Going Back To College and How It’s Been So Far.

I started school at Lonestar after a two year hiatus because I’m ready to put myself out there as a writer in the world. After working at multiple restaraunts during the pandemic, working paycheck to paycheck, I finally decided that now is the time for me to find my voice. Being a bartender is great, mostly because I enjoy making cocktails, but it’s the high reliability on tips and sometimes ruthless clientel that drives me away from the industry overall. I was almost contempt with making the server industry my career, but then I realized that I shouldn’t settle for less and, instead, I should actually reach for the career that I want to be in.

Preparing to go back to school wasn’t easy for me. Mostly because I knew that I had to start almost from scratch, considering that my GPA was a 1.5 ( Crazy, I know) and I had to get a PASS Advisor, a counselor who helps struggling students, to approve the classes that I would end up taking, which is only two. There were also some classes that I’d have to retake, if I want to transfer to the University I want. I had to learn to not be scared of the journey and just work through the obstacles in my way. But first, I have to get my Associates Degree of Arts.

I decided to have my two classes be the easiest ones; English and Physical Education (PE). Both are easy and required of me to take in order to graduate. Besides having a bumby enrollment process, I’m also having issues being the oldest in the class. Everyone I knew from back in 2020 either dropped out or graduated already. It made even more insecure about being behind. For example, today in PE, I asked someone when they graduated because they mentioned the Klein District (where I went to High School) and he said “I graduated last year”. I cringed so hard! I graduated in 2016 so you can imagine how slight awkward I felt about that.

Aside from being insecure about going to College at 24, I’m also busy almost every day. Being a bartender in Texas is very exhausting. Before this semester started, I was working two jobs as a server. But I left one of them so I could be lessed stressed about school. During the week, I’m hopping from work to class with only a one hour window, switching to comfortable clothes when I get to class. At that point I’m so tired from work that I am barely able to listen to my professor. I started drinking coffee again to help with that, but it only does so much. After work and class, I end up home, late in the evening, and, on top of everything else, I have to cook at night for my boyfriend and me.

The only reason why I wanted to go back to school is because, this time, I’m going to do it for me. I finally know what I want to do in life. That’s why I have this Blog, this platform, and it’s because I want to be a journalist. It may take some years, but I’m not going to let procrastination, work-life, bad grades, or any of the other trials and tribulations that I face, prevent me from having a degree and a successful career.

Pride, Prejudice, and Guns (Don’t forget Racism)

What makes America one of the leading countries with an abnormal and bizarre case of mass shootings in the past decade? Probably because there’s not a STRONG form of leadership to be found anywhere in the Republican or Democratic parties. Just agendas that are driven by greed, deceit, misinformation, manipulation, and HATE. Not unlike the evil and heinous mass shooting in Uvalde, TX, that killed 19 children and 2 teachers. All thanks to Greg Abbott and his laws that allow 18-year-olds to carry firearms without a license or background; that includes AR-15s.

Since the year started, we have had over 200 mass shootings in the United States, including the shooting that killed 10 senior black civilians at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo. And now the people are asking the Senate and all of the leaders in power, “When are we going to do something?”. It’s aching to see so many innocent lives taken for no reason other than the hatred filled in that shooter’s soul. The fact that hate and fear have been the drive forwarding these awful crimes, and politicians watch in clear view of the carnage presented to them, yet they still do nothing. All of these “thoughts and prayers” are just a void of nothingness coming out of their mouths to excuse their actions that led to this.

Whether Greg Abbott likes it or not, his laws have done more harm than good, and the fact that he and other Republican politicians are proposing teachers be armed in the wake of shootings is the complete opposite of what the people want. The GOP doesn’t realize that what they are doing is attracting HATEFUL groups and giving them a voice and the drive to actually do harm. Or maybe they do. Maybe, they are just wading in the waters until they get the chance to attempt another coup and try to ransack the Capitol. I’m speculating, of course.

The point is that right now, we can’t worry about changing the opinions of others because Action needs to be made now. The people are tired of seeing so much death on the next BREAKING NEWS.

