Beat the Meat: Let’s go Vegan

By Leigh

I’m your average American. I love MEAT; steaks, hot dogs, BACON. You name it, I want it. For the past weeks I’ve heard, through social media mainly, about the newest documentary on Netflix called “What the Health?”. Most of my friends would post messages about how this two hour film changed their lives; they could finally see the light! I’m quick to tell my plant loving friends “veggies aren’t my thing”, “healthy is plain”, or any countless number of ignorant remarks about why I don’t enjoy eating plant based products. Plus what makes this documentary so different from the others; using footage of the disgusting livestock conditions as a means of encouraging Americans into a healthier lifestyle. I’ve seen Supersize Me, Food Inc, etc and I still eat at fast food establishments with no regard as to where my food is coming from. As I sit at work, starving, because my McMuffin didn’t pack the nutritional punch like I wanted, I started thinking about “What the Health?”. So I found it on Netflix and immediately found myself absorbed.

 

Kip Andersen, narrator and director, started by telling his story. He explained, at the beginning of his researched he assumed that the illnesses that we suffer from (diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, etc) were purely a result of our genetic disposition. Unfortunately and fortunately, this is not true. Though a small percentage of us do contract illnesses from our genetic makeup, the main cause is diet. It was found that those that consume large amounts of animal product, including but not limited to meat and dairy, from all domesticated livestock such as cow, pig and chicken, have significantly higher chances of contracting these diseases.

 

WHAT?! How is this possible?! My entire life I’ve eaten cheese burgers, chicken wings, deli meat with no concern about the effects that it was having on my body. It took for me to step outside of self before I realized: I’m my own problem. I’m the reason why I can’t seem to get healthy and lose weight. I’ve been going about it the wrong way.

 

Starting today [July 15, 2017] I am going to experiment to see what will happen to my body over the next month by living a semi-vegan lifestyle. As a lover of cheese, processed cheese, that is going to be the hardest thing to give up, so I expect to have some problems with that. Substituting tofu for my beloved steak is going to be so so sad. Right now I sound like an addict and to a certain degree, I am addicted to the unhealthy lifestyle that I live. So with that being said, wish me luck as I detoxify myself over the next 30 days.

 

Have you seen the documentary? Did you love it? Thoughts? Please feel free to leave us a comment letting us know what you think.

Fictitious Nonfiction: A Tale of a Ghetto City Part II

By Leigh


Things were good. Too good. The calm before the storm. The weather started changed as September came to a close. Jaime made it a point to prove that he was in charge; went from dressing like a normal 23 Year old to Don Juan. His oversized white tee had outgrown him but the flamboyant satin ones that he bought at the swapmeet fit just right. The white linen pants that he wore had to be creased and cuffed; like Tupac, the goal was to always look like Tupac.

He needed to show people that he was a boss. My half brother, Robert, had a friend that knew someone who’s cousin could help them get pounds of their own. They started transporting from San Diego around Christmas. I’ll never forget the first time they came home after a hit.

“C! Ay, C!” Heavy knocks pounded my bedroom door so hard I could have sworn it was the police. Before I reached the knob, the door flung open. Two clumsy giants stumbled into the room with black duffle bags. They were too eager to tell me what was going on, before I knew it, my bed was covered in bricks of light green marijuana. And it was all theirs.

“Now who the boss?!” Jaime gloated as he tore open one of the firmly compressed packages and began rolling up.

“Shut up stupid.” Robert packed their investment back into the duffle bags.

Somehow, they were able to move 6lbs in about a month. Once they ran out, the plan  was to take the money and reinvest but unfortunately the partners didn’t have the same intentions. Robert wanted out. It wasn’t really his thing anyways. I feel somewhere deep down he made that first move just to help Jaime.

Now Jaime was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He didn’t have the money to get another 6lbs or anywhere near that amount. The little money that he had made was quickly splurged on girls and alcohol. He needed a plan, fast.

Six months passed in a blink of an eye. My brother moved out of the house with his baby mama to the East Side. We stopped seeing him as much but we knew he was alive. Jay took a small leap of absence but I kept things afloat while he was gone.

