Don’t get me wrong, they had their own brand of ridiculous scenes that I couldn’t believe, (Whitey for instance) but overall the show is definitely worth a watch. Y’all know I don’t like to give spoilers, but definitely add Godless to your watch list. It’s a good one and it actually had a damn end!

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Extraction Netflix Mon, 27 Apr 2020 06:28:55 +0000 The dude who made an Avengers film made this one, nuff said, right?

It stars Thor, I mean Chris Hemsworth as a mercenary of sorts who is tasked with “extracting” the son of an indian drug lord who was kidnapped. He goes to do the job, but that’s when things start to get really complicated.

I think that this film overall was really good, and online rumor has it that they may be making a franchise of the film’s universe. Though that is yet to be seen.

If you are a fan of action, intensity and redemption, then check this film out. It’s totally worth the watch on netflix.

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Togo on Disney Mon, 27 Apr 2020 06:24:25 +0000 My wife has wanted to see this movie forever, and I’ve been ducking it. Why you ask, because I could tell from the previews that this movie was going to be really heavy and make me tear up like crazy. I was right.

The movie is a heartwarming tale of a Huskie named Togo who with his best friend goes on a near impossible adventure that will save many lives. The film is extremely intense and will have you on the edge of your seats the whole time. I mean it is heavy and I knew it would be.

Dogs are fascinating creatures and their level of loyalty is so amazing. I am sure that the film took liberties with the storytelling, but it is a nice story and its very touching. If you are a dog lover as I am a dog lover, you will love this film. But make sure you have tissue handy, it’s a dousie!

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Mortal Kombat Legends – Scorpion’s Revenge Mon, 27 Apr 2020 06:11:34 +0000 A few days ago I rewatched that old, cheesy ass 90s mortal kombat movie. It was as horrendous as one would expect it to be. That being said, I loved it. Lol.

So today I caught this newer animation called Scorpion’s Revenge. This joint was pretty dope. The story line was similar to that old movie where they go to the island to compete, but it also has a bit more of a side storyline based around Scorpion and his beef with Subzero.

It was pretty dope and if you are a fan of the franchise, you should check it out. The animation was dope, the story was heavy and it was gruesome AF!

Highly recommend this one!

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Van Helsing Netflix Sun, 26 Apr 2020 21:44:07 +0000 This show is somewhat entertaining and has some potential. But I have to tell you guys, I haven’t screamed at the tv this much in a long time. It’s utterly frustrating while still be okay.

I started watching and kept going and going, I’m up to season 3 now and they still haven’t established the show or what’s what. It’s just constantly giving snippets and stuff, but it’s insufferable.

You’d think that by season three the main characters would have been properly established, but I barely know any more than I did in the first season. That’s pretty irritating. In addition to that, the stupidity of the characters is beyond measure.

I think I will return to keep watching the show, but I had enough of it last night and moved on to Ragnarok after they cut into another “back story” filler like episode. I know they are setting things up, but it’s 3 seasons in, come on now tell us what the hell is going on.

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Ragnarok on netflix Sun, 26 Apr 2020 21:09:18 +0000 I started Ragnarok last night. I’ve been meaning to watch it for awhile but never got around to it. So I finally did it. I started and finished it.

This show was pretty damn good. It is a foreign show out of Norway and it is “dubbed” in English, but that doesn’t take much away from the show, the flow is still pretty good. I’m thinking of watching an episode in Norwegian to see how that flows too.

In any case, it’s built around the Norse Mythology of Thor and the Giants. It’s sort of like Smallville where they are beginning at the start before Thor knows he’s Thor. He’s still a teenager in this show.

Apparently, the professional show critics didn’t like this show and gave it bad reviews. Fortunately, through the action of watching it we were able to tell those good for nothing losers to go fuck themselves and the show has been renewed for another season! Woot woot! Your “professional” opinion means nothing, our actions means something.

It sucks that we have to sit around and wait, possibly until next year. But I’m hoping that it is worth it. I’ve been a bit cautious about giving my heart to any long shows after the huge disappointment that came from Game of thrones season finale.

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He never died Sat, 18 Apr 2020 04:44:33 +0000 I’m not sure how I came across this film, I think I may have been searching for Dracula and this showed up. I remember “The Henry Rollins Band,” that dude is pretty bad ass. Anyway, the film premise caught my attention and we gave it a go.

I gotta tell you, the movie is kind of weird, in a Tarantino kind of way, but it was good. I enjoyed Rollins’ character and the overall vibe of the film. I’d loved to have seen more of it and there are rumors as recent as 2018 of a sequel.

There are characters that are never truly identified, but you can deduce who they are as the film goes on. I feel like they definitely could have done more with some of the characters in the movie, especially his daughter.

That being said, I’d love to see a sequel and have them continue building up on this. Good job Rollins! I know that I haven’t said much, the purpose of these short film reviews is not to “review” them per se, but more as a way of saying, “Watch it” or “don’t watch it.”

Okay fine, look, Rollins is an immortal who can’t die. Some guys make the mistake of messing with him and it goes from there. His character is very dry, practical and doesn’t mess around. He doesn’t like injustice and generally punishes bad people. Here is an example of his attitude:

Woman: You are how old? Really?

Him: Yes.

Woman: I don’t believe you.

Him: Okay.

Then he carries on with his business. It’s freaking hilarious in delivery and gruesome all at the same time. Check this movie out, you’ll enjoy it.

Here’s a cool add-on tidbit, the film’s director retweeted my non-review. That’s pretty neato! Shout out Jason Krawczyk for a dope film.

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The Zombie Simon Garth Fri, 17 Apr 2020 04:31:17 +0000 You know that I’ve started reading comics and you know that I love zombies. So it should come as no surprise that I am currently reading “The Zombie” series from Max Comics featuring Simon Garth.

The first volume of this comic series was pretty dope and I’ve started the second one. I will not be revealing any spoilers in this review, although I’m not even sure if I should call this a review, it’s more of a recap or rather a recommendation.

We currently find ourselves with a lot of time on our hands and Netflix isn’t the only thing that is available to you. Of course not! You have Hulu, Disney plus, Amazon prime, HBO now and a whole other host of things you can watch on TV. Hah, I am sort of just kidding though I’m not entirely kidding. What I do mean is that you can actually pick up a book or a comic and do some reading as well. It is an option!

To that end, if you happen to be a zombie fan and you enjoy action, you might want to pick up “The Zombie.”

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IP Man Fri, 17 Apr 2020 04:20:03 +0000 So I finally watched IP Man. As far back as I can remember I’ve been meaning to watch this film and never got around to it. Today I decided to make the time and checked it out.

This was a pretty good film. I tell you the truth, I had no idea of the content nor did I expect what it evolved into as it proceeded on from the beginning.

Considering that IP Man was to be one of Bruce Lee’s Masters, I definitely had an interest in this film. I looked up how much of the film was fact and how much was fiction. I’m sure that they took great liberties and made many an exaggeration in the interest of cinema.

Without putting down any spoilers, I cannot reveal what is true and what is not. However, if you interested in finding out, you can click on this link here to read a bit more. You have the choice now. LOL. Also note, that this a blog you are redirecting to and I cannot confirm the authenticity of anything you read on there.

In short, the film, though troubling at times due to some of the content, is definitely worth a watch. I’ll be watching the remaining 3 films during the rest of this month long (or longer) covid lock down.

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Tsukihime Fri, 17 Apr 2020 03:21:20 +0000 Alright guys, this is an anime that I watched a long time ago. Apparently, there are some people who didn’t like this manga to anime transition. You know, I don’t know or care why these people hated it, but I loved this damn show. It is one of my favorite anime series.

I loved the music and the anime. I loved the characters and I really enjoyed it. Granted I am not one of those big anime heads who knows everything about comics and all that crap. I am just a casual fan. However, all that being said I am entitled to my own opinion and I fucking loved it.

I currently got my hands on the full manga version of it and it is very similar to the anime so far. I am enjoying it just as much and I look forward to finishing the entire series in manga format.

Everyone has their own opinion and they are totally entitled to it, I’m cool with that. I just happen to have one of my own and I totally loved this show and I am now loving the manga as well.

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Bad Boys Trilogy Wed, 15 Apr 2020 06:36:12 +0000 So I’ve been meaning to watch Bad boys for life for quite some time now. However, I wanted to rewatch part one and two first. Just for good measure.

Look, if you are not familiar with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys, then all I can say to you is “Where the hell have you been?” Get on netflix and watch the films.

The first one is 25 years old, you read that right, 25 years old! However, it stands the test of time and was a lot of fun.

It was really cool to watch the last one which takes place over two decades later. Everyone is older and there are some really cool surprises for you! Nope, I won’t tell you, go ahead and watch, you’ll get a great kick out of this!

We all have plenty of home time now, get caught up on those old movies, rewatch a few and then go ahead and catch the latest one which I doubt will be the last Bad boys! I mean, they did really well in the box office!

As of March 21, 2020, Bad Boys for Life has grossed $204.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $214.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $419 million, against a production budget of $90 million. It is both the highest-grossing film in the Bad Boys franchise and the highest-grossing film released in January.

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I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore Mon, 13 Apr 2020 04:58:48 +0000 I came across this film preview yesterday and it caught my attention. I watched it tonight and I enjoyed it.

The movie is pretty weird and did make me laugh quite a few times. It has that weird, dry sort of humor to it.

There is action, humor, sadness, insanity and all kinds of crazy stuff. I gotta say, this movie has the potential to be one of those odd films that gets better every time you watch it.

Without spoiling it, you have a sort of good girl, she’s always getting stepped on by the cruel world, and one day she decides to fight back. She gets a buddy, and together they are, uhm, “unstoppable?”

I laughed during this movie, my wife laughed during this movie, I think you will laugh too. Check it out.

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Coronavirus has stolen my NYC identity. Mon, 13 Apr 2020 00:36:23 +0000 Coronavirus has taken away our freedom, lives, income, and so much more. One thing I didn’t expect this horrid virus to take away was my identity. But Angel, what do you mean, you are still you? Yes, I am still myself, but read on and you will understand.

Yesterday as I stood on line to go into my local C-Town supermarket, I wore a mask. I always wear a hat when its winter-ish as I don’t want to get sick, more so now. So as I stood there on line, I smiled and nodded at people. Though it took me a few seconds to realize that my disposition, my kind smile, my gentle nature, it was being blocked by the light blue mask which covered everything but my eyes. As I came to this realization, I wondered if they could still see the kindness in my eyes as I tried to “be myself.”

New Yorkers get a bad wrap for our attitudes and being tough, but we are also kind and gentle. Yes, I gave the stank face to the jerk who was trying to hustle his way to the front of the line. Yes, I told him to “please back up away from me and go to the back of the line,” but really, I’m still a nice guy. See, there is a difference between being nice, being a pushover, and being a sucker. That guy was trying to play me for a fool, so I had to turn up the Bronx, NYC attitude just a bit. He deserved it though, damned con artist. But yeah, that’s how you gotta be to survive in NYC. But it doesn’t mean we are like that to everyone and without just cause.

Once I was inside the supermarket, I looked for my necessary items. As I looked around I noticed someone who needed assistance so I helped her get an item that was too high. Yes, on few rare occasions I’m actually the tallest person in the vicinity. As I did this for her, once again forgetting about the mask which was obstructing my face, I smiled gently at her. She said thank you and continued on her way. I realized again, “Oh yeah, she can only see my eyes.” Without the accompanying smile, I could look like a creepy stalker staring at her or just downright hostile! Damn…

This is why I said that this coronavirus has stolen my identity. I don’t often wear masks, but when I go into enclosed places like a supermarket I do. I’m not sure how much help that will give me because my eyes are still exposed, but I suppose it’s better than nothing. But the price we pay for this added protection is that we lose our identity, our personality becomes muffled and clouded by it. That sucks.

With all the things going on now, surely this is not the best time for an existential crisis, and rest assured that for the time being I’m alright. But I couldn’t help but take stock of this sad but true revelation. You know, I grew up in the South Bronx during a rough time, and depending on how I dressed or cut my hair, I could sense the apprehension from people as they came near me back then. But my smile, my gentle disposition has always been my way to offset that fear that people felt. Or in some necessary cases, confirm and reinforce that they should be fearful. But I’ve always had the choice as to what I wanted to project.

For someone like me, it becomes really difficult to navigate the world the way that I always have when you take away my smile and expressions. I suppose it’s the same for everyone, but it hit me pretty hard yesterday.

I know this is a necessary thing, but as I navigated this Queens supermarket and saw only eyeballs, I realized that a huge part of who I am, what I present to the world, was being hidden and obscured by necessity. That made me kind of sad and that’s how coronavirus is stealing my, our NYC identity!

This post was submitted to our friends at as a guest post.

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LA Originals Mon, 13 Apr 2020 00:31:14 +0000 This show came up on my Netflix suggestions feed. I never heard of either of the main guys on it, but when I saw Snoop and Eminem giving them shoutouts, plus all the other hip hop artists that I do know, well then I got curious and decided to check it out.

This story was pretty cool and though it appears that their partnership as it once was is no longer the same, there is no question that these guys had an amazing thing going on. A movement as they called it.

Basically, it’s about two guys from LA who through a series of fortunate events and hard work managed to set up a really cool photograph and tattoo studio. They got to work with some really big stars of the time and their careers had some crazy ass evolutions.

If you are a fan of hip-hop, art, graffiti, or just American culture in general you should probably check this documentary out. It was pretty damn cool and I enjoyed it despite not knowing anything about these guys before watching it.

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Code 8 Mon, 13 Apr 2020 00:22:20 +0000 Here we have yet another film that showed up on my suggestions list. This one has the actor from the series Arrow on it, and another dude who I believe is his brother as well. I don’t think you can go wrong with the guy from Arrow, even though I don’t know his name off the top of my head. Sorry man, but you rock!

The premise of the story is about super-powered people and how society frowns upon them. As you watch this film you can immediately tell that there is some political message being sent via the way people speak about the super-powered folks.

I don’t have a problem hiring super-powered people if they are registered, I only have a problem with unregistered super-powered people.

Does that sound familiar to you? It sure sounds familiar to me. I perceive that there is a two fold message there. One is that registration makes it easy for them to control you, which tends to favor the views of gun rights activists. The other is that there is always a fear of the “other” in our society which echoes the cries of our immigration problems.

Overall it’s a fairly entertaining movie, it did leave me with some questions and slightly unsatisfied by the end. But I think overall it is a good film and maybe I’m just not getting the ending portion of it clearly. This is another film that I feel comfortable recommending. Especially if you are into super-powered folks.

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Standoff Mon, 13 Apr 2020 00:13:11 +0000 This is another movie that I had never heard of, but also showed up in my Netflix recommendations. I decided to give it a try and I was going to give up a couple of minutes into the movie. The whole premise of the film is two guys in one house fighting over protecting a young girl. I thought that perhaps that might bore me but I think I was wrong.

I don’t immediately recognize the actor opposite Laurence Fishburne, but he was pretty good in his role. Laurence Fishburne was also pretty good in his role. However, I felt like he was trying to be like Samuel L Jackson in some parts. There were periods where he was screaming and he finished with motherfucker! The way he said it, the tone, and everything was very reminiscent of Samuel L Jackson’s style. It is entirely possible that he was paying homage to the man and that I’d be okay with. But if he was trying to be like him then I’d highly discouraged that in future films.

Considering the limited stage of this film and the simple plot, I have to say it was fairly entertaining. Most of us are at home right now and this is an okay film to watch during the lockdown.

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Riding the train during corona virus times Fri, 13 Mar 2020 11:31:46 +0000 As I’m riding the subway today, I’m highly aware of every move and gesture I make. I’m observant of all the people around me, aware of every time either I or someone else touches their face, coughs, sniffs, etc. I think about how we involuntary make our body’s act up.

This morning I wanted to poop before leaving the house and very little poop came out. I thought to myself, watch, I’m gonna get the urge to poop on the train ride. And guess what? Yup, I need to poop.

Then I thought how people might freak out if I started sneezing for whatever reason. Remember people, yes, there is a scary virus out there. We all know this. But there are also “regular” coughs and colds out there. Some people just get runny noses cause of the cold, and sometimes, sometimes your throat itches.

I know we are all bugging out right now, I sense it, and I too notice the guy a few people to my right who has a bit of a cough. He looks like a Latino male, you think that anyone is assaulting him over not wearing a mask? Nope, ain’t nobody gonna say a damn thing to him. Why, you ask? Cause he’s Latino, that means that those troublemakers assaulting Asians would expect that this guy would fight back. They assume that the Asian person will be passive and won’t do anything. Mind you, they’ve targeted mostly females as far as I’ve seen. Cowardly behavior if you ask me. But don’t worry, soon enough they’ll pick the wrong one and receive a rude awakening.

In any case my friends, please remember, corona virus is not an exclusively Asian ailment, and not everyone with a runny nose, cough, or sniffles is a corona carrier. I mean, continue to be careful, but slow your role my friends. Especially when it comes to resorting to violence or otherwise condemning a sick person. They are sick after all, and that can happen to any of us at any time.

Finally, please remember to practice safe sex. I know the corona hysterics are taking up all the news cycles, but there are things out there that are far more dangerous than corona.

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Confusion about Amtrak Acela cancellations Tue, 10 Mar 2020 11:19:13 +0000 Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Amtrak has suspended NONSTOP Acela service between NYC and DC. The confusion is that some headlines or articles don’t make the distinction between Acela NONSTOP and regular Acela service. They are two different services, though I know the regular one feels like it’s NONSTOP.

As far as I know, there are only 3 NONSTOP Acela trains to DC. Those are the only ones which are cancelled. Regular Acela service is still running as scheduled. By regular, I mean that it makes a stop in Philly, Maryland and then continues to DC. The stops are very fast and the difference between this one and the NONSTOP Acela is negligible.

The trains which have been suspended are the following: Trains 201, 2402 and 2403. Other than those, you are all good! I called in and verified this with Amtrak. Only those of you who have already purchased your NONSTOP tickets are affected. No other NONSTOP tickets are being sold so you can use the website as you normally would.

Good luck and safe travels.

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Awkward massage leg rub Mon, 09 Mar 2020 11:58:01 +0000 I was getting a massage from my male masseuse. I suppose I was half asleep cause I thought he was talking to me from one side, but he was on the other. In any case, at one point I decided to stretch my arms out and I hit something. I didn’t think there was anything on my side so I started reaching and squeezing trying to figure it out. That’s when my massage therapist said, “That’s my leg.”

I quickly retracted my hand and was like “Oh crap bro, I thought you were on the other side, my bad.” He said he was so relieved cause he thought he was going to have to kick me out for trying to hit on him. LOL. I told him not to worry at all, no offense, but I’m not into dudes. That squeeze was a straight up, honest mistake.

He once again expressed relief and then we went back to the massage. That experience was funny and embarrassing at the same time. For the record, if I ever touch a male, that was either platonic or by mistake. I am not in any way, shape or form attracted to men so don’t worry if I accidentally rub your leg. I’m not hitting on you, you can rest assured of that.

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Giving our children structure Mon, 09 Mar 2020 11:06:50 +0000 This weekend we celebrated one of my buddy’s 40th birthday. As we spoke throughout the evening he told me that Friday is family game night. That every Friday they all sit together as a family and play board games, cards, etc. I thought that was nice.

He said that one of the things we lacked growing up was structure. Our parents weren’t so much concerned about giving us a game night as they were more concerned with being able to pay the rent on time. Don’t misunderstand, our parents did the best they could to provide for us. I always appreciate and love them for it. However, it was a different time, different financial situation,different worries and different priorities. Survival was always at the top of the list. If you come from where I come from, you would understand.

For instance, I have no recollection of ever sitting with my mom, dad, and sisters together and playing a game together. In fact, one of my sisters is from a different dad. There goes that “traditional structure” we are talking about. I remember my mom and dad busting their asses so that we had food to eat. When it comes to games though, no. I do remember playing games with my friends as a kid. We played video games, board games and the sort. But I have no memory of playing with either of my parents. That’s not to say it didn’t happen when I was little, I just have no waking memory of it. Again, this is not a knock on them, just a statement of fact.

I don’t know what the future holds for any of us, but I’m sure that whatever is to come, having a family game night will only tilt the odds in favor of success for the little princess he’s raising. I will say that most of the closest friends who I grew up with have gone on to raise beautiful families while being responsible parents. It is a great thing to see and last night was another reminder of that.

Though my son’s mom and I split many years ago, thereby breaking any traditional structure, I can say with complete confidence that at a minimum my son knows that as long as we draw breath, both his mom and I currently are, and will always be there to support him.

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Do you call your in-laws mom and dad? Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:17:06 +0000 There’s something I’ve noticed our brother in law do quite often, and he does it very comfortably. He addresses my wife’s parents as mom and dad. I observe this and while I can appreciate it and I think it’s nice, its not something that I could ever do in my life. Mind you, this has nothing to do with them, my in-laws are amazing people and we get along splendidly. So don’t misread my message here.

In my life, the only person that I’d ever call mom is my birth mother, the only person I’d call dad, is my birth father. I have one woman in my life who I gave the honor of referring to her as my “second mom,” but that’s it, I never actually called her “mom.” Everyone else is a friend, family and in some cases honorary aunts. But the thought of calling someone who didn’t raise me, sacrifice for me, or put in all of the work my mother did is sacrilegious. If you grew up with me, you’d understand how important that title of mom is. My father did his part, but the title dad isn’t as significant TO ME as the title of mom. There is and will only ever be one mom to me.

So while I admire and respect that this man does that, as it stands today, I don’t think I could ever do that with anyone other than my mother. Those are some mighty big shoes to try and fill. Unless you struggled day in and day out to pull me from the hell fires known as the ghetto, unless you picked sunflower seeds out of my butt hole, unless you gave your all to make me who I am today, no other human being could ever earn that title of “mom” for me.

I’ll repeat this once more for any hard headed people out there who may try and twist my words. This has nothing to do with my current in-laws, my past in-laws, or any in-laws that may ever cross my path. This has absolutely nothing to do with them, who they are, how they are or how I feel about them. It has everything to do with my parents, who they are, what they did for me, and how they made me who I am. Mom, Dad, those are just very unique roles, unique roles that only they can have.

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Expressing Gratitude: That time she made spaghetti Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:05:01 +0000 On a given night that feels like a lifetime ago, while I was still married to my son’s mother she made me some spaghetti. This may not sound like a big deal, I mean married couples cook for each other and eat together, right?


Back in those days I was really particular about what I ate. Though I still am to an extent, back then I was a very picky, entitled douche bag. My diet was impeccable, and there were some things I didn’t like.

That time while I was a young psychopath, my ex-wife put powdered cheese on the spaghetti. At the time, I hated powdered cheese (no more) and when I saw what she did I became a jerk and I refused to eat it. I berated her for not knowing better and putting something like powdered cheese on a meal that was meant for me. In my mind, she should have known better! How dare you? You know I don’t eat that crap!

Now, it should be stated, that during that time period I was an asshole to everyone when it came to my diet. Going out to eat with me was a next to impossible challenge. I was extremely difficult and not fun to be around. Basically, I was an entitled, ungrateful asshole piece of shit. This particular night always stayed in my memory and I very much regret my behavior then!

To this day, some two decades later, I will still randomly text my ex and apologize for the spaghetti incident.

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Special needs class participant being bullied Wed, 19 Feb 2020 12:11:47 +0000 I occasionally have special needs folks in my classes. This can mean that sometimes they don’t necessarily follow along with the choreography well and they may have some difficulty staying in sync with what we do in class. Mind you, this can and also does happen with anyone. Here’s the key, every time that I have had a special needs person in my class, whether alone or with their aid, they are having a blast and enjoying themselves.