Euphoria Got it Right Again!

Season 2 Review

Euphoria Season 2 Cover

There is always the stigma of trending shows that have caused an uproar in the media and have tremendous pressure to deliver in the second season. Euphoria was no exception! In my review for Season One, I pointed out how this HBO drama was unapologetic in its writing, directing, etc. Season Two, of course, carries that same attitude, with Rue falling further into her addiction right after Jules leaves her at the train station. On top of that, we have Fez giving Nate an excellent old fashion beat down, Cassie being a horrible friend, and Lexi showing the viewers why we loved her so much on season one. NOT TO MENTION, Maddy giving Cassie the verbal and physical beat that she DESERVED! So let’s get into it.

This season had its fair share of uncomfortable scenes from start to finish. But I want to talk about Rue for this paragraph because she has done a lot this season that I could write a whole other essay about, but I’m going to have to construct this in a couple of sentences. First, Rue has managed to destroy every friendship (family or otherwise) for the sake of drugs. Second, Zendaya embodies Rue as she falls further into her destruction. We’ve all said it, but I will remind you. GIVE ZENDAYA AN EMMY! Her scenes were the hardest to watch because her scenes hit home for me. Especially with Gia (Storm Reid) finally presenting her true feelings about Rue and her addiction. I’m a younger brother with an older sister who used drugs to cope with her depression and has had a fair share of episodes that I bared witness too, and it was really tough to watch. And yes, I had developed anger towards her because it felt like she didn’t care how her actions affected our family.

“You’re not a good person, Rue.”, said Rue’s mom, Leslie, as she attempted intervention with Rue’s closest friends. That scene made my eyes flood with tears because Rue was about to lose everything; FOR DRUGS.

I believe that the central theme behind Rue’s upbringing is accepting change. All of her actions originated from not taking her dad’s death. When Rue said in her speech at the funeral, “You said that if we wanted to be together, all I have to do is close my eyes,” I believe she took that quite literally. From her dependence on drugs to her suicidal thoughts, Rue’s reasoning for pushing her loved ones away is that she misses her dad. So for half of her teenage years, she was stuck in limbo until she eventually found the way to the light through her friends and family.

Although Rue’s story was beautiful this season, another story needs recognition: Lexi and her fantastic play, “Our Life: A Play About Friendship.”

Lexi (Maude Apatow) went from an observer to a bold director in 8 episodes. I enjoyed every moment of Lexi’s character development, especially her precious forbidden-Esque, and not to mention, ADORABLE love for Fez. It suffices to say that the fandom loves Lexi because we have seen her stay on the sidelines like an innocent bystander until we finally see her advocate for herself and do something she loves.

I’m not going to break down every character story arc in this review (because there’s a lot, so WATCH THE SHOW). Still, almost everyone had an epiphany or breakthrough with themselves, primarily through drinking. Everyone has a chance to find out something about themselves that they’ve either kept bottled up or are just realizing through spontaneous combustion. And in turn, everyone gets closure in their own way.

Overall, I give this season a 9/10 rating, and the reason why is because not every character gets their moment in the end. Primarily because of controversy behind the camera. For example, Barbie Ferreira and Sam Levinson’s feud about her character were dulled down by Season 2. Furthermore, we never see Chris Mckay after episode two because Algee Smith has supposedly left the show entirely for reasons unknown. Besides that, its message and delivery are real and impactful. Throughout this season, I enjoyed every minute of this show and the messages they conveyed through abstract and artistic directing by Sam Levinson. Also, if you are looking for a display to get high to, I would definitely suggest this one. In fact, it helped me get through the brutal scenes, like Rue’s breakdown or Cassie’s very cringy drinking spree at Maddy’s birthday party.

In conclusion, even though there were hiccups at the beginning, the show still excels in its themes and visual directing. In the end, they still got it right.

Euphoria is Unapologetic!!