Jaime started buying from Jay once he was back on the scene. This was keeping his image afloat but it wasn’t a forever thing. His regulars started disappearing. The crips two blocks over were picking up the slack where Jay wasn’t.

Jaime befriended one of my childhood friends, Christian, but everyone called him Tiny. Tiny was a cool guy; about his family and money. He got caught up in the gang life when he was 10 years old. He’d done a few bids in juvie and 3 years in prison for robbery. His name did not reflect his reputation; Tiny was well connected.

I’m not sure how it happened because around this time I met the girlfriend from hell and had my own drama. From what I heard, Jaime was able to convince Tiny to hook him up with his connect in Sinaloa. Jaime played the roll perfectly. He gained the trust of some smaller guys in the Mexican mafia.

“So are you ready to get that?” Tiny asked Jaime.

He had arranged for Jaime to pick up 6lbs of the best weed that Mexico had to offer. The agreement was that Jaime would meet with their friends from Mexico, give them $5,000, flip the weed, pay the connect. Because of his connection with Tiny, Jaime was finally going to be the hood Tony Montana.

“Yeeep. I’m more than ready nigga. Look at this.” Jaime pulled a stack of hundreds out of his pocket in a rubber band. He smiled, stuffed the money back into his pocket and took the last swig of his beer. He needed liquid courage. He got into his car, giving Tiny one more reassuring look before taking off.

The pick up was between Hesperia and Las Vegas. Usually a busy road, the 15 highway was eerily empty due to massive amounts of construction, plus who is driving to Las Vegas at 4am on a Tuesday. Behind him red and blue light began flashing. As he slowed the car and began pulling over, a black dodge pick up truck pulled beside him.

“Sigue el desvío!”

Follow the detour the driver yelled as he pulled ahead of Jaime’s car. About three miles down the road was a broken down, hand made detour sign with a guy waving it like it was a ad for a nail salon. He followed with caution, the dirt road came to an end shortly. The driver of the truck that had flagged him down was standing behind his truck bed. He seemed much older and taller inside of the truck but in reality, he couldn’t have been more than 19 years old. Before Jaime could come to a full stop, the young man walked over to his car, yanking open the back door.

“Aqui?!”

Jaime couldn’t move fast enough for the anxious young man. Before he could open his trunk, two overstuffed black Jansport backpacks sat in his back seat.

“Donde está dinero, cabrón?!”

Jaime shoved the money into his palm. Without counting it, the younger man shoved the money into his pocket. He walked with haste to his truck, started it and took off before Jaime could turn the key in his ignition. After picking up his accomplice, the two men headed towards Las Vegas.

Jaime pulled off the detour road, heading back to the hood with the biggest score of his life. It took everything in him not to call his boys for a smoke sesh but if he’d learned anything it’s TRUST NO ONE.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

A small diner was the first well lit place to stop and count the money. The two men in the pick-up truck knew what their responsibility was; make the drop, get the cash, bring it back to jefe.

Though they were alone, they whispered.

“Is it all there?” The passenger asked anxiously through a thick spanish accident.

The driver pulled the large wad of money from is pocket and began counting…100…200…300…320…340…390…400…401…402…403…404…

It was dollar bills. The entire stack was one dollar bills.

“Puta madre…”

July 3rd, My Independence Day

While America is celebrating it’s 241st birthday, I’m celebrating my 2nd. July 3, 2015 was the day of my rebirth. My second coming. That is the day that I became a mom. As a person that vowed to never have children, I’m so much happier as a parent. Sometimes life gives you blessings, wrapped in tragedy.

I found out that I was pregnant at 27 weeks. How the hell did I make it 27 weeks without knowing that I was pregnant?!

Let me answer all of the FAQ:

Was I on birth control? Yes. I used the birth control patch faithfully.

What about missed periods? There were not missed periods. I had my normal menstrual cycle until I removed the patch.

Did you not have morning sickness? Uh no. I medicate daily so I never experienced any of the nausea, vomiting, etc. that comes with pregnancy.