(The gentleman you see in this picture with me was super cool. He wanted to get a picture and told me that he really loved my class. It was a bit difficult to communicate, but he went out of his way to express himself and I felt so happy and proud getting praise from him.)

So recently, there was a person who must not have realized that the individual in front of them had special needs. It should have been rather obvious by the way they were carrying themselves, but this person didn’t get it. So they kept making faces, tapping the person and trying to shove the special needs person forward during the class.

I saw this happen once and I made eye contact with person and shook my head. Then it happened two times and I figured that they’d realize the situation and stop. They did not realize anything and they didn’t appear like they were going to stop. I knew I would have to intervene. I really don’t like singling anyone out during class, but they left me no choice.

By the third time they did it I was pretty freaking heated. I went over to the bully and using my body I literally walked the person back away from the special needs individual. I kept walking them back until I had a safe distance, then I tried to quietly tell them that this person has special needs so kindly leave them alone. I tried to be nice and discreet, but extremely firm with my words and body language.

Then this person yells out loud, “Oh, this is a crazy one?” I blocked them from view of the special needs person and shushed them. I told them don’t say things like that, just leave them alone. Move to another spot if it bothers you. “Do you understand me?” The person said they understood and left them alone.

I understand that maybe at first they didn’t know what was going on. I’ll give you a bit of a pass on that one. But even if they didn’t have special needs and were out of sync, that doesn’t give you the right to bully them. Just move somewhere else. Now, once they knew what was up, to go scream that “crazy” stuff out loud? That’s just damn mean and rude. This person is socially ill conditioned and that’s just not cool. I don’t like imposing my will on people, but I could not allow this bullying to continue.

I did my best to be discreet and maintain a high degree of professional decorum. All things considered I believe I was respectful, but this abuse had to stop. Look folks, no one wants to get in trouble, or fired, or what not. But if you see someone doing something like that, don’t be afraid to check them. We have to stand up for those who can’t do so for themselves. Especially if you are the instructor! Don’t worry about the job and do what’s right!

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MTA CityTicket – Weekend Ride the LIRR from the Boros to the city! Wed, 12 Feb 2020 12:56:26 +0000 Did you know that you can catch the LIRR from Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, or basically any of the boro stops and ride in between the boros and the city for just $4.50? I only just found out about this from a neighbor whilst complaining about a local train to the city.

During the weekends, our trains, the E/F trains often run local. That can take a 30 minute trip and make it into a 1 1/2 hour nightmare! Imagine the level of concern we felt when we realized that we had to ride the E train local, from Queens ALL the way downtown! OMG.

On our way out, just by chance we ran into a neighbor and he mentioned CityTicket to us when we complained about the upcoming 90 minute commute. This was a God send for us. At first we jumped on the train because we thought we had time. Upon starting our journey we took forever to go just two stops, then at Forest Hills we decided to bail and try this out.

We were able to go the station, buy our LIRR tickets, ride the train over, connect to a local train in the city and we still got their within 30 minutes with 30 minutes to spare! That’s crazy y’all! This CityTicket is the hookup! Sure, it cost a little bit more than a metrocard ride, but the amount of time and stress you save yourself is immeasurable! I knew that I had to share this because I didn’t know about it and I’m sure that many others don’t either.

If you’d like some official news from the LIRR on this cool perk check out this link!

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Day one of invisalign Thu, 30 Jan 2020 13:05:37 +0000 I went in early to the dentist to have another quarterly cleaning today. Turns out that luckily my invisalign retainers came in already. This saved me a trip in a couple of weeks! Woot woot.

So today is my day one of invisalign treatment. My dentist said that the whole process should take about 36 weeks which is 9 months. In theory, if everything goes according to plan, I should have straight teeth by next fall. I’m excited to finally feel what it’s like not only to have straight teeth, but to be able to close my mouth properly.

Already, my first impressions are positive. I mean I know that I have plastic in my mouth. I feel the pressure already and I know I will be experiencing some mild discomfort as the teeth shift, but this is way more tolerable than those horrendous braces were. I’d rather do nothing at all, but given the choice between this and braces, I think the choice is clear.

I’m talking with a bit of a lisp, and I can’t close my mouth properly with this on. I’m going to have to get a toothbrush and floss for the office because I eat two meals here and will need to wash my mouth after every meal. It’s a bit of work, but I’ll adapt, and this will always, always beat the hell out of braces!

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Sweating doesn’t mean you are burning fat Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:50:37 +0000 People often say to me, “You are so lucky that you sweat so much.” Well, I suppose that in terms of staying alive, sweating is a good thing. It’s likely that if I didn’t sweat the way I do, my body would not properly cool down and I’d overheat and die. So I guess in that sense, yes, I am lucky.

However, in the context that they are referring to, I am not. Sweating doesn’t mean I’m burning fat or that I’m losing weight. If that were the case, I’d be one of the leanest people on this planet. Considering how profusely I sweat. Sweating does happen when you train, but some people think that the quantity of sweat is attached to how much fat you are burning. Sure, if you work harder, its likely you will sweat more, but understand that not all of us sweat a lot!

In the summer, you sweat walking. I know that I do. I sweat more because the weather is warmer and my body is cooling itself down. But I’m not leaner or carrying less fat because I’m sweating more. It just doesn’t work that way. This oversimplified example should illustrate why sweating itself doesn’t correlate with fat loss.

If you are not sweating as much as I am in the gym, there are a dozen possible reasons for that. But that doesn’t mean you are working any less harder or not making progress. Just keep working and eventually you’ll hit your goals. Whether or not you leave pools of sweat behind.

I’ve seen people putting on sweat or sauna suits to try and sweat more. Others wrap up their trouble areas in hopes of melting the fat away. Ladies and gentlemen, it doesn’t work that way. If you wear a sauna suit, you will sweat a lot more, but you won’t burn more “real” calories. You’ll just lose water and appear lighter, but that’s only because of dehydration. This is not safe and some athletes have lost their lives due to these dangerous methods of dropping weight. It’s all temporary, it’s only water weight. The moment you rehydrate your weight will return to normal. Don’t do that, it’s really bad for you. At best you get a terrible headache and temporarily drop some water weight. At worst you die. Is it worth it?

There’s only one way to really lose weight, that’s through diet and training. You got this!

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Don’t underestimate the importance of sex Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:50:36 +0000 As far back as I can remember in my life, I’ve always wanted sex. Not just sex, but to make love. Growing up I was the helpless romantic type and I believe that I still am. However, life has corrupted me pretty badly. A life of disappointment, heartbreak, and hardcore pornography have to a degree ruined the innocence that I once possessed. But at the core, at the true core, I’m still very much a helpless romantic.

I remember at night I used to go to sleep listening to soft, romantic music. This was a part of my daily sleeping ritual. As I laid in bed with my soft oldies cassette softly playing, I’d fantasize about one day making love to a woman I loved and spending every night with her. It was a beautiful fantasy, but alas, that’s all it was, a fantasy.

As a grown man, married twice and having been in several long term relationships, I can attest that it’s not always like that. Some women love to have sex frequently and some don’t seem to care for it at all. I know that sex is not the only aspect of a relationship, but it is a mighty important one, at least to me.

My thought process is quite simple. Look, I’m going to either die or get old at some point. One day, I won’t have as much desire for sex and possibly my penis won’t work the same anymore. While it is still working, I want to use it as much as possible. While I have the desire, I want to enjoy it for as long as I can. Remember, I’ve been fantasizing about this since I was a child. Imagine the disappointment one feels when they marry or move in with someone and then they don’t care for sex? That’s bad business my friends.

If their partner is lucky, this person will only engage in casual sex just hooking up with someone to scratch that carnal need which they both have. If the partner is unlucky, they’ll head down that same path, but emotions will get involved. Once that happens, your relationship is definitely over. That’s not to say that cheating is okay if not feelings are involved. I’m saying that if its only a physical thing, they can probably hide that and continue living in the same sexless situation. But if they fall in love, then they will start to resent every moment they are with you and not with the one they truly love. Your relationship will become a barrier to their happiness, and how long do you think that will last?

I know that’s a fucked up picture I paint above, but it’s very common. I’ve seen many friends go through it, it’s a common song, television and film theme. To be completely transparent, it is something I myself have experienced in my life. I know exactly what I’m talking about because I have lived it, right down to the resentment. It’s really, really fucking hard to be with someone while your heart yearns for another. It’s really fucking hard to hide that and one day you will just snap, pack your shit and leave.

All this is avoidable my friends. Make sure that you take care of your partner, make sure that they take care of you. Talk about things, share your needs and desires. You can try and find a happy medium. Listen, the best thing you can do is communicate. If you do that and they don’t work with you to address any issues, well, then leave them. If you can’t or won’t leave for whatever reason, then accept that their will be consequences to the neglect and simply say, “Fuck it, whatever happens, happens.” You tried your best, they didn’t get it, that’s on them, not you.

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Borrowing more than just books from the library Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:44:02 +0000 When I was growing up, we had several libraries to go to. The one I remember visiting most was right down the block from Lebanon Hospital around 173rd Street and Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

I have a fairly clear memory of going there and borrowing the music soundtrack album for “Who’s that girl.” Yes, we still used albums when I was a kid and yes I loved Madonna growing up. Now she’s kind of weird. I mean, she can still get it, but you know, she’s weird.

I recall at some point getting a Pac-Man album from them. I used to borrowed a shit ton of movies, cassettes and all other sorts of multimedia goodies from them back in those days. Clearly I read much more now than I did back then.

It was really exciting for me to go to the library and see what new stuff was in there by the time I got there. Nowadays, with the internet, I can’t really see much use for libraries, but they do still exist and I’m glad. I have one relatively close to me and I’d like to visit it one day in the near future. I walk Peppa around there during the summer time.

Do you have any library memories?

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Dr Seeds BPC Protective Complex+ Wed, 22 Jan 2020 12:55:45 +0000 So I have a shoulder injury that I’ve been trying to nurse back to health. I’ve been seeing an orthopedic surgeon as well as getting physical therapy. Thus far, none of what has been done seems to help. You can read about my PT experience here.

Anyway, one of my buddies told me about a compound called BPC 157. You are supposed to inject it into the injured site and it allegedly helps you heal up and recover. Somewhere along the lines I came across this product by Dr Seeds, BPC protective complex+. They say that it is not BPC in the same form as it is injected, but rather compounds that are use to make it.

This product will set you back about $69 or so. This is the stronger formula as I figured I need all the help that I can get. In their documentation they state that this will take up to 3 weeks to work. So I dutifully and faithfully took these pills every single day. One month later, I noticed zero improvement on my shoulder or any of my other injuries. They have a 100% money back guarantee so I reached out and took them up on it.

Dr Seeds returned my money with no questions asked and no problems. They didn’t try to retain me as a customer, nada. In fact, they said that they want to build long lasting relationships with people for whom their products work. I was wondering if I should have given it more time to kick in, but I wasn’t about to shell out another $69 to try it out and they didn’t make any statements in regards to giving it more time.

I respect that these guys are confident enough to stand by their product, as well as honoring the return policy. The product didn’t work for me and based off of that experience I’m not sure that it works at all. But the company is honest and did return my money with no problems whatsoever. I did not experience any adverse effects that I am aware of whilst taking this product. I always encourage people to try things for themselves, but this was my experience with Dr. Seeds BPC protective complex+. You can try and know that you have 30 days from the point of ordering to get a refund if you are not fully satisfied, I respect that confidence.

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Friend hooking up with your ex? Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:42:15 +0000 I have a “friend” who I believe hooked up with my ex. Shortly after we split, me and this dude were heading somewhere and my man started telling me “Yo, I heard your ex screams a lot during sex bro. I mean, I don’t know it, my friend told me.” Get the fuck out of here man, your friend told you that?

Honestly, I didn’t care about the girl anymore and the guy was not a very close friend of mine so I didn’t think it was worth it to pursue my suspicions about him being the alleged friend. I just didn’t care enough to have that conversation about it. I left her because I was not happy and she was no longer my concern. I didn’t think that was cool and I didn’t appreciate that he tried to lie about it being his so called friend. But honestly, though I didn’t like the bull he was pushing on me, I just didn’t care enough to engage in that discussion with him. Fuck it, who cares.

After years with this woman, I knew good and well the kind of person that she was. I doubt very much that a friend of his would so easily get in her pants and then share the level of detail he was providing. He on the other hand, he fit her M.O perfectly, and that would not surprise me at all. I was more insulted that he underestimated my level of intelligence than the act itself. Though admittedly, I maintain that this was some grimy shit on his part.

In any case, one of my friends was asking me what I thought about one of his friends trying to hook up with his ex. I remembered this story and shared it with him. My friend never told me it was him, and me and her never spoke about that because like I said, I really didn’t give a fuck as I had no feelings for her. But I did think that was uncool of him to go and hook up with my ex so soon after we split. In any case, I haven’t seen the guy in years, and the same applies to the ex. Neither of them is very relevant to my life. It really doesn’t matter and the memory only came to mind because of that question I was asked.

So what do you think? Is it cool to hook up with a friend’s ex? I’d say it depends on the level of friendship, the closeness, the level of the relationship, and where loyalties lay. Most of my close friend’s exes would be off limits, but acquaintances, fuck them.

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Know your class participants Tue, 14 Jan 2020 12:57:30 +0000 One day I decided to get creative with my warm up music. On this day, I set myself up for an epic failure. I tend to listen to all kinds of music and most of the time my music choices go over well. This time, it did not.

So I had come across this dope ass Bhangra music mix. Somewhere along the line, I thought it would be a good idea to warm up my mostly Latina class in Richmond Hill to some Bhangra mixes. I don’t recall if this was a strength or cardio format that I was teaching, but I always warm them up before going in so it’s not entirely relevant. What is relevant is the reaction that I received.

I want to say that within the first few moments of playing this song selection, the looks of confusion on the faces of my participants was extremely evident. The confusion soon gave way to frustration as this music did not lend itself to a good warm up routine. In my head, and when I was doing cardio to it, it worked. However, when I brought it to class, it was a disaster.

After a few moments of this horrid awkwardness I stopped the music and said, “Yeah, this isn’t really working is it?” They all responded “Nooo!!!” So I switched to my more usual music and reset the whole class. After that things went fine, but this was definitely an interesting learning experience. You have to know your people and what they tend to like. You might be tempted to try and expose them to your different musical tastes, but that will not always work out well. This was one of those times where it yielded an epic failure not only because they weren’t feeling the music, but because the warm up didn’t work with it either.

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Sex: Lights on or off? Mon, 13 Jan 2020 12:52:40 +0000 Someone posted this on facebook as a question. I thought it was interesting and worth asking on this forum as well. Which way do you prefer?

Personally, I like to have the lights on. I’m a visual person when it comes to making love and having sex. I like to look into my lover’s eyes. I like to see the expressions they make as our bodies are one. I like to look at her body and examine the curves and all the secrets her body keeps. I love to hear the moans and the sounds of pleasure, but I also love to see that pleasure in her eyes. For me, looking into the eyes elevates the pleasure so much. There is something to be said for that connection.

I understand that some people are timid or self conscious and prefer the lights off. I get that and I can relate. However, it is my belief that if in that most intimate of moments, you cannot fully trust your partner to love you as you are, if you cannot get past that discomfort of hiding in the dark, then in my opinion, that partner needs to work harder on earning your trust.

I know there are exceptions, but I’ve been with really, really timid women. And despite their shyness and lack of comfort with themselves, I managed to make them so comfortable with me that they were able to work pass that shyness. Granted, they always maintained a level of timid behavior, but when a man is kissing, suckling and savoring your entire body after weeks and months of telling you how beautiful you are, it’s hard to feel unloved, unworthy, fat, ugly, inadequate or whatever adjective best describes your level of discomfort.

Again, I’m not attacking the person who wants the light off, nor their partner. Hell, some people prefer the dark, I understand that some people just ain’t with that light on stuff. But as lovers, it’s on us to help our partner to become comfortable and completely trusting of us. That may not be the cause of the shyness or their desire for the dark, but you better damn try your best and make sure it ain’t.

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Singularity on Netflix Mon, 13 Jan 2020 12:50:07 +0000 So we were looking for a film to watch and at some point I had added this one to my Netflix list.

We started watching it and perhaps about 1/4 of the way in, my wife walked away to take a shower. My son and I decided to stick it out so we kept going. I remember saying, “Man, this film is kind of slow.” But I expected that it would pick up at some point. Sadly, that point never came.

I believe that this movie had a 100k budget. I also read that this film made about 73k. I don’t know how true those numbers are, yet somehow I doubt that the sequel for this film will ever be made.

The character development sucked, the robot’s agenda didn’t make sense, the twists and turns sucked. The film really only featured like 4 people regularly and half the time we were watching Cusack watching them on a screen. This movie was straight garbage and I’m sorry that I wasted 90 minutes of my life watching this straight trash.

I don’t usually agree with or care for what critics have to say. But in this case, I’ll have to agree with The Prague Reporter’s Jason Pirodsky and state that I agree with their negative review. This movie sucked y’all, don’t waste your time.

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Dracula on Netflix Mon, 13 Jan 2020 12:43:00 +0000 So after finishing The Witcher and Messiah on netflix, we wanted to keep binging on something. My wife was pushing for Dracula and though I wasn’t in love with the trailer or very interested, I accepted and we gave it a go.

I’m not going to say that this series was garbage like Singularity was, but it certainly wasn’t anything memorable or worth pushing. We were fortunate that the whole series was only (3) 90 minute episodes. The show didn’t suck. I mean it wasn’t unbearable, and I did want to know how it turned out. But it never got awesome and the ending was ridiculous.

I’m sure that some people may find this series enjoyable, and like I said, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t amazing either. Think of it this way, if I never saw this show, I don’t think I’d be missing anything noteworthy in my entertainment life. If you have time to kill, and you are interested in vampires, it might be worth a watch. Though I’m inclined to believe that you will find it just as underwhelming as I did.

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Magic moments: Holding her hand Mon, 13 Jan 2020 12:25:29 +0000 I remember a long time ago I met up with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in years. We were both in long term relationships at the time, but despite that, we each occupied a special place in each other’s heart.

On that day which we met, we didn’t have a lot of time. We greeted each other, chatted it up for a bit and then we just sat there next to each other. No more words were being said, we were just enjoying each other’s company. I played a soft song on my cell phone that felt appropriate for that moment, I reached out for her hand and she silently obliged me. We sat there quietly, holding each other’s hand, listening to the sweet song playing and just enjoying the moment.

Shortly thereafter she told me, Angel, I really have to go. I squeezed her hand and she did the same. I stood up to my feet and she rose up to meet me. I embraced her tightly and held her in my arms. I kissed her on the cheek and I told her that I loved her forever. She kissed me back on the cheek and we hugged for a moment longer. Then we smiled at each other and I quietly watched her walk away.

This may not sound like much to you guys, but that moment that we shared, simply just holding her hand for those few moments, that was truly a magic moment.

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Levin S21 Fri, 10 Jan 2020 12:24:11 +0000 This would be the third pair of Levin headphones that I purchase. I was getting them so my son could use my white ones to train. But I’ve just requested to return them to Amazon. Don’t get me wrong, the headphones sound great, they are light and comfortable, but the problem is that the back is too soft and it doesn’t lock into my head.

I’ve tested them while walking around and I feel like they are constantly falling off. Now if that’s happening while I’m simply taking a stroll, imagine how it will be once I’m doing jumping jacks, practicing Zumba or running?

The controls are a bit different than the other two Levins I owned, so be aware of that. But its manageable and fairly easy to recondition your mind to the new button locations. I like these headphones. I think they have a better bass quality than the marathons. However, what good is the sound if they won’t stay on? I may just get another pair of marathons or some more soundbots or maybe I’ll try a new brand altogether. My soundbots just fell apart and they are out of warranty. They had a good life and considering the price, they were a good buy.

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A Complete Guide to Muscle Recovery Thu, 09 Jan 2020 12:41:43 +0000 We spoke with three Certified Personal Trainers (CPT) to learn why we need to practice better recovery methods and what their best science-backed tips are.

The Importance of Muscle Recovery

  • 65% of Americans have sustained injuries from their workouts, such as pulled muscles, ankle sprains and knee strains.
  • “Muscle recovery is important for many things,” notes Christopher Chan, a NCSF Certified Personal Trainer. “Skeletal muscle is a highly plastic tissue, capable of adapting to fine changes in nutritional intake and contractile activity.”
  • Christopher explains that when we engage in more strenuous activities such as lifting weights, we cause “microtears to our muscle fibers, so without adequate rest, the muscles won’t properly grow.”

Stretching 101 

  • NASM CPT Greg Molina broke down three main stretching techniques. “I’m a big fan of self myofascial release and dynamic stretches, static stretches, and instrument assisted mobilization,” says Greg.
  • Greg recommends using myofascial before a workout, to ensure muscles are working properly and dynamic stretching before or after a workout, to either warm up or cool down to ensure your body stays functioning at the level you want it to while lowering your risk of injury.
  • Greg: “static stretching should primarily be used at the end of your workout to make sure your muscles aren’t tightening up on you too much.”

Recovery Boosting Supplements

  • “Having a whey isolate protein shake is the first thing I do after a workout to make sure my muscles are being replenished,” shares Andreina Stazi, a NASM CPT and Operations Manager at Sharpened Fitness & Nutrition.
  • Andreina: “BCAA’s in the morning and during my workout, collagen supplements in the morning, and lots of greens throughout my day.” Collagen peptides can provide energy and support your joints and tendons, assisting in muscle recovery.
  • Christopher: “BCAA’s, branched chain amino acids, such as leucine and iso-leucine, have been shown to reduce muscle damage by lowering soreness and improving strength recovery.”

Post-workout Nutrition

  • Christopher: “Anti-inflammatory foods have been shown to benefit muscle soreness, such as pineapple, berries, and tart cherries. They exhibit potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and play a role in the muscle recovery process. Fruits are also a great post-workout snack because they replenish the body’s natural glycogen stores as the liver converts the naturally occurring fructose in fruits into glucose.”
  • Greg recommends fruits that are high in carbs and potassium, like bananas. “Because potassium is crucial to heart function and muscle contraction, high potassium foods can help prevent muscle soreness and cramping.”

There are many easy methods we can use to improve our muscle recovery, but the main points are fueling your workouts, stretching and foam rolling, and getting sufficient rest.

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&Pizza Thu, 09 Jan 2020 12:32:19 +0000 When I was in DC, I went to try out this pizza. It was a new place to me and though it was pizza, it was a different take on it. I ate two while I was there. I gotta tell you this pizza was pretty damn good.

It’s kind of like a subway like place where you can build your sandwich, but with pizza. They have all the toppings you can possibly think of, different types of dough, cheeses and even some really good sodas that you can mix for a wide array of flavors. Thinking about is making me hungry. Also, I didn’t feel bloated after eating it despite having two and loading them with toppings.

I remember them telling me at the store that they were making their way to NYC too. If you look on their website, you’ll see that they now have NYC locations in Nomad, Astor and Wall Street. Next time I head out to the city I’m going to make my way there to see if its as good as it was in the DC area.

This place was really good, if you ever get a chance try them out you should. If you do, let me know what you think, you know how to find me.

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Have you ever cried in Zumba? Tue, 07 Jan 2020 12:15:48 +0000 Believe it or not, I’m a very emotional dude. I may come off as loud, crass or even an asshole at times. But really, I’m not. Its just how I survive in this cruel world of ours.

