New Year, New Critic.

Good day ladies and gents! I hope you guys are feelin’ fine, like wine, in this cold ass winter time! We were hit with a snow storm a few days ago over here in NY. The snow was brutal the roads were horrible for a couple of days. If you asked me, it wouldn’t hurt if they got plowed again. Then again, I don’t plow snow so I’m sure there is a method to this madness. It just makes me wish I was living in Southern California. Then again, I’m sure my ass would complain that it’s too damn hot, so basically, there’s no win win for me.

Any who, I decided something y’all. I’ve officially decided to become my own critic. I love TV, I love movies, and I love food. So, I will do all three. Once a month, I will write a review about a show I am currently watching. Sometimes I need to get a lot off of my chest when it comes to a TV series, especially if I have no one to discuss it with. Another week, I will write about a new movie I decided to check out, I will do my best to make sure it is always a new movie that has been released the same month. Lastly, I will do a review about restaurants’, mostly on Long Island. The reason I say mostly, is because I also work in the city. So there will be times my review will be in reference to that and there will be times I am traveling outside of NY. For anyone who has the traveling bug like I currently do, then I will be sure to share my thoughts and opinions on where to get a delicious meal, and some delicious beer.

With that, let’s get started shall we? OK! First up, is my review on Showtime’s new Series that aired last night, January 7th, 2018, it’s titled, The Chi. This is a series created and produced by Chicago native, Lena Waithe, which some of you may know for her role as Denise, in the Netflix Original Series, Master of None. Waithe was not only invested in one thing, she branched out and explored her art by creating the magnificent series known as The Chi. Yes, I called it magnificent and here is why. As some of you may have read in my previous post titled, “Yeah, I’m Black, I mentioned I was raised in a predominately white neighborhood. My parents moved out of Canarsie, Brooklyn, due to safety. While living in Brooklyn, they experienced being robbed, both in their home while they slept, and again while my mother was pregnant and on her way home she was mugged at the front steps while I stood crying upstairs. This was something they did not wish to raise their children in, so they got up and left. They were lucky to do so, however, some families are not as lucky, thus forcing them to remain in areas such as the projects, where the number of youth that die to gun violence is sky high. What Lena Waithe does with this show, is give the viewers a true look of what actually goes down in Southside Chicago. Although these are actors portraying these roles, it is not so far off from what the people that reside their often go through. These actors capture the audience by making sure you get emotionally attached to their role, just by the first episode.

*WARNING! THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD!! Read at your own risk!

On the pilot, we follow around a young man, with a quick mouth, but a good head on his shoulders. Sadly, he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on two separate occasions thus sealing his fate. Who we meet after, all trickle down back to this young man. One is a family member, one is his killer, one is a witness, and the other was an acquaintance. I will discuss these characters, but I will not share who is who because that is up to you to find out. Be sure to tune in Sunday’s on Showtime at 10pm. If you download the Showtime app, they allow a 7-day free trial, but after that they get you and you have to pay $10.95 a month. However, if you download the app, you will be able to watch both episode one and two.

Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty! Let’s start with Ronnie Davis, played by actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine. Automatically, I love the old guy because I pictured him as a load of trouble but a caring father figure. Sadly, Ronnie finds himself in a predicament upon learning his “son” was shot to death. So what would a show be if he didn’t go out and seek revenge, right? Obviously not like Liam Neeson, because let’s face it, no one can get a job done like Liam Neeson. Ronnie decides to take matters into his own hands but instead makes it that much worse. Which do you think Ronnie is? The brother, killer, witness, or acquaintance?

Next up we have Brandon, played by Jason Mitchell. Brandon is a character who ended up on the lucky side, in regards to maintaining a positive future. He has a good head on his shoulders, doesn’t get involved with dealing or doing drugs, and is pursuing his dream as a chef in hopes of opening his own business. However, Brandon comes at a cross road upon hearing about his brother’s death. While in pursuit of following his dream as a chef, he is stuck on how to go about handling his brother’s death upon learning who the killer is. While struggling to focus on both, it is clear he is slowly slipping away and beginning to lose himself upon all this madness. So clearly, Brandon is the family member, but the family member to who? I said his brother died. What I forgot to tell you was that there was more than one death. Interested yet? Let’s keep going.

Then there is Emmett, played by Jacob Latimore, who seems incapable of keeping his dick in his pants. Emmett has three children, probably will have a fourth one by the end of season one, because he seems to only care about himself and not give a shit about condoms. Honestly, Emmett already pisses me off, he needs to man up and get his shit together. I hope for his character to develop into the man he needs to become, because I cannot handle his ass if he continues to go downhill from here.