Don’t worry. There is only a 1% chance of this happening to you. I was that 1%. For the first and only time in my life I was in the 1%. Yay me! The only symptom that I had was weight gain. I attributed this to my love for a good joint and munchies. My SO and I were in the gym as much as my new found plus sized body would allow. I went as far as taking laxatives because I was constipated, explaining the extra belly weight.

I don’t know how far I would have made it had I not woke up wet in the middle of the night. I thought that I had pee’d myself, so I rushed to the bathroom. As I removed my bottoms I smelled semen. Ladies, you know that smell. The liquid that was dripping from me smelled like semen, with a consistency more slippery than water. No matter that I did, I could not get the dripping to stop. I thought that my bladder was malfunctioning so I pushed with all my might, forcing a stream of water out. The dripping continued. I put on a pad and went back to bed.

The next morning I made a appointment with my gynecologist. There weren’t any appointments until Friday and it was Monday. By Wednesday, I knew something wasn’t right. I was going through about 12 pads per day. My best friend had done research on the mysterious fluid but kept coming back with amniotic fluid. How could it be amniotic fluid?

“You are most definitely pregnant. Let’s check the babies heart beat…”

As my gynecologist stepped out of the room to retrieve his utensil, my brain completely stopped. PREGNANT?! I’m planning a trip to Las Vegas in a few months, how can I be pregnant?! It was too farfetched for me to comprehend until I heard the strong heart beat coming from my uterus. Woah.

“Not sure of how far along you are but if the measurements are correct, you are about 27 weeks. I’m going to send you to a specialist since you are having this leaking.”

That was not what I wanted to hear AT ALL. I remember driving home, crying to my best friend over the Bluetooth, telling her how my life was over. There was a part of me that was excited but mostly I was shocked and scared. My SO is seven years older than me but I felt that he too was not ready for a baby; how wrong I was. He was beyond elated! His entire family was ecstatic. That’s when I remembered, my mom and dad.

Even though I was 24 years old, I was terrified to tell my parents. They noticed that I’d gained a lot of weight but thought I was just over eating. My dad questioned me about being pregnant on separate occasions but I never took it seriously.

I met with the specialist 4 days after finding out that I was pregnant. My SO and mother-in-law went to the appointment with me. It was so nerve wrecking watching the doctor take measurements of my baby on a ultrasound. This would give me the actual factuals. Was the baby healthy? How far along am I? Is it a boy or girl? The doctor finished the exam after 20 minutes of clicking buttons and turning knobs.

“Let’s start with the easy part: it’s a girl. You are 27 weeks and 5 days. However, you have a hole in your amniotic sack so your amniotic fluid is very low. The good thing is you are holding some fluid and as long as the baby is still making it everything is fine. But we have to admit you to the hospital.”

“Admit me? Can I go home first?”

“If you don’t go straight to the hospital from here, you must sign a waiver stating if anything happens to you or the baby we are not responsible.”

This was serious. We immediately drove to Cedars Sinai to admit me to labor and delivery. It didn’t click that I would be staying until that evening. The head nurse came to explain our plan for the next 7 weeks. Ideally, our little bundle of joy needed to make it in the womb at least 35 weeks. BUT should she come early, we were hoping it would be after 30 weeks. At 30 weeks, the brain is fully developed which is vital.

The days went by slow. Sitting in a hospital bed, watching hospital T.V, eating hospital food, isn’t as glamourous as it seems. Besides the nurses coming to put me on a fetal monitor every three hours, it was quiet. My naps were frequent and long. It wasn’t until around 7pm, after a long days work, that my SO would show up to stay the evening with me. This was our routine.

My first night I started having terrible back spasms. When I was 10, I broke my tailbone. Those hospital beds are not for people with back injuries. It got so bad that they had to give me Norco (pills that are stronger than Vicodin) twice!

