Friday, January 31, 2014

Socialite Stories - The Inspired Entrepreneurs Event

The amazing thing about the website Meetup is that you are able to attend one event after the next, and continue to meet up with people that are interested in what you are into when it comes to career, dreams, and aspiring.

One event that happened was the Inspired Entrepreneur event held Wednesday night at Toshi's Living Room. I was lucky enough to attend.


As soon as I entered the room it was like walking into a diverse crowd of entrepreneurs. Each person brought together their own ideas and aspirations. There were discussions on their current businesses and how they each want to grow to the next level. I couldn't help but to comment on a few conversations when people were discussing social media marketing. As a social media specialist and lifestyle blogger, I couldn't help but to share my own experiences on how I marketed myself and my work via social media.

I met someone who works with a green energy company. I met with a designer launching a clothing line in stores soon. I met a singer who wants to create a brand on the side. Each conversation was memorable and excellent juice to take in.

I walked away from the event with new contacts and incredibly new perspectives on life. Most of those thoughts will be posted on the website soon. The event was extraordinary and I am looking forward to the next one, which will be real soon. Shout out to Jonathan Davis, the man who made this event happen. I have to say, he is one of the most passionate, ambitious people that I met this year. Things have slowed down lately because people are adjusting to the new year. So it was wonderful to meet a hyperactive, passionate person for the first time this year.

Be sure to LIKE Inspired Entrepreneurs on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Pizza Slice That Was Worth $4.35

When it comes to New York City, buying a slice of pizza worth more than $5 is completely out of the question. Unless you're thinking about ordering the entire pie, you're not thinking about spending that much on one slice. It's rare to find a pizza that is so tasty, we would swipe more than five dollars off our cards without ever second guessing that order.

That's a moment I had recently.

I was walking off campus after dropping off some paperwork for my next classes. I didn't eat anything except a couple of herbs given to me by my nutritionist. I was craving for meat and I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to make it to my apartment without passing out. As I was walking to the train station, my stomach was growling. I felt incredibly dizzy. The cold weather from outside wasn't helping me out either.

I had a large craving for food that I couldn't resist. 

After trailing around the TriBeCa area for a few minutes, I found myself near a pizza place called Palermo Pizza on 61 Murray St. I went inside and ordered a slice of pepperoni pizza. Based on the reviews like Yelp I saw on the window, I knew that this was a popular place. That day must've been a slow day because it was twelve degrees, which resulted in people in New York City wanting to stay inside their apartment.

When I was told that the price was $4.35, I gasped. All of that money for a single slice of pizza was unheard of. I hid my shocked face and swiped my card. I then sad down at the nearby table to eat my pizza. One bite later, I completely understood why the pizza cost so much. Because it was the best pizza I've ever tasted.

Here is a pizza that the chefs obviously put their heart into. It was fluffy. The cheese was well made and balanced on the slice. It was falling off or anything. It was well in place. The meat didn't taste like it was expired. Matter of fact, it tasted like it was fresh out the freezer.

What I thought was going to be five minutes ended up as fifteen minutes inside that pizza place. I was enjoying every single bite of it. Nowadays, people eat as fast as they can and not enjoy the taste of good food swirling around your tongue. 

I walked out the place and into the train station saying "Those $5 was worth it."

Monday, January 27, 2014

Roque's Reality Newsletter #2 Is Out Now

The second Roque's Reality is finally out. I can't tell you guys how long I've waited for this one. I finished editing this one three days prior to the release date for the one millionth time. I will admit that I was a bit critical of this issue. I'm a perfectionist. I want everything to be in place when I am releasing a personal project to the public.

Because of the recent things I've done in the last month, I told myself that this issue must not have any mistakes or nothing should be left out of it. I am happy that this issue came along nicely. I consider it one of my best to date and I'm so happy to be presenting it to the public. So click on the link below and enjoy yourself my fellow readers.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

High School, Lost In Memory?

As I walk across the halls of college, creating one moment after the next, I went into my memory box one day to think back on what my high school years were. After all, when you are entering the halls of school once again, your past doesn't mind popping up every now and then. But as I began trying to remember high school, I get one second of the past, and everything suddenly disappears. I would try and bring high school back into my brain over and over again, but I would never get a single memory.

Four years of my life suddenly disappeared.

This was very surprising to me. Based on conversations I've had with fellow peers, high school is said to be four years you'll never forget. Those four years defined who you were as your teenager. You either stay as the person you were as you get older, or you slowly begin to change into something that your peers wouldn't be able to recognize during your high school reunion. Yet, there I was, with no memory of college whatsoever.