Lastly, we have Kevin Williams, played by Alex R. Hibbert, otherwise known for his role in Moonlight back in 2016. While going to school, Kevin seems to be struggling with the dating world. If I had to guess, his character seems to only be in 6th/ 7th grade at most. Meanwhile, his young ass keeps running around with his friends, talking about tapping ass, seeing titties, and blah blah, you know how it goes. HE IS A CHILD! I was nervous to even talk about kissing a boy in 6th grade! Somehow, he gets wrapped into trying out for the school play in hopes to get a girl to like him. Quite honestly, this is a good start, it is a good build up to show how extracurricular activities can captivate the youth by getting them involved and keeping them off of the streets. Will this be the plan for Kevin or will he start doing the wrong thing at a young age? We will have to wait and see.

All I know, this is thus far a good plot development. It shows you what it is actually like on the streets of Chicago, it opens your eyes and tells you the story of loss, love, pain, and growth. It is time for us to watch, it is time for us to diversify ourselves. Watch the show and learn something.

 

We are not so different you and I. My skin is brown and yours may not be. But we feel, we love, we hurt, we grow. It is up to you and whether or not you choose to grow with love or to grow with hate. And I beg that you choose wisely. – Christie H.

Until next week, friends (and family because my mom and sisters read every post)!

C.H.

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What can WE change?

Some of you are going to hate me after this. However, I’m going to take a step back and discuss something that has been on my mind for years. Today, I’m going to talk about gun control.

At this point, I understand if this conversation will cause me to lose some readers. If that is the case, then stop reading the rest of this post and move on with your day. I respect your decision. My opinion is separate from yours and I do not expect to change anyone’s mind while I am here today. If I do change someone’s mind, just one, I will be grateful, if not, then I am just happy I was able to speak my truth.

WE MUST DO BETTER.

Simple as that. We must join together as a nation and try and prevent the lives of our youth as best as we possibly can. Due to the recent events, that had taken place in Florida at Stoneman Douglas High School, on February 14th is absolutely gut wrenching and heartbreaking. It is so incredibly difficult to discuss the loss of the 17 lives taken that day.

After the, Columbine massacre, that took place on April 20th 1999, this nation, that WE ALL CALL HOME, should have done its’ best to make stricter laws.

After Sandy Hook’s mass shooting, December 14th, 2012, when twenty children, and seven adults were shot, this nation should have created stricter laws.

This is only to name a few mass shootings. I am twenty-five years old and have turned to the news far too often in my life to hear about another mass shooting in a country that I love and call home. Did you read that correctly? ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING. Let that sink in. Let it absorb because I’ve only named three, and those were just schools.

I get it; mental health has a lot to do with this issue too. However, if those who owned guns in their home were evaluated periodically as well as the rest of their family members, then maybe we can help prevent this from happening again. I know we can’t stop everybody. Every time there is a terrorist attack, we do our best to try and come up with ideas to avoid situations like that from happening again. After 9/11 we got stricter in airports, stricter with what we can and can’t carry in our luggage, by getting heavily involved in people’s shit. Why is periodically checking up on gun owners and their family members such a radical idea? If you want to be a gun owner, then own up to the responsibility of what it means to have a gun! Allow those who trusted you with this gun to do the necessary background checks, to come into your home, to evaluate your mental state. I get it, all of this is done already, by federal law. Some of these guns are obtained by children taking it from an adult, alright, but why can’t we evaluate everyone within the home? If we fuck up, then we know we tried our best! The amount of lives that can be saved from tragedies like this being prevented will be vast and it is up to us to try!

If I have to go to the gynecologist every six months and get asked the same fucking questions because they are curious to know about my mental health and my birth control, then each gun owner shouldn’t have an issue doing exactly that.

In no way shape or form, am I saying the Right to Bear Arms should be revoked, BUT IT SHOULD BE FUCKING MODIFIED! IT MUST BE MODIFIED. Keep your guns, because in all honesty, guns are great for protection.

In the past couple of days I have been having this discussion with someone I attended High School with, who is in the military and a firearm owner. Luckily, we are able to have healthy conversations while having different views. As we discussed gun control, he was nice enough to send me links in regards to one man’s look on gun control.

According to Steven Crowder, on his show titled, Louder with Crowder, he discusses the statistical rate of how many lives are saved due to the help of guns. Steven Crowder states that there is about a minimum of 500,000 lives saved but likely over 3 million each year according to the CDC. For example, one thing Crowder brings up is the mass shooting at a Baptist church, taken place in Sutherland Springs, Texas. This mass shooting killed 27 people, but have you heard about it? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t watch the news nearly as much as I should, but I work in News. I personally, haven’t heard about this once and I am ashamed. Stephen Willeford, an NRA member, took his gun out of his safe at home, and ran towards danger by using his firearm to protect those within the church. Sadly, many lives were lost, but there was one single hero. Sadly, the media likes to show tragedy more than heroism. It’s an extremely twisted concept. Granted, Willeford didn’t want to have much to do with the media, however he was willing to make sure his voice was heard in the interview with Steven Crowder.