Anyway, at times a memory will creep up and take over my mind. This could be triggered by a scent, a sound, the weather or whatever the hell thoughts pop into my head at that point in time. When that happens, sometimes the memories are really powerful and they can stimulate a deep pain or otherwise set forth the water works.

This actually happened to me a few months ago while I was in the middle of teaching a Zumba class. If you ask what set me off, I cannot tell you. I cannot tell you because I cannot remember. What I do remember is that I was midway thru class, I looked at someone, it triggered something and then the tears began to flow.

You are probably wondering why no one ever spoke about it, or made fun of me, or whatever. Well, that’s because I didn’t skip a beat. I continued to teach and didn’t even pause for a moment. No one in the class knew that I was going through some sort of emotional disturbance even while the tears continued to flow.

I tend to sweat a lot, so when I’m teaching there is always a lot of water running down my face. I wasn’t sobbing or otherwise exhibiting any externals signs of crying. I simply had tears flowing down my face and mixing up with my sweat.

Training is cathartic for me, I’ve cried in yoga, strength training, pilates and even while doing cardio. Hell, one time I was training so intensely that I came on myself. Like, I literally trained so hard that I ejaculated! I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit it. This is a part of who I am, and deep emotion is a part of what I am.

I’ve always been this way, and those close to me know this. Men are not supposed to show these things because its considered a weakness to show emotion, or cry, or say a puppy is cute. But it’s who I have always been and it is who I will always be. Take it or leave it, this is me.

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The infamous avon lady Mon, 06 Jan 2020 12:48:52 +0000 So I was reading some articles about pyramid schemes and multi layer marketing MLM. That got me to thinking, did you folks ever have the distinct pleasure of meeting “The Avon Lady” when you were coming up?

Avon has been running the MLM game in the hood from as far back as I can remember. Hell, I’d wager that they’ve probably been running it before my time. Avon, that’s one of the original MLMs. I also seem to recall fingerhut, though I’m not sure that they used the same business model. I don’t quite remember if a person came over for that or if it was just a brochure we received.

I tell you what though, I definitely respect our old avon lady’s hustle. Those ladies, they used to grind! They’d deadass go knocking on door to door in the hood. Taking orders, delivering orders, just putting in that work! I respect that. I don’t remember too much regarding what we’d purchase, but I do recall that we used to buy this roll on deodorant from them. I still remember that!

I used to sweat a lot as a teen, especially in the underarm area. I recall how this roll on would feel sticky and gross as my sweat overpowered it! Man those were some nasty, rough days for your boy!

In any case, huge shout out to all the Avon ladies both past and present. To all you Avon ladies of the future, may you hold it down and sell with as much gusto as your ancestors before you.

All that being said, I just realized something, I never saw an Avon guy, what’s up with that? Why weren’t the fellas representing?

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Professional Physical Therapy Clinic Kew Gardens Fri, 27 Dec 2019 12:53:49 +0000 Throughout my life so far, I’ve been to physical therapy two times. The first time I went it was for my wrists. They had me do a bunch of things for a few weeks and I never felt or saw any progress. The doctor wanted to perform surgery on one of my hands saying that the problem was a cyst that I have. Thing is, I had the problem on both hands, including the other hand which DIDN’T have a cyst. Long story short, that entire process was a waste of my time and I never received any results or solution. To this day I still live with this problem.

In fact, I believe that it is at least partially due to this wrist problem that I wound up in physical therapy a second time. This time for one of my shoulders. I’d been noticing a slight discomfort for sometime, and when I started training Brazilian Jiujitsu again, the problem became more acute. Fast forward to getting caught in a key lock, an armbar here and there, and whatever was happening in my shoulder was accelerated ten fold. Since those days I’ve not had relief from the shoulder pain. I’ve been out of Jiujitsu for about two months as I try to heal up from this injury, but so far, I’ve had no luck.

Enter Professional Physical Therapy Clinic Kew Gardens. The main guy here is Kiro, he’s a nice dude who seems to care about his patients. I always found him friendly and pleasant to work with. The rest of the staff was also very nice and friendly. I went here for a few months, but similarly to my prior experience with PT, I didn’t really notice a long lasting improvements or changes. That’s not to say that they suck, I’m just saying that this did not work in fixing my specific injury.

After a few months, I decided that I would stop attending and simply do this on my own. A lot of what we did there was stuff that I could do by myself. I was paying $40 a visit, and going 2 times a week. Do the math, that adds up pretty fast. So I’ve resorted to dealing with this on my own. I remember most of what we did in there and I do it myself a few times a week. I still have the problem, but I presume it takes time to heal.

The one thing I can’t do alone is the massaging and hands on therapy that Kiro did. That part I miss because I always felt much looser and slightly more comfortable as Kiro did his work on my shoulder. But like I said, this was solely a financial call. $320 extra a month is expensive, and I can’t afford to keep paying that without any concrete results.

If you have a not so serious injury, this may be a good place for you to try out. But if its something serious like mine, then you may need surgery or something else. I don’t have a vast array of PT experience to compare this to, but I think they do a good job and I’d recommend trying them out. I like Kiro and the staff there, they are good people. Its hard to gauge whether or not the process was helpful because I still have the problem. But like I said, physical therapy doesn’t always work, sometimes they gotta do surgery. For now, I’m avoiding that option though.

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UAG Civilian Series Fri, 27 Dec 2019 12:13:43 +0000 Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a big fan of otterbox and speck cases. In my experience, those have been the most reliable cases to protect my very expensive yet delicate cell phones and iPads. However, they are not the only players in the market, there are several others, including UAG, Urban Armor Gear.

Recently, I got my hands on the Urban Armor Gear UAG Civilian series. I remember seeing their products at Best Buy when I was initially searching for a case for my iPad. I passed on them and went with otterbox solely on familiarity. However, I actually replaced my speck case with this one from UAG and I’m loving this case.

The speck case that I got for my iPhone 11 was being a bit of a pain to use. The main problem being that the side buttons were really stiff and hard to press. This is a problem that I’ve never experienced with a speck case in my life. In fact one of the major reasons I’ve always preferred their products is because the buttons worked perfectly right out the gate. This was not the case this time.

On the other hand, I remembered that I still had this UAG case to test out, and lo and behold, the buttons worked perfectly right out the gate. The case fits perfectly and caused no issues with my screen protector. The power port is easily accessible and the speakers and all cameras remain unobstructed. The bezel is raised just enough to protect, but not so much that it makes the thing feel overly bulky.

I don’t often drop my phone, but when I do, I drop the hell out of it! With this new case, I’ve dropped it pretty hard while running, yet the phone, case, and screen protector still look like they are brand new. My plan was to test this one out and then go back to my speck case. However, after several weeks using this case, I think I’m going to keep this one as my active case. If and when it wears down, perhaps I’ll give my speck another chance, but for now, I am committed to this UAG case.

I’m sure you’ve seen their products, same as I have. But after using this case for some time I am comfortable in saying that you should definitely check them out and consider them a contender. Their products initially caught my attention cause they looked really freaking cool. But now that I’ve actually used one, the coolness extends into a very useful form of phone protection. Highly recommended and I am a fan!

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The Witcher Review Thu, 26 Dec 2019 12:52:16 +0000 So first things first, I had no idea that this was a book series. Had I known, I would have went and read the books first. I will now pick up the books, but I really prefer to read the books first. Anyway, that’s that. I’ve watched season one and there is nothing I can do to go back. So let’s move on.

I won’t drop any spoilers here but this show was dope. I’m a fan of Superman, so you know I was feeling Henry Cavill in this role. I think he did a pretty good job in playing a potentially challenging character. The show appeared to be a bit confusing at times and the timeline is kind of odd at first. Eventually you realize what’s going on with that and things sort of start to fall into place.

I started this show with no expectations. I remember that it showed up on my IG feed as a promoted post and it caught my attention. As soon as it dropped I was on it. I can’t wait for the next season to come out, this was a good worthwhile show. My son and I watched the entire series over two nights. Kudos to netflix for continually dropping these phenomenal shows, and for putting me on to some new books I can read.

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Aberrant Comic Review Thu, 26 Dec 2019 12:52:05 +0000 Some months ago I purchased an iPad to read comics. Since then I have been reading all sorts of comics. The main catalyst for this was the Marvel comic films. I’ve always wanted to know the complete stories behind all these really cool films, but I wasn’t into comics. I’ve always preferred reading novels. However, I realized that if I wanted the stories, I’d have to embrace comic books. And boy did I ever embrace comic books!

So yes, I love comics and I have been reading a bunch of them. The latest one that I finished was a random one that I picked up from Action Lab Comics called “Aberrant.” Without putting out any major spoilers, this series has to do with humans who have been enhanced through some sort of genetic experimentation. The story follows some soldiers and all these things come into play.

Without dropping spoilers, I can’t tell you the whole story, but there is the typical good guy versus big, powerful bad company scenario here. After reading Volume one and two, I definitely enjoyed it. But I must forewarn you, that ending felt really cheap and rushed. They could have done way better than that. It wasn’t as bad as Game of Thrones’ ending, but I wasn’t as invested as I was in GOT. But it was definitely a bit of a letdown.

That ending of the second volume aside, the comic overall was a pretty good read. I do hope that they make up for the letdown in future series. This was totally worth a read though, I dig it.

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Mr Robot Finale thoughts Mon, 23 Dec 2019 12:43:09 +0000 Mr Robot is a trippy show. From the very beginning it’s hard to tell what is real and what isn’t. As the show progresses through the seasons, we come to realize that we can’t really trust Elliot and his narrations. He’s not a reliable person to have telling a story. Why you ask? Well, basically Elliot is kind of severely mentally impaired. Half the time he doesn’t even know what his other personalities have been doing! My man be bugging out.

In any case, the ending of the series doesn’t disappoint at all. You get more of the same, but in what way I cannot say. I don’t want to spoil this one for you guys. I”ll say this, I had my suspicions about what was going down and I was definitely on the right track. The ending was mostly satisfying and pretty damn good. Unlike how most of us felt during the Game of Thrones finale, this one did not make us angry or disappointed.

There was one little thing that I wish they had addressed regarding Dom and Darlene, but I think this is implied to be self resolved on its own. Overall though, this has to rank as one of the best and most satisfying series that we have ever watched as a family. Both my son and my wife are huge fans of this show too, we watched the last episodes together. My wife just barely made it back on time, I wasn’t sure what I would do if she didn’t. I may have had to watch it with my son. LOL. But that ending did not disappoint.

If you haven’t already started watching Mr Robot and you are looking for a new show to start which has already concluded, this one is a huge winner! Highly recommended, it will not disappoint! Thank goodness! We were so scared that they’d do us like GOT did.

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Just like heaven Wed, 18 Dec 2019 12:35:35 +0000 Years ago, it was the Deutsche Bank holiday party at club Exit. We weren’t part of the team that went there, ours was at some hotel. As such we didn’t get invited to this one. I think it was the Global Markets one or something. At the time I used to work for DBTrader in the back office. Still, that did not stop us from sneaking in.

My then girlfriend and I, along with my VP and another colleague went over after our tame and boring hotel party. When we arrived we presented our IDs and they couldn’t find us on the list. I don’t recall how exactly, but my VP engage the security guy and as soon as he turned his back, we dipped and went in. He met us in there shortly thereafter. And yes, I was perfectly willing to sacrifice him at the door to gain entry with my ex girlfriend. She was all that mattered to me that night. LOL.

There was a live band called “The Touch,” and one of the songs they were playing was a cover of The Cure’s “Just like heaven.” I don’t remember much from that night, I was fairly drunk and I’ve watched enough documentaries about memories to understand that much of what I remember may be strongly edited by my hippocampus. Still, I do believe I remember the overall gist and feelings I had that night.

There was a general excitement about the night because we were being “bad” and snuck into the “cool kids” party. I remember the space and the cold air that was being pumped into the club. It was very cool in there, probably cooler than necessary for the number of people there. But it felt good because we were dancing and moving.

I can’t remember too much about my ex from that night, she’s all but faded from my memory. I only remember the feeling of how happy we were together and how good I felt. As mentioned, the song “Just like heaven” was playing and we were dancing with not a single care in the world. Drunk on alcohol, drunk on love, drunk on life, smiling, holding each other, enjoying the moment.

There isn’t a single time where I hear this song and I don’t remember her and that night. In terms of nights out “clubbing,” this night ranks among one of my greatest ever. I certainly had wilder nights, with and without her, but the entirety of this one night clearly stands out to me.

I don’t think that I’ll ever break the association of that song with her and that night. My ex is no longer even a friend and I’ve felt the hurt of her loss for about two decades now. I always wished that we could get past the anger she felt towards me and at least be friends. But it never came to be.

After we split, she went silent and cut me off altogether. She even went so far as to say that I was cyber-stalking her. That really hurt, but that’s the day I knew that I had to stop reaching out to her in any way shape or form.

If my desire to maintain a friendship was being viewed as any form of stalking, then her hatred, anger or whatever she felt was too strong. I stopped reaching out and accepted that if ever we were to be friends again, she’d have to reach out to me.

I still dream of her sometimes and my mind does drift to those days when I am feeling frustrated or troubled in my present love life. I know this is not healthy, but as humans we tend to drift to our perceived happy place when we get upset. I am perfectly aware that the fantasies in my mind, those are not the reality of what was then. I’m sure that I enhance and romanticize them greatly. This knowledge and perspective helps keep me grounded and from losing my shit.

Anyway, I heard this song for the 10,000th time and remembered that night for the 10,000th time. Music is so powerful and grants us the ability to time travel. At least as much as a forgetful person like myself can time travel. What a night, one could say that it was JUST LIKE HEAVEN.

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Being drawn to people Mon, 16 Dec 2019 12:36:16 +0000 Sometimes you meet a person and from the moment you set eyes on them, you are instantly drawn to them. This can happen regardless of gender or sex. It may or may not be accompanied by a sexual or physical desire, but it can be solely a friendship thing. I sincerely believe that in life there are just some people that you are undoubtedly drawn to.

I’ve personally experienced this several times in my life. There have been a few times where I’ve met some new male friends and I immediately took to liking them. As we spoke and joked around, it felt as though we’ve been friends forever. It’s like reuniting with an old pal I haven’t seen in a few years. As if they have always been present in my life. There is this feeling that I know them very well, an instant trust, even though we only just met. In those rare cases, we connect and from that point on those people have become a regular part of my life.

Have you ever experienced that before? Doesn’t that make you wonder about life? I always wonder how much more there is that I don’t know today which may someday come to light in terms of energy, connections, vibes and so on.

Some folks have told me that when this happens it could be someone from a past life that I knew. Though I’m not extremely religious and I don’t particularly subscribe to the supernatural, I do think that on some spiritual, invisible or higher level, some people are magnetically drawn to each other. I did cover this topic once before when I spoke about soul mates and how Paulo Coelho presented them in his book Brida.

I mentioned I’ve experienced this with male friends, but I also have had this experience with women. Again, it can be accompanied with a physical attraction and desire or not. I have experienced both. I’ve met women who were not physically or romantically interesting to me, nor I to them, but we just clicked, got along and became the best of friends. This is similar to the aforementioned male friendship connections.

On the other hand, I have also experienced this with women who were romantically desirable to me and I to them. In those circumstances we have become fast lovers! We’ve gone on to have fierce and fiery intimate relationships.

There was one time that it happened and the woman literally lived on the opposite side of the globe. Still, that didn’t stop us from getting together that first night and then living out our desires on multiple occasions despite the vast distance between us. Things that were beyond our control eventually ended the relationship, but neither of us could ever deny that magic we shared.

This has happened to me more than once and without a doubt, we both instantly knew right then and there that we were meant to be lovers. It is a beautiful and magical thing when this happens and I have loved the experiences. When I say that it was a given, I mean it was a given! Our circumstances at the time were of no consequence, we simply just knew that we were meant to be lovers. The only question was when and how, even if only once.

Generally in this kind of magnetic scenario, you are drawn to each other and it is a two way chemistry.  Though experience has led me to believe that it can also be a one way thing. I have had situations where I really liked a person, (male or female) but they were not really feeling me or interested in pursuing any form of relationship whatsoever. They could be one of those people who just attracts everyone, they exist too. Some people are just magical and likable like that.

In fact, that’s why I chose this picture above. Danilo is one of my favorite Zumba instructors and this man is one of the sexiest, most magnetic, sensual human beings I have ever met. I’m not attracted to men, but despite his sex, his energy still makes an impression on me and nearly all he meets. But I digress, when the desire to connect is one way, and that other person isn’t interested, that really sucks and you feel a deep loss. However, it is what it is. Sometimes life can be crappy, but the one thing that I can guarantee to you is that no matter what you are feeling, life will go on. So don’t bum around for too long, don’t wanna let life pass you by now do you?

If you’ve experienced these amazing moments, then you know about this magic that I speak of. If you haven’t, well, then I’m sorry. I hope that one day you will.

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Get to know your Zumba Instructor Mon, 09 Dec 2019 12:31:33 +0000 When I first started teaching group fitness I taught HIIT and strength class variations. As I was teaching, I was always taking classes, and somewhere along the way I became exposed to Zumba. Within that year or so I decided that I want to add Zumba to the mix as well.

Some people know me as a fitness instructor because that’s what I was teaching when they first met me. Others know me as a Zumba instructor because that’s the class they’ve taken with me long after I started teaching. Both sides are surprised when they see me teaching the other formats. That’s always funny to me.

Hey Angel, are we doing Zumba today? I thought it said “Total body.” Oh, you teach this too?

Ah, the pleasure I get from seeing the look of shock on their faces once I get things going and their bodies start to scream. I was a fairly good fitness instructor before I ever taught Zumba, and I became a fairly good Zumba instructor long after being good at other formats. I aim to be the best version of myself that I can. I try to be a good instructor and set a fine example regardless of the format.

In any case, most of you will not know this, but I used to get really anxious when I taught a class. You may also not know this, but before I started teaching any classes, I was a regular participant in classes. I still take classes these days, but not as much as I used to because I am teaching myself much of the time. So before I became a Zumba instructor I was a fitness instructor. But before I became a fitness instructor I was a class participant.

Hard to believe I’m sure. I think that folks think we are just born this way or catapulted into this role. Did you know that when I started this journey, I was almost 300 pounds heavy. I’ve improved, but in my mind, I’m still struggling to get past that guy. People are always shocked to hear this, but I really have struggled with confidence at times. In the beginning I’d sometimes spend up to half an hour sitting on the toilet before teaching cause I was so nervous. I almost puked more than once, again, due to nervousness. I’m naturally a very shy and timid person, believe it or not.

One of the reasons I wanted to start teaching is because I thought it could be a form of self prescribed therapy for me. As I mentioned, I’m terribly shy and become really anxious in large groups. So what better approach to take in hopes of facing those fears than getting on a stage in a room filled with up to 80 people?

How about being the center of attention, while wearing hot pink tights and girating your hips? Check! If that won’t do it, I don’t know what will. Teaching helps me with anxiety, fear, shyness and a host of other things. I believe that it’s helped make me a better person overall. Finally, it keeps me accountable to not only myself, but also to you. What kind of leader would I be, what kind of example would I be setting if I didn’t stay active and in shape? How could I dare step on stage and presume to tell you how to get fit, if I can’t even do it myself? Accountability.

Most days, though I do get butterflies on occasion, I don’t get nearly as nervous as I used to. Most days, but whenever I add a new song, sub for a new group, go to a new gym, or start a new class there is always a touch of those early feelings of sheer terror. I’ve improved, but I don’t think you ever truly stop being who you are. You adapt, adjust, overcome, but you are always you.

With all that being said, I’m a bit nervous about this new class that I’ve started on Fridays at 730pm at 24 Hour Fitness in Kew Gardens. Fridays tend to be relatively quiet at this specific gym and though people show up for classes, there’s never been overwhelming attendance on a Friday night. I’m looking to change that now.

Historically, an instructor named Russell taught Pilates in that slot for years and years and years. He was teaching that format since I first restarted my fitness journey. Russ was transferred to another location so we don’t have the pleasure of him teaching us anymore. But anyone who knows Russell knows that those are some really big shoes to fill.

Here’s another tidbit, taking his classes and watching him do his job is what inspired me to become an instructor. So yes, big shoes and his group was an entirely different demographic, “Mind and body,” whole different world.

Well, here’s what I do know, I know what I can do, so there’s that. I’m perfectly aware that I can bring it and I know that I can hold it down! So despite the pressure and anxiety I’m feeling, I’ll just keep doing what I do and build this new class up from scratch!

So there, now you know a bit more about me and my psyche! If you want to dance, come on in on Fridays and shake it with me while knowing the demons I’ve overcome to be able to lead and teach you the way I do! If you think you can’t do it, think again, if I can do this, you can do this! Let’s get it!

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RAI Comic Review Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:52:46 +0000 So I got my hands on and read the first comic in what I thought was a new comic, “RAI.” I think the comic is really good and I really enjoyed the read. I flew right through it. I had seen a preview of it a few months ago and I’ve been super excited for it to drop.

So here’s the thing, I thought this was a brand new series, but damn was I ever wrong. This thing has been around since at least the 90s! You know, from now on I’m going to research any “new” comics that come out. Turns out that many are new additions to existing series, such as RAI.

So now I’m going to have to research and determine if I want to read the old stuff and how relevant it is to the new series. I mean, I have the gist of the new one and I get how it ties to the old one. If it reads the same I’d love to get my hands on the earlier series, but I’m not sure. Based on some brief perusing, it doesn’t look as exciting as this new release. We’ll see how it goes, first I gotta figure out how to read them. What comes first, etc. Going down that rabbit hole y’all, it be crazy sometimes.

In any case, even without knowing anything about the history, I really enjoyed this comic and recommend picking it up. The shit was dope!

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My Zumba Evolution Thu, 14 Nov 2019 12:50:09 +0000 The first time I taught Zumba at 24 Hour Fitness, I did one song. I hadn’t yet completed my training and was fairly new. I did an original choreo that I made. It was a terrible disaster. I look back at that day and I cringe.

However, since then, I have made great strides and I’m proud to say that much of the choreo I use is original and people have a blast.

This group of people didn’t write me off based off of that first horrid showing. They knew I was new, learning and they gave me a chance to grow and evolve into the phenomenal instructor that I am today. Yes, I’m phenomenal.

I had similar experiences at other locations which I won’t name. The thing is that those people just wrote me off during my learning phase and never gave me another chance.

Personally, at this point, I don’t really care about it. However, I’m sharing this to say to you, don’t give up because of experiences like that. To this day, despite how far I’ve come, and how well I’ve done, some people have never given me another shot. They still think I’m the same crappy instructor I was on that first day two years ago.

Does that mean I suck? Nope, it means that they are missing out on a damn phenomenal instructor. That’s not a reflection of your abilities, that is a reflection of their unwillingness to give you a shot. Don’t forget that and don’t let those few bring you down! Shine on

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My first Zumba famous Masterclass: Ricardo Marmitte Tue, 12 Nov 2019 12:48:04 +0000 Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t particularly care for the fanfare associated with famous or well known people. Sure, I’d love to meet and hang with some famous folks, but I’m not one to go around kissing ass or getting starstruck. That’s just not me, I think that we are all just people. Some are more well known and some have more money, but they are all just people. If a famous person wants to kick it with me, awesome. But I’m not gonna pay or chase for that. No way. (By the way, Ricardo did not charge anyone for pictures.)

In any case, if there was one Zumba famous person I wanted to take a class with, it’s always been Ricardo Marmitte. I’m a fan of a couple of them, but this guy is one who really stood out to me. I remember one my first thoughts when I saw him on a ZIN volume, “This dude can move! Maybe there’s hope for me!”

