Monday, June 04, 2012

[My Life] Kenny versus The Mondays

Mondays suck ass…

The reality hits you that you have to be an adult for 5 whole days, before you can just lose your morals on the weekend. Ugh… My Monday, started off with a banging start! It started off last night, when I was going through some Craiglist job ads. I started to hear a lot of rumbling and yelling. Usually that kind of noise would come from next door, where my neighbor’s out of control pregnant teenage daughter would either be assaulting her or fist fighting with her boyfriend/baby daddy/dick of the day… I don’t know, I just try and mind my business and hope they are not hearing my porn. However this time all the thumping was coming from up stairs. I don’t know much about the family upstairs except for the fact they do not know how to TURN OFF A FAUCET IN THE DAMN BATHROOM!!! But I digress…

The walls and ceilings are very thin in this building. As I am sitting trying to concrete on getting this work search done, I have to hear about why this one guy is going to fuck up this kid if he doesn’t go to his room. Every time I move from one to another, they seem to follow. It was crazy… Then like icing on the cake, the toddler next door… I should mention that the out of control pregnant teenage daughter has a house guest of ANOTHER young lady with a creepy looking toddler. Yeah, I know kids are supposed to be all innocent, but there is something off about that kid big time. He reminds me of the baby from Pet Cemetery and whenever he is in the hallway and I’m coming out, he sees my cat Kimmiko and tries to reach for her. Now Kimmiko is an attention whore and loves almost everyone, but when she sees him she hisses and growls. Can anyone say Red Flag?... He starts screaming his head off like there was no tomorrow. Oh how I wanted to do really bad things at that point…

As everything seemed to settle down, someone must’ve turned the on Hip Hop Chronicles Soap Opera. *Sigh* There has been this on again off again relationship going on the floor below me. I really don’t know or care about the details, but at least once a week, I can guarantee on hearing banging on the door for at least an hour and the couple spilling out there business for the building to hear. This was one of those nights… I got to hear how she couldn’t do shit right and how he had a little dick. I could’ve lived the rest of my life in bliss not knowing that. Cops were called, he ran came back banging on the door, calling her everything but a child of God… Cops were called again, this time he stayed, told him to leave and the cycle continues for another day…

It was almost dawn when everything in the building became deathly silent and I was wide awake. Throwing on some running pants I went to the Dunkin’ Donuts on my block for a blueberry coffee (I am there SOOO many times that mostly everyone knows my order and has it ready for me right as I walk to the counter) and I decided to go on a morning jog, something that I’ve been trying to get back into since I’ve started to get a bit healthier, when it started raining. It was one of those “Fuck my life moments”, but fit everything so well.

Returning home and wishing I could shower… which is another story for another time, I spent the morning on EMPTY, I started to finish planning my long week of workshops, appointment, and trying to move money around to make sure that in the next 2 weeks after my unemployment stops, I had enough to pay the rent and bills… on time as well as food. After setting everything up, I just remember closing my eyes for a second and it was suddenly almost 2:30 in the afternoon. How much I hate the Mondays. I knew I should’ve just taken a seroqul and went to sleep the moment my mother went off to work.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

[My Life] That New Normal Thingy

There are a couple of things in life that I am a firm believer of. There is no such thing as the Loch Ness monster, Big Foot is probably some guys uncle out in Jersey and there is no such thing as the concept of normal. With every second that ticks by, there is something different on the horizon. Good or bad, we find ourselves adjusting to a new normal way of life, which usually takes time and patience.  And patience is something I am working on, especially now…

A couple of years ago in my darkest times, I could not phantom that I would be where I am today. At that point I was alone dealing with my grandmother’s accident, unable to finish school and had no idea where the money for the rent was going to come from, let alone how I was going to feed my mother and I. That was my normal for a number of months living a life that I had grown to hate. As the years went by, everything changed where I was employed, up to date on all the bills and had enough money to splurge whenever I wanted. But like all things that changed and I had to quick adjust again to a lifestyle that was pretty much  left me depending on other people. The act alone is something that I truly loath with a passion.

There had to be a point where I had to take matters into my own hands and direct a future for myself when I thought one was not possible. Before my mentor passed away, he told me that I would be great in social work. I shrugged it off, but it still lingered in the back of my mind and ever so often the idea would reappear. When I started to have serious health issues during the course of last year, a social worker reached out to me and was able to help me during those difficult times with obtaining health insurance, medications and other important information that I needed to know. It felt really good that there was some one that didn’t even know me going out of their way to make me at ease.

