Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ryan II

Many years ago I randomly met Shayla and introduced her to my operations in drug running. We drove all over the country for hours on end and made lots of money together. She was like a little sister to me and eventually I wanted a safer life for her. That prompted a change, I faked my death to end my reign, disassociate myself to the groups I contracted with, and protect those whom I love.  At the end of the day I’m just a bad ass romantic back from the dead to reconnect with my loved ones.

There she is. 3 years after “Ryan” and my sister hasn’t aged a day. But this time she’s not my biological sister, rather a girl whom I took under my wing about 10 years ago to show the mechanics of organized crime. Excitement, nervousness, and courage all percolated through her body language as I approached her. Short, well dressed, and lively, she complimented me briefly then got right into the overview of my new persona. Her girlfriend anxiously waited upstairs as we reviewed the plan for me to confirm a story my “sister” told her for whatever reason.

Shayla is a brilliant woman and puts superior energy towards her desired acquisitions. Strategy, ambition, youth, and growing knowledge amongst other attributes are what almost guarantee her path towards her version of happiness. I strive not to judge (as I’m sure if you’ve read from “that life” there’s been some temptation) and embrace that no one is perfect but working with Shayla again required moral suppression and some distaste with myself for contributing to a situation that could be deemed as wrong.

Together again, moral separatists with different agendas fueling faux comfort in each other’s company as we await the girlfriends entrance to scene 1 set 1. “There she is”, Shayla’s tone seemed genuinely relieved as we stood and the girlfriend advanced to our table. Standing at my shoulders “the girlfriend” was a stick, had implants, and a jersey shore doll face with nervous pretty eyes. I was told that they met at the strip club while GF was on stage. Shaking, she smiles and gives me a big hug exclaiming that she’s heard so much about me and that Shayla speaks of me almost every day.

We went to Dos Caminos’s bar on 3rd Ave and Shayla lead the conversations as I followed with improvisation. She started off repeating how she was so happy to see me and then said, “So I know I shouldn't be asking but are you in some sort of witness protection?” I paused, looked over the back of my shoulder and replied, “You know I shouldn't tell you too much, it’s not safe for you two to know much about me… I'm not with any government agencies in any country, just a new group.” I followed up saying how nice it was to hear their southern accents and that the only accents I hear now are of broken island English. Shayla said that she shouldn’t ask any more questions of the nature so that they wont learn too much, hinting to the GF not to inquire.

We reminisced of our long drives around the country transporting “materials” and Shayla told me how her girlfriend knows just some of our stories. I asked the GF if she loved “my girl” and she confirmed. Shayla then smiled and told me about how her GF’s ex was an asshole. I asked her if he was violent and the GF went quiet. I told her that I still know people down in their area and that if she really wanted me to then I could have some people go and have a conversation with him about it. Shayla loved that then asked, “Do you ever worry about the people looking for you, can you ever come back?" Again I pause and look over my shoulder, “Well they'll be in a box before I come back."

I begin the final scene with a heart-wrenching monologue of how I was so sorry that I had to leave the way I did. I didn’t want my little sister to continue in the industry and knew that she wouldn’t listen to any requests to cease and desist. “I'm sorry I've been absent. You know with who we were working with that I couldn’t have just given my 2 weeks.” They both felt the “love” I have for Shayla and I told them that I’ve been working on a plan to make things safe again. Sometime soon I will have a jet meet them in Miami to fly them to a location where we can rendezvous in more relaxed circumstances, where I have people to assure the lack of danger. GF was ecstatic and asked me to attend their wedding because she knew how much it would mean to Shayla. I told her that for me to go back down in their neck of the woods I would need to dress like a woman and we all laughed. She said “even if it’s just you and us, that would be so special” I told her to be good to “my girl” because I’ll always be watching. They each got a hug and kiss from me followed by the inevitable “adios (I just made the easiest money of my life)” smile.

[Text received] “Amazing.”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Executive Asshole Sous Chef

In my new kitchen job there is a sous chef who runs the line for each shift. "The line" is just the line of cooks who are pumping out what the diners have ordered so the sous chef is yelling out orders and assuring that everything goes out in a timely manner. We are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so there are many sous chefs and this creates a hierarchy in the kitchen which has allows most of them to act like douche bags; aggressive, vulgar, demeaning, and all around unpleasant with no penalty. Maybe this is how a "Corporate" NYC kitchen works, maybe I'm in over my head and had no idea what I got myself into by being enlisted to cook in the kitchen for a members only club. Regardless, I feel that I've got a solid opportunity to focus on what I want with my future now that I'm not worried about finding work. One door closes and another one opens, a saying that can relate both to positive and negative scenarios.

Sous chef A (Ass hole) was on me from day one. Screaming orders, swearing, and sliding the knife in and twisting with his words when I wasn't fast enough or doing something properly (sometimes even when done properly). I understand that he's under high pressure to make sure everyone's pulling their weight in the kitchen but he gave me no room for error while I was learning. One night a server asked him for focaccia and he yelled for me as I was exiting the kitchen. I didn't hear him so he threw a piece of bread at my head. As I turned to see what he was bitching about that time, the bread was about to hit me in the face so I turned and it hit the back of my head. I walked up to him shaking my head and he said "what, you don't know me! Everyone in this kitchen knows me, I'm crazy!" I just laughed and told him that anyone can talk but what mattered was the action. He said some shit about going into the freezer to act and I just brushed him off.