On July 1st, my back spasms were particularly bad. I found myself pacing at 2am because the spasms kept me from laying in bed more than a few seconds.  The next morning, my doctor gave the green light for me to have Norco for the second time. It made me feel like crap. I just wanted to curl up into a ball. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was MISERABLE. Suddenly a wave of nausea swept over me, causing me to jump from bed and rush to the bath room. I squatted and strained against my the toilet as my stomach heaved, empty. When I stood up, there was a huge pool of amniotic fluid on the floor. I was constantly leaking so I assumed this was okay.

I crawled back into bed just as the nurse entered.

“You don’t look like yourself. How are you feeling?”

“I think the Norco made me sick. I’ll feel better once my boyfriend gets here.”

It was Wednesday so we were planning to watch the Fox tv show Wayward Pines. The baby had other plans. Around 9pm, as the show was starting, I couldn’t take it anymore. The pain was at a 10. I thought that maybe it was because I was constipated from all of the prenatal vitamins.

“I’m going to try to poop. Maybe my back will feel better.” I scuffled to the bathroom.

As soon as I sat on the toilet and pulled my hospital issued mesh undies down, blood streamed into the toilet. There was blood everywhere.

I could hear my obstetrician, “If you see blood, tell the nurses. You are going into labor.” I was going into labor. I took a deep breath before reentering the room.

“Babe, get the nurse. I think I’m going into labor.”

“DON’T SAY THAT! WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!”

“BECAUSE I’M FULL OF BLOOD! LOOK!” I lifted my hospital gown to reveal the horror scene underneath. He didn’t say much of anything after that. Just rushed to get the nurses who immediately came to examine me.

“You are most definitely in labor….3cm dilated.”

As I was wheeled out of the room, I looked up at the board where we would count the weeks and days. 29 weeks, 5 days. Missed 30 weeks by 2 days. You’re killing me smalls!

Seven hours and 20 minutes later I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl; all 2 lbs 15oz of her.

This changed my life forever. I found a new appreciation for life as I entered a new chapter of my own: Premie Mom. Spending 46 days in the NICU was the hardest time of my life. Never knowing if my child would be okay from one day to the next. Waiting on brain scan results. Learning to breastfeed. At the end of my experience I was a new woman and mom.

 

Home Sweet Home

By Jenna
I’m home sweet home! Las Vegas was an adventure that made me want to go back, or just stay there permanently. I even took the time to notice jobs that would be available. Yet, like all good things, it had to end. Now, I get to recollect my fondest memories for you lovely people! Also a few things to avoid doing.

 

Day 1 Wednesday night

Before heading out on our trip I got super elevated. Partly because I get car sick, and partly because I needed to readjust my attitude before leaving. The drive wasn’t long because we left on a Wednesday. Once I was out of California traffic, it was smooth sailing. The kiddos slept the first 2.5 hours, cried for about 40 minutes, then relaxed the rest of the way. As we came up, we decided to drive down the strip and see the lights instead of going straight to the hotel. I felt a bit lame that we didn’t do anything Wednesday night, but I have a two year old and one year old. We got to the Venetian Hotel at 11pm, so we were exhausted. The Venetian Hotel is absolutely beautiful! We had two queen beds, but what really set the Venetian apart is the sitting area. The room had a full couch, two large sitting chairs, a desk, a table, as well as the mini bar area. I didn’t want to leave that room because it was so comfortable. I even got to take a video of the classic jump onto a cushy bed. I want to be super excited about the strip view from our hotel, but the hotel that was in full view was a certain Trump hotel.

Day 2 Thursday

Breakfast was at the of the small restaurants in restaurant row. The food was amazing! We then threw on sunscreen and started walking the strip. Of course I stopped by Fat Tuesday for a frozen margarita! We didn’t get too far, but the walk got hotter the longer we were outside. We went back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the evening. We went to dinner at Cut by Wolfgang Puck for some wagyu filet! It was my father-in-law’s first time eating filet, he typically eats his steaks cooked completely. We also had, for the first time, pork butt cutlets. The worst part is the dish came with only 4 bites distributed among the adults, but those bites were heavenly! I ate them so quick I didn’t even get a picture! I was a bit surprised to be able to get a table without a reservation. I skipped dessert, to my dismay, because the little boy was ready to go, like 15 minutes ago. I had warned my husband that as soon as our steaks came out the baby would start being done, and I was right.