His energy on the stage, the vibe I saw, it caught my interest. So I started to look up more videos from him online and I became more familiar with him. I saw he was on Facebook, but I never bothered sending a friend request because I figure he’s got so many fan boys and fan girls, why would he add someone he doesn’t know? But I have followed his work for a while and I am a fan. He is the direct inspiration or choreographer of at least 5 of my songs.

In any case, that’s a brief introduction to my relationship with Marmitte. So when Deekee told me that he was coming to NYC, I shared out the news as per his request at the specified time. As soon as Evelyn got the tickets, I got one for me and my wife.

Now to be honest, as the day got closer, I was considering not going. Throughout my years teaching Zumba, I have avoided these big events, primarily because I don’t care for the lines and crowds and stuff. I’m not one to get up early, camp out and stand around for anything or anyone. There are so few people I’d do that for, and most of y’all are not one of them. LOL. This particular event was in Brooklyn which was another reason I wanted to bow out. Finally, I’ve been smashing my ankles and they’ve both been killing me lately. Just another excuse to skip out.

Thing is, I couldn’t sell my tickets, and I wasn’t about to burn $80 and not show up. No way no how. So when the day came, I put on compression tights, ankle support, calf support, and I also taped up one of my ankles. The one that hurt most. In hindsight, I should have taped them both up because the other started hurting during the two hour class.

So at the end of the day, we ended up going to the masterclass. I’ll tell you what though, am I ever glad that we did. This was one of, if not the most fun Zumba class I’ve ever taken. Ricardo is not only a phenomenal Zumba instructor, but also a great entertainer. He manages to teach a high level class, involve the participants and keep you having a blast the whole time without destroying his own body in the process. I was studying him as I took the class. I also observed his playlist style and everything else. This guy is phenomenal and I enjoyed his class a lot.

During the class, there were other instructors who led some songs, I believe that they were all exclusively Team In2it members, but I’m not entirely sure. Most of them did a great job and brought great energy to the event. Deekee for one was going hard the whole time. I could tell he was anxious and had a lot of pressure on his shoulders coordinating the event. I think he did a great job assisting Ricardo with stage dancers, organizing and so on. You did good Deekee, you did good.

At least one instructor seemed to struggle a bit with remembering their choreography. I tried to be supportive by following and keeping up as best I could despite the confusion, but as I looked around the crowd and saw the looks on some of those faces, I thought to myself that this was not the day to practice or learn a new choreo.

In an event like this where there are 250+ people, you gotta have your shit locked down air tight. I told my wife, “this instructor is either really, really nervous or they are new to this!” Aside from that one song and one minor sound hiccup later, everything went through without a hitch. Even when the sound acted up though, Ricardo played it off real smooth and kept things going as if nothing was happening. Those are the markers of a true professional in this game!

All of us who are instructors know that sometimes electronics act up, shit happens. We also know that we all mess up our choreo at times, it happens. But you gotta find your way back and play it off smoothly. You can get away with it with some choreo, but if we know that particular choreo, and we did know this one, then you gotta be on point. If you mess it up, we’ll know.

Yes, I know its really hard and it’s a lot of pressure, that’s why I tried really hard to keep it going for that instructor. I didn’t want them to get discouraged or terribly embarrassed. But hey, I’m one man in a large room where everyone is seeing the same thing. There’s nothing I can do about that. Anyway, I’m sure that whatever needed to be learned was learned and next time they will come back stronger! It’s happened to all of us, you got this!

As a matter of fact, it just happened to me at a party in pink master class. I was too hype and a bit nervous at the new faces that I messed up in the first 20 seconds or so. I stopped, I walked over to the music, started it over, and told them that we were going to try this again. Everyone laughed and we carried on perfectly. Its all in how you handle it as well. Remember, most of them are also instructors and most of them have messed up too. Just find your way back and it’s all good in the hood!

At one point, Deekee told me to go up on stage with Ricardo. I said “Nah man, I don’t want to go up there.” He looked at me and said, “You are an instructor! Go!” Anyway, I agreed and went up. I felt so uncomfortable because I had no idea what I was doing and only seeing this choreo for the first time. In addition to that, I was working around my ankle injuries which really slow me down. This was quite challenging for me because Ricardo was moving fast. Also, I had Tacia next to me. For those who don’t know, Tacia was one of my early Zumba coaches and she’s fucking amazing. That just made me even more nervous!

After a few moments of unsuccessfully trying to mimic and keep up with Ricardo and the ladies on stage I realized something. “Angel, you are you, stop trying to do what they are doing and do it with your own flair and style.” Once I came to that realization, everything was fine. I felt more comfortable and my movements were flowing much better. Once I realized that, then being on stage with Ricardo was no longer stressful, it became fun. The lesson? Just be you, even when around masters of the craft, be yourself.

I can understand why that instructor was botching the choreo, nerves can definitely get the best of us at times. As I mentioned previously, it’s happened to me many times before. When that happens, depending on how deep into the song we are, I’ll start over cause I need to set the right tone. I’ll joke about how badly I was messing up and that we are going to fix it. A lot of the times, my front row divas will correct me and keep it going! We’ll all laugh and push on! Sometimes the class energy is off and I’ll also start a song over until they give me what I want! I hold them to a high standard too! LOL. In any case, I can imagine that doing songs while Ricardo is watching can be nerve wrecking.

Anyway, like I said, this event was great. I did see some people who I try to avoid because they tried to cause me trouble in the past. Fake friends who try to hurt you. But the place was so big that even though you are in the same room, you don’t have to cross paths with or engage with them at all. After this event, I’ll definitely attend more Zumba events. This was a lot of fun. However, I will continue to be selective as to who I go and dance with. Especially at $40 a head. LOL.

If you ever get a chance to attend a masterclass with Ricardo, I’d encourage you to go for it, the dude is awesome. Thanks Deekee and the Zumba Gang (LOL) Team In2it for arranging and coordinating this, I’m sure it was a lot of work. You guys did a great job!

At the end of the event Ricardo said several things that resonated with me, things that make me like and respect the man even more!

First he said that we should always stay humble. The minute you get to big for your britches or you think you are better than others, they will hate you. Second, he said that he was in a bit slump and we helped him out of it. He said that its been a while since he felt this energy during a masterclass and that we gave him life. I’m glad to hear that, take that life, energy and motivation from where ever you can get it and run with it!

To his first point, we all struggle with ego and pride in this world. Humility is not always easy, especially in a world that is always kicking you in the throat. There is always someone trying to get over on you, and this naturally makes us defensive. However, we should always try and remain humble, or life will humble us.

To the point of being kicked in the throat, we all have our ups and downs, but great energies and vibes can help you find your way back.

Thanks for a great master class Ricardo Marmitte. Thanks Evelyn for pushing me to come out despite hating very long train rides. And thanks Deekee Gaerlan for getting me on stage despite my initial refusal. Finally, thanks Nickster and Daniel for the ride back to Queens at the end of the day. This was a great event.

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Face the class! Fri, 08 Nov 2019 12:43:02 +0000 Let’s try this again. It’s a topic that I’ve covered many times and some people just don’t seem to get it or understand. When you are teaching a Zumba fitness class, (we are not teaching dance, we are teaching group fitness) you should always face the class. It is understood that on occasion you will turn and face the mirror. However, the majority of your teaching should be spent facing the class.

At times I do face the mirror, but its only for a brief moment and simply to show off how amazing my transitional skills are. The majority of my class, and I’m talking about 95% of the time or more, I’m facing the class.

I just don’t understand how you can teach an entire class and have your back to the group. That is just so counterproductive to me. I feel like I’m ignoring them or not connected to them when I face away from them. I really don’t understand how some of you do it. I love to make eye contact with my people. I engage and connect with them throughout the whole class, and using the mirror makes that very difficult. I don’t know how or why some of you do this.

What can I do?

So let’s cover how you can start facing your class and making better connections. First and foremost, learn all of your choreography starting on the left foot. When you are facing your students, your left foot is their right foot. The same applies to hands and so on. It’s basically like staring into a mirror. You are the reflection they are following.

Look at this image below. This instructor doesn’t suck. She is facing the class and they are “mirroring” her movements. Her left arm is up, they match her, as if staring into a mirror and raise their right arm. That’s what mirroring is in a nutshell. You do the same thing when teaching zumba.

If you see this picture below, I was probably in the process of screaming or jumping around, but you’ll notice that I am facing the group and they are all in sync with me. My left foot is mirroring their right foot.

If you need to learn your choreo while facing the mirror, (I do) that’s fine as well, but learn it starting on the left foot. This is so that when you teach and you face your class (as you should be doing) then you will already be conditioned to start on your left which is their right foot. It’s about muscle memory when learning choreography, so if you memorize it starting on your right foot, then you will have difficulty transitioning to the left foot.

I have shared this valuable information with several of my friends who became fitness instructors. Yet, for some unknown reason these people insist on facing the mirror when they teach. They’ll say something like one of their favorite instructors faces the mirror and does well. Don’t get me wrong, some mirror facers are good instructors, but in my opinion they could be so much better if they faced the class. SMH!!!!

I always mirror the class. If I turn around and face the mirror, then I have to transition to the opposite foot because I’m now opposite to them. When I face them, I transition back to the other foot. This keeps them always in sync with me and starting on their right foot. We as instructors have to know to transition feet when we turn, you can’t stay on the same foot or they’ll be out of step. This concept of mirroring, I apply it everywhere. Even when I teach strength and kickboxing classes. I always mirror and so should you.

I think I’m going to make a video about this on youtube sometime soon. I’m trying to build my channel back up after deleting of my non-compliant videos. This idea isn’t covered on there so I think I’ll make one soon. What do you think about this topic? If you have any questions do reach out!

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Arsenio Hall Smart and Classy on Netflix Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:02:58 +0000 So I’ve known of Arsenio Hall since way back when. Interestingly, I’ve never seen him do any stand up. I used to watch the Arsenio Hall show back in the days and on occasion I still watch show clips on Youtube. Most recently I watched him interview one of my favorites wrestlers, the Ultimate Warrior. I also recently came across a clip of him engaged in a debate with some gay folks from the audience who accused him of not having enough gay people on his show.

However, I never saw any of his stand up set. This would be my first time. Honestly, I was just going to skip this and watch something else as I wasn’t sure it was going to be worth my time. Wow, was I ever wrong!

Let me tell you guys, of all the dozens of new Netflix stand up specials that have been released, this is one of the funniest ones I’ve seen yet. I am so glad that I didn’t skip by it since I’ve never seen Arsenio’s stand up before. This special made me giggle and actually laugh out loud quite a few times. He wasn’t overly raunchy or nasty with it, but he did touch on some heavy topics. One of the funniest things he said was… Nah, just kidding, I’m not going to put any spoilers, go watch it, it’s funny AF!

Do yourself a favor, if you like comedy, sit and watch this special. I’m glad I did and I will watch it again. This is now on my top 3 Netflix comedian specials.

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USAF Basic Training: Why are you shouting at me? Tue, 29 Oct 2019 11:08:17 +0000 Before I enlisted and went to Air Force boot camp, I was enrolled in the United States Marine Corps poolie program. The poolie program is part of the delayed entry program (DEP) where recruiters catch your young ass before you are even old enough to enlist.

In the poolie program they try to condition you for boot camp by running together, reviewing general orders and basically treating you similarly to how a drill instructor will during basic training. This is in an effort to get you mentally and physically prepared for the 3 month hell you will have to endure during boot camp.

So why didn’t I go through with it and become a Marine? Well, that’s a long story, but basically my recruiter was a scumbag. So much so that this dirtbag did time in prison for rape. During my time with the poolies, even at a very young age, I didn’t like what I saw and I wasn’t feeling the culture this guy was promoting.

Mind you, I love women and sex as much as the next guy, but I don’t much appreciate some old ass pervert telling me that he’s gonna keep my girlfriend fresh and fucked for me while I’m away in training. Fuck you Jody. I didn’t like the way this guy addressed women in general. This recruiter attempted to fuck my then (also a poolie) girlfriend and was transferred to another recruiting station over that indiscretion.

Some good that did, the motherfucker still managed to get brought up on rape charges. Anyway, this behavior is not the USMC behavior, it’s that specific recruiter’s behavior. But that along with a few other things that happened were enough to sway me to go elsewhere. Read the link above for the full story.

In any case, when I got to basic training for the Air Force, I figured that the training would be similar to what I’d been doing all those months with the poolies and what I’d seen and heard in all the prep videos. So when my military training instructor spoke to me, I responded shouting, the same way I’d been conditioned to do all that time. At the Air Force, this was a mistake. I was immediately reprimanded and punished for screaming at the training instructor.

Why are you shouting at me Rodriguez? What the hell is your problem? Has anyone here given you the idea that we scream at each other like those other people do? We are civilized around here. You will speak to me in a clear, concise voice, but you will not scream at me like I’m one of your homies from the Bronx or one of those other branches! Do you understand me, Rodriguez?

They pointed out my hood several times, including when they discovered that I had medication for a throat infection I was fighting off. Every time they called on me, I instinctively shouted, “Sir, Airman Rodriguez reports as ordered.” Then I’d once again get chewed out for screaming at them. I think after the first day or so, I was conditioned out of the shouting.

I was a smart dude, so they made me an element leader within the first days of training. I got things done and was an effective leader. But they fired me shortly thereafter because I was too helpful and supportive of my element. We were doing well, but they didn’t like the tone I was setting. They wanted a hard ass to enforce their laws and I was a nice guy who helped my people out. So you don’t want me to shout, but you want me to be an asshole to the people I rely on?

Anyway, I guess the bottom line here is that if you are going to Air Force boot camp, don’t scream at your TI’s, they won’t like that.

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Let’s talk about cues in Zumba Mon, 28 Oct 2019 11:54:02 +0000 Let’s paint two contrasting pictures here.

First, let’s look at a Zumba class where the students are having a great time, dancing along with the instructor, singing, and just making the most of their workout. The class ends in what feels like 5 minutes and the students are left with a desire for more and more.

Next, let us look at a group who’s faces are filled with confusion, frustration, and just a general overall feeling of awkwardness for the whole hour duration of class. They keep looking at the clock and though they know they need this exercise, they are hating every second of it.

Do you know what is a major factor in determining the type of class you will have? Well, if you said cues, you win for today!

Think of cues like directing traffic, or an orchestra, or driving a car. None of them function without proper or clear direction. Even the traffic lights have a yellow light to let you know that the red light is coming. This way you are prepared and can adequately execute your next move. In this instance that would be to start to slow down and stop the car.

Zumba is no different, you have to direct your students where to go. Not only do you have to direct them, but you have to give them advanced notice prior to their completing the current 8 count or whatever sequence you have them doing at the time. Prince Paltu Ob is a mad scientist when it comes to cues, this guy pre cues like no one else! One of my favorites and who I’ve tried my best to emulate when it comes to cues.

If you are in front of a class and you are “DOING” your routine and expecting the students to just catch up and follow you, then you are doing it wrong. Most of these people are not dancers, (myself included) and we require direction and guidance from YOU on where to go, how many counts, etc. Don’t expect us to memorize or learn your choreo after one go through. Especially if you have a lot of complicated moves. That’s just not gonna work. Someone like me will “hurt their leg” during class and have to step out of your class if this is how you teach. I get too frustrated and the whole essence of Zumba is loss if you don’t cue.

The easiest way to master cues is to work your cues directly into your choreography. As you are learning or creating a new choreo, factor in the cues, make them clear, simple and just make it part of your muscle memory for the song.

This is very important to whether or not you will suck as an instructor. Bare in mind, I’m not talking about your dancing ability. There are many people who dance way better than I do, but they are weaker instructors because all they do is dance. Keep in mind, this isn’t a dance off, it’s not a Broadway performance, you are there to teach a class and not to be admired for your amazing dance skills. Save that for your one person show.

What do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I a jerk for talking about this? It’s important and many people don’t do it so it needs to be addressed. You can be so much better, just take the constructive advice, grow and learn. We should always be striving to be better anyway. If you are a person who doesn’t currently cue, don’t get insulted or mad at me, just take the advice and improve on your current game! You can definitely do it, and if you are good, then you’ll be even better.

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USAF Basic Training: Run to cadence Fri, 25 Oct 2019 11:10:15 +0000 One of the things I expected to experience during basic training was running together as a unit and singing cadence. This was one of the things I did as I prepared to go train with the U.S. Marine Corps. Yeah, you may not know, I spent sometime in the Marine Corps delayed entry program (DEP) after I finished my Associates Degree. I switched branches due to a shady recruiter who didn’t give a fuck about me or my life. Fuck that guy.

Anyway, I figured that Air Force basic training would be along the same lines and provide the same style of training to a degree. I know the USMC boot is the most difficult, but I expected that we would at least run in formation and march in formation while singing cadences. It was one of the things I most looked forward to. But this was not to be. Our Military Training Instructors marched us solely by going “left, left, left, right left, hut, two, three, four, left, left, left, right left.” That was it, they never called cadence or had us sing or engage.

I think throughout my entire time in basic, one of my TIs may have called two lines of cadence. I got so excited and thought, “Oh man, here it comes, my real military experience.” But nope, I was wrong, it was just that one or two lines and never again. Thinking back on it, I equate it to teaching fitness. I don’t know if its a cultural Air Force thing because I can only relate and speak on my flight’s experience. But I’m inclined to think that this was just laziness on the part of the instructors. Similar to how some group exercise instructors put in more effort than others, I presume that the same happens here? I’m not entirely sure because I can only speak for my flight, I don’t know how the other flights drilled. But I never passed by anyone calling cadence, except some Navy boys once.

Since this is how my boot camp experience was, I didn’t come back with a host of running songs and cadences after boot camp. In fact, I don’t recall ever once running together in formation. We would get up early, go to a road, and it was basically every Airman for themselves. There were a bunch of us from different flights running and we were all trying to make some run time in 1.5 or 2 miles. I forget.

That was one of my most disappointing encounters during boot camp. Granted, I lost about 25 pounds, but that was because we marched everywhere, they put me on a diet, and we had a very controlled eating regiment. Also, I was made a road guard, you can read more about that here. In any case, since I didn’t have the boot camp experience I expected, I have to improvise when I go running now. See, I love to run to military cadence, and frankly, the only Air Force album I found sucks bad! There were like only two songs I liked, the rest were garbage. The USMC has the best cadences and the Army has some nice ones too.

When I run, I put on my headphones, I dig up my USMC running cadence album with “percussion” and I hit the pavement. It’s a bit embarrassing to me, and I feel like an impostor because I wasn’t a Marine. So if people are around me, I’ll replace “Corps” with “Force,” and any references to the Marines, I change them to the Air Force. I know how well guarded Marines are about that title, and not having earned it, I feel funny running and calling it “My Corps” when it isn’t. So instead I say, “My Force, your force, our force, Air Force.” Hey, they put it out there for people to use and I sure do love me some Marine Corps cadence. At least I have the decency to change the lyrics to reflect the branch I attended! Hah!

So what do you listen to when you hit the road?

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Special needs 12 year old boy being punched by boys and girls Thu, 24 Oct 2019 11:21:28 +0000 I came across this story on my facebook feed, and it really, really angered me. A 12 year old boy who has special needs was being punched repeatedly in the bathroom by his so called “friends.” Then on another video, the same boy was being punched and kicked by some other kids including a female.

The parents have spoken out about this and they are all about awareness and forgiveness. They are asking us to not cyberbully the kids and to understand that they are children and have their whole lives ahead of them.

I respect their views, but I’m no damn pacifist and I’m not nearly as forgiving. Those kids are freaking assholes. I don’t approve of them getting death threats, but let’s not sugar coat it and act like they don’t know any better. Those malicious little fucks know what they are doing and it’s fucked up.

Rayden is physically a big boy, so thankfully he hasn’t gotten too hurt from the bullying, but that doesn’t make it okay. He was writing on his arm, “I want to die” or something to that effect. So clearly this has affected him.

You know what would be funny as shit to me? If he decided to retaliate and put those damn bullies on their backs with a well timed punch right to the fucking mouth. I wonder if their parents would be as forgiving towards him if he hurt one of those damn kids.

I hate bullies. I’ve hated them my entire life. I encountered it growing up and it is part of the reason I’m a bit jaded about things like this one. Mind you, I’m not one of these people who wants to raise kids in a bubble. I know that kids can be assholes. But going around and punching a kid the way these guys did? No, that calls for some serious ass whooping!

I’m glad these kids were stupid enough to record this, otherwise we may have never known and it could have just gone on and on. I hope those little fucks have learned their lesson. Though somehow, I doubt it.

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Don’t pick up my dog! Thu, 24 Oct 2019 11:17:32 +0000 If you’ve ever met my puppy, odds are very high that you lost your mind when you saw how cute and tiny she is. Peppa is like a local celebrity in our neighborhood. People I’ve never met know her name and surprise me as they say, “Hi Peppa!” This is the general experience. Although there are some individuals out there who don’t have a soul and pay no mind to the queen. That’s the exception though, for the most part, people love her. So yeah, not for nothing, my dog is super cute and you bet your ass we all know it.

In any case, because she is so tiny and cute, against your better judgment, you might be tempted to simply pick her up as if she were a teddy bear. Believe me, I understand that inclination. But you must remember that Peppa is not a thing, she’s a sentient being. She has feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. And guess what one of her dislikes is? If you said being picked up by some random person that she doesn’t know in the street you win, you win!


Some people ask me if it’s okay to pet her, take a picture or pick her up. I tell them to engage her and see if she comes to them when it comes to petting her. I’m pretty cool about pictures, as long as you don’t bother her. Regarding the matter of picking her up though, I generally tell people that she doesn’t like to be picked up by people she doesn’t know. She gets scared and thinks someone is going to take her away from us. As such I tell them that they cannot pick her up.

So today was one of those days where I had to check someone about this. As I walked her, a young man, probably in his 20s just decided to pick her up. Peppa looked at me scared and confused. I nicely but very firmly told the guy, please put her down. He was either ignoring me or didn’t hear or register what I was saying. So I repeated it a second time, slightly less nicely, louder and I came in closer. The guy still didn’t put her down. I think the guy who was his dad realized that he wasn’t understanding me and he said something in his language. At that point the young man said “down,” and I repeated for the third and final time, “Yes man, set my dog down, she doesn’t like being picked up. Do it right now!”

As I mentioned, he wasn’t a child, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he didn’t seem to speak English fluently. Clearly he’s not from around here. When he put her down, she came to me, then went back and ate something that was stuck on his finger. I have no idea what the hell it was and it was fucking gross. I didn’t like that but she eats everything this dog. It’s really annoying because someday she might eat something dangerous. Ugh!

So I’m writing this article, for guys like him or any of you who may think it’s okay to scoop someone’s dog up off of the floor. Don’t do that shit, the dogs are not toys, they might not like it, and by extension their fur parents won’t like it either. I didn’t want to be rude to this guy, but he was pissing me off. You people should be able to tell when a dog doesn’t want to be held. The energy, expression, everything is fucking obvious. Stop that shit!

If you really, really want to hold her, ask first and wait for an answer. For instance, I once let an Indian girl with her family hold her during some wedding pictures. I told her to make it quick because she doesn’t like it, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings during her wedding day. I’m not a monster after all! Also, Peppa seemed to be okay in that instance, but the girl did the right thing by asking. Today she was not happy, so I had to take action to get him to set her down. This all went down very fast by the way, a few moments at most.

Anyway, don’t be that person, it’s not cool at all and to be honest, it could get you punched in the face.

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Mom’s Kitchen and Bar Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:07:32 +0000 Recently, I met up with two of my childhood friends. We were trying to find a cool spot in Manhattan where to eat, and after bouncing around for a bit, we decided to try this spot.