That is when I decided that I wanted to be one of those people who gave up their time and energy to help others. I started to attend workshops and gain certificates in the attempt to have more knowledge in different fields that I never had before. I took and GRADUATED from a peer educator class at an organization called AIDS Service Center, which helps those who are infected, affected and at risk for HIV/AIDS virus. During the course of the cycle I learned a great deal and hope to share the information that I received to others by way of PSA (Public Service Announcement) blogs here on Blogger and Tumblr or just helping those get the info they may need to better equip themselves. In addition, completing was a big step for me. Last Thursday, I was in a cap and gown and walked with my other peers in a very special graduation ceremony. Plus, it felt really good that my mother got the opportunity to see me walk, since that was the first time I was in a cap and gown in my adult life.

A year ago, hell 6 months ago… I didn’t think it could be possible for me to do so. Everything is changing all the time and I am adjusting to it. So I find myself dealing with a new normal… Last month, I laid out a plan for the next couple of years of career goals and personal goals that I would like to see accomplished. I want to continue to gain certificates, work on my CASAC, go back to school for social work and at the same time pursue a career in photography and writing. However, the reality is that in a few weeks my unemployment will end and I am still unsure if I am going to receive this peer position, but instead of crying over spilled milk, I have made back up plans to deal with anything that may come up. I see opportunities out there and I no longer want to waste them on dealing with issues that I do not have the power to change like I did last year. My dreams and goals are not going to happen over night, but one thing I know for sure is that I am ready for that new normal thingy to happen…


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

[My Life] Thank you for crotch watching…

It is always good to take a trip down memory lane, well in most cases. This morning I was going through some old blogs that I had posted on a social networking website from 2009, talking about when I would travel back and forth from Brooklyn to Staten Island everyday on the ferry to be with grandmother while she was in the Burn Unit ICU in Staten Island University Hospital. I hated the commute in every which way. An hour to get to Staten Island and another hour to get the hospital was draining on my mental state and most days I was deeply depressed or angry.

Before this accident, I’ve never been on the ferry. It was a new and unwelcoming experience. The massive rude crowds of people rushing in trying to trample over you for a damn seat and afterwards engaging in all sorts of loud personal conversations that would make Heather Del Rio blush. Boy, Oh boy… Most of the time I would buy a coffee and zone out with my mp3 player blasting some angry hip hop music.

On one such afternoon, I was in my own little world oblivious to anything around me. As I drifted in and out of a cat nap, I never noticed a man taking a seat right in front of me. I was wearing some fitted jeans, not the tight ass yeast infection stuff these people are walking around in these days, but something that actually fitted my body and wasn’t half way off my ass. I usually sit like most guys do. Feet planted firmly on the floor with my legs open, which is nothing special at all. Midway into the voyage, I suddenly felt there were eyes on me.  Have you ever gotten the feeling that you were being watched? Not a comfortable feeling at all is it? When I looked up, the gentleman that was sitting across from me eyes were fixated on my crotch. Yeah… I wanted to tell him that it doesn’t do tricks, but thought it would be unwise to do so. So I snapped my fingers and he popped out of whatever daze he was in and looked me in the face.

The one thing my friends all tell me is that my facial expressions show my feelings no matter how much I try to hide it. At that moment, I didn’t have a warm expression on my face. He turned bright red with what I assume was embarrassment, and unfolded the newspaper to read. Now I could laugh about it, but at the moment I was heated. I started to wonder if I needed a giant belt buckle that said: No eyes beyond this point! But I guess that would defeat the purpose now wouldn’t it. Since I wrote the blog, I’ve taken great care in covering that part of my body while on mass transit. Nothing is worse than a wondering erection where a woman screams pervert and your face is on the front page of the Daily News or someone watching in between your legs like its Direct TV.

Stuff like this makes me really make me want to get a car, to avoid nonsense like this.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

[Lifestyles] For the sake of employment…

I wanted to share a story from when I was working a few years back… There was this young lady who was a supervisor and there was a major incident that was brought to my attention and needed to be dealt with since I was the senior supervisor in the office. I will let this be known now, that I was a complete asshole to most people in the office at the time because there was a lot of pressure on me to make sense of madness and like they say… Shit rolls downhill. So, most people caught a glimpse of my wrath when I was not pleased for whatever reason. Hell I am surprised how many people talked to me after the job was over. I was in my office space, when she approached me. I asked her to sit and began to talk about what happen. Without giving out details, she had messed up and as I was scolding her about her responsibilities especially since she was a supervisor. Yes, my words were harsh, but if it came from anyone else it would’ve been her job. As I spoke, she began to tear up and I could see she was trying really hard not to cry.