So obviously, there are pros and cons to owning a firearm. Which is why, as I stated before, I agree with the idea of the right to bear arms and the amendment shouldn’t be revoked. If we start by removing it, then what’s next, freedom of speech? Freedom of Press? I agree the times have changed tremendously since the amendments were created; however, it has changed for the better, it is just sad that humanity chooses to abuse it. “Human beings commit horrible acts of evil […] you can never stop them from doing that […]” which Crowder clearly states in one of his videos (I have attached the link below this blog). While the gun violence in some countries have dropped due to the banning of weapons, the increase of violence remains the same if not rises. Evil will happen anywhere. My argument is that, if I can go out right now and get a gun and fake a test in order to potentially receive that weapon, all whilst knowing I will never have to be checked on again, then that is an issue.

There are protests going on nationwide. Gun owners are destroying their guns in solidarity and there’s others who choose, out of fear, to become a member of the NRA. Politicians’ are blatantly willing to still stay in contact and receive money from the NRA.  For Rubio to go up on stage and not give a yes or no question by a survivor is distasteful. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, I will provide the link below. In fact, I will provide three more links below along with Rubio’s comments. Those links will contain breaking news clips to each example of the school shootings I have listed above. Look at those videos and tell me with a straight face that gun control is not an issue?

What we need to do is join as a nation and provide ideas that can be beneficial to our country. I’m tired of hearing these cop out bullshit excuses that sound like this, “well, if they ban guns what’s next kitchen knives? Powder from Home Depot?” Shut the fuck up. Stop making excuses. Deal with the issue NOW. You like guns? Fine. Power to you for protecting yourself and having a fire arm on deck. I know a handful of gun owners and I’m not telling them to throw away their guns. However, if your child was in school and shot in the back while running from a shooter, what would your reaction be? To get rid of your gun or to try harder in regards to making stricter laws? I hope it would be option number two.

It terrifies me to bring a child into this world. Race is an issue. Violence is an issue. Bullying is an issue. Gun control is issue. To send your kid to school and fear they will not come back, should NEVER BE AN ISSUE.

All I want are for the children to feel safe in school. To be able to come back home. To be able to grow and change the world. As the wonderful, Savannah Sellers, stated on Snapchat’s Stay Tuned,

“Guys, I’ll be honest. Covering a story like this tragedy, can feel like-just another shooting. Like numbers that join a list of other numbers. That’s not what this is. These were 17 human lives. 17 people who were just going to school. And as we move forward and as you go to school or work, think about those 17 who did the same and didn’t get to come back home and think about what we need to do as a society to make a world, where we know, we can come home.”

They must come home.

 

Here’s to hoping for a brighter future.

C.H.

 

 

Wakanda, Forever!

Hello there friends and loyal readers! How is everyone doing this lovely Friday? TGIF, am I right? I feel like this has been the longest week of my life. There were a lot of highs and lows both emotionally and physically.

However, Thursday ended on a good note. Thanks to the Black Employee Network group that I am a part of at work, I managed to see a prescreening of Black Panther yesterday. So, in honor of it’s opening weekend and Black History Month, today’s blog will be a review about the film.

What can I say about Black Panther? Fuck. Where do I even begin?

Well, let’s start with my general opinion. The movie was fucking DOPE! I am beyond thrilled that there is a movie, specifically scripted for black lead roles; not only that but the females of this movie are even more badass than the males!

Women of, Black Panther: Let’s start with, Lupita Nyong’o who plays, Nakia. Every superhero movie needs to have a love story, so clearly she is the love interest of T’Challa. Nakia is heavily devoted to Wakanda and she is everything. EV-ERY-THING! Her character is strong, bold, and blindingly radiant. I fell more and more in love with her as each minute went by. As for, Danai Gurira’s character, Okoye, all I can say is, DAMN. If you guys thought she was a badass on The Walking Dead, trust me when I say, she is that and more in Black Panther! She is brilliant! I’m convinced that she trains with a spear or sword multiple hours a day just for the hell of it. I’m use to Danai Gurira being extremely serious, which she did as Okoye, but she was a bit of the comic relief throughout the movie. Then there is Letitia Wright, who plays the role of the younger sister, Shuri. She is hilarious, tech-savvy, and kickass. Wright has been in the acting world for several years now but plays one of the youngest supporting roles within the film, and is 24 years old in real life! She’s also a Scorpio, which explains why I loved her right away. Lastly, there is Angela Bassett. Now, I love Angela Bassett, BUT, her African accent was a little too weak for me. I felt like her accent broke a lot and she rolled her R’s too dramatically, which was the only downfall. She is meant to play an elder role in the world of Wakanda and yet her children had thicker accents and hers was a bit too Americanized? I didn’t get it. Overall, she played a great mother role as well as a great Queen. She added sass and flavor to her role as well as vulnerability because, duh, it’s Angela Fucking Bassett.