Season 1 Review (Spoilers)

So I decided to start the new year by watching Euphoria since season 2 was right around the corner. And in case this is your first time hearing about this HBO Original led by Zendaya, it’s a drama that sheds light on drug addiction in the most grotesque yet captivating way possible. Now let me be the one to tell you that this show is not for the faint-hearted because it takes you on a roller coaster with 20 loopy-loops with its artistic cinematography and trippy soundtrack. And the crazy part about all of this; is that I couldn’t stop watching this.

This show is about Rue (Zendaya), a seventeen-year-old who struggles with addiction and, up to this point, has just left rehab. She returns home with her mother and little sister, promising that she won’t do drugs. However, shortly after arriving home, she continues to use drugs and even goes straight to her plug/friend Fez(Angus Cloud), a 20-year-old hustler who was raised in the drug-trafficking industry. When I tell that I almost couldn’t sit through episode one because of how gruesome the scenes were, I mean I had to see Jules (Hunter Schafer) get shacked by an old man who we later find out to be a husband and a father. Next, we’re sent straight to a high-school house party where every horny teenager is drinking, smoking, and sniffing their way out of virginity-town. And then there’s NATE, the man we love to hate.

Nate(Jacob Elordi) is the embodiment of toxic masculinity. His perverted facade mixed with his closeted feelings towards men are caused by a neglectful father and an incapability to control his emotions. As much as you want to root for him to learn from his mistakes, he just keeps making more and more as if he enjoys causing chaos around him. In this show, Nate Jacobs is the ROOT of everyone’s problems, and it’s easy to label him as the antagonist. But considering that everyone is essentially messed up in their own way, his actions are more unveiling than harmful. Meaning characters like Maddy (Alexa Demie), Nate’s on-again-off-again girlfriend that he blatantly abuses physically and mentally, have an image of love that is not the good kind. But when you seemingly have a dull life, and you wish to have some spunk, you can see why she’s drawn to Nate. She sees love as something absolute and spontaneous, regardless of the fighting or the jealous acts they inflict upon each other.

There’s also Cassie; oh sweet, naive cassie. The girl flings herself off to any man that gives her attention and professes their love for her. Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) hasn’t really any significant problems; just insecurities that she dramatizes as life-threatening. I want to love her because she is a “nice girl,” but in the sense that she is a yes-girl and doesn’t understand the concept of “NO,” not to mention victimizing herself. My only two accolades for her bravery in the abortion scene and her sense of fashion. But either than that, she is a clueless schoolgirl who still thinks she can get away with her actions if she isn’t the DIRECT cause.

This show stands out above the others because of the UNAPOLOGETIC portrayal of substance abuse, depression, and anxiety it provides. Unlike 13 Reasons Why, which romanticized those three aspects, Euphoria takes you to the knit and grit of it all. And the entire cast pulls it off with their respected roles.

The TRUTH Company could NEVER!

Now there are mixed reviews regarding whether or not this show illustrates high school drama inaccurately. Well, in my opinion, it depends on where you come from. In my high school days, there were drugs, fights, and impregnating going on. Therefore, in my perspective, this is the exact portrayal of what my school was. People smoked weed on school grounds, embarked on fights, sexual misconduct from teaching staff, and one time a student brought a flamethrower (lighter and chemical spray) to school and was disciplined for half the school year.

In conclusion, this show has hit home for me in more ways than one. From the real and horrific lifestyle of an addict to the artistic directing style, I can say with confidence that this is one of my favorite HBO originals of all time. On top of Zendaya being one of my favorite actors, she has given me a reason to love her even more. She continues to surprise me in every turn, with her commitment and perseverance to a role that not many young actors can pull off. I’m looking forward to what this show has to offer in the future.

Thank you guys for reading my post. If you liked this article, go ahead and leave a like and comment and subscribe. In addition, you can leave a tip or donation in the box below to support the blog. Thank you guys; STAY OPINIONATED!!!!

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The Unseen Recession of The Restaurant Industry.