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Day 3 Friday

Friday we switched from the Venetian to Treasure Island Hotel so that the family could all be on the same floor. I had hoped to go swimming at Mandalay Bay because they have a lazy river that I was dying to enjoy. Since that didn’t happen as I had planned, we waited for everyone else to arrive and check into their rooms. Friday night was planned to be Guy’s Night. We had enough time before the guys took off to go to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. By the time we got there I was just tipsy and that made me have a great time! The guys departed from the women and children and proceeded to hit the town. I convinced my SILs and MIL to do at least one thing before turning in for the night. That one thing was to walk and see the fountains at the Bellagio. The show was beautiful as expected. This was one of those times when it was fun to have a kid because they were astounded by the show. The down side is the walk was hard on the kids and they saw pictures that made them ask questions. I ended staying awake until my husband got home at 5am.

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Day 4 Saturday

Saturday was surprisingly easy for how little sleep I achieved. My son woke me up at 7am! I don’t know how I was completely functional Saturday on less than 2 hours of sleep. We went to breakfast at Denny’s then back to the hotel because no one could agree on what we should do or where we should visit. My hope to visit a pool was let up and then dashed again as only a few people wanted to go, then no one wanted to go. I couldn’t go alone because my husband wasn’t functional, at all. We went back to the hotel and got all packed up to go to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. It was a cute little aquarium for the kids. Saturday night was Girl’s Night out and our first stop was the entire reason we were in Las Vegas. We had bought tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert at the Axis at Planet Hollywood. The concert was fantastic! I wasn’t excited to go but it ended up being exactly what I hoped for and needed. I was starving before hand though, which fell on deaf ears. I ate my only edible available which only got me high for 30- 45 minutes. That was the most disappointing edible EVER! After the concert we grabbed a quick bite at La Salsa Cantina, I would go here again. My youngest SIL was being drama queen, per usual, and didn’t want to go out anymore. She was the reason we were going out to start. I bought a round of shots in hope to improve her mood, to no avail. We then went to a bar with a DJ along the strip. She didn’t enjoy that either and immediately wanted to leave. We finally walked back to Senior Frogs. The walk was extra long because the girls didn’t want to listen to me about which bridge to cross. The youngest SIL was the only one wearing heels, so she suffered from the walk. At Senior Frogs I had a blast dancing with the two older SILs, but the youngest still was a stick in the mud. We finally retired from our night at 2am.

Day 5 Sunday

We packed up and headed out early. I grabbed food from Starbucks while the rest of the family went out to breakfast. I wanted to try and get a head start on the majority of traffic, and I was done with family time. It worked! We made the drive back in about 5 hours.

 

Next time I go to Vegas it will be with fewer people. I didn’t mind going with my kids, but I would wait for them to be old enough to stay the weekend with their grandparents. I wanted to go to the pool, but never was able, so that is still on my To Do List. I also didn’t get to eat at a buffet or try many drinks. I also wouldn’t go without the ability to smoke. I am an adult and absolutely can handle not smoking, but it helps with recovery from a night out. It also relaxes me so I can enjoy my time better.

The West Coast is the Best Coast 

By Leigh


Come one, come all! As of July 1, 2017, marijuana will be legally recreationalized in the the state of Nevada. With the changes of legislation in California as well, the west coast is the greenest part of the country.

Here are some important questions/answers that  420 friendly Nevada residents and visitors need to know:

Q: It’s been legal to possess since Jan. 1. But when can I buy marijuana without a medical card?
A: Recreational sales officially kick off on Saturday morning at midnight for a three-hours blitz of marijuana sales across the valley (dispensaries must be closed daily from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.).


Q: Where can I buy it?
A: Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that have gotten state and local approval can start selling their products as recreational starting Saturday. Thirty-seven dispensaries in Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County have received their local permits, and the state is expected to give its final approval to businesses on Friday.
Several dispensaries, including most in downtown Las Vegas and near the Strip, plan to be open right as sales begin at midnight.