Men of, Black Panther: Honestly, at this point I just want to marry Chadwick Boseman. I was describing my love for him to my boyfriend when I got home and I don’t think he enjoyed that too much, but come on, Christie Boseman just kind of roles off the tongue! Prince, no wait, KING T’Challa, is AMAZING! His character is magnificent, strong, intelligent, and well rounded. Most importantly, King T’Challa does not give up! His love for Wakanda was intoxicating and moving. Wow, I sure wish we had someone that cared about their people as much as he cares about Wakanda and the rest of the world. Honestly, it’s a shame that someone who cares this much about the world is only fictional heroism and not real life. (Yes, that was a dig at our President; I have to take these opportunities while I can because YOLO!) Then there is Michael B. Jordan, who plays Erik Killmonger, who is down with the culture and history of his people. Erik is sure to show that and discuss what it is like coming from nothing. He’s bat shit crazy but I fuck with him. At first, it was so hard for me to take his character seriously because I just could not accept him as the bad guy. (That’s not a spoiler if you guys have already seen previews of the damn movie). But his character development was great throughout the movie. His role took some twist and turns that I did not see coming and I’m usually good at figuring out a plot twist within the first 10 minutes of a film. It’s a blessing and a curse. Sterling K. Brown makes an appearance on the movie, playing Prince N’Jobu because, why the fuck not add the wonderful Sterling K. Brown in a movie with an all black cast, especially in a flick like this, right? His role threw me for a loop that I have a love hate relationship towards and that is all I’m going to say about it. I just can’t unsee him as Randall from This Is Us. I cry every time I see Sterling K. Brown on TV or even in a picture on Instagram. If he cries, I CRY. He could be eating, I’ll cry.  He can be walking out of a public bathroom, I’ll cry. I cry because this man just knows how to fucking break my soul. Fuck… I think I’m going to cry just thinking about him as I type this. Moving on. Daniel Kaluuya makes an appearance as well; he plays W’Kabi, whose judgment is clouded by heartbreak and anger. I would have liked to see him play a bigger role within the film but hopefully they make a second one.

Overall, it was still your typical Marvel movie. Good guy VS Bad guy and quirky comic relief. But this Marvel movie was different, it was powerful and about the culture and love of Africa. Black Panther is a beacon of hope for children of color. Little girls and boys will be able to finally see a superhero on the screen that has the same skin as them, the same hair, and show it off proudly while also managing to save the world.

I would rate this movie as a solid 8 out of 10. Graphics were great, cast was strong, they even threw in the little boy from Moonlight and The Chi, which of course I loved! (I really wish I could meet his agent because he is about to take over!) However, the acting in the film could have been better in some aspects. Working in a film that is mostly green screen is extremely difficult and exhausting but some roles were questionable. Story line was well put together and I hope to see more Black Panther movies on the big screen. So now you be the judge! Try and see it this weekend or sometime in the near future. It is definitely worth the money and I wouldn’t mind going back to see it again while it is in theatres. Tell me how you felt about the movie; I would love to hear your opinions!

 

Wakanda, Forever!

 

-C.H.

Quarter life crisis? I think not!

Hey ladies and gents! How is life? First and foremost, are you doing well? Doing well? Just because I always ramble on these things, doesn’t mean you can’t tell me how you’re feeling!

So let us dive in friends! A few days ago, I did a big move. Not like out of my parents’ house or anything, come on, I live there rent free, so that’s not happening anytime soon….although, I think my mother has been hinting for me to get the fuck out. I see you Mama Hen. Anyways, back to this big move I was discussing. I went to the movies by myself. Some of you adults reading this are probably thinking, “I do that shit all the time, kid.” I applaud you if you do! What did I go and see you ask? I’ll get to that, because this is a review, but let me breakdown my overwhelming fear first, cool?

This entire time, I felt so bad seeing people doing things alone, like eating at the diner by themselves, or sitting in a movie alone, but alone time is fucking dope! You see mom! I’m a big girl now! (Maybe she will read this, see I’m an adult, and be more ok with me staying out late instead of getting a phone call at 2 a.m. asking where her 25 year old daughter is and when I will be home…but probably not, it was worth a shot.) My older sister is 32, (I think) and she goes to the movies by herself from time to time, so naturally, I make fun of her, correction, MADE fun of her. I thought it was an old person thing, or a single person thing. She’s a single mother (if anyone is interested in a strong independent black woman, I’ll have her people contact your people), she has two children, and I thought her going to the movies by herself was an excuse to just have one of us watch her kids while she went off to pay and take a nap. Guess she just genuinely enjoyed her alone time when she had the opportunity. Now that I am a real adult (sort of) going alone isn’t nearly as traumatizing as I thought. At first, I almost backed out, but I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. Then I get there, parking lot packed, and I start becoming even more terrified. Still, I parked my car in Guam, got out, paid $13.24 for my damn ticket and $14.65 for a small popcorn and small drink, (because the fucking movies get you with those prices, make sure you bring a big bag full of snacks instead of paying that bullshit). Then, I walk into this theatre and there are damn near 20+ people inside of the movie, at 1pm, on a Friday, so I hope you can only imagine my over dramatic eye roll after realizing I was not alone. Still, I sat my ass down remembering I just paid damn near $30 to watch a movie alone.