BY: CAMERON T. WADE

BY MICHAEL SOMMERS/JULY 30, 2020 5:23 PM EST/UPDATED: JAN. 11, 2021 2:48 PM EST
Read More: https://www.mashed.com/231983/restaurants-that-are-going-out-of-business-due-to-the-pandemic/?utm_campaign=clip

I’ve been working in the restaurant industry for four years, and I have never gone through this amount of stress and uncertainty in my life and jumping from job to job amid a pandemic has set me over the edge. Not only is this line of work require direct contact and food safety (which can get very serious with covid involved), but the tedious, disappointing tip money you get in the end makes this job one of the most stressful ones to work at in during these times. .

At the start of 2021, I occupied a bar-tending position at TGI Friday’s, which the bar-tending community has a saying towards the company: “if you can bar-tend there, you can bar-tend anywhere.” In this case, that quote turns out to be true because I went through the wringer at TGI Fridays. My experience at TGI Fridays has caused me to look at restaurants with a lot more detail because the restaurant acknowledged not even the standard principles of a stable working environment. So the second chance that I got to start looking for jobs, I downloaded three job-searching apps (Linkedin, Indeed, and Monster-Jobs) and reviewed each of them by star ratings, job satisfaction, location, and average salary. However, through this endeavor, I would soon be at a crossroads with my choice of career.

Throughout this year, I have become so invested in the restaurant industry that I had a firsthand look into how this pandemic caused an uproar, convincing everyone to rethink how to operate as a restaurant with as little contact as possible. Enter: Curbside Pickup; A form of service that allows guest to retrieve their food and beverages while parked in their automobiles, and the servers hand them through the window. It was essential for businesses, big and small, to stay afloat. Unfortunately, that didn’t save the thousands of restaurants that shut down back in 2020. I was working at Pappasito’s Cantina when the pandemic started; I felt the concern and worry emancipating from the surrounding staff that this… was serious. On the day after, the store would remain closed for a couple of days, and corporate sent a statement on Hotschedules, stating that stores will continue business by adopting curbside. It followed up by saying that employees can choose to stay home on unpaid leave, which I decided to do since I wasn’t comfortable working amid a virus. When it came around to reopening the restaurant for dine-in, I remember hearing that 3 to 4 different locations in the Houston area were closing down(permanently or temporarily) because of rising cases within the workplace. Still, although my site had about five confirmed cases within the store, we stayed open.
On top of that, when I decided to stay on curbside pickup instead of dine-in service, corporate decided to drop wages for To-Go servers from $7.50hr (which wasn’t enough, to begin with) to $2.13 to equate the money deficit. That was a problem for me because customers aren’t known to tip ToGo servers, which generally wouldn’t be a problem (thanks to minimum wage), but we relied on tip money because of the wage drop. At that point, I was only making $50 to $60 a night. Because of this, I had to resort back to serving to make rent; I don’t know how I would’ve made it without the money I received from unemployment that took months to process.

In 2020, over 110,000 restaurants shut down because of covid, and 9,000 of those establishments were in Texas alone. Before the pandemic, restaurants contained at least 10% (15.6 million) of payroll jobs in the work economy. Since the pandemic started, 62% of fine dining establishments and 54% casual and family dining establishments are 20% below staff levels. Now imagine you are the business owner of your restaurant. As a Restaurant owner (Or General Manager if you work for a corporate franchise), you have to worry about how you can get your ingredients, produce, and liquor delivered to your establishment to serve to your guest. But because of covid, suppliers can’t distribute the goods safely; so you have to take money out of your safe and buy your goods locally and shorten the menu. Not to mention that there is a worldwide liquor shortage, so you have to dial back the quantity of liquor you purchase, which is a big deal if your establishment is a bar or lounge because that is what boosts your sales, which is why they’re most important likely to shut down.

The grimmest part about all of this is that this is only going to get worse from here. This is why it is imperative now more than ever to be supporting your local small businesses. Not just for your own community but to make sure that we pave the way for our generation (Gen Z) to prosper in our careers like we were suppose to do.

What Does It Take To Impeach President Trump!

U.S. President Donald Trump ATTENDS a bilateral meeting with Iraq’s President Barham Salih on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

There is a lot of speculation and debate within congress on whether Trumps past actions such as encouraging a crowd to outcry “SEND HER BACK”, or “All Mexicans are criminals” are enough to provoke The House of Representatives to impeach Trump. Unfortunately. to think that common courtesy towards an un-president like ego such as Trump’s would be enough to dictate his place in office is naive to say the least. So what kind of spectacular phenomenon does Trump need to get kicked of office?