Q: What’s the difference between medical and recreational marijuana?
A: There is no difference in medical or recreational marijuana in Nevada. The same products will be sold as both recreational and medical, with only the price differing at the sales counter.
Recreational marijuana is subject to a 10 percent special sales tax, and the revenue from that will go to rebuilding the state’s rainy day fund.

Q: How much can I buy?
A: You’re legally able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and 1/8 of an ounce of concentrate, and that’s the same amount you’ll legally be able to buy. This applies to both tourists and local residents.

Q: I bought my weed, now where can I smoke it?
A: Smoking or consuming marijuana in public is off-limits, and getting caught will land you a $600 fine.
That means the only place to smoke is in a private residence. Think houses, apartments, condos, etc. Las Vegas police said this extends to driveways and patios, as well, but not to sidewalks or streets.
Marijuana use is also banned on the Strip and on all gaming properties in the state. For tourists, this means they can’t smoke marijuana in the hotel rooms or anywhere on the gaming resorts’ grounds.
The Legislature toyed with passing a law that would have allowed for marijuana social clubs, but the bill died before reaching the governor’s desk.


Q: Can I drive with marijuana in the car?
A: Yes, in this sense it’s much like alcohol. You can carry it around or drive with it in your car, but driving stoned is still very much against the law. Not even passengers can smoke or consume marijuana in a vehicle under Nevada law.
A marijuana DUI could land you a fine of up to $1,000, a suspended license and even jail time.

For the complete article, please visit:

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/pot-news/12-things-to-know-about-recreational-pot-sales-in-nevada/

Fictitious Nonfiction: A Tale of a Ghetto City Part I

Please leave your thoughts/predictions in the comments. I appreciate all the love!
-Leigh
It’s funny to think back to a time before weed became so widely available. I remember when you could make an entire city jump if you had a bag. Me, being the hood entrepreneur that I am, found it a convenient form of currency. I could get anything; especially bitches, bitches will do anything to smoke. I was lucky enough to meet my connect at the right time. Before everything went to hell…
One unfortunate truth of living in the hood is that when you start doing better than the next, there will be haters; friends, family, EVERYONE will hate you and want to be you. You know mockery is the greatest form of flattery but flattery can easily become obsession.
I’ve been smoking since I was young, some say too young but what the hell? Can’t undo what’s done. It wasn’t uncommon to find me on my front porch surrounded by any number of people, smoking, drinking, living a ghetto fairy tale.
“You need weed? I know a guy.”
Everyone one knows a guy. But not like this guy. Jay was a lanky framed man in his thirties though his voice told a different story. His warm gap tooth smile was the first thing that I noticed as I walked to his van. As I got into the Astro Van, he stared at me with a cheeky smirk on his face.
“So you need weed? What you want?” Jay opened a small backpack with a large bag of weed and a scale stuffed inside.
“Ummm just a dime, I gu-”
“Nah I don’t do dimes. This is kush. It’s $25 a gram.”
KUSH?! I was used to smoking chronic at best. Though I’m heavy smoker, kush had eluded me.
“Oh, well give me 5.”
As he packed up my order, his grayish blue eyes peered up at me, his surroundings, then back to the mound of green gold in his lap.
“Ay! You want to buy some fireworks?”
That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Jay was always there when I needed him. He went from weed man to confidant. There was no male figure in my life so anytime a older man paid me attention, I held on. He was there when my ghost of a father came home from a 5 year long “work trip” with more baggage than he left with. The night he returned my mother broke the space heater on his head.
I ran.
I knew if my mother was standing up to the man that was so quick to strike her down, I had to run. I ran until my legs were no longer attached to my body. The wind splatter the tears on my face like rain on a windshield. As I ran past the liquor store on the corner of my block, a familiar voice stopped me in my tracks.
“My boy Charlie, where you goin’ in such a hurry?”
He wrapped his arms around my shoulder, guiding me to his van. We got in. Jay grabbed his portable DVD player and popped in the latest bootlegged film. The opening credits began to roll as I explained my troubles.
“I can solve all of your problems, but you have to be down. Don’t get yourself into something that can’t get out out of.”
My thoughts bounced between my dead beat dad, being poor and everything in between. I couldn’t afford to sell drugs but I couldn’t afford not to either.
“Look ma boy, I can’t help you with your issues with your pops. But I can help you bring in some extra cash. Want to sell for me?”
“Hell yeah Jay! I’ll sell for you!”
“Look lil nigga, this is big money involved. I don’t want to have to hurt you over this weed. If you think this is too much for you, it’s best for you to quit while you ahead.”
Jay reached behind my seat, handing me a black backpack. I didn’t need to look inside to know what was up. I was a drug dealer now.
Once word got around the neighborhood that I was selling weed, a sudden wave of popularity over came me; all of my friends loved me, I had more girls over in a week than I could count. I was the man! But soon, it became a “thing”. Meaning, everyone wanted to sell weed for Jay. Luckily, he knew better.
Not everyone was so smart. One of my closest frienemies, Jaime, found someone dumb enough to trust him with waaay too much product. Looking back on it, I was a small time dealer in comparison. Jaime went from the guy that always needed to borrow five bucks to having the flyest car on the block. Rumors were that he was working with some guys from Mexico with major connections. Nobody wanted to get involved because if there was anything we all knew about Jaime, he was trouble.
Everything thing was great. I had my clientele, as did Jaime. I wasn’t trying to make it rich from selling weed but he was. Jay was allowing me to make a huge profit; he only want $300 every Sunday. I made double that in a good week. It was a JOB: Just Above Broke.
“Yeah, he’s letting me do the pick up Monday. A kilo, dawg! You ain’t never seen that much weed in yo life!” Jaime boasted as he walked back and forth across my front porch.
It was mid August but it felt like the early days of summer. Guys on the block took the opportunity to walk around, no shirt only tattoos, bullet wounds, and prison battle scars.