What can I say about this? It feels more like a bar than a restaurant, but it wasn’t loud or annoying. Not on the day we went, I can’t speak for sports nights, etc. The food was okay, not bad, but not mind blowing either. I had some bacon mac and cheese, a burger and some fries. The mac was pretty good as was the burger, the fries were crunchy and pretty good too. Again, nothing mind blowing, but just okay.

I also got this milkshake from them, I forget the name, but this was garbage. I didn’t even finish it. I thought it was going to be primarily comprised of, I don’t know, a milkshake? But turns out its made mostly of this other crap that I don’t really care for. Before ordering a shake, ask what’s in it, don’t assume it’s gonna be a simple shake. I mean, if you like this stuff, great. But I don’t care for whip cream and most of the other nonsense. I just wanted a vanilla shake.

The server was very nice. She even gave me a pink lemonade shot so that I could toast with my friends who were drinking whiskey. I don’t care for alcohol these days, but pink lemonade? I rock with that. We had a nice time and the place was cool. Just avoid that crazy ass milk shark.

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Planet Hulk Comic book Vs Animated film Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:28:06 +0000 So I’ve watched Planet Hulk twice so far. I enjoyed the film, it’s a pretty entertaining story.

As I’m new to comics, I’ve been working my way down some lists of “Top recommended, must read” comic book stories. Guess which one showed up? World War Hulk and Planet Hulk. So I started reading Planet Hulk and I’m working my way towards World War Hulk. Actually, first I read the Prelude to planet Hulk, and then proceeded.

In any case, the movie is fairly similar to the book, but there are clearly some differences. In fact, you see those same differences in the film Thor Ragnarok. I mean, Miek The Unhived isn’t even an ant in Ragnarok. In the animated film, he’s portrayed as a coward. In the comics, he is no coward.

However, the thing that really prompted me to write about this was the notable absence of Silver Surfer from both of the movies. In the comic, Hulk fights Thor during his visit to this strange planet. In Ragnarok it is the Hulk who is sort of in the place of the Silver Surfer as the surprise opponent to Thor, his “friend.” In the animated movie, Hulk fights Beta Ray Bill who replaces Silver Surfer as the surprise opponent and follows the similar trajectory, “he is my friend.”

I was wondering why they omitted Silver Surfer, so I looked up who “owns” Silver Surfer. At the time, Marvel didn’t have rights to that character, so they had to improvise on both films. I get it, if you remember they sold off a bunch of characters back in the day. Now with Disney’s acquisition, they have most characters back, though not all of them, including Spider man as you’ll remember with the recent b.s about whether or not he’ll continue to appear in the MCU.

Anyway, I thought this was interesting to note and thought I’d share it for those of you new comic fans like myself. By being aware of this, then some things make more sense. I’ve enjoyed the films and the comics, but it’s nice to read and know the originating stories. 🙂

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Chunky Comic Reader Vs Icomix Comic Reader Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:44:41 +0000 So for quite sometime I have been using icomix for reading my archived comic books. It does a good job of displaying comic books and allowing you to navigate through them. It’s a fairly bare bones app, but for what it is intended for, it works just fine.

There were a few things that I really wished it had, things like searching because looking for comics when your ipad is as loaded as mine is can be fairly difficult. In terms of sorting comics, you’d have to either manually do it, or rename all the files to match exactly followed by a numeric sequence prior to transferring them to the app. For me, this app was just good enough and did the job.

That all changed once I decided to try out Chunky comic reader. I was curious to see how this other app compared to my go to app, and it was a game changer. But first, comixology.

Up until recently, the comixology app was my favorite one for reading comics. Granted, I’ve never tried marvel unlimited, or dc’s app, in fairness to them. I went straight to comixology because they have more diversity in their comic selection. Their app allows you to read them on your ipad but also on the phone. On the phone, using the panel view is best because otherwise the content is too small.

I recently cancelled my subscription because I felt that they were playing themselves with the “unlimited” feature. What I mean is that you pay for this unlimited option, but it’s not truly unlimited. You’d get maybe a volume or two, then if you want to keep reading, you have to outright buy the comic. That’s deceptive, annoying and very expensive!

So in order to use icomix or chunky reader, you have to have your own archived comic collection. They are just readers and you bring your own material.

One thing that blows but makes sense is that Chunky reader and Icomix can’t do panel view. Beside that though, chunky does everything Icomix does and more. I assume that the panels had to be manually coded and that’s a big process I’m sure.

So chunky handles grouping of file names much better and doesn’t require that you rename all the files in order to know and recognize that they are part of the same sequence. There are other things that I thought were better with chunky, but one of the key points that got me to choose it as my reader was that it has a very good search function. Also, it seems to handle large amounts of files more efficiently.

Icomix didn’t allow you to delete and manage files from the itunes gui, but chunky reader does. I think that hands down, chunky reader takes the win on this one. If you need a standalone comic book reader, I’d highly recommend chunky reader over any other app I’ve seen thus far. Unfortunately for you android people, it’s only available on the apple ecosystem. Fortunately, android has a bunch of comic book apps for you to choose from!

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Classics Illustrated – Wuthering Heights Thu, 03 Oct 2019 11:42:34 +0000 So after reading this book, I have to yet again ask the question: What the hell is wrong with people? First of all, why are the characters here so cruel to each other? Much like Pompeii, this story didn’t go at all according to what one would expect as they read. Heathcliff for instance did not behave at all as one would expect towards the end.

There are situations where I figure the “right thing” will happen, but that never comes to pass. These are some seriously jacked up people. Come to think of it, the way these stories read so far are like those damn novelas, soap operas on tv. Except that for the most part, unlike in those, nearly everyone gets screwed here!

Another question I wondered about is why the hell do people stay around for this level of abuse? I don’t know if this read is fantasy or the way things actually used to be, but this was ridiculous.

By the time I finished reading this, my wife asked me, “Another bad story?” Yes, another one where things didn’t go how one would expect. Not for nothing and at the risk of incriminating myself at some point in the future, but if I were abused the way these people were abused, I’d leave. If leaving wasn’t an option, well, then I’d handle it by any means necessary. This is just nuts to me, why do they allow it to go on?

I’m slowly working my way down these classic stories, but I’m troubled by the tales that they tell. As per usual, I won’t drop any major details or spoilers, but seriously, what the hell is going on here?

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Wicked Broadway Review Thu, 03 Oct 2019 11:11:38 +0000 Wicked came out many years ago. I remember wanting to see it back then, but I kept putting it off while saying to myself, “I’ll see it eventually.” That was well over a decade ago. Well, eventually finally came and I took my wife here for her birthday.

I didn’t really have any expectation as to what the play was about. I didn’t research it or read the book, I simply wanted to show up and be surprised.

This show is what they call a “revisionist” show. It tells a prequel of the Wicked Witch of the West’s life before Oz. Then at some point later on it picks up with the story we all know and love. Then it “continues” that story from a different, revisionist perspective. Personally, I loved it and thought it was pretty awesome. As I don’t want to drop any spoilers here, I’ll say this only, it’s a damn good show.

If you are fan of Oz and have been waiting to see the show, go ahead and get the tickets. I got the tickets during broadway week or whatever and got 2 for 1. It was well worth the cost and we had some pretty good seats.

I don’t care for all the singing in musicals, that tends to bore me as I don’t like the style of music, but that aside, this was a great show. Highly recommended! Especially if you can get the tickets at half price!

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Spiderman 2019 Comic Wed, 02 Oct 2019 11:23:27 +0000 So I got my hands on this new Spiderman limited series comic by J.J. and Henry Abrams with Sara Pichelli and Olivier Coipel. I’d read some pretty bad reviews about it online, but when have I ever listened to those stupid critics? They always have something bad to say, even about the greatest things. If you want to see, read, or listen to something, just do it and form your own opinion. I’ve never cared for or listened to professional critics, fuck them. I put slightly more validity into community reviews, taking into consideration that some people may be their friends and others may be spiteful assholes.

Anyway, the point is that despite the bad reviews, I read the comic, and despite the bad reviews, I loved it. I enjoyed this one so much that I read it twice and I’ll read it yet again. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. There are few things I don’t know, like who that weird ass villain is, and why Spiderman is behaving the way he is, but overall, I enjoyed the comic and I’m super excited to see where it goes.

I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but I think that you’ll enjoy this comic. Check it out and if you like, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Were the critics right in your opinion?

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Hulk Gray Tue, 01 Oct 2019 11:48:42 +0000 *No spoilers*

When I started really this comic, I had some really high expectations. I was enjoying the story right from the beginning. However, as I continued reading, I felt that it became kind of confusing, messy and never really “climaxed” for me, so to speak.

It’s somewhat of an origin story about the Hulk. It covers his first enemies, friends and love. But it’s quite confusing how it goes back and forth between one conversation where the story is being told and the actual story. I didn’t like that at all. I’d rather have them cut back to the scene with the conversation than have the conversation happening as I’m reading the story. Sometimes the background conversation was only one word, “Bruce,” “Leonard.” Yeah, I’m good on that, just tell the story.

Don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining to read, but I found elements of the story confusing. The ending especially left me particularly dissatisfied. I feel like there was no redemption for the Hulk. The comic is worth a read, but you might be left feeling unfulfilled.

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Comics Illustrated – The last Days of Pompeii Tue, 01 Oct 2019 11:46:05 +0000 The last days of Pompeii has been made into films, series, documentaries, exhibits and much more. For years I’ve been meaning to read the classic story behind that but never got around to it. Some months ago a friend of mine mentioned “Classics Illustrated” to me. So I decided to check them out.

I got a copy of one of the illustrated comics and then compared the story to one of the actual classic novels side by side. I found that the conversations and content was pretty much the same. Instead of all the descriptions, you just get the main story and dialogue as the images do all the describing you need.

Anyway, The last days of Pompeii was the first one I read in its entirety. I gotta tell you guys, I found this story to be pretty damn jacked up. First and foremost, the story was nothing like I expected. The actual volcano eruption has very little to do with the story. Instead it focused on following around a man named Glaucus, his love interests and a few other key individuals.

The whole story is terribly troublesome. I mean, dudes are getting away with some grimy, horrible stuff. But that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, we are talking about Ancient Rome after all. Slaves were a common thing, money and power was all that mattered to people back then. The rest of human life was insignificant. Without putting forth any spoilers, this story had me reeling as I read. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and how certain people were treated. This was a tough time to be alive and don’t you be expecting a real happy ending here. Well, for some it is, but for some who matter it really isn’t.

Damn, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, you sure were a brutal writer!

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HinoMaru Ramen Mon, 30 Sep 2019 11:39:42 +0000 My wife loves ramen, myself I can do with or without it. I have nothing against it, but I’m not obsessed with it either. However, this weekend was my wife’s birthday, as such I wanted to take her to eat one of her favorites foods, Ramen. I spent a few days searching around for a spot to go eat and found quite a few notable ones, including this one here.

HinoMaru Ramen is in Astoria Queens, that made it an easy choice. Still though, I wasn’t going to take her a convenient but crappy place. This spot here has a michelin star and any foodie knows that this is generally at least a very good indication that the food doesn’t suck. So this place was convenient and recognized as a top restaurant too? Sounds like a plan to me! Combine it with the Museum of Moving Image and you have yourself quite a nice birthday outing!

It doesn’t appear that they take reservations, but judging by google’s business predictor for restaurants, I wasn’t worried on an early Sunday evening. We were able to walk in and be seated immediately. As I’m thinking about it now, I’m getting hungry and want some more of that food. It was damn good.

First they started us off with some water and drinks. I went with a lychee smoothee and the lady got a yuzu soda. Both were pretty delicious. Though I wish they gave me a longer straw for that tall ass glass!

One of the appetizers we had was the rock shrimp, it came with some sauce, scallions, and little corn bits. It was perfectly crusty and oh so good! I could go for some of that right about now, but I’ll have to make due with a protein bar in about half an hour. Thems is the breaks my friends, thems is the breaks.

While we were eating the rock shrimp, these perfectly soft and succulent ribs came out. They practically slid of the bone, that’s how soft and tender they were! Yum, yum, yum! Seriously, I’m going back there very soon!

We both had a ramen dish, obviously. So I had the spicy one. I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since I don’t have a high tolerance for spice, but I wanted to try their signature dish as it was meant to be eaten. Needless to say, there was a lot of sweat to be released, but the dish was so good.

I really enjoyed this place. The staff was attentive and professional. They weren’t over the top friendly, but who needs that anyway? Just be courteous, bring me my food and be professional, I’ll be a good customer and everyone is happy with the transaction. This is all that matters. The food, the drinks and the ambiance were all good. I really intend to go there again very soon. Highly recommended ramen gem in Queens!

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Purchasing Comic books on Comixology Buyer Beware Thu, 26 Sep 2019 11:57:18 +0000 When you buy a book in amazon for the kindle, you sort of own the book, but that is as long as you use it within their app ecosystem. You can’t take the book elsewhere to read it, back it up, etc. I thought that comixology might work the same way when buying one of their comics to keep. So I thought I’d look into it. My research lead me to several sites stating that you could in fact download the comics as a backup, including the comixology website as seen below. Notice the date on the article, 2014. Most articles I found had a similar time frame so clearly this hasn’t been addressed in awhile.

Notice that it says you can download them and makes no mention that only “some” comics will be available for backup. I looked this up prior to purchasing the comic and used it as my reasoning for buying it. Cool? Not really, look at what I encountered upon purchasing and looking to backup my new comic.

You’ll see that it says “you don’t own any books with DRM-free backups” and then you are pointed to a link which shows publishers who offer backups. What the hell is that yo? This should be listed in the damn read me in the first image, no? “Only some comic publishers offer back ups” and provide that list of providers. In fact, they should create a variable that shows up next to each purchase that states “no DRM backup available.”

I thought this was quite misleading and should be addressed. I will be bringing it to amazon and comixology’s attention as it’s not cool that I bought this comic thinking I can put it on my own reader and I am forced to read it on comixology. Not cool!

In any case, I thought I’d share this with y’all cause when I researched this, no one addressed this which I have now discovered. Logically, based off of amazon’s kindle model, it makes sense, but they specifically state otherwise on their documentation. That’s why I’m ticked off! You need to update your documentation people!

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Punisher Max Vol 1 Tue, 24 Sep 2019 11:40:45 +0000 So as you folks know, I’m fairly new to the comic book world, but I’ve been going in hard. I recently picked up and devoured Punisher Max Vol 1. I enjoyed this series a lot, so much so that I’m going to read all the other volumes.

I’ve always enjoyed The Punisher and even when Dolph Lundgren butchered the character back in the 80s, I still watched the movie. That being said, the current series on Netflix is freaking amazing! At first I had my doubts about Jon Bernthal in this role, I knew him as Shane, not the Punisher. But wow did he prove me wrong on that one! Big respect on his amazing work in this role, absolutely phenomenal.

This volume a few periods from Frank Castle’s life. From some of his time in Vietnam to dealing with other baddies in the mob. If you are fan of the Punisher, pick this up, it’s dope.

You know that Frank is big on doing the right thing, even if that means breaking the rules. For instance, if you are an officer who is not doing his job in the field, well, you might just accidentally lose your damn life. If you leave your wife for another woman, and talk to Frank about it (who’s wife was murdered) he might tell you to run. If he does, you better run, or you will probably get your ass whooped! And lord help you if you hurt innocents, even in combat, Frank doesn’t tolerate that! He’s a brutal killer with a code.

I loved this series. Volume One is available on Comixology via the “unlimited” plan. Get it there or at your favorite comic book store!

Cover of Punisher: Frank Castle vol. 1, 1 (Mar, 2004)Art by Tim Bradstreet.

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Final Crisis DC Wed, 18 Sep 2019 11:54:23 +0000 You know, I’ve been told that if I don’t have anything nice to say, that I shouldn’t say anything at all. Though that can be effective in life, sometimes you gotta let it out.

Anyway, so I’ve been trying to get into DC comics, and so far I’ve not have any luck with their books. I love Superman, Batman, and other characters from the DC universe, but for some reason, the comics don’t grasp me the way others do.

Most recently I tried to read Final Crisis, that cover looks amazing and caught my attention. The story and potential seem amazing as well. But this comic, though nice looking in quality and pictures, when it came to content was confusing as heck. There were like at least 5 different stories happening at the same time, and it wasn’t flowing or congruent. It really felt like I was jumping from one comic to an entirely different comic that had nothing to do with the other.

From the very first few lines talking about shadows on earth or whatever, nothing is clear. I still don’t know who the hell was the one saying that. Was he the one claiming to know God, was that guy working for him, was that the God who was killed? I mean, yo, I have no idea what the hell was happening.

It only continued getting more and more complicated from there. After a few pages I got so frustrated and just put the damn comic down and gave up. I proceeded to return it and remove it from my comixology account and put up a Facebook rant about it.

Shortly thereafter one of my knowledgeable comic book buddies told me, “I could have told you not to read that one, Angel.”

Seeing as though he engaged me on the topic I decided to ask him to recommend a DC comic to read. He told me that he stays away from DC titles because they are all too confusing to read. Now, I haven’t tried to read too many of their comics yet, but based off of this initial experience, I’m inclined to agree with him.

I am open to suggestions though! So if there are any DC fans out there, (of the actual comics cause I do like the movies and animated works too) what would you recommend I try reading? Next up I was gonna try DC Rebirth, but I haven’t started it yet. Do you have any recommendations? I’m open to reading their work as I’m a fan of the characters, but it just hasn’t started off well. You can still save them though!

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The time I stole a can of spray paint Tue, 03 Sep 2019 11:59:45 +0000 Over the years, I’ve tried to make amends for all my wrong doing. From the smallest infraction to some unforgivable acts. There has been one dude who I’ve never been able to track down or make contact with from my teenage years who I’d like to apologize to.

I was visiting their house ages ago. This was during the time we used to tag up on the walls. This guy had a small can of spray paint in his house, and I don’t know why, but I was possessed with the idea of putting it into my school bag. You’ll remember from an earlier post that I didn’t take too kindly to one of my friends stealing my pilot marker, and here I was doing the same damn thing.

Some days later in school my friend asked if I knew what happened to the can of spray paint. Of course, I denied knowing anything. He’d go on to ask me for weeks and weeks and I’d continue to deny knowing anything.

As I write this, I’m terribly ashamed of myself. I’ve done many things in life, but stealing from others is one of the things I pride myself on not doing too often. Except for that one time, a few quarter bag of chips from the bodega, and in a few select cases from people who I felt deserved it!

I’m ashamed because that 14 year old version of me betrayed a friend’s trust. The worse part is that he was convinced it was me and I never owned up to it. There were about 3 or 4 of us at his place. So it had to be one of us.

Anyway, if I ever make contact with this guy, I’d like to apologize for stealing that $3.00 item from him. It wasn’t so much the product, but the betrayal of trust, and more importantly lying to his face so many times. I am truly sorry.

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Possessive male hug Fri, 30 Aug 2019 11:38:28 +0000 What the hell is that you are wondering?

Well, you ever seen a dude walking with a woman, and instead of having his arm around her waist or body, this fucker has it around her fucking neck? He’s not hurting her per se, but it almost looks like he has her in a headlock. Know what I’m talking about? Ever seen that? Fuck those guys.

When I see that, I perceive an insecure man who feels the need to “secure” his partner and control her from one of her most vulnerable points, her neck. It’s almost like dude is concealing her head from the world and keeping her vision under control. Almost like blinders on a horse.

It looks really bad and I feel sorry for a woman who accepts that in her life. Sure, I’ve heard many of you say “he does it to protect me and it shows me he loves me. A little jealousy and possessiveness isn’t a bad thing.” I disagree, I  have no tolerance for such emotions in my life. Mind you, I have a history of being jealous and I hated the way it made me feel. I hated that this was taught to me at a young age. I hated being trapped by that mindset.

Now I just enjoy the freedom of living and letting my partner live. At the end of the day, no matter how tight your headlock, if she wants to leave your ass, she’s gonna leave your ass. So walk with that knowledge and relax. If she’s with you it’s because she wants to be. If she doesn’t want to, then move on fella. Now let go of that fucking headlock.

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USAF Basic Training: Air Force Training harder than Marine Corps? Fri, 30 Aug 2019 11:13:39 +0000 I saw a video clip of an Air Force Military Training Instructor saying that by the end of our basic training, Airmen are in better shape than U.S. Marines. Watching this man make the statement that (if you watch his eyes, he doesn’t believe it himself) Air Force basic Training is harder than Marine Corps basic training with a straight face was terribly embarrassing to me as an Airman. Our training is not a walk in the park, but there is no way in hell that it compares to Marine Corps recruit training. No way in hell.

Watching this MTI make that statement was horribly embarrassing for me as an Airman. On behalf of all Airmen of reason, I apologize to our fellow Marines for this man’s temporary insanity. I can only hope that he was forced to say this by a higher up because if you look at his eyes, his body language, there is absolutely no confidence in that bold statement.

I spent many months training with Marines prior to shipping out for basic training. I learned their ways and was fully prepared to undertake that intense training. I ended up talking to different recruiters and eventually switched to the Air Force. To learn why I switched branches you can read here!

I’ll give you a simple example of how our training differs here. When you see Drill Instructors training their platoon, they are running beside them and singing cadence and so on. We never, never, never once ran as a group during basic training. My military training instructors never sang cadence when marching us, we didn’t do any of that. Our runs were about two mile runs were we followed a set road path. While we ran this, on our own, at our own pace, the TI’s were riding bikes to check up on everyone. That was just embarrassing.

Granted, I’ve not been to any other basic training, and I know the Marines and Army also do solo running, but I don’t know if the instructors are cruising around on bikes during those solo runs. However, I know the Marines run a hell of a lot more and with the DIs. They also do a lot more incentive training than we did during basic. When we messed up we were punished, but I don’t recall even one time that they made me get on my face and do push ups, mountain climbers, etc. My punishments were kitchen patrol and man that really sucked, but it had zero bearing on my fitness level. It was exhausting, but that was due to the very long hours and lack of sleep.

Our boot camp was challenging in its own way. I know I had my difficulties during my time in training, especially in the beginning before I accepted my situation. But to dare make any comparison when it comes to PT with the US Marines is just embarrassing. This MTI should be ashamed for making that statement, whether of his own volition or coaxed by command. It’s just not true.

I’d go one step further and say that training with the Marines as a poolie while enrolled in the delayed entry program was more physically challenging than my entire time in Air Force boot camp. The psychological and emotional aspects are a whole different thing. Though I found that part a bit more challenging, I still wouldn’t compare it to the USMC. That’s just an insult to every Marine that has ever lived.

I’m not crapping on my branch here. I’m an Airman and I will always be and Airman. However, I am a realist, and Air Force boot camp is nowhere near as intense as Marine Corps boot camp. Come on now, stop embarrassing us.

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Taking the luxurious NJ transit train to my dad Fri, 30 Aug 2019 10:00:39 +0000 When I was young, we lived on a very tight budget. Frankly put, we were pretty damn poor. I mean, we had stuff and there were others that were much worse off, but we were definitely poor. My mom worked miracles to get us nice sneakers, nice clothes and she did the best that she could for us. I always knew and still know that today. I’m forever grateful to my mother for all that she did.

So when I was a kid, my dad was in and out of the house. Mama bear used to kick him out when he misbehaved due to his drug use, infidelities, and so on. At some point, through the power of Christ and a very nice lady named Margie, my dad cleaned up his act. He stopped using heroine and became a contributing member of society. This was good for us because he was better that way.