I stopped. I was not happy at all by this. I told her the following:

I know you’re not about to cry. Go into the bathroom and clean yourself up and we will talk more. You can show these weak emotions to those who are your superior because it makes you seem unstable and unable to do your job. You’re not being fired, but don’t put doubt in my mind. Do you want that? ::she shook her head:: Then go…

With that being said, she got up went to the bathroom and came back. Yeah it could’ve been a big argument or she could’ve gone and filed a complaint against me, but I just told her the truth. If you are perceived as an ineffective person at a job, you are replaceable. I kept her from getting fired and even help her move into other positions that was beneficial to her. The truth is that this day and age is tough. Jobs are slowly coming back and there are mobs (me being one of them) trying to make a strong enough impression so that people in power can say “I want him”. When you’re a person of color, there is 10 times the pressure to be stronger, wiser, tougher, smarter than our counterparts. If you’re not, then you have to settle for whatever minimum wage job out there that can’t even pay the rent. Throughout my adult life I’ve held different types of employment (sadly, this is the longest stretch of employment that I have encountered). From retail to office positions and the politics are the same everywhere you go.

The one thing I learned from that job was that sometimes there are asshole out there (me being one of them) that can make your job the living hell. From the customers who complain for the sake of complaining to the dumbass placed in management positions. No one is going to care about you if you can’t produce. What you need to focus on is if you are willing to accept the way things are or risk go on to greener pastures. A risk that could bring you less headache or finical uncertainty… Think about it for a second, what are you willing to put up with for the sake of employment?


Monday, January 23, 2012

[Lifestyles] Grade Pending

Listen close and you will hear a story of great woe. Just like the fairy tales of old, this tale begins with the phrase used so many times before with once upon a time in a little place called Canarise Brooklyn. It was a quiet night in which a BOY traveled to and fro in search of a great meal. With his stomach growling he entered a place called Fortune Cookies Chinese Restaurant. As the BOY entered the tiny little shop, he did not notice the NYC Health Department “Grade Pending” sign in front, because if he did it would have warned him of the troubles to come. The BOY gave the female shop keeper his order of lo mein with fried chicken and started to count the minutes before he can quench his hunger. As he sat and waited, one of the workers came into view. He was very slobbish, covered in dirt, grease and grime. Like clouds in the sky, the BOY could see patterns form on the workers apron. The BOY shuddered a bit. The worker placed a mop in his hand to the side so he could close a trash bag overflowing with rubbish. It was quite a difficult task. He took his bare hands to push everything inside so he could be able to seal the black bag. Once finished, he pulled the bag out and dragged it into the street for the garbage men to come pick it up in the wee hours of the morning. Once he returned, he entered the kitchen, dipped his hands in the container of lo mein noodles and threw it into a wok. The BOY gasped at this sight. The man, who he just seen taking his bare hands pushing down garbage, was now, cooking his meal without washing his hand. Sicken to the core, the BOY fled in hopes to never return, but he had realized one thing too late. He had eaten from this same place several times before…

The moral, if you can call it that is…


Of course there is more to this story. A while back, I wrote a blog called: B is for Failure, in which I talked about a Subways restaurant on my block that had a B-rating from the Health department. After seeing that rating, I went on the health department’s website and did my own little research about other places in my neighborhood. Many places had sever violations and it made me really wonder had these places can get away with this. In this little adventure, I did my research once again on the placed named above and was shocked to what I had discovered and the loop holes used so that the public is not aware of this travesty. On the NYC health department website you can find out how they score and grade plus there latest and previous inspections. It’s quite simple really. The age of technology is just a wonderful beast at times.

When you are on the website, you can either enter in the eatery’s name you want to find or the zip code, which in this case 11236, and it will pull up the place or all the restaurants within that area. After filtering based on cuisine type (American, Bakery, Caribbean, Chinese, etc…), I found Fortune Cookies had a “Not Yet Graded” as their current grade (When I first did the search it was actually a C grade, but it has since changed). While going through the inspections on the left side of the screen of their most recent I disgusted by what I saw. To put things in perspective here is the how the health department score violations…

From the “How we score and Grade” PDF:

The points for a particular violation depend on the health risk it poses to the public. Violations fall into three categories:
 A public health hazard, such as failing to keep food at the right temperature, triggers a minimum of 7 points. If the violation can’t be corrected before the inspection ends, the
Health Department may close the restaurant until it’s fixed.
A critical violation, for example, serving raw food such as a salad without properly washing it first, carries a minimum of 5 points. 
A general violation, such as not properly sanitizing cooking utensils, receives at least 2 points.
In September of last year, Fortune Cookie was graded 3 times. Once on the 10th which added up to 62 violation points, the next on the 13th which added up to 32 points and lastly on the 14th with only 3 points. Lucky for the public you can actually see what they were violated for. This is a screen shot of the September 10th list violations:

Click on image to expand size.