All of my closest were packed onto my front porch, drinking and smoking. Our all day ritual.

“Nigga…you still gotta give most of that money to your guy. Stop boasting on someone else’s money.” Eddie, the oldest in the group spoke firmly. His chubby fingers rolled the best blunt in the city.

You could see the thoughts racing through Jaime’s mind as he mustered up a come back.

“Nigga, I’ll take the whole shit! What the fuck you think?! I ain’t got no dick and balls?!”

The porch fell silent; no one endorsed that idea. Jaime stopped in his steps. He didn’t even believe what he had said.

“Maaaan sit yo dumbass down!” Eddie waved him off, sparked the blunt and changed the subject. He started shadow boxing. His short arms moved as fast as the could, mimicking the professionals.

We changed subject but we knew. We knew that Jaime would do something dumb, it was a matter of time. That’s the unfortunate curse of the hood: if you say it, you gotta do it.

Daaaamn Do Fries Come With That Shake Shack? By Leigh


I finally had Shake Shack! Since the New York based restaurant moved to Hollywood last year, it’s been on my to do list. By coincidence, my significant other had a business event within one block the burger chain. Guess who parked in their parking structure? This girl right here!


Californians only know In N Out…that’s what a hamburger’s all about, or so thought. Let’s start off with the super chill atmosphere. It’s clean and the workers are so nice. Instead of your normals booths and stools, they have more modern wooden booths which were surprisingly comfortable despite how they look. The condiment station was tidy and fully stocked, though the place was packed!


Let’s talk about the important stuff- the food. If there’s one thing that I love, it’s a good burger. There is a formula for a perfect burger, and they’ve got it figured out; the combination of fresh ingredients, perfectly seasoned beef and a bun that is other worldly. Burger joints tend To go very light on seasoning, since this is Los Angeles and everyone is health conscious. Not Shake Shack! Their meat reminded me of a burger that my mother would make; well seasoned and cooked perfectly. I mistakenly ordered my fries without Shake sauce…WHHHHY?! This stuff is great on everything! It’s not just thousand island dressing, it’s ten times better. Besides the actual food,have to touch base on the Shake lemonade. Can you say, yes please? Don’t get a fountain drink, spend the extra money and get the lemonade. It’s freshly made with real lemons. This stuff would run Minute Made out of town.