To most of the majority people are ecstatic to see that Trump has finally been impeached for something that he has been doing since his first 2016 campaign: Looking for dirt on his competitors via foreign affairs with Ukraine. This stunt was just the thing to give people the ammunition to get him out of office. But impeaching Trump is not the only way to remedy our problems. No, in fact, there is another way to keep him from staying in office and that is to simply IGNORE HIM.

Here me out on this. Why does Trump have such an astounding following despite his ignorant ego? Because that ego is exactly why people love him so much. His actions are very similar to how Kanye West presents himself. One reason why people despise Kanye is his ego, despite his recognized talent as an artist. The stunts West pulls are just as controversial in a social aspect as the stunts that Donald Trump pulls in a the political aspect. In Kanye’s case, everyone just ignores him cause his stunts bring no significance or relevancy to the social media or any other platform. For example, when Kanye publicly went to the White House and expressed how much he supports Trump where both he and President Trump’s egos were at their highest. Or when he made the most infamous opinion that slavery was a choice.

Democratic Candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg

In contrast, Donald Trump is doing the exact same strategy in order to win his second term. In all reality, Trump has nothing to offer or promise for in his journey to attain a second term. Therefore, we will eventually ignore every stunt that Trump tries to pull on them. And when the other presidential candidates like Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren realize his jokes, Trump will become irrelevant and eventually lose his chance coming back to the White House.

In conclusion, as the new decade approaches, Trump’s status as a legit candidate will debilitate as soon as people realize that Trump is all talk and no action. He’ll lose his legitimacy as a potential candidate and when that happens, either he will be impeached or lose the 2020 election. Either way, he will be known as the worst president alive.

Why So Serious? The Pressure of Mistaking a Person’s Gender-Identity or Sexual Orientation.

This is a opinionated essay on how I feel this new decade should bring on regards to the growing increase of gender-queer individuals. So much so that I believe now is the time to educate people about the cycles of sexuality and gender-identity. ENJOY!!!

It seems we live in an age where politeness is so expected, that everyone gets offended by the littlest of things. Topics like gender-identity, politics, out-of-closet celebrities, and the beauty community (that’s just to name a few) are where controversy spawn the most. There are so many sensitive and misunderstood people on social media that flood the airwaves when a phrase, comment, or statement is dubbed “offensive”. There’s no more room for being expressive because the idea of expressing yourself has evolved. So much from changing your fashion aesthetic, to now being able to parade your sexuality at a pride festival without prejudice.   

17-nonbinary-1559596392

One of the most common offensive remarks are when someone misuses an individual’s  gender identity. For example, Non-binary- When a person’s sexuality spectrum varies between masculinity and femininity with “They, their, them” pronouns-  is becoming the new norm and there are many people that are very confused by how they should approach someone that’s non-binary. Celebrities like Sam Smith, India Moore, Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevigne, and Adore Delano have all come out as Non-Binary or gender-queer. So how should you approach someone that has a sexual orientation that you don’t understand? 

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Let them explain it for you. Because if you try asking a question, whether from ignorance or curiosity, it will most likely come off as offensive and insensitive. So questions like, “what’s going on down there”,  “are you a drag queen”, or “what bathroom do you use” are just too blunt and personal for a gender-queer to answer. Instead, let them tell you who they are. It’s easier to let them introduce themselves then try to figure it out yourself because they don’t expect you to know right off the bat. 

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People that are non-binary or transgender don’t expect you to understand their identity right away, just respect their ideals and choices. Because all they want to be, like all people of LGBT, is accepted as human beings. Since the sexuality spectrum has expanded throughout the past decade, now it is time to educate ourselves and future generations about sexual orientation and gender identity. The term “sex” has evolved into so much more than male or female; now sex can be manufactured by that person’s coming of age process as he/she/they find their true self.