Personal cleanliness… does that creep anyone else out like it did me? I have to assume as a person looking at this, that it only received a 3 in there last inspection because of the city threatening to shut them down and they hired a crew of elves to come in and do there magic… maybe one of those Sookie Stackhouse fairies as well perhaps.

I began to wonder why in the hell did this place have a “Grade Pending” on its store front window when it clearly wasn’t making the grade at all. Everything was kind of confusing until I reread the PDF document. There is a part that I want to make EVERYONE aware of. Towards the bottom of the first page and the top of the second there is this:

“A restaurant has two chances to earn an A in every inspection cycle. If it doesn’t earn an A on the first inspection, it’s scored but ungraded. An inspector goes back to the restaurant unannounced, typically within a month, to inspect it again and the re-inspection is graded. If the grade is a B or C, the restaurant will receive a grade card and a grade pending card. It can post either card until it has an opportunity to be heard at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Health Tribunal. 

Until a restaurant has a graded inspection, it is listed as Not Yet Graded on the Health
Department website”

I underlined the most important part. A place can either post the grade they had received OR a Grade Pending sign. Establishments, unless they are shut down, can hide their score from the public!!! Ain’t that some shit right there… I was ready to let Facebook, Foursquare, Google and anyone that could hear me from my soapbox about this place. That’s another reason to love the technology age. I started to comb the internet for some reviews and frankly there were very few expect for this one Yelps. Here is the screenshot:

Click on image to expand size.

A disclaimer though… While the place reviewed was actual ANOTHER Fortune Cookies restaurant in Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights area, the review mentioned a place called Chopsticks which is right down block and provides a better service than Fortune Cookie, so I knew that she might’ve made a mistake in placing the review there. I also felt that the first review was also talking about the Fortune Cookies restaurant as well, but I am not 100% sure about that.

After being sick for months and unable to stomach even the sight of food. It is disappointing that places like this exist and even shameful that people pack them without doing any research. A few minutes can avoid hours of throwing up or much worse. I suggest that everyone out there takes a moment (especially if you live in the New York area) to review some of the fast food places that you go into everyday. What you might learn may surprise you and save your life.


Friday, January 20, 2012

[My Life] Fitness FAIL

On January 17th, I checked my bank account online and there was a debit from Planet Fitness of 10 dollars. I really, really started to kick myself because of it. You see, the charge wasn’t something that was shocked about getting, since I did have a membership with them. I just hated the fact that I feel like I was wasting money in a time where money is really needed. I’ve only been there once and you might have guessed it… it was t o sign up for that damn sweet membership offer. 20 dollars down, 10 dollars a month… Where can you find something like that in this day and age? Since coming back like Lazarus, where I was on the brink of death and left in an extremely weaken state, I have made great strides to improve my heath situation, but the one thing I have learned is that “the road to recovery is paved with bumps and bruises” so it’s been slow and sometimes painful to deal with. Trust me when I say that I have experienced it all over the last few months.

Since getting my gym membership, I eat all the time either at home or places like IKEA (The food there is off the chain!!!) or Wingstop which is better than any BBQ’s place around even Dallas BBQ’s right down the street in Downtown Brooklyn. I regained all the weight I had lost, go me!!! Especially since the crackish look was SOOO 1980’s. Being 6’3 and 148lbs was not a good look at all. Plus, I used to (and still have) major body issues. I thought I was too big, while others around me thought I was getting way too skinny for comfort. Even my mother told me that she thought I might be anorexic. Yeah, it was that serious…  So now, I have a book bag ready full of the necessaries of the gym, but I can’t seem to drag my ass over there which is only a 15 minute bus ride. It’s been either one thing or the other. The excuses have become: I am waiting for my brother to come with me since I don’t know/remember how to use the equipment; the weather outside is way too cold for me to go out; I am going to go first thing in the morning before the sunrise to avoid the muscle jocks that get off on looking freaks of nature; etc, etc, etc…

I do have other motives to getting in shape. This coming summer I want to go back to Robert Moses beach out in Fire Island which is clothing option. Yup, a nude beach and I want to be in the best physical shape so when I walk around with Mr. Happy flopping about and I don’t want to be self conscience about my increasing gut. Vanity… Such a wonderful sin, isn’t it? Beside the whole eating right and regularly, going to the doctor and taking my medications every day on time, I just really want to be one of those guys that will make jaws drop with a banging body.

It’s not going to happen overnight. I know that. It takes time, patience and all the other hippie crap you hear from the infomercials hocking some overpriced equipment. I just need to get that motivation to actually do it. But I will tell you this… If I don’t go to the gym before February 17th, I am going to cancel my membership and get one of those Tae Bo tapes.

Related Posts with Thumbnails