I’ve found my new favorite burger spot. Even though it’s a bit of a drive, I will be stopping in again in the near future. Thanks Shake Shack Hollywood!

Shake Shack Hollywood & Vine

6201 Hollywood Blvd #104, Los Angeles, CA 90028



HOLY SHRIMP! This scampi happening!: San Pedro Fish Market & Restaurant

By Leigh

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Since it was PACKED on Father’s Day, my family and I stopped into the San Pedro Fish Market this past Monday. It is located near the Los Angeles Ports of Call in San Pedro.

shrimp tray

The Home of the Shrimp Tray, the San Pedro Fish Market offers some of freshest seafood in So Cal. The fish market offers a patio area for customer to sit and feast while watching the shipment tankers pass. Considering it is in a highly industrial area, the scenery is beautiful. I wish I could say the same for the customer service that I received.

The lady that served me was everything but nice. She was very dry and unorganized. She handed another customer our pager, refused to accept that she did so, and threw my receipt at me. I was starving so I didn’t think to speak with management, plus I knew I’d get the chance to voice my opinion through the blog.

 

We waited for 30 minutes (FYI: If you plan on bringing the little ones, opt to sit in the restaurant. There are no high chairs available for the patio area. No fun with a toddler.) before I had to go and ask about my order. I had been given another pager which ultimately was not attached to my order. The young lady that helped me was very nice; she promptly found my food, which was sitting in the window getting cold. Now to finally taste the imfamous shrimp tray.

 

We tried the 2 person shrimp tray, elote, and shrimp & chips. One word describes the food: GREAT. I can see why people come here for the shrimp tray. I’ve had mimicked versions that suffered from lack of flavor but this one was booming with flavor. The elote (mexican style corn on the cob) was very tasty in combination with the shrimp & chips. WARNING: You will get the urge to overeat! Resist! Unfortunately, I didn’t take my own advice.

 

Can’t wait until I get another chance to visit. Hopefully the service will be much better next time.

Canna be a Nurse?

School has been something of the past for me in recent years. After I had my daughter, my inner warrior convinced me that even with a premie I could continue with classes. How wrong I was; dropped/failed every class. The spring semester rolled around and I did the same thing. For me, it was a major disappointment.

By 24,I planned to be well on my way to becoming a neurologist. Instead, I was a new mom with no career in sight. I still yearned for more but it was all a dream, until recently. I’ve watched my friend of twenty years go from working a 9-5 to completing nursing school. I’m not going to lie, I was hating when she told me that she would be graduating this December. What happened to my life? When did I get so comfortable? I consulted with my support system (my SO, Jenna, and BFF)….

I’m going back to school y’all!

It’s something that I’ve wanted to do. I feel that I’m finally ready, especially since I have a solid baby sitter. Last week I visited my local community college to meet with a counselor. Meeting with a counselor and having no plans to discuss is a huge NO-NO. I had to have a major, a program in mind. What better than to revisit where I started: medicine. I decided to follow in the footsteps of my friend, pursuing nursing.

Now that I had a plan, it was time to gather all of the transcripts from every colleges I’ve attended. Mind you,I started taking community college classes in 2006, while I was in 10th grade. 5 schools and 30 bucks later, I had all of my transcripts. My biggest concern was that I’d have to take a huge amount of math. Unfortunately, it’s not my strong suit. It high school, however, I took a statistics class at UCLA and got a C. I prayed that this would cover my math requirement. My luck is never that good…

“Your math requirement is met. So you only have about 3-4 classes before you can apply to the nursing program.”

All of that over achieving paid off! With my math requirement met,I can move onto my science classes. In the fall, I will be taking with Chemistry 4 or Chemistry 20. The counselor recommended that I take Chemistry 20 (Fundamentals of Chemistry) because it is better suited for someone going into nursing. I’m considering taking Chemistry 4 because it’s been 10 years since I’ve taken Chemistry.

Choices. So many choices.

I’ll keep you guys updated.

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