I’m not a religious man, but I do believe that religion can work miracles for some people. I believe that some people require religion in order to function. There belief that there is another place, and they need to be good people to get there works for me. Sure, it is a form of control, but we are all controlled by something. If it makes you a better person, why not?

So now that the old man was holding down a steady job and had a steady place to live, we began to visit him on occasion. In hindsight, I wish I made more of an effort and spent more time with him, but there is no sense in crying about spilled milk now is there? He’s gone and so is the time to act. All I can do now is spend more time with the loved ones that remain.

Anyway, my pops lived in NJ, and when we were still young, my mom used to have to escort us over to visit him. We’d all go to his place, or his lady’s place. We all got along with Margie, she is a sweet woman and to this day I value her a lot. Speaking of which, I need to give her a call to see how she is doing. It’s been a while since I talk to her.

So in order to get to Newark we’d have to take the PATH train. This required taking the regular train, then switching to the path. Once there, we’d usually have to switch at least once at Journal Square. It was a bit of a pain in the ass for a kid to spend so much time commuting.

Some days though, when things were looking a bit better financially, Mama bear would treat us and we’d get on the luxurious NJ transit train. Unlike the path, this was a one stop train with no transfers. Say what? Word! We’d just get on that train and be there in no time flat.

These days I’m not rich, but I’m slightly better off than we were then. So we’d never ride anything but NJ transit or whatever the better version is now. But I sure do love the memory of how great it felt to have this fantastic luxury when we were children.

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USAF Basic Training: Beating reveille Thu, 29 Aug 2019 11:34:12 +0000 During basic training, every single second counts. As soon as reveille sounds we are jumping up, making the racks, brushing our teeth, shaving and ready to move for the day. The drill instructors are already there and ready to roar.

Because time is so important, some of us came up with ways to save time. For instance, though the drill instructors have a little bedroom to sleep at, they didn’t always stay with us overnight. Some days I suppose they went home to their families. Though technically, they were supposed to be with us 24/7.

As we knew they weren’t always there, some of us would get up a bit earlier than the rest. We’d pee, take a dump and sneak our socks on before going back to bed. Believe me, those few seconds saved you a ton of grief come reveille. Sometimes we’d even shave and brush our teeth before the others were up. This was a nice luxury to have and since it was already close to the morning, the bathroom inspections were already over and no one would get in trouble for using the facilities. Once everyone was done in the bathroom, that’s when you had to clean it up again and using it for shaving, etc would get someone reamed.

Hitting that sweet spot of getting things done early was an art. I was pretty good at it myself. It’s how I took my first dump during basic training. I was so damn constipated and backed up from the stress, that the first dump I took was spectacular.

I remember that we had some senior week guys over once patrolling our bay when I got up to pee. They were from another flight and caught me getting up after hours. However, they weren’t looking to bust my balls. They waved me over and shot the breeze with me for a bit. Those guys were pretty hard core and intense for airmen, I was fairly impressed by them.

These little tricks were really helpful and though we are only talking about a few minutes at most, the relief from pressure was immense. To give you context, I cut my fingers and face the first few mornings while shaving. Then I got in trouble for bleeding on the sink and floor. Get it?

I think that it is human nature to adapt and find ways to survive under any circumstances. This is just  another example of human resilience. Surviving boot camp and beating reveille. I wonder what Sgt Koellner or Senior Airman Bridgeman would say if they knew what we were doing behind their backs.

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The time my friend saved my ass Thu, 29 Aug 2019 11:05:18 +0000 Years ago, I got into a fight with one of my buddies from the block. This dude used to come to my house all the time and we were good friends. But one day, I’m not sure what possessed him to do this, but he stole my black pilot marker. Back then, we used to tag up on the walls in the neighborhood. Yes, we were juvenile delinquents who defaced our own neighborhoods for the little bit of fame that came from it. Sad, I know.

In any case, my buddy stole it from me. It’s fucked up because I trusted him and all he had to do was ask and I’d lend it to him. I knew it was him because he was the only one who came to my house and I saw his tag on the walls in a brand new black pilot ink. I  confronted him about it and of course he denied it. The thing is that in his haste to take my marker, he forgot one of his comics. Do you want to laugh? I still have that damn comic, and I bet that pilot is long gone! I guess I won that exchange.

So we were outside hanging out, we had some words and then we ended up in a fist fight. He wanted his comic back but would not fess up and return my marker. I told him that I was going to keep his shit for stealing from a friend. He didn’t like me saying that outside and things escalated. Me and this guy used to play fight all the time and I held my own against him so I wasn’t to worried about losing. However, he had been experiencing a bit of a growth spurt since we last sparred together. This proved to be my undoing, because if we had slap boxed or anything more recently, I would have known that I had zero business fighting this guy.

First, he decked the shit out of me, then he grabbed me and easily got me on the floor. He mounted me ground and pound style and started to unite my face with the sidewalk. There was no getting around this, I was legit getting my ass royally handed to me. I was out of my league and I was getting fucked up.

One of my closest friends at the time saw this and realized that I was dead meat. So he came in and pulled the guy off of me. At that point I was able to stand up and my friend let him go. He looked around wondering if were going to jump him, but we just backed off with our hands up. Like I said, we were all friends and my buddy was just trying to save me from getting hurt too badly.

It was understood that the fight was over, I lost and that’s that. Clearly I was no match for the guy, but my boy was not just going to let me be smashed to pieces on the street. We all just kind of nodded and left things as they were. He knew he did wrong and I was keeping that damn comic and he knew it was my right.

That same day, a little while later some of the other older tough guys came around asking if we jumped the guy. We told them no, that he was just pulled off of me so he didn’t kill me. I was humble and said I got my ass beat and my friend saved me. Clearly they were looking for some sort of retribution if we fought unfairly. But it wasn’t like that at all. While my buddy had a hold of him, I didn’t threaten or attack him. I immediately backed off until we were all standing up and with that it ended.

In any case, I found it ironic that they were checking up on us like that, it wasn’t like they themselves often fought a fair one out there. The worst of the worst on the block were known for using weapons, gangs and seldom did they fight you fairly. Fuck out of here with that bullshit. So I’m not sure what they were up in arms about.

Weeks later the guy I fought asked me for the comic again. This time he fessed up and  offered me a dried up formerly new black pilot marker. We laughed about it and I told him the comic was mine.

In any case, that was the time one of my buddies save my ass while Growing Up Bronx. Some weeks ago I spoke to the guy who saved my ass about it, he said, “That was one of my proudest childhood moments.” I thanked him again for saving my ass back then. We haven’t hung out in years, but we are friends for life.

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Dave Chappelle’s New Netflix Special “Sticks & Stones” Wed, 28 Aug 2019 11:19:41 +0000 So I recently watched Dave Chappelle’s New Netflix Special ‘Sticks & Stones. I’m a fan of the guy, so let’s get that out there. I find him to be one of the funniest comedians out there. Let’s be clear on that right from the gate. I love his stand up and I loved The Chapelle Show.

All that being said, in this new special, Chapelle came out swinging like a man who didn’t have anything to lose. Unlike many comedians of current times, my man didn’t hold back on anything. I mean, as I watched this I was thinking “Man, this dude is doubling down and telling everyone: I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU SAY OR DO.” I suppose that given his hiatus, his personal experiences with the powers that be, and the fact that he’s probably already very wealthy, that he’s not too worried about losing sponsors, opportunities and so on.

The jokes were definitely harsh and he really pushed the envelope. A lot of folks are going to have a problem with this special and how offensive it is to so many different groups of people.  He even said that his wife told him not to do the Asian jokes, she’s Asian. But clearly Dave doesn’t give a shit, he did the Asian jokes and then some. He’s staying true to his controversial comedian roots and just speaking about whatever he wants.

Honestly, I’m even surprised that Netflix allowed this special on the air. He just really let loose here. I will say though, among all the abuse he hurled at so many different people from so many backgrounds, he also laid down some hard hitting truths about the world as it is today.

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Dr Debra Blum at Dental Implants & Oral Surgery for Adults and Children Tue, 27 Aug 2019 11:50:57 +0000 So Dr Kong sent me over to Dr Blum to have some wisdom teeth removed. I’ve been putting this off for as long as I can remember, but it came to a head and I couldn’t put it off any longer. You can read that whole history in the prior link, I’ll focus on the practice here.

So Dr Blum’s office is not “in network” for my insurance, I only found this out the day of surgery. However, this was not due to their lack of communicating with me. The front desk staff reached out to me a few times and my stupid ass thought it was just a courtesy reminder about the upcoming appointment. Turns out they were reaching out to inform me about the insurance situation. So that’s on me, I guess Dr Kong should also refer me to someone in network, but again, I didn’t listen to the message so they did their part.

I found out once I got there and I considered leaving. However, there were several things at play here. First of all, if I left, I don’t know if or when I’d revisit this wisdom thing again. Also, and this was key in my decision to stick around, was how efficient, professional, and willing to help me the front desk staff was. I’m sorry, I suck at names, and I was nervous as shit that day. But the lady up front, she was on point with it all. Really, I think I stuck around mostly because she had her shit in order. This made me think that the rest of the office must also be on point. So I decided to practically eat the entire cost of the surgery to get it done right and have it done then and there.

After we sorted out the financial logistics of everything, they did an x-ray, decided whether or not they’d be doing all 4 wisdom teeth and why, and eventually we got to work.

Dr Blum gave me the speech about the nerves in the jaw, the risk that the surgery posed to it and wanted to make sure I understood. This is the typical cover your ass medical stuff. There is always a risk when these things are happening. Dr Blum answered all my questions and did a great job of calming a very scared old man. They hit me with the relax juice and I sort of knocked out. I was aware at certain times and heard some things, but I know that I was out cold for most of the time as I don’t remember hearing or feeling much.

After everything, Dr Blum gave me some information, and later on I received a text message from her about how I was doing and so on. Considering that I had 4 wisdom teeth ripped out at once, this experience was as pleasant as it can be. I really like Dr Blum and I feel she did everything really well. Her staff was cool, and the real MVP is the front desk lady who calmed my ass down and helped navigate all the insurance on the fly right then and there. That’s the type of employee every business needs, and I sure hope that Dr Blum recognizes her efforts. I’m sure she does.

Look folks, yes, I ate a shit ton of expense on this, but if you are going to do something like this, trust your instincts and your gut. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. Yes, I paid, but I am extremely satisfied with the work that was done and the service I received at this practice. This is not at all relevant to the work, but I think Dr Blum is a very attractive woman, so that doesn’t hurt either. I mean, if you are going to have your mouth ripped open, and you have no choice but to engage in this terrifying experience, why not have the presence of a beautiful woman there to force your very fragile male ego to suck it up and get it done? Seriously though, if you need to have some heavy shit done in your mouth, definitely consider Dr Blum, she was great.

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The Boys Mon, 26 Aug 2019 11:56:25 +0000 So I wanted to read the comic series prior to watching the show, but my wife wanted to watch The Boys already so I just went with it.

This series was really good. It was quite entertaining and though it had it’s share of parts that got me irked from time to time, it wasn’t ridiculous with the complications and problems. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Some shows are so ridiculous with every possible damn thing that could go wrong going wrong. This wasn’t the case here, things happened as expected, but not to the point that it pissed me off.

Even the ending, though it does leave you hanging, it doesn’t leave you pissed off. It was a somewhat logical finish and I was satisfied.

The show involves Superheroes and their lives. You have your equivalent to superman, aquaman, and a few others. It also includes a group of “regular” humans who have an issue with the supes. Initially, I thought this was going to be a spoof show of sorts, but it absolutely is not. It has an original story line, and though there are some similarities in the characters, it has nothing in line with the DC series, etc. It really stands on its own as a very entertaining show.

I checked it out and it looks like the comic series is completed, as such I’m going to make this the next one I read and finish. I’m sure the tv show will take liberties and stray from the comic, but all the same, I’m going to read it all in the coming days. I think there are 70+ comics, and I get through the volumes really fast.

This isn’t your typical superhero story, but I think its really enjoyable and encourage you to check out The Boys. It’s pretty damn dope.

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Godzilla King of Monsters Mon, 26 Aug 2019 11:50:52 +0000 This movie was fucking awesome! How’s that for starters?

Look, not since I was a kid has a Godzilla movie had me rooting and screaming during the fight and action scenes. Not since I was a child has a Godzilla movie moved me to tears even knowing that there was no way this was over. This one did! I think I even scared my wife during some of the scenes because I was so into it. It’s like when you watch a sports game and are rooting on your team! That’s how I was rooting for Godzilla in this film.

This movie absolutely hit the nail in so far as monster movies go. I can’t even remember the first part of this film. Though I know enjoyed it, I have zero recollection of it. However, this one I’m sure I’ll remember and I’ll probably even watch it again. It is a rare thing for me to watch a movie more than once, but some are good enough for that. This was definitely one of them.

If you are a fan of old school Godzilla, I think you’ll enjoy this film. Lord knows I did.

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Better living through dentistry – Dr Kong Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:51:40 +0000 As much as I hate the dentist, I recently decided that I had to be proactive in my oral care. The reasons for my hatred go back to childhood dental trauma experienced over a period of many years. That’s another story entirely, but suffice it to say that I felt tortured and ridiculed at the hands of dentists during my formative years.

In any case, I’m a grown ass man now and not much for being ridiculed. Furthermore, as a rational adult I can navigate the world much better than I could as a child.

So I’d been visiting quite a few dentists in order to find out who I would go with for my invisalign treatment. Most of the dentists I met were cool, but some were greedy and to even talk to you they wanted large sums of money. Granted, I did have to pay Doctor Kong for an exam, but they were not charging me to simply talk to me. That would have been a red flag as it was with some of the others. I worked out most of the details out with Sue who is the office manager and runs the show here in Queens, she’s pretty awesome and I dig her.

So my first impression of Doctor Kong was very good. His practice embraces technology and my interactions with the team has always been positive. When I met Doctor Kong, he laid things out for me, we spoke for sometime, he was very clear, professional and addressed all my concerns. He seemed confident in his work and plans for my teeth. He told me the things that needed to happen prior to even beginning the invisalign work and he seemed extremely knowledgeable. I did perceive quite a bit of confidence, almost a little too much, but that’s not a bad thing is it?

In any case, as a potential future patient of his, I liked that he was so confident. It’s actually one of the reasons I chose to work with him as opposed to some of the other similar priced or even cheaper dentists. Confidence comes from practice and skill. Also, as a fairly experienced people person, I can kind of tell when someone is arrogant and full of shit, or when someone is just confident and actually knows their shit. I sensed that Dr. Kong is the latter and actually knows his shit. There were much cheaper guys out there where I could have done my oral work, but my gut and instincts told me to pay more and work with this man. So that’s what I did. In fact, I even changed my dental insurance so that I could use him. Admittedly, it did take a year for me to come back to him after my initial visit, but that goes back to my childhood terror of dentists.

Mind you, he didn’t hard sell me or anything. He was kind of matter of fact about the numbers. He didn’t try to hide them or anything. I appreciated that openness too. Its kind of like, he’d like you as a patient, but he doesn’t need you as a patient. With that, there are no bs tactics, no sneaky or shady behavior, etc. I was once tricked by a damn dentists into thinking she was part of my network, and after everything was done, they charged me a few thousand dollars. I was young and naive back then, but I sure wish I could remember that asshole’s name!

Anyway, the first step in my process was to reduce and or eliminate gum disease. This has been a recurring problem in my life and I’ve had to do a deep cleaning a few times already. When I say deep cleaning though, I’m talking about getting shots in my gums and them getting way up in there to clean all that nasty shit out. My gums would bleed a lot and were inflamed. They took care of that. Since then I floss every damn day! Before that, I never flossed.

This is Grace, she is the hygienist who took care of my mouth. Doctor Kong could tell, (I also told him) that I was terrified of going to the dentist and that I used to violently fight them off when I was a kid. He told Grace to please be gentle because I was very nervous and he didn’t want me to lash out. LOL. I assured them that I wasn’t going to punch anyone or do anything crazy. That was just a young version of me and that I’m way too old for that now. Also, Grace is pretty cute and I had no intentions of embarrassing myself by punking out in front of her. LOL.

Doctor Kong went about numbing my mouth, and then Grace was as gentle as one could be during a deep cleaning. I had a lot of crap in there and she certainly had her work cut out for her. Unfortunately for me, some of that crap that was flying around in my mouth gave me a throat infection and I spent quite a few days in pain after. My tonsils were swollen AF and the uvula was so damn fat that I could pinch it between my tongue and palate. It was nuts.

Anyway, it hurt so damn much that I went to my primary care doctor and she said it wasn’t bacterial so antibiotics would not help. The only option I had was to let it run its course. That sucked but eventually got better.

I’ve been scheduled for cleaning sessions every 3 months and regular visits to keep my gums and teeth healthy. This appears to be well on its way now. I went in a couple of months ago for my first follow up and cleaning session. It was with Grace again, and I think I took it like a champ. I did let them know that my throat was a bit sensitive and what happened last time. This time we were good and I didn’t get an infection. I presume that since the heavy cleaning is done, it shouldn’t happen again.

After that process was over, they were to examine my mouth and see how things were coming along. Once my gums were better off, then they could look at invisalign. However, before that could happen, I had to remove at least one of my troublesome wisdom teeth. I did all four of them to be done with it once and for all. This wasn’t fun but it needed to happen. Check out Dr Blum on that process.

Now we can start the process of straightening out my teeth. I feel like this is just a waste of my time and money as I’m already an old man. But I’d really like to know what it feels like to have straight teeth and be able to properly close my mouth. So I’m just going to start the process. Doctor Kong had already showed me a sample of what they should look like towards the end of the process. It is pretty exciting stuff and I’m stoked to get it done.

This practice is a great place. The support staff, administrative staff, and pretty much everyone I have encountered has been really good. If you are looking for a dentist to get some work done, I highly recommend Doctor Kong’s practice, Better living through dentistry.

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Zumba Online Basic 1 Training Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:27:02 +0000 So Zumba sent out a newsletter stating that they are looking to license people to teach Basic 1 via online training. Some people are okay with this and others are complaining about it.

If you read my first article on getting a Zumba license, you might be able to figure out my stance on this quite easily. One of the sticking points from naysayers is that there won’t be interactive instruction or supervising. I think that’s bull crap.

Here’s why I think that, the only thing you have to do to get a Zumba license is show up to training. That’s it, that’s all you have to do. There is a master class, a break, the instructor goes over a few rhythms, has you play with some choreo, goes over some written material, then at the end, if you sign up for the recurring ZIN fees you are a licensed Zumba instructor. There is no testing, no real knowledge checks, it’s not pass or fail. It’s show up, pay, you are in. Pay to play at its finest.

The only real test is when you audition for a job at a gym. When you do that, the group exercise manager evaluates you and depending on their personal preference, they decide if you are good enough. I’ve seen some horrible instructors in my time at many gyms throughout the city, so this area is extremely subjective.

After that, the only other check is how well you actually perform in class, and that too is subjective. For example, on Saturday at one gym, they adore me and I get 70 to 90 people every week. At another gym, when the instructor left and I took over on Saturdays, I had about 15 people left in the class. The larger group never even gave me a chance, they just didn’t show up. Count the difference between 15 to 90 people, that’s quite a huge gap. So yes, this too is subjective and many variables come into play. However, real talk, some people just suck.

In my opinion though, from Zumba’s end there is no quality control when it comes to becoming a Zumba instructor. I mean, all you have to do is take a few classes with different instructors to see that. Frankly, some of them suck. Yes, I know, spread love and positivity, and everyone is equal in the Zumba world. But really? Are we all equal? I don’t think so, and I’m not going to pretend that’s the case to win brownie points with whoever the hell is keeping track.

In addition, I’ve seen and experienced plenty of hate and negativity in the Zumba world. You can sell whatever b.s you want, but the reality is that there are plenty of big egos in Zumba, and yes some people suck, and yes some people are assholes. Of course, there are also plenty of loving and wonderful souls in the Zumba world. Like I said, it’s my favorite format to teach and the students are great! But let’s not act like its all perfect, I hate that fake crap. Be real.

The Zumba community is just like any other community, it has its good and bad. To pretend otherwise is to insult the intelligence of the community and general public. I don’t play that crap. I’ve had people unfriend because students said they liked my class after I subbed. I didn’t do or say anything, I just covered the class, then the person became my “enemy” because they thought I was trying to hurt them. I’ve had people lie about me to try and get me removed as an instructor because they didn’t like my style for some reason. I’ve seen students walk out while cursing because a certain instructor showed up. I’ve seen instructors speak badly about others. And on and on it goes. The point is, don’t pretend this bad shit doesn’t exist, it does.

Anyway, I digress. Look, this move by Zumba is about making money. They want more people to sign up and pay for training. Whether they teach or not, if they want to be ZIN, they have to pay those monthly fees to Zumba. Why would they not open it up and make it more accessible to people via the web? From a financial standpoint, it makes amazing sense and it is a great move. We already know that there is no real quality control even in the in person training, so what difference does it make?

Want to know what makes a good zumba instructor? The instructor themselves. They have to practice their choreo, embed the cues into their work, put together a great playlist, bring the energy and give the students a great class. You don’t need to take Zumba training to do any of those things, we know it, they know it, and its just about the brand and making money. Most people are scared to say this because they don’t want to look bad, but I ain’t worried about that.

I teach Zumba and I love teaching it. It is my favorite format to teach hands down. I’m really good at it and my people love my classes. I wear Zumba clothing, and I am a fan. But don’t let that fool you into believing that I am some brainwashed Zumba robot, I’m not. I know and understand the company and their financial model. Like I said, I love to teach Zumba, and I love the groups I teach for, but I also know that they want that money. So, as I stated before, from a making money point of view, this is a genius move and I praise whoever came up with the idea. It is genius!

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USAF Basic Training: Ingrown Nail during Boot Camp Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:04:25 +0000 For most of my life, I have combated ingrown toenails. It’s some genetic shit that came my way courtesy of my old man. At times now, my own son has coped with the damn things! Ingrown nails suck ass. They hurt like a motherfucker and are really debilitating.

Imagine the shock when I was marching with my Air Force flight during basic training and I felt that all too familiar pain on one of my toes. Think how it must have felt when I went to take off my socks and they were stuck to the toe and bloody!

I told my military training instructor about it and he gave me hell. On one hand they wanted us to inform them of all and any injuries, but when I did of course he accused me of trying to get out of training! He proceeded to bust my balls for quite awhile. At one point he ordered me to show him, so I did and then he sent me to see the foot doctor the following morning.

I marched over in my boots. The surgeon took a look, took out the all too familiar clippers and cut the damn ingrown nail out. I don’t remember if he numbed my toe or not. In any case, after cutting out the troublesome nail, he wrapped my toe up and told me to get back to training.

I marched back to the barracks and rejoined my flight. I remember having this surgery many times before, and it sucked. But during the basic training days, I went right back to marching and running and recovered while still drilling and performing all my duties.

As I slowly recover from having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out, I can’t help but think about how amazing it is what the body can do when it has no choice and is under such extreme circumstances.

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Mayor Deblasio and Di Fara Pizza Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:58:25 +0000 So Deblasio seems to have a very highly vested interest in Di Fara Pizza. For those of you who are not aware, our fearless Mayor has taken to twitter to state that he would do whatever he could to get the pizza shop opened up again. Di Fara was shut down because they owe nearly $200,000 in back taxes.

I’ve never eaten their pizza, to be honest, I would like to try it. I do run a review website after all. That being said, if they are not paying their taxes then why should they get any special treatment? Governor Cuomo has gone on record stating that Deblasio has no power to forgive a tax debt, so unless he plans to fork over $200,000 himself, that there isn’t much he can do.