When Habits Turn Into Addictions

This is going to be a short blog because I’m not trying to put out facts but relativity to what addiction is and possibly reach out to people that may have a problem.

So the past three months since turning 21, I’ve developed a couple of habits that have brought opinionated feedback from my loved ones. For example, I’ve taken a habit of drinking a lot. Not to where I’m always waking up drunk in an alley with no memory of what happened that night, but consecutively enough to worry my boyfriend. I would even try harnessing my craving for alcohol by making drinks at home. Sometimes I would convince myself and my boyfriend that I’m fine, but the past two weeks would be my “Wake up Call” that would help me realize that I have an issue.

2 weeks ago I went on a drinking spree for 4 days in a row. I made drinks at home, went to bars after work, and bar hopped from many locations just cause I was in a mood for a drink; or drinks. On the fourth day of my drinking spree I called my boyfriend to tell him about my night and to also verify with him that I was fine and heading home. Unfortunately, that didn’t make him any less worried about my well being. It took me a while to realize that he wasn’t just upset that I drank a lot that night, but that I’m drinking too much entirely.

Yesterday, I finally realized that addiction is real and it can consume and devour you until you can’t survive without it. So if you think you have a problem with any substance, whether it’s cocaine, meth, or alcohol, ask for help. Because it’s one thing to have an unhealthy habit but it’s another thing to have an addiction.

Pride vs. Straight Pride

NYC Pride 2019 | WorldPride NYC | Stonewall50

Pride Month is the only month of the year where people of LGBTQ get to celebrate who they can love. It’s the month that unites us all as whole and grants us the resources to keep fighting for LGBTQ rights. That’s why when a group of Evangelical Christians decided that there should be a straight pride, you could best believe that there will be gargantuan backlash. There’s no reason to be “prideful” for being straight because the straight community has never been discriminated for loving an opposite-sex. So why host a Straight Pride parade?

What the straight community doesn’t understand about pride is that it isn’t just about being gay, bisexual, lesbian, or trans. It’s about what we, as a community, have had to deal with the discrimination, brutality, and innocent murdering of people of LGBTQ. It’s a celebration of being able to love who you want to love, ignoring the Christian protesters, and being able to kiss your same-sex lover without persecution or public shame. There is no way to take Pride and just turn it straight; because there is no solid history of a person being discriminated, brutalized, or murdered for loving the opposite sex. Instead it brings mockery towards everything the LGBTQ community has fought for and continuing to fight for. The only valid argument is that “If there weren’t straight people, then there’d be no gay people”, which is just another way to mock LGBTQ pride.

The reason why we don’t have a straight parade is the same reason why there isn’t a white history month. It’s because they’ve never had to fight for their existence like Black, Asian, or Hispanic people, who have had to fight just to live in the same country as them. It’s also why we celebrate success from individuals like Annise Parker, who was the first Mayor of Houston to be openly gay or Pete Buttigieg, who is the first openly gay candidate running for President. It is the type of success that we’ve fought for so long. The “American Dream” has been a metaphor for a selective few, being mostly white male, so imagine our excitement when that metaphor can now coincide with woman, people of LGBTQ, and people of color. It’s because a society as such deems the LGBTQ community unworthy of such achievements, so they try to keep them underground.

Cody Barlow, a self-described straight county from Cherokee County, Oklahoma, is the pride of LGBTQ advocates with his pickup truck message of support.

But what the straight community doesn’t understand is that all people of sexuality are welcome, including the straight community, because it celebrates happiness and love, not just the gay kind. That’s why you see straight people visiting pride festivals out of respect for what the LGBTQ community has fought for. Pride doesn’t exclude straight people because that expresses hypocrisy from our side. All that the LGBTQ community wants is acceptance from a society that discarded us from society since the 1980’s.

So instead of making a straight Pride, instead, come join the party; EVERYONE is welcomed! Because the LGBTQ community doesn’t celebrate pride just for being gay, we celebrate it for the ongoing fight for human rights, expressing love as just, and showing our colors wherever we go. Love is love, and that is what the message of Pride is; LOVE.