Now, I will talk about the movie itself! I saw the third installment of, Maze Runner: Death Cure. The one thing I enjoy most about my personality is that I don’t always have the same interest as my friends or my boyfriend. So I knew no one would be interested in attending this movie with me. Not that there is anything against the film itself, but I don’t personally know anyone who is as interested in the film as I am. But guess what friends? You guys fucking missed out!

Action packed is an understatement! This film stars actors such as, Thomas Brodie- Sangster, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen (you may know him best by his character on Game of Thrones , as the shit stick Little Finger, FUCK THAT GUY, AM I RIGHT?) and lastly, Dylan O’Brien, (or the daddy of all daddy’s as I like to call him)! From the first Maze Runner, to the third, there is such growth in character development, it’s phenomenal. It continues to captivate an audience while it sinks its teeth into you as you latch on to each and every character within the story.

 

For those who do not know about the Maze Runner movies, let me give a brief summary. It is a film adaptation of a six book series by James Dashner. I have to admit, there’s a lot of young adult fiction that had no business becoming a movie. Like Vampire Academy, don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the few that “liked” the movie but I was not in love with it. There is so much that could have made it better. Same goes for the movie The Mortal Instruments, which they now turned into a show titled Shadow Hunters, on Freeform. They turned the Mortal Instruments book series into a show, and currently approaching the third season yet somehow, THEY HAVE LEFT OUT WAY TOO MUCH FROM THE BOOK SERIES! So again, I “like” the show, however, I don’t quite love it.

As for the Maze Runner, that’s a different story. Without giving too much away, it is basically about a group of children used as experiments by a lab called WICKED, which is a lab that is true to its name. In the first film, WICKED encloses a group of teenagers into, “The Glade” as they call it; completely wiped of their memories. In order to escape, they must go through a maze facing a number of life threating challenges. Still, Dylan O’Brien’s character, Thomas, is determined to escape with those brave enough to face the Maze as well, ergo the clever use of the title, Maze Runner. A lot of the teenagers are killed by a series of brutal deaths with few survivors. After their escape, they realize they were just a part of a game they never volunteered for, but plot twist, Thomas was in some way connected to creating the experiments’ as well as trying to discover a cure. What a dick, right? Wrong! He gets his damn morals together and is prepared to basically fuck shit up! Each film is a fight for survival and in each film the results get better and better. Sadly, there is a lot of heartbreak and betrayal along the way. If you’re like me and you get super attached to everything, then odds are you will cry during at least two of the three films. Yes, I sat in my reclined chair and almost shed real fucking tears as we lost one of our favorite characters. That’s right, I said “we” because I feel like I am a part of the fucking team, ok?

No matter what, each film will be about survival, but the most recent installment had a problem, a solution, and a happy ending for once, which is sometimes the best way to go about making an action flick. My overall rating for this film is a solid 8 out of 10. Why? Because it was a bit longer than it needed to be; they could have done more with Thomas and his former love interest, however, like I said, it is a long movie, so maybe it’s good that they down played the love story as best they could. Either way, after watching the third film and seeing everything from the previous two, we finally see the pieces fit together as a whole. In my opinion, Death Cure is the best one of the trilogy.Finally grasping the bigger picture.

Pay the $13.24 and check it out, with a friend or on your own! Or, wait for it to come on demand and catch up on the first two in the meantime. Either way, get your shit together and be sure to check it out!

Well folks, that is all the ranting I got for today! Hate to do this, but if you haven’t done so, be sure to follow me on Twitter @christiehen and Instagram, @christiehen! Maybe that way I will actually know if people other than my close friends read my blogs!

And remember folks, while books can be compelling, sometimes it is just as great to watch and observe!

 

-C.H.

How about them balls?

Get your head out of the gutter you filthy animals. Remember, I said, one a month I will review a show, a movie, and a food spot. This week’s blog is based on food. Can you guess which kind? As if the first line didn’t hint at it already. It’s meatballs! Well, in this case, it’s Meetballs. My boyfriend and I are known to drive a distance to get a good meal. This time, my boyfriend William and I went to a place in Patchogue, it’s called, That Meetball Place. Now, being that we are closer to the Farmingdale location, due to our plans, we somehow ended up in Patchogue, which is also the first and original location of That Meetball Place. First and foremost, if you go into Patchogue on a weekend, the parking is fucking horrendous so brace yourselves. So, let’s get down to business. If I could rate this place from a 1-10, 10 being the best, we would rate this restaurant a solid 6. We only know of two people that have eaten at this establishment and raved about it. Maybe we walked into this with our hopes too high?