I picked up this story because with all the things happening in this country and particularly this city, I find it rather funny that our Mayor, when he’s not busy running around trying to campaign for president of the United States instead takes up arms on the topic of a pizza shop. Never mind that there are so many other problems in this city like homelessness and crime. No, the hill to die on is the hill of his favorite pizza shop.

Today I wondered allowed how it was that Deblasio became our Mayor, and some poll workers who happened to be around told me that there was extremely low voter turnout, as such, it was easy for him to win again. I suppose that most people believed that he’d win regardless, so why bother?

Anyway, that’s our leader folks, a man who cares more about pizza than the city he’s being paid lots of money to run.

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Small dog stolen and returned Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:52:30 +0000 Did you see the story about a terrier who was stolen from a bodega yesterday? The dog was returned to it’s owners. Do these people realize how lucky they are that this thief returned the dog? I mean, I’d still want to find the son of a bitch who took the dog anyway, but at least they fucking returned it.

One of my biggest fears when my wife takes my dog out is that someone could try to take Peppa from her because they think she’s cute or they can breed her. Obviously, I don’t worry as much when I take her out. I’m much stronger and more dangerous than my wife is. But I can be knocked unconscious or shot, I’m not immune to it. But in order to get my dog from me, you’d have to render me unconscious, otherwise I will fight you with everything that I have.

That being said, I hope these people learned their lesson. I hope that you readers who do stupid shit like leaving your dog tied to a tree while you enter a store learned something too. Don’t do that shit! I’ve seen larger dogs, and those are a bit more menacing and less likely to be stolen, but little ones are too easy to take. I’d never, ever, ever  leave Peppa anywhere where she’s not under my protection. I don’t even like leaving her home alone!

I don’t understand how anyone could do that. We obviously live in a world that is filled with psychopaths. I mean look at the way this fucking scumbag took that poor dog. If I saw that, I’d run up on him so fast! And for those of you who doubt me, I’ve already confronted people who were mistreating dogs in my presence. Fuck you. There are things we just can’t allow to happen in our presence, animal abuse is one of them.

I hope they learned! Don’t leave your fucking dogs unattended! And while we are at it, don’t leave them in hot cars either.

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Kids fundraising help at gun point by deranged woman Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:14:10 +0000 So this porky pig looking bitch seemed to have a problem with four black kids who were in her neighborhood trying to raise funds for their football team.

Why is it that to some people, the mere presence of a black person makes them pull a gun? Why does a civilian think that they have the right to put four kids on the floor face down and detain them until police show up when no crime was committed? Who does this damn wench think she is?

Now get this, when the police showed up, she had the nerve to continue berating the kids. She said “This is your life you are playing with.” What the fuck is that about? They are outside going door to door, raising funds, and this somehow endangers their life? Simply existing puts them in a place where you feel you have the right to warn them that they are playing with their lives? Simply for participating in a fund raiser?

This is how demented Jerri Kelly is, and though she was arrested for a host of charges including false imprisonment and endangering children, they didn’t even bother taking a mugshot of her at first. Oh, right, I guess I should mention that her husband is one of the jail administrators. As it stands she is out on $10,000 bond and I suppose she will be in court soon.

I can’t believe the nerve of this woman. How entitled she must feel to try and tell these kids how to live, to demand that they look at her in the eyes, and to try and force them to shake her hand.

Look folks, she didn’t physically hurt them, thankfully. So I’m going to go easy on jail time, but she should definitely be held responsible in some way. At a minimum, she should lose her right to own a firearm, she has already demonstrated that she is incapable of safely owning a gun. The kids were not hurt, but what if one of them sneezed? Would she have panicked and squeezed of a head shot? They should never be in that situation because some idiot gun owner was scared of them. Those kids should all consider filing a civil lawsuit for the trauma that they have experienced. Having a gun pointed at you is a terrifying experience. She should not be able to do that to anyone ever again!

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Sanfords Astoria Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:01:31 +0000 A few days after my oral surgery I was too meet up with my friend and her son for dinner. I probably wasn’t in the best condition to go out to eat, but I love these folks and wanted to see them.

In any case, we toyed around with a few ideas and even spoke about rescheduling. However, our time together is very limited and I didn’t want to forego that. So we ended up choosing this place.

I’d never heard of Sanfords and had no opinion of it either way. She said it was like a diner of sorts, so I figured I could eat some scrambled eggs and be all good. However, the food here was not diner food, it was more along the lines of italian food.

I gotta tell you, though I didn’t get to fully enjoy the experience due to the four fresh holes in my mouth, I thought the food was really good. I enjoyed every dish and I plan to go back there when I can actually eat more comfortably. Unfortunately, I wasn’t all that clear headed and didn’t get pictures of all the food, but I took a few.

Of course you know I started with a soup, cause you know, I couldn’t chew much. I enjoyed the soup, it was pretty good. I’ll have this again next time.

Mac and cheese is my ish, so whenever I go somewhere I gotta have it. This was a little different in appearance, but it was delicious. The little crunchies on the top was a nice touch.

This was my main course. It was salmon, veggies and cous cous. As you can see, I forgot take a picture prior to dogging it.

I also had their quesadillas, really good stuff.

Overall I really enjoyed this place and as I mentioned before, I’ll definitely be back soon. Totally worth it.

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Kid arrested for making mass shooting threat Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:51:07 +0000 I’m sure that you have seen the video of this young kid who was arrested in Florida for posting in a video game, “I pledge to take my father’s gun and shoot up a school.” I don’t recall his exact words, but who cares about that? He made a threat to shoot up a school, in this day and age, and that’s just dangerous!

So, some cops showed up to this kid’s house and arrested him on felony charges. Whether or not they’ll actually lock him up on those charges is yet to be determined, but the boy is in trouble. As well he should be. I mean how stupid are you that you’d make a threat to shoot up a school, especially in a place like Florida where it is actually very easy to do so?

So here’s the kicker, the kid’s mom is seen defending him. I understand that, it’s her boy and she’d do whatever she can to protect him. “He’s just a boy playing a game, he’s just talking nonsense with his friends.” The officers handled that well by stating that they have no way of knowing if he meant it or not. These other shooters were also kids who could never do any harm, until they do.

So here’s the thing people. When these shootings happen, you complain that the police weren’t proactive enough in stopping it. That the cops should have known or acted on tips to prevent the mass murder of babies. Well, what the hell do you think it is they are doing here? They are doing exactly what you want them to do. Except, since its your baby boy, now it’s wrong, right?

If this kid was the victim of a mass shooting, I’m sure this mom would demand to know why the police didn’t take action to prevent the shooting! Well, they are taking action now, and it just so happens that rather than being a victim in a shooting,  your little Jimmy is the one making the threat. You can’t have it one way for other kids, then when its yours the rules are different. This kid made a threat, he made statements, he has to face the consequences.

I understand and empathize with the mother, no parent wants to see their child hauled away in handcuffs. Let this be a lesson to any other kids out there who are either joking or seriously making statements along those lines. DON’T. I have an even better suggestion, if you are thinking of shooting up a school, DON’T.

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USAF Tech School: Marching the flight Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:25:56 +0000 During tech school, I became what we called a “rope.” A rope was like a hall monitor of sorts. We were entrusted with enforcing minor laws in the day room, around the barracks, and we were also tasked with getting the flight to and from classes at tech school.

There were different ropes for different levels of responsibility and some specialized jobs. My time at tech school was fairly short, so I only attained a green rope. This put me in charge of a specific group of airmen in my particular dorm. There are many stories I could share about my brief time as a student leader, but today I want to talk about marching the flight to and from school.

So as a fitness instructor, I’ve encountered what it feels like to be new, to walk into a room full of people, and then to blow it. I’ve had classes where I knew as I was performing the job that I was sucking real bad. Marching a flight was no different in the beginning. The first time I tried to march a large flight, I botched it really back. I was supposed to get them moving and then across the street. I didn’t get the road guards out quickly enough, and I didn’t get them turning on the right foot.

The easiest way to create a parallel is driving a car. If you are trying to parallel park, and you make the wrong move or go to far, etc, you have to reset and do it again. Well, that’s what happened to me when marching my flight for the first time. My training instructor saw how badly I fucked up and he took over. He recovered from my mess and got everyone back to the dorms safely.

In hindsight, it’s not that it was hard, I think I was just nervous and under a lot of pressure. I didn’t feel like I was ready to start marching them as I never practiced. However, I learned under fire and pressure. The next time I took over the marching I got it right, my confidence was higher because I had already experienced the worst case scenario. From that point forward I got really good at it.

I recall that on the way to tech school we’d have to march through the flight line were all the jets were, and those things were damn loud. In order to be heard, you’d have to hit a strange pitch and key. There was no way that any of us could scream louder than a freaking jet, but you could hit a pitch that was heard through the flight line noise. I learned the perfect pitch that was distinguishable over the loud planes to keep the flight going and in step.

By the end of tech school, I was an expert and on my way to getting a yellow rope. They didn’t promote me because I was leaving, but I knew that if I remained, I’d have gotten the yellow and then red rope, it was just a matter of time. My training instructors loved me and my eagerness to perform at a high level. I thrived in the military. I do miss those days, I had a good time in tech school and part of that fun was marching the flight.

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Wisdom teeth removal Tue, 20 Aug 2019 11:13:57 +0000 So when I was 19 years old I joined the U.S Air Force. When you join up, they check out your body out from head to toe. They don’t want anyone in there who can’t perform their duties. One of the checks I had was with the Air Force dentist. I remember he looked at my mouth, did some x-rays and then said to me, “You need to get that wisdom tooth taken out, it’s impacted. Do it before boot camp.”

I smiled, agreed and then just went to boot camp. See, I’m not a  fan of the dentist. I’ve had horrid experiences throughout my life at the dentist. This was especially so during my childhood. My teeth were so messed up that I was literally put on display during some oral surgery at a university hospitals. These inconsiderate fuckers were demonstrating my teeth like some sort of damn masterpiece.

Hey Johnson, look at this weird case! This kid has a tooth all the way up in his nose! Don’t worry, he’s drugged up on that happy gas, he can’t hear us. Ramirez, hold his tongue he’s trying to shove it into the hole.

Oh, I could hear them and I was aware of mostly everything that was going on. That damn experience was horrible and has stayed with me until this day. As such, I am no fan of oral surgery at all. As stated earlier, this wisdom tooth was an issue nearly half my life ago, but I didn’t take it out until now. Back then I just nodded and then I went to boot camp.

Here were are over 20 years later and once again that wisdom tooth has come up during a dentist visit. This time my dentist said that if I didn’t remove it I stood to damage and eventually lose the tooth next to it. Ducking this thing was no longer an option. Mind you, it was over a year since my first visit with this same dentist and over 5 years since my visit to a dentist before that one. Like I said, I don’t like going to the dentist.

My gums were bleeding again and I also wanted to look at Invisalign to straighten out my teeth. In order to start moving teeth around, he said that I needed to have deep cleaning and get rid of the gum disease. He also said that the wisdom tooth on my bottom right side had to go and that it would be a good idea to remove to other ones as well. I agreed with him as did the oral surgeon when she looked at my mouth. The problem is that they are hard to clean and though only one was impacted, I had red pockets and inflammation in the area, despite having had a very deep cleaning and practicing good oral hygiene.

In any case, I opted to get them all done at once. I didn’t want to deal with this crap on more than one occasion. My thought process was go through it, deal with it and do this all in one shot, ONCE AND FOR ALL! I definitely didn’t want to deal with these limitations and discomforts more than this one time in my life. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, but at least I know that I won’t be dealing with wisdom teeth problems going forward.

Today is day 8 since I had the procedure done. I’d been on a mostly liquid diet for the first few days. I had fruit and veggie shakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Surprisingly, my body adapted fairly well and I felt pretty comfortable with it. I once did a 7 day juice cleanse so I treated this as just another cleanse. I tried to eat some solid food around the 4th day, and though I was able to do so, it was exhausting, stressful and really didn’t feel worth the hassle. Anyway, I decided to go back to liquids for the time being. Now I’ve been slowly reintroducing solids and since I’m able to chew better, it’s not as stressful or exhausting.

My biggest concern at this time is the fact that I still have 4 holes inside my mouth. These holes can hide food particles, bacteria and if disturbed can become a major source of pain. I have done my best to avoid this thing called dry socket and so far I have been successful. Eating solids greatly increases the risk of getting dry socket. If you don’t know what that is, think of it like loosing or removing the scab on a cut on your skin. Except that this scab is made out of a blood clot and actually covers BONE and a damn NERVE below your jaw. Yeah, you don’t want none of that dry socket shit. I’ve been so damn careful because of that, almost to the point of being ridiculous. But like I said, I don’t want anything to do with that.

I recently had my follow up, and my surgeon told me that I shouldn’t worry too much about that at this point. She said its not likely to happen after 3-4 days post surgery. I’m 8 days in now so she told me to chill out. She had told me that a while ago, but like I said, I was scared of that damn dry socket crap. But I’m finally relaxing a bit and was finally able to enjoy some food again.

Overall, this experience wasn’t as terrible as I expected. Sure, it was uncomfortable, and it hurt, but nowhere near as much as I though. The bottom line is, if you gotta get it done, then just get it done. I’d read dozens of horror stories, but thankfully I wasn’t one of them. All things considered this process was a great success.

What I ate: Fruit and vegetable shakes.

Medicine: I took motrin 400 instead of the potentially addictive opioids I was prescribed. I also took a round of amoxicillin to prevent infection.

Hygiene: I carefully brushed the front and flossed. I tried to avoid the back teeth as I was afraid to disturb the wound.

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How tough are you? Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:27:23 +0000 In the world there are different levels to everything, toughness is no exception. For instance, if you grew up in the hood, the streets will make you hard and tough. Either they do or you will simply become a victim and servant to those streets.

If you listen to real tough guys like Wes Watson, Shaun Atwood or Big Herc who talk about their life experiences in prison, you’ll find that it is the same thing there but at a much higher level where the stakes are much more real.

It was the same in elementary, Junior High, and then High school growing up in the Bronx. Not so much once I entered college, things were a bit different there. In college I didn’t really feel or experience that your toughness had any bearing on your standing. In college it was more about intellect. In my case, this was useful as I’m fairly good at academics.

There is clearly a pecking order in the work force, though this is more apparent in some lines of work. For instance, the military has a very clear hierarchy and pecking order. Though this has no real bearing on your toughness except maybe in places like the Marine Corps where being a badass is a job requirement!

The same applies in well off neighborhoods where you have a bunch of spoiled rich kids. The expression of dominance or toughness usually isn’t as violent as it is in the hood, but it exists for them as well.

Personally, I don’t consider myself a tough guy, but I can handle myself. I grew up in the streets, but I never became of the streets. I experienced the abuse that I mentioned before in the streets, and that led me to become harder. There are limits to my toughness, but that is because I am intelligent. I know that I have much to lose, therefore I’m not willing to take risks that can cost me what I’ve worked so hard to attain. I’m also not willing to risk my freedom to show how tough I am.

Mind you, I am fully aware that this puts me at a disadvantage in the world. When it comes to wolves eating wolves, only the most heartless will survive. If we were living in a lawless society like the Walking Dead or something like that, then I’d definitely become the animal that is necessary to survive in that world.

It’s hard to fathom today because I’m so docile, but I’ve done whatever was necessary to survive in whatever circumstances I found myself in throughout my life. Be that in the streets, school, the military and so on. I always made it out and mostly thrived. Because of this, there is no doubt in my mind that I’d become whatever is necessary to survive under those circumstances as well. But in civilized society I do have my limits as do most reasonable human beings.

This is a big factor in determining your toughness. If you don’t care about your life and where you end up, that makes you a very dangerous person. Stupid but dangerous and I suppose that translate to tough. This is why suicide fighters are such a dangerous enemy, they have no fear of death and don’t expect to go home, they are just looking to do as much damage as possible. The same applies to lifers in prison, they have nothing to lose, so they can kill indiscriminately because no matter what they do, they are never going home.

A normal person like you or me, we are aware of consequences and we don’t want that. This makes us cautious and therefore by definition less tough or dangerous than some of the aforementioned individuals. It doesn’t mean they can beat you in a fight, but if they don’t hesitate in stabbing or shooting you, then what can you do at that point? How do you fight a guy who wants to die and take you with him? Most of us don’t want to shoot or stab someone unless we have no other choice, but if this is the first instinct of your foe, that’s a very dangerous or tough foe indeed.

What are your thoughts on being tough?

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Phone text bubbles in relationships Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:59:07 +0000 I’ve recently seen a few posts out there stating that iPhone users were being exclusive about dating only other iPhone users. There were some people interviewed because their relationships ended over a phone switch. Some even specifically say that they won’t date a person who doesn’t have an iPhone. I mean this is one of the criteria that some of these people have.

So here’s what I think of that, these are not blogs like mine, these are professional outlets who are covering these stories. I mean, really, someone was sent out to interview some asshole out there because they said they won’t date a person unless they have an iPhone. Talk about going out and scraping the bottom of the barrel. I mean, if I write about it, who gives a damn, I’m just a blogger who writes about whatever the hell he wants. But to have a person paid to go out there and conduct serious journalism around such an idiotic topic? Wow.

Listen, if you are the type of person who dates a person based on the phone that they have, or the color of their text bubbles, you are just a fucking idiot. There’s no other way to put it, you are just a fucking idiot. Do I even need to list why this topic is ridiculous? Do I need to detail why the color of a bubble doesn’t reflect on a person’s ability to love and treat you right? I mean, no, I mustn’t have to do that. I think you are an asshole and you know that you are asshole. Yeah, you know.

I’m an iPhone owner, and let it be known, you could be on a landline and I’d still stick my face in between your legs. The color of text bubbles? What a load of horseshit!

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Why doesn’t my crush say hi to me? Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:11:24 +0000 I had a young person reach out and ask this question. If you too are wondering why your crush doesn’t say hi to you, there are a few things to consider.

If you and your crush know each other, it is possible that your crush may know that you are crushing on them, that in itself is enough to make someone act a bit different around you. The simple fact that your crush could be aware of how you feel is enough to make them treat you differently. The reasons for that are many. From trying to be cool and impressing you, to shyness or just trying not to say or do anything misleading, etc. In addition to that, your crush may or may not feel the same way about you. Well, clearly they either do or they don’t. This is yet another reason that could lead to “different” behavior towards you.

I find that we tend to be more relaxed and natural (initially) when there is no pressure. If you like a person, (know that they like you) you could become anxious and worried about what they think, how they feel, etc. This adds pressure and makes you act “differently” towards the object of your affection. This is a possibility.

Honestly, as I get older I’ve realized that I don’t like uncertainty. I hate wondering around about how someone feels or what my chances are. You may or may not be ready for this approach, but I prefer to just know! If I wanted to date someone, I’d simply go for it. It’s not easy, but ask yourself, what have you got to lose? What’s the worse possible case scenario? The worse case scenario is that they laugh in your face and say no. If that happens, you might feel a little embarrassed, maybe a little hurt, your pride and ego will suffer a bit, but trust me, life goes on.

On the other hand, they may be interested in knowing you too! They may say yes and then you can proceed to enjoy whatever time you have together.

Isn’t it better to just know and have some certainty in life? Personally, I’d rather just know if they feel the same way or if there is a possibility they could. I mean, there is nothing wrong with letting things develop slowly and organically, but irregardless of your approach, you have to make your intentions known. Or I should say, even if you are casual about it, they will know what’s up anyway. Then they’ll either agree to have that meal with you or not.

At the end of the day life is about taking risks. Sometimes the result is favorable, sometimes it is not. But one thing is for sure, life goes on and there is always another opportunity! Best of luck.

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Your first day of bjj Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:12:21 +0000 One of my younger buddies asked me about the first day of BJJ. I thought since I’m fairly new to BJJ, I’m 42 years old and still very much a beginner that I am in a fairly good position to answer this question based off of my very recent experience.

So yes, it is extremely scary, and even now, if I miss just a few days, when I go back I feel like I’m going to puke because I’m so anxious about it. However, once I step on the mats and get to work with the team, it’s all good in the hood.

It really depends on the school, the instructor present, and the culture at the academy, but I have found that every school I’ve ever gone to allowed me to warm up, drill and then spar right from day one. I know that some schools don’t do that. In fact, I don’t think that the Gracie combatives even lets you spar until blue belt. Don’t quote me on that though, I’ve never been to a Gracie school myself.

Anyway, one thing I’ve found is that for the most part, the bjj community is very welcoming and supportive. In all my years of on and off white belt training, I’ve only encountered one person who I thought was an asshole. Everyone else has pretty much been really cool. You should know that your training partners are there to help you and not abuse you. Most higher belts and even more experienced white belts want to bring you up, they are not looking too crush your soul. Especially in the beginning.

You’ll find that guys you’ve never met in your life will treat you like a brother and family right away. Believe me, I know it’s awkward to walk into a new place and roll around with grown men on the floor. It’s especially hard when you are the new guy and feel like everyone already knows each other. Maybe you show up and everyone is already paired up, don’t sweat it. Just move around and warm up, most times a pair will invite you to work in with them. Most of us want everyone to get some work in.

You’ll find that by the end of that first training session, you are now one of those guys who knows each other. You are now one of us! Once you sweat, bleed, roll around and grunt together, you become brothers and sisters. That’s just how it is in our community.

You should know this though, be humble because we will match your energy. So if you come out here like a beast when you train, you will be met with that same beast energy. So just try to relax, enjoy yourself and don’t try to dominate anyone because you simply won’t be able to. Tap, embrace it, learn and grow. If you go in there and you try to crush your training partners, you will leave them no choice but to reciprocate in kind. If you happen to have a fighting background, be that wrestling, judo, whatever, and you crush the newer guys, then the higher belts will notice and they will pay you in kind. No one likes a bully. Mind you, I’m not saying roll over and let yourself be destroyed, but humility goes a long way in surviving this game. Fortunately, as I mentioned earlier, we don’t encounter too many assholes in this sport. Egos do exist, always! But most of us keep them in check. And if we don’t, don’t worry, there’s always someone ready to handle that for you!

Don’t overthink it, just sign up for that first class, go in, learn, enjoy yourself and tap to your heart’s content! You’ll fall in love with it and you’ll see that once you start, it’s all good! You got this! Go for it!

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Online Training with Wes Watson Wed, 07 Aug 2019 11:30:05 +0000 I’ve been back in the fitness grind now for a couple of years. Every so often I reach a point where I’d like an extra set of eyes to provide some external help, influence, guidance, etc. I don’t know all that there is to know and I’m aware of that. I’m not too proud or ego bound to admit that.

Over the years, while training, teaching Zumba, Strength and other cardio classes, I’ve also worked with various personal trainers. You may have read about my work with James Kiang or Tom Ram. Most recently I’ve decided to give a try to a gentleman I came across online via youtube and IG.

Wes Watson of Watsonfit is a highly motivated individual and his no bs, no nonsense approach to training and overall life caught my attention. I decided that I’d pay him for the month of coaching and see how it worked out for me.

Find what’s hard and do that! Don’t do what’s easy, stop being fraudulent!

In addition to covering fitness, Wes is also known for sharing stories from his time in the penitentiary system. Clearly that experience has provided him with great insight into what most of us who’ve always been out here take for granted. It’s similar to those of us who have served in the military or come from challenging backgrounds. Those experiences give us a different perspective. Wes is particularly interesting because he’s taken all those hard experiences, survived and used them to mold him into the person he is today. His IG stories motivate the hell out of you and in some cases provide you with a much needed reality check.

You are a grown man and you are going to let a snack dictate your life? A grown man and you can’t resist a  snack?