Each one of them have their unique asshole characteristics and I'm disheartened that they have no interest in being friendly beyond the rare occasion that they ask nicely for what they want. I've had so many jobs that I've probably forgotten some of the best random ones but I've always observed my superiors; their personal behavior, behavior towards colleagues, and whatever random wisdom I could attain from them. I believe it all breaks down to a simple message, treat others as you wish to be treated. The few times I've lead a team for whatever job, I remembered the bosses I'd worked with in the past who treated me in a decent and fair manner so that we could work in an honest teamwork mentality and have my staff want to do the job for me. 

I'm not sure why I'm accepting this new high pressure work but at the end of the day I do enjoy the challenge of the job itself. The restraint I must exercise to not lash back at my asshole sous chef also entertains me. I remember 5 years ago when I read "The Art of Happiness", the Dalai Lama makes note to resist the temptation to get angry from those who anger you and practice patience and discipline. Thank those who push you to the edge because they are the only ones who can put you in situations to truly test your ability to control yourself and remain calm despite the logical justice that would be putting your fist through their face. Sous chef A could quote me saying "You know, you really are a great test of my patience." and it utterly frustrates me that this man chooses to be an asshole to the members of the team he runs (for certain shifts). I loathe people who misuse their management positions to make them feel better about themselves...he wouldn't speak to me on the street the way he does in the kitchen so he's a pussy who needs to fuel his ego through his temporary position of kitchen rule. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

End of another chapter

The real estate work has ceased. It is my opinion that my boss just needed me to assist with a few of his new properties before he pursued other personal endeavors on his own. Real estate management seems like a promising career to pursue however without the deep knowledge of the ins and outs you really can only either assist someone with that wisdom or become a student.  I hope to be able to continue to work with him or others in real estate in the future. The images are a tease for you to fathom the random tasks I had to complete while briefly dabbling in the real estate game throughout Harlem.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Alas, I've committed some time to that life. The winter was long and strenuous, we lost a few cattle from the flock and our fields are in need of reseeding but the farmhouse stands strong. With the last post being ages ago I don't know where to begin. "Is this thing on?"

Lets fast forward past my entry into an international pastry competition, modeling for Rick Owens, and the car wreck with my sister where I broke my neck. I now work as an assistant to a real estate manager in Harlem and fit my side jobs in when they pop up. The best way to describe my job is to imagine my boss as a macbook pro with loads of real estate information and "to do's". I'm his external hard drive.

I imagine some people in NY can't stop themselves from rolling their eyes when they hear "I'm an actor/model". When I hear people tell me that they're taking real estate classes, that's the feeling I get. Not another one. I guess I never gave it a chance and dismissed it like my other previous notions of wall street trading, back up dancing for gaga, and my U.S. Presidency.

It's nearing the time to either renew my lease or find a new place. With my new employer's success nourished by finding real estate, I'm hoping that an opportunity will arise for me to relocate smoothly. The buildings that we pimp out are stunning old school Harlem townhouses between 110th Street and 180th Street, East and West. The properties all boast extra large everything; Ceiling heights, marvelous windows, and original character. My work requires lots of data entry, transcribing my boss's audible thoughts,  and communicating with various clients+contacts throughout the day via email/cell. I'm learning a lot it's just worrisome because I found this job through Craigslist (THANK YOU AGAIN CRAIGSLIST GODS) where it was noted that the position would be temporary:"5-10 days".

One day at a time.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Waking up bruised and sore without any recollection of its cause is nothing new. I woke up and felt like I'd been hit by a train: both ankles in pain, swollen elbow, cut up knee, and a sore and dirty hip bone. At first awakening when I was still drunk I had no idea what had happened the night prior but as sobriety caught up with my consciousness so did fuzzy segments of my memory. I remember an extended fall, some yelling, and me climbing up the lip of the train platform then waking up late for work. The moral of this excerpt is not to stay in control of your substance intake but rather to not take the trains home at night, you may fall into the tracks and get hurt. Be safe out there kids.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beyond a lunch stipend

In an effort to test the waters and dip my fingers in multiple "pussys waiting to be fucked" as my good friend Tony Montana puts it, the work I do at my internship for the showroom is a bit of a gamble. I work 3-8 hour shifts a week in exchange for lunch on the days I work and while I've acquired a perspective of how showrooms work and grasped further the significance of the role they play in the fashion world, I question what tangible benefit I will receive upon completion of my term as an intern.

The biggest reason I enjoy working in fashion is that sometimes I am able to spend time with the independent designers who work passionately for their brands. Designers are portals to diverse creativity and I love when I'm able to pick their minds, question inspirations, and listen to their histories and future ambitions. Marc Stone is one of the designers I've most recently met and is one of the menswear lines we house at the showroom.

Hailing from Zurich, this artist has been operating his line for a few years now with a tight team assisting him along the way. Unique cuts and materials add to this designers ingenious collections which are suitable for those who want to blend in or stand out from the crowd. His upcoming Spring/Summer line was inspired by images of an almost alien landscape after volcanic eruptions corrupted the calm landscapes which caress the northern lying country which is Iceland. Between the fine Italian fabrics and unique inspirations for prints, the clothes Mark Stone puts out are surely to be on the fashion radars of menswear enthusiasts for years beyond now. I'm so thankful to have had the few days to chat it up with him and be exposed to a great new foreign perspective.

Friday, July 6, 2012


In a pursuit for work that is more rewarding than the thankless bitch work that is catering I've opted to take a side step in the fashion world and have acquired an internship at a fashion showroom. Naturally an internship consists of excessive bitch work but I feel that unlike catering, at least I'm being a slave in an industry I enjoy and wish to continue to thrive in. Most of what I've been doing is hanging clothes, making inventory/shipping lists, and acting as per diem showroom model. The people I am working with are cool and I'm glad that I randomly joined their team.