 

Don’t get me wrong, the people that work there were absolutely great, and if I had to rate the service, it was a 10 out of 10. The hostesses were very nice, seated us right away, and incredibly friendly. Our waiter was on top of everything, nice, funny, and overall very attentive. While we were sitting there, I saw about two managers walking around, looking at the tables, staying busy, and making sure each customer was taken care of. Now, the food, ehh, well let me break down to you what we ordered. (If you would like to know what I got, check out the bottom of the blog and I will show you a picture along with the price of each item we ordered).

  1. Drinks- We looked at the cocktail and beer menus. I am an IPA fan, my boyfriend is a stout kind of guy. There were only 2 IPA’s out of about 15 beers and absolutely no stouts. In my opinon, places like this, need more of a variety in terms of beer. It’s a restaurant during the day, and a bar at night. Due to the beer selection, or lack thereof, it is enough to make me not want to necessarily order an alcoholic beverage at all if I were to go back.
  2. Bavarian Pretzel- The pretzel comes with three dipping sauces. Spicy mustard, BBQ sauce (interesting, no?), and cheddar sauce. The pretzel is a popular appetizer item, so we went with it. Salty as fuck is an understatement. Spicy mustard was extremely overpowering but not spicy…I think everything is spicy, (even going to Chipotle ruins my life and I get everything mild). The BBQ sauce was tangy and delicious, just not for the pretzel. The cheddar sauce could have been a bit creamier, but it was good enough compared to the other three.
  3. Meal- If you go to a meatball spot, and you don’t order a meat based product at your first visit, then get the fuck up and walk out. You shouldn’t be there! Do you go to a sushi spot and order a fucking cheeseburger? No? Well then ok, don’t fuck up and get a salad during your first visit at a meat establishment.

My meal– I ordered the classic meatballs, sometimes it is best to stick with the traditional item on the menu, so you can get a true judgement. Because I ate two cases of French fries the day prior, I decided to have meatballs over zucchini spaghetti, with a shit ton of melted cheese and covered in vodka sauce. I could drink vodka sauce through a straw. I enjoyed my meal, however, the meatballs needed a bit more flavor. Sometimes a bit of salt and pepper can go a long way. Other than that, the meal itself was great, because you get a decent amount for your money.

Will’s meal– He kept it simple and went ahead and got the meatball parm hero with a side salad. He however didn’t enjoy his meal. In his opinion, it lacked flavor and could have “been better”. The poor beer selection also displeased him right away so he lost hope for his meal before it even arrived.

When all was said and done, maybe we will go back, maybe we will order something different and switch things up. Hopefully one day it will surpass our 6 out of 10 rating, but as of now, it’s nothing to travel for.

The real gem we stumbled upon was the cute and trendy bar up the street called, Hoptron Brewtique. The bartenders were great, and it was a very clean and spacious bar with lots of seating. On weekends’ they even serve food until 11pm. They had a small, yet wonderful beer selection. Hoptron Brewtique is the kind of place I would highly recommend stopping by to kick back and relax with a few of your friends.

 

Well, that’s all for today folks!

If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next on Long Island, please comment or let me know! Like I said, we are always willing to travel for a good meal! Just…no meatballs anytime soon.

 

C.H.

 

 

 

 

Pretzel- $10  IMG_0711.jpeg

Classic Meatball Parm- $15 IMG_0713.jpeg

Classic Meatball w/vodka sauce over zucchini- $16 IMG_0712.jpeg

Hoptron Brewtique- $16  IMG_0715.jpeg

December Readings…

“Yes, it’s me again. And I’m back.” (Left eye voice, I hope you know what TLC song I just quoted)

 

It is the end of 2017! How exciting, right? I mean, Donald Trump is still our president, sadly, so maybe these next 3 years will still be shitty with him in office but hopefully not!

So, let me tell you about the eventful month I just fucking had.

First, I need to just take a moment here and talk about what I seen in theatres. I went to go see the new Star Wars, I’m a tough critic. It was good but it wasn’t great. A lot of people are complaining about the acting not being so good. People, it’s fucking Star Wars, the acting hasn’t been good since 1977 but that’s also what makes people love it! I mean, no offense, but you try being super dope while working on a green screen THE ENTIRE FUCKING TIME! So, was the movie action packed? Most definitely. Too much CGI? Yeah, but that’s every fucking Star Wars that ever existed, except CGI graphics are becoming less and less shittier. So if that’s a problem for you, get over it or stop watching the movies all together. My only issue was that there were just some unnecessary characters they could have done without, while still getting the point across. Anyway! Luke Skywalker will always be the badest bad ass and Princess Leia will always have everyone’s heart.