Before we proceed, there’s something you need to understand about training though. Some things are universal, the information exists, it’s out there and it doesn’t often change. The key to fitness is training, eating right, and most importantly: BEING CONSISTENT. That’s all there is to it when it comes to fitness. Then, within those points there are a hosts of options and approaches that you can take.

In any case, I was curious so I signed up via his website. Shortly after submitting my info I got a text from him and I opted to give the month a try. I wanted to learn about his approach to training, eating, etc. Wes provided some workouts for me to perform about 4 days a week or so. I told him that I train BJJ and I also teach several fitness classes a week. Honestly, I’m not sure if that was factored in, we didn’t really talk in great detail about the plan, it was just provided to me. I thought it would be a bit more interactive and we’d really hammer out the fine details together. That wasn’t really the case and left me a bit disappointed.

I won’t be going into details regarding the training methods or diets Wes provided for me because I don’t want to take money out of his pockets by putting his methods out here for free. However, I will say this, there is no magic formula that Wes, Tom, James, myself or anyone else can provide you. There are some sound basics that more often than not can lead to success. Wes provided me with some information that I already knew but needed reminding. The bottom line is you either do it or you don’t. Your appearance will tell the tale. Unfortunately, mine doesn’t tell the tale I’d like but that’s on me and my sub-par choices.

Not long ago I was speaking with my son about my struggle regarding which approach I should take when lifting weights. I’d been struggling with how I should continue given all of my training activities, limitations and recent injuries. I think that the universe put probably put Wes in my path to answer those questions and to set me on the right path.

With that being said, because of my prior experience and existing knowledge, I think I have all that I need from Wes to proceed towards my objectives. I’ve come close and these minor adjustments may be just what the doctor ordered. I just need to cut out the garbage eating and to stop being fraudulent! Right now my diet is fraudulent as hell about 30% of the time, and in fitness that’s a lot!

In any case, Wes knows his stuff and can be helpful to you on your journey. If you’d like to work with someone who has a more hands on approach, perhaps you should look locally for a trainer who can actually sit and work with you in person, this might not be for you. I believe that Wes is in Cali and he can’t physically be there to train all of his clients. The training is all done remotely over a mobile app. I’ve seen quite a few people experience success working with trainers remotely. You can definitely make some progress this way. I feel that knowledge is knowledge and it doesn’t require physical contact. Just understand that Wes ain’t coming to your home or gym. I’m sure you could possibly work this out with him, but I don’t think this is his normal protocol.

Personally, this remote thing doesn’t work very well for me. I need a bit more of a hands on approach in order to continue with someone long term, but this may work well for you. Everyone has their own needs and requirements. I tend to need more individually tailored attention because I have too much going on.

Generally, when you work with a trainer at the gym you get about an hour or so to work together. One hour dedicated just for you several times a week. That’s kind of hard when working with someone remotely. Although, personal training does cost significantly more per session so I guess it makes sense. Also, this big man is in very high demand. I mean, look at him, his results speak volumes as to his ethics in the gym, diet, consistency, etc. The man is in high demand and for good reason!

NYCTalking wishes Wes continued success on his training and online endeavors. Though we won’t be renewing the training contract as we have all the tools we need, we will definitely continue following and learning from him about life and mindset via his IG and Youtube channels. We are happy to see our fellow brothers making some good moves! Respect and best of luck!

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Why do you write about Jiujitsu? Wed, 07 Aug 2019 11:21:35 +0000 A concerned citizen asked me why I was writing about Brazilian Jiujitsu. He stated that I don’t have the rank, the experience, or even the most basic knowledge to speak on such things.

The thing is that I have never come on this site or any of my social media platform speaking as an expert in Brazilian Jiujitsu. I just happen to be a blogger who writes about everything he does. I’m just a dude who has recently restarted his BJJ journey. As such, much like I did with my fitness experience, I am documenting the process. I am sharing with readers the ups and downs of this process, the realizations that I have been having, and my overall experience as a “senior aged practitioner” (according to competition brackets) who is starting all the way at the bottom.

If you want to learn rubber guard or berimbolo or anything really, then obviously I’m not the guy to learn from. I don’t have much to offer in that capacity, YET. However, if you are looking to get a white belt’s perspective on this journey, maybe you could benefit from reading my work. If you are a person who is thinking of starting BJJ, maybe you are overweight, maybe you are lacking confidence, maybe you are not flexible, maybe you are limited due to injuries, maybe you have no idea what it’s “really” like to train? Well, you might learn something here. Maybe you are already training but struggling with grips or concepts and you need someone to point you in the right direction? Well, once again, I may be of assistance.

I’m not a black belt, hell I’m not even a blue belt, but that doesn’t mean that my experiences are null and void. Don’t let people discourage you from doing what you love. Don’t let anyone turn you away from sharing your experiences. Know this, no matter how little, if your contributions can help one person step on the mats for the first time, you’ve done well.

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Attempting back submissions Tue, 06 Aug 2019 11:29:10 +0000 Sometime ago I came to a major realization in Brazilian Jiujitsu regarding attempting back submissions. I realized that working from the back doesn’t just mean sweeping or trying to transition back to the top position.  Historically, I had decided to start working from my back, but even then I think my approach was short sighted. When I’ve worked from the back I was focused on regaining the top position. The realization I came to was that I could work submissions from there instead of trying to regain top position.

Today I’m happy to report that as I rolled last night, instead of simply trying to sweep my training partner and getting to top position, I actually attempted to submit someone from the back. I found myself reaching for the collar and trying to get a choke. I found myself trying to trap an arm to go for an armbar. I even tried to get a kimura from my back. I’ve never, ever tried to get a kimura from my back. I wasn’t successful, but I tried and I threatened. This is very new for me. I realized that I have a lot of work to do on that, but the breakthrough is that it actually occurred to me to try and submit from the back! That’s monumental for a smasher like me!

In this case, my back kimura attempts led to a sweep which then led to a mounted submission. I wasn’t even trying to get top position as I had plenty of opportunities to sweep, I was trying to submit from the back. Instead of sweeping, I coached my newish partner on how to stop me from sweeping him. I pointed out the openings I’d take and told him what to do to close those openings. Interestingly, using a back submission attempt led me to gain top position anyway and gave me the opportunity to submit from the top. At that point I just decided to take it and finish it.

In training some people have said “Just take what they give you!” This is primarily something I’ve heard from “smaller” and “weaker” individuals who roll with huge beasts. Recently, I was speaking with one of our female members, she’s very fit and strong, but fairly petite compared to some of the savages she trains with. With that being said, I was watching her work and she was amazing on the mat. Afterwords we chatted a bit and she told me “I can’t overpower them. I can’t force their arm out through brute strength because they are stronger than I am. However, if they make a mistake and put it out there for me, then I’ll take it. I play a defensive game and wait for mistakes, this is how I HAVE to play.”

Yesterday, whether intentionally or not, I got a taste of how playing defensively works. This opened up the submission attempt which took me from a defensive position to one where I could become offensive. It’s pretty fascinating stuff really. BJJ is like a chess game, a human body puzzle, and though I’m fairly new, I can appreciate the massive expansiveness of this thing. I also observe how even the very best of the best constantly speak about how much room there is to learn and grow in this game. It truly is quite fascinating.

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Grip fighting with Chewjitsu Tue, 06 Aug 2019 11:15:28 +0000 Sometime ago I purchased the “Get a grip” and “Fundamentals Vault” tutorials from Chewjitsu. I’ll say this to you guys, as beginners, nothing replaces actual mat training. You absolutely have to get on the mats and work. However, these online training tutorials have proven extremely helpful in filling in gaps and provided more in depth insight into the techniques that we are taught.

Grips are a big thing in Brazilian Jiujitsu, but until more recently, I didn’t realize how useful and important they were to grappling. I started noticing while sparring that some my training partners, especially the skinnier guys who I could smash and outweighed were really good and clever with the use of grips. They’d trap me in all sorts of weird positions using my sleeves and collar. I started trying to figure out how to nullify these techniques that they were using, and that’s how I started to realize that I needed to get better at grip fighting. I’d heard of it, but having started with no gi bjj, I never fully understood how important it was.

So in this series, Chewy and Adam go through and demonstrate many scenarios involving grip fighting. More importantly, they address the actual concepts behind it. You get in depth explanations as to why you want this or that grip, why you don’t want to be in such and such grip, and etc. It’s something that you can watch over and over, and even if you are not training because of injury or whatever, you are still absorbing the concepts. I know that in my case these tutorials have been extremely helpful.

Every time I roll now, I can see the grips and what they do to me or for me. I also know that my training partners have to worry about my grips as well. So whether or not I have a submission, I’ve started to threaten by going for the collar and sleeves. Often times I know that I don’t have anything, but the idea is to bait them into thinking I do and then defending while exploiting those predicted movements to attack some other vulnerability or opening.

I keep saying it because it’s true, I’m not “good,” but I am much better than I was thanks to these concepts I’m learning. I know that I will continue to grow and improve on this journey and that’s super exciting. In closing, don’t underestimate the importance of grip fighting. If you’d like to learn more about this specific tutorial, go to Chewjitsu’s website and take a look around.

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Chewjitsu fundamentals vault Tue, 06 Aug 2019 11:11:42 +0000 Much like the grips series by Chewjitsu, the fundamentals vault has proven instrumental in helping improve my jiujitsu. This series is spread out over a long period of time with a new portion opened up weekly. This is to prevent an overflow of information.

The screenshot above is a picture of Chewy demonstrating some solo hip movement drills. I’ve only done them a few times and not very consistently, but even those few times were extremely helpful with my mobility. Once I get this shoulder situation sorted out, I’m going to hit those drills hard. But there’s more! In addition to the drills, some fundamental movements are covered, things you may already know, but they are broken down and explained for you. He also covers mindset and concepts and provides a wealth of information. Understand these things can go a long way in helping you grow.

Like I said before, it’s absolutely necessary to get to class and train, but these tutorials have been extremely helpful to me. This is especially so during the times that I cannot train. Next week I’ll be having surgery in my mouth and I’ll be out of commission for several weeks. During that time, I’ll continue expanding my mind on the subject. Just because I can’t train in person it doesn’t mean I cannot continue training my mind on the crucial concepts around grappling.

If you’d like to better prepare your body for the rigors of bjj definitely consider investing in this system.

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BLT SteakHouse DC Mon, 05 Aug 2019 11:25:47 +0000 So this is not my first time at BLT steakhouse. I’m happy to report that the quality, service and overall vibe of this restaurant in DC is as good as it is in NYC. I swore that I wrote a review for the first time I went to BLT, but I simply could not find it anywhere. That is truly bizarre because since the chef was Paul Niedermann from Hell’s Kitchen of all places, I figure I’d remember to review this one. But I couldn’t find it anywhere! I checked on yelp, zomato, my site, archives, etc. Nothing! Anyway, I did find a picture from then.

So I felt that the wait staff here was extremely professional and attentive. They have a way of making you feel like you are important, royal almost. I did feel a bit out of place here, but that’s not about the restaurant and more about me. I never feel too comfortable around wealthy or well off people. Most of the people who were here seemed to be like that. In fact, I had this rather large woman who looked really snobby nearby and not once did I hear her say thank you. But I saw her bark many orders and requests.

Anyway, this isn’t about the people there, but about the food. So I tried several items and I have to say that I really enjoyed the food.

I love tuna tartare. This was really good.

Here is a sea bass with some veggies. The dish was pretty good. I’d like a bit heftier portion, but it was good.

I love crab cakes too and these did not disappoint. Yum!

I can’t recall what this is called, but it was on the house. I tried it but I didn’t like whatever that spread was. Pate or something, I don’t remember. I wasn’t feeling it though.

These bread and cheese puffs were pretty good.

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with chocolate cake and ice cream. There is some sugar embedded in the ice cream, I thought that was a piece of chocolate and bit into it. Hah, I was wrong, sugar, pure sugar!

More dessert on the house? Sure, why not! Pretty yummy little chocolates here.

Last but not least here you have a mocktail that I had. They had forgotten about it, but it eventually made its way to me. This was pretty good too.

Overall, I enjoyed dining here. I was by myself and though I am fairly comfortable alone, at a place like this I felt more awkward than I think I normally would. It’s a pricey night out so do take note of that before visiting. But if you’ve never eaten at BLT, its worth trying it out.

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Visiting Australia Mon, 05 Aug 2019 11:25:27 +0000 Years ago I was dating a woman who lived in Australia.

We had met in the U.S. during a visit to some friends here and we hit it off. We were really into each other and were gonna try and make this very long, long distance thing work. The plan was that she’d come to the U.S eventually as she had just gotten divorced and seemed to enjoy life here. That never came to pass, but that’s a whole other story.

In any case, during our time together I went to Australia to visit. The first portion of our trip was spent in Melbourne at her house. Melbourne was a nice city, I felt very safe and comfortable there. It was fairly easy for me to get around and I never really felt uncomfortable out there.

After that, we traveled to Sydney. I got to see the opera house, the harbor bridge, and I got the vibe for the overall city. I don’t remember much about Sydney, neither positive or negative. But it felt like any other city I’ve been too.

Finally, for the last leg of that trip we went to the Whitsunday Islands. The Whitsundays were more of a backpacking tropical area. There we went snorkling and did beach stuff. It was a beautiful place, but I’m not a huge fan of the hippy backpacking scene. I prefer the resort type of environment. But it was nice.

I have two regrets about my time in Australia. One, I really wish that I got to see the outback, and two, I wanted to go to New Zealand while I was out there. The trip over was like 24 hours or something, so I really wanted to make it worthwhile. But alas, we didn’t have time to get out there and I didn’t plan accordingly.

Maybe one day in the future I’ll take that trip back out there, but realistically speaking, I don’t know. We’ll see where life takes me.

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Capital Hilton DC Fri, 02 Aug 2019 11:40:17 +0000 So I took an overnight trip down to DC to do some work at one of our satellite offices. As I was staying there one night, I needed to make some sleeping arrangements. One of my colleagues suggested that I stay at the Capital Hilton which is about a block or two from the office, so that’s where I stayed.

What can I say about this place after just one night? Well, I felt that the front desk gentlemen, Daryl was extremely friendly and very professional. He answered all of my questions, provided me with some suggestions as to where to eat, and engaged with me over text about my experience. That’s right, these guys live text you for any questions, information, and so on. That’s a pretty nice touch. I had a question about my credit card, and I texted them and got my answer that way. Pretty cool.

So I’m a Hilton honors member and this granted me 2 bottles of water. That’s pretty cool. It’s water, but hey, who doesn’t need water? And yes, I know, I’m paying a lot to stay there.

The room was clean, spacious and comfortable. I only spent one night there, and basically came in to sleep after a long day of work, but it was a cool way to close the day. I took a hot shower, turned down the AC a bit, and buried myself under the covers. At some point in the a.m, housekeeping scared the crap out of me while announcing themselves either to me, or next door, I was half asleep so I have no idea who they were talking to or what they were saying. I fell right back asleep after the initial startle.

On the way out I encountered a member of the housekeeping staff, and she was also quite friendly to me. I enjoyed my stay here, and when I return to DC for work, I’ll choose the Capital Hilton for my stay. It’s super convenient for my purposes, and the experience was nice. Also, if you purchase your next breakfast while checking in, you’ll save like $10 or something.

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Lincoln Restaurant Fri, 02 Aug 2019 11:20:03 +0000 During my trip to DC, the local team went out for an early lunch to thank our intern for all their work during the summer. The place that was chosen was the Lincoln Restaurant. It wasn’t very far, just a few short blocks from our office.

When I say early, I mean early. We arrived here at about 11am. I think we were the first ones to arrive for lunch at that time, we had the whole restaurant and kitchen to ourselves. We were promptly seated and our waitress was very nice and attentive to our needs during the entire time.

I had the brussel sprouts dish which is barely pictured above as my appetizer. Yeah, I almost forgot to take a picture after I attacked it. It was really good.

As my main dish I went with the salmon, that was also pretty good. I also tried some of our intern’s fries and finished with sorbet for dessert. As a drink I tried this strawberry lemonade that was pretty damn good.

A few of my friends engaged with the restaurant on Instagram and they answered a few of their questions. I love when companies take time to engage with their customers. That’s pretty cool stuff. After an 18 hour fast, I enjoyed my meal here. I’d definitely try this place again when in DC.

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Thanos – Titan Consumed Thu, 01 Aug 2019 11:48:50 +0000 I started reading this book sometime ago. It’s been a few months or so. The thing when it comes to my reading, is that unless I’m riding the train somewhere, I don’t get to read much. I’m working on that, but generally my reading is done when I commute. Since I don’t commute often these days, my reading hours have been greatly decreased.

In any case, I had a long trip to DC this week, so I brought both my iPad and old school kindle with me. Yes, I know the iPad has a kindle app, but I prefer to read my books on my kindle. My iPad is where I consume my comic books from. This trip presented the perfect opportunity for me to finish reading this book, and that’s exactly what I did.

Okay, so let’s start by saying that I will not give any major spoilers here, also it should be noted that my comic book knowledge is limited to a few films, comics and books I’ve read. I’m by no means an expert on this. However, I have to ask you guys, when it comes to books, comics, etc, do the writers take liberties as they do in the films? I read the Civil War comic and watched the movie, the stories were significantly different on both.

That being said, I find that the same is happening when it comes to novels and comics too. I’ve read several versions of Thanos’ life story and at least this book and Thanos Rising give us entirely different stories about Thanos’ life. Again, I won’t drop any spoilers, but I wonder why that is? I’m reading these books because I want to learn their stories, but as I come across all these differences and discrepancies, I don’t know what to believe. Mind you, there are some similarities, but also some major differences.

I enjoyed the book, it was entertaining, but it is a long read with many things going on. It kind of felt like I was reading multiple books condensed into one. Several portions of this could have probably been split up and make entirely different books. But that doesn’t make the book bad, it just makes it feel very long. But even with that I didn’t have any issues reading through it.

We get to learn about Thanos as a child, teenager, exile, prisoner, warlord, and ultimately we are led down the path of the infinity stones. If you are a fan of Thanos, then this read is totally worth picking up.

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I think teaching Zumba is affecting my fitness progress Thu, 01 Aug 2019 11:40:56 +0000 It’s rather ironic that one of the things I put in place to keep me from slacking off on my training is inadvertently hurting my training. I know what you are thinking, but Angel, your Zumba class is so intense, how is that possible? Let’s examine that.

When I teach a Zumba class, you are correct, it is extremely intense. Real instructors, good ones, they leave it all on the floor when they teach. I’m one of those instructors. In the case of Zumba that means that I have to lead the class providing all the dance moves, but I also have to set the tone in so far as energy output goes. If I am lazy, then they will follow suit. So when I teach, and this applies to all my classes, I bring it. I leave it all on the stage! In addition to this, I find myself running around, jumping, screaming and at times pausing to guide or help someone who is lost.

The level of energy I exert when teaching leaves me feeling drained and exhausted. As such, by the end of my class, I’m pretty much toast. This is especially so on days that I am fasting or cutting. The necessary though infrequent pauses are probably contributing to a reduction of caloric burn. This plus the fact that my feet are always smashed which has led to reduced cardio on my own training time has made it so that overall I’m burning less. Not to mention that I gave up a few classes so that I can focus more on my bjj training.

I feel that I’ve put on a bit of weight and my conditioning has suffered some in the recent months. I’m not going to give up my classes, but I think I need to rethink my strategy here. I need more cardio hours and I need to be able to lift heavy weights. Not to mention that I’d like to continue my bjj training. I’m hoping that things turn out okay with my shoulder and that I can return to my real training soon.

Sometimes you have to take a step back and reexamine what you are doing, then make the necessary adjustments and push on.

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CPAP Fatigue Fri, 26 Jul 2019 11:23:19 +0000 So if you know about cpap therapy, you know that it is meant to help you breathe better while you sleep. The goal is that you’d get a nice, full night’s sleep and wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

The reality of it though is quite different. In my case, I don’t know that I have ever awoken feeling refreshed or better than I do without it. I’ve heard of many positive effects that come from using the cpap, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve experienced any.

When I don’t use it, I wake up feeling like crap and when I use it I wake up feeling like crap. I can go a bit further and say that many times I even wake up in the middle of the night because the pressure points caused by the mask make my face hurt. I’ll go to sleep and after a few hours its like my face gets fatigued from using it and I wake up in pain. Sometimes I take it off altogether and other times I try to adjust it for some relief.

I’ve been using a CPAP for years now. Apparently, there are health benefits that are not “visible” or felt. I suppose that it may be helping me in some way that I can’t perceive. The one major benefit to my home life is that my wife and I can sleep in the same bed. Though that hasn’t improved my sex life, at least neither of us ends up having to sleep on the sofa, and that’s a plus I suppose?

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Cops assaulted with bucket and water Tue, 23 Jul 2019 11:49:22 +0000 Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

If you follow my work, you know that I often call out police officers when they are wrong. It needs to happen and I am definitely one of the ones who is doing it. Cops are not always right and sometimes they do some dirty stuff.

That being said, when something wrong is done to cops, I’m also going to call it out. In the image above you see a screenshot from a video that shows a red bucket flying as it bounced off the head of a New York City Police Officer. This officer was in the process of handcuffing a suspect. I don’t know the details of that arrest encounter so I cannot speak my opinion on that. However, as a citizen of this city I cannot condone or applaud someone attacking an officer when his back is turned and he’s engaged in an arrest.

In addition to this event, other officers were soaked by citizens in a different case. The bucket throw is definitely an issue for me. The water, I’m a bit more flexible with. I take issue with it because it’s disrespectful to our men in uniform and it can damage their property, but I wouldn’t lock someone up over it. The bucket guy though, he’d definitely go to jail. If you damage property, you should be responsible for it, but I wouldn’t push jail.

I mean fair is fair right? If I wet your cell phone, you are gonna want me to replace it right? Same thing here, you damaged their property but its tax payer dollars being used to replace it. Since it’s not directly coming out of your pocket, you don’t care. Well, screw that! What they should do is that if you damage it, you pay for it! Why should we tax payers be held responsible for your wrongdoing?

I have always discouraged assaulting police officers at all. That action can have fatal results at worse, or at best get you locked up. In fact, I encourage that people in general keep their hands to themselves.

I have to be honest though, there are times when cops are clearly in the wrong and because of their badge and gun we are not allowed to resist or intervene on behalf of the victim. I say victim because there are times that police officers do victimize innocent people.

I often ask myself, “What would I do if I were being abused by a cop when I did nothing wrong?” Am I supposed to just ball up in the fetal position and let them beat the crap out of me because they just want to or over a case of mistaken identity? Am I supposed to forfeit my life? You know they’ve locked up innocent men for decades by mistake and or maliciously!

What recourse do I as a private citizen have when a cop crosses the line? If I fight him, they’ll say I was resisting arrest. If you help me, then its obstruction of justice. But its a basic instinct to try and protect yourself when being harmed or beaten, its human instinct. Can you blame a person for that? Would I support intervention at that point? That’s a hard question isn’t it? Because it’s a lose lose situation at that point. If a bad apple cop targets you, you are in a bad spot at that point.

I don’t know the details of the red bucket arrest, but there was no visible beat down being administered and it seemed like a lawful arrest. Not that I’d say that if a certain condition was met I’d support assaulting cops. Despite all that I have said above, I maintain that assaulting a police officer is wrong and I strongly discourage you all from such behavior.

Given the level of exposure this situation has gotten, they are probably looking for this red bucket guy. Frankly, he’s lucky this cop was composed enough and didn’t retaliate for the assault. I don’t know too many people who would be cool with being hit in the back of the head with a bucket while doing their job. Do you? Don’t forget, cops are people too!

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