Next, let’s talk about the psychic I went to. Yes, you read that right, I went to a psychic. This year, I lost a best friend, as some of you already know upon reading my last post or just following me on Facebook and Instagram. Her name is Caitlin. Well, I spend some time with her little sister who is 15 and wise beyond her years. I love her, she’s great. Months ago, I told her sister about this psychic and by the end of the conversation she asked if we could go and see her. I asked her mother and once I got her approval, I got the ball rolling. It was tricky trying to make an appointment but luckily my friend helped me out by doing it for us. Not only did she book our appointment for us but she also told me the only day the psychic was available was December 19th, mind you, that was THE DAY AFTER Caitlin’s birthday. Weird.

December 19th roles around and my mom is super hesitant on me going. She is a religious person but a non-believer when it comes to psychics, she thinks it’s the “devil’s tricks”. Quite frankly, I was a bit hesitant as well but I am a believer in a lot of things.  Anyway, we go separately but Sarah went in first and I could hear most of it through the walls. Not only did she mention Sarah’s grandmother that passed a couple of years ago, but I completely froze when she asked, “Do you have a big sister? Did she pass in an accident?” Mind you, this psychic didn’t even know our last names, or our numbers, email, nothing. She didn’t even know Sarah and I knew each other nor did she remember our first name. It freaked me out but in a good way. She continues to ask Sarah things, such as “Did you change her bedroom into an office?”  “Do you two have different mothers?” Then she said she’s sees a cat and if a cat has any significance to them. Meanwhile, Caitlin’s nickname was Cat.

My turn comes around and Sarah tells me before I walk in that the psychic was pretty accurate about a lot of things. So here I am, about to go in, grinning from ear to ear thinking I’ll get to hear from my deceased friend, right? Wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. She told me she sees me writing a book with illustrations. Ironically, two weeks prior I was discussing the idea of working on a kids book with my close friend. She mentioned that I will be happy with my work by the end of next year and told me a may write a script one day. HOW DID SHE KNOW I WAS A WRITER? Like I said, she didn’t know my last name so there was no way she could have looked this shit up! She mentioned a lot about my grandparents (my mother’s parents) and said only things my family would know. She mentioned my grandfather (my dad’s father) whom I never met. My dad’s father passed when he was 16 and his mother passed when he was 19. So to hear this was insane that she was connecting with so many loved ones. She then talks about my future, my love life, work life, etc. Then it comes to an end. BUT, before it ends, she lets me ask questions. So I asked about Caitlin. And yes, I recorded the entire reading in a voice memo. Here is a fragment of the reading below, the psychic is in red.

“Yeah, I do have a question. So, I have a friend that passed…”

“Is she connected to the girl in the other room? Because she’s been trying to come through and says you know her. I just thought she was still here because her sister is in the next room. She is here so I will let her in. She comes in an older form, did you know her for a while?”

“Yeah.”

“Ok, I’m going to let her in.”

Silence. Long Pause.

“She’s mentioning a speech. Did you give a speech? She wants to say thank you. She’s happy you made people laugh. She didn’t think you were going to give a speech.”

“Neither did I.”

“I see you guys in a car, is there a certain car? She’s laughing she’s having fun”

“The last time we were together, we were singing Disney songs in the car and laughing”

 

That’s just some of the conversation, but towards the end she told me that she is always with me, so I may notice her playing with my phone or flickering lights in my room. Strangely enough, Between December 18th to December 20th, Siri would pop up on my phone without me even touching it. This little light up trinket that I have in my room would flicker here and there when I wasn’t even near it. Shit was trippy. This entire experience was sketchy in the beginning but extremely comforting in the end. None the less, I went from hesitant to a complete believer. Not saying I’m going to throw my money to any psychic out there, like the ones on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Nor will I go out of my way to have my palms read, but I would definitely go to this lady again when I’m ever yearning for answers.

 

All and all, it was an outwardly experience and it was a weight lifted off my shoulders. My mind never felt clearer, my spirit has never felt so free. I enjoyed it. So with this long ass story, I will end it here. I just felt the need to share my experience. The moral is, don’t be so quick to turn the other cheek on something deemed to be impossible. In my opinion, the more you lack belief the weaker one may become. So believe in things! Mind, body, and soul!

 

Although it was only two things that I shared, I most certainly had an eventful month but these were the two most important things I just needed to get off my damn chest!

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday filled with lots of food, drinks, and happiness! Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, and a very happy and healthy New Yea, my friends!

 

“…And in case if I don’t see ya, Good Afternoon, good evening, and Goodnight!” – Truman

 

C.H.

Yeah, I’m black.

Let’s talk about Race baby… let’s talk about you AND me!

Feeling uncomfortable? Why? Maybe it’s because I’m about to discuss a topic some people don’t like to touch base on? Or is because I decided to quote a little bit of Salt-N-Pepa in my opening line? Whatever it may be, I think it’s time to discuss a few things.

I’m black and my last name is Hispanic. So I am labeled as a minority either way. I use to hate my name and I use to hate my skin. I never hated being black, I hated being different from everyone else around me. I was born in Brooklyn, however, the neighborhood was falling apart and my parents wanted out. They decided to pack us all up and move to Long Island. However, the town I grew up in was predominately white. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with where I was raised or how I was raised, nor am I saying that I didn’t appreciate the life that I have, but I will say, growing up in a predominately white area did have an effect on me as a person. Luckily, by the time I got to High School, it was way more diverse! But my close circle of friends were mostly white and I had about one black friend I talked to in my entire grade and she was just like me too!

Elementary school was the worst of it. Some of the things that were said to me were unbelievable. “Why does your hair look like that?”; “Let’s act like these characters from the show! But there’s no one that’s the same color as you.” It was to the point that if my mom didn’t wake me up before she went to work, my dad would have to put my hair into an afro and it would take hours for him to get me through the doors of the school building because I would cry and throw a fit. At one point, he even stopped getting me Barbie’s and only let me play with the black Barbie dolls. You would think it would get better, right? Maybe I would have learned to appreciate myself more? Wrong. It remained the same. “I told James you liked him…but he doesn’t want to date you because you’re black.” Now imagine being a 14 year old girl, and your friend having to tell you a boy you like won’t date her because of the color of her skin. Yeah, it hurt. I tried to do as much as I could to fit in. I got extensions! Because there’s always people questioning why black people have short hair or if they do have long hair then they must be mixed, right? Man, some black people just have long fucking hair, mixed or not! When it’s real they think its fake and when it’s fake they know it’s fake. Still, I got long extensions and put chemicals in my hair to make everyone around me feel comfortable and to be told that I was pretty. I guess you’re only pretty if you look just as basic as every fucking girl around you. I tried dressing in clothes from Hollister and Abercrombie, wore make up, listened to rock music, and watched all the shows with mostly white characters so I can have something to talk about amongst my peers. Still wasn’t good enough. I was so foolish, trying to change my appearance because I wanted to be categorized as pretty to a specific group of people. Soon I liked the rock music more and more, even started dressing edgy and I thought “hey I’ll be dating a boy like Trace Cyrus in no time”, (that was a reference to all my old school Metro Station fans) but still nothing. Soon, it just became a part of me. I really liked the edgy style and I loved the scremo music blasting in my headphones. Now while all this was happening at school, almost the opposite was happening at home.

My sister and father loved categorizing me as a “typical white girl”. “You sound so white when you talk.” I began hearing it from everyone, there was no escaping it. I wasn’t black enough or I wasn’t white enough. It was everywhere. It’s still a running joke that literally everyone says “you’re black but you’re like the whitest black girl I know. Sometimes, I forget you’re actually black because you don’t act it”. So my question for everyone reading this is… WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK does it is mean, to sound white? What does it even mean to act black? What the FUCK does any of that mean? I just don’t get it. Why can’t I just be me?

I’m at the point in my life where I am so done with looking like everyone else to make people feel comfortable. I tried growing out my hair and it literally started falling out, so I cut it and I dig it. No more chemically straightening my kinky black hair. Goodbye to those overly priced extensions and hair appointments. I’m completely ok with being me. Maybe it has a lot to do with the man I am with today who believes I’m beautiful no matter what I’m wearing or how I look. I could shave my head and he will continue to tell me I look great. I don’t have to fit into the “norm” of society.

So let me clarify who I am now. I’m 25 and I’m still discovering so much about myself and my ethnicity. Here’s where I stand on things.

  1. I like rock music, and a bunch of other things! So yes, I will stand next to you screaming Taylor Swift one minute, then sing along to System of a Down’s Violent pornography, and finish it with me rapping to Tupac’s Keep Ya Head Up.
  2. I think dreads are fucking beautiful and fuck off if you think they’re unprofessional in a work environment. You also can’t tell me how I should wear my hair because you don’t think people will take me seriously enough.
  3. Yes, black lives to matter and Obama said it best when he publicly addressed the movement. Obama made it clear that he believes in “Black Lives Matter” and not to shut out other races, but for some reason it seems to be people of color that are constantly targeted by police. That’s not us picking a race, that’s us pointing out the damn facts because America is still racist as fuck. I even provided the video. Check it out at 1:20, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyJ5wDXTVPc
  4. I hate applications that say, “Please specify your ethnicity” because there is no category that allows me to check that I am both African American and Hispanic. There should be more options. So I always put unidentified.
  5. Just because I like certain things doesn’t mean I need to be categorized as a white girl, stop stereotyping people. I’m guilty of it too.

 

My point for today’s blog is that we must remember, everything starts at a young age. We hear things, we see things, and we pick them up. So stop categorizing people and adding onto stereotypes. How dare we make others feel uncomfortable in their own skin? Why is it so hard for us to boost one another up? Why add on pressure towards one another in a negative way, both mentally and physically? Everyone is different but we are all people. Be YOU! Be yourself! Love yourself! Cherish your time and use it wisely. You are better than you think you are and we mustn’t forget that.

All in all, just remember to be a good fucking person.

 

C.H