I do recall specific struggles, but it mainly happened outside of high school. I no longer have any recollection of what those four years were. I guess it's for the best since. After all, I'm about to create four years worth of college memories. So maybe it was for the best.

Do you have those moments? Is high school completely lost in your memory?

Friday, January 17, 2014

True Fashionista Now Article - The JCPenney New Year, New You Fitness Event

This is my second article for True Fashionista Now. Tyrone Farley asked me to write and do social media about this amazing fitness event that JCPenney was holding. I had so much fun there. This event helped me get back into shape and set my mind in motion when it comes to getting my body back to the way it was for 2014.

Click on the link below to read about all the fun I've had.

#THATAWKWARDMOMENT When You See Your Ex With His New Mate

You and your ex haven't seen each other for quite a while. For all you know, he is a single bachelor just like you. You're not taking dating seriously because flashbacks of your ex keeps on coming back to haunt you. So you do everything you can to get over it.

You excel at work. You burn some steam off in the gym. You go out at nightclubs with your boys. You are just enjoying single life like a true rock star, despite the flashbacks about the ex.

One day, you are at the grocery store once again feeling happy. The clothing attire you picked we're simple gray jogging pants and a black T-shirt. You have "Always On My Mind" from Michael Buble playing through your headphones. The day is just jolly for you.

You're at the produce isle grabbing a couple of fruit. The next minute, you turn to the right and there is your ex right there in front of you. Life hasn't changed based on his face. Although you would notice he is well groomed. What seemed like a short term reunion eventually turns out to be a moment of awkwardness.

The next minute, this random person kisses your ex on the cheek and says "Hi" to you. This person turns out to be your ex's new lover. You don't know what to say except maybe a word or two. The whole time you were thinking the both of you we're still single, your ex found a new one and you are looking at them dead center.

Instead of making it more awkward, you greeted back to them. Then you say your goodbyes and leaves the produce isle as fast as you could.

Isn't that a moment to remember until you find a new man?

The romantic comedy film That Awkward Moment hits theaters January 31st. Go see. I know I will.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

#THATAWKWARDMOMENT When You Farted During Sex


Don't be embarrassed. It's going to happen to us at least once in our lives. The only solution is to recover from the embarrassment. Think it over. You and your lover enter the apartment. You're horny and he's horny. Before you even make it to the kitchen to get a glass of orange juice or vodka like we always do, you're making out with each other in the hallway like it's the last time you two will see each other ever again.

You finally retreated to the bed and started getting it in. The sex is wonderful and amazing. You can't help yourself but to feel a large release ready to exit your body. Before you know it, in the moment of great sex, you heard this loud sound coming out from below.

That my friend is gas finally out in the end.

Of course, it'll be embarrassing at first. But if you have a good sense of humor, you'll laugh about it in the end.

That Awkward Moment hits theaters January 31st. I'll be there.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#THATAWKWARDMOMENT When You Tripped On A Sidewalk

Every person in New York City should plead the fifth on this one. Every once in a while one of us in this city will have a experience with them and the concrete.
One minute, you are walking down the street, having a wonderful, blissful day. You have a smile on your face. Your iPhone is playing your favorite music. There may possibly be a crowd of people around you, but it's not many to keep you from not being able to move around.

You reach the end of a sidewalk and enter the street to go to the next sidewalk. Once again, you think nothing is going to go wrong. You're having a wonderful day. What could possible go wrong?

All of sudden, you raise your foot and the point of your shoe hits the sidewalk. You lose your balance and suddenly find yourself landing onto the concrete. If you have good reflexes, you might be able to prevent this from happening. But there are some people who aren't so lucky.

Once you've fallen down you're instantly thinking about how you're going to recover from it. You stand up, fix yourself up, keep your head  up high, and continue walking. You hope no one noticed you because that would be extra embarrassing. You do your best to try and make that tiny moment disappear.

People tell each other all the time that it's noting to embarrass about, especially here in New York.

People trip and fall all the time. It's a part of our culture that we celebrate all the time when it happens to one of us. But in the end, you can't help but think that you have experienced a awkward moment when it comes to you and the sidewalk.

That Awkward Moment hits theaters January 31st. Go see it. I know I will.

Monday, January 13, 2014

#THATAWKWARDMOMENT When Your Credit Card Declines

One night, I asked my boyfriend at the time to go out to dinner with me. I received this huge check from my former boss for doing his social media work. I was in charge of making sure that his Facebook and Twitter accounts were always updated. Occasionally, I would write up the first draft of press releases for him and his company. But most of the time, I was just managing his social media.

I deposited the check into my bank account one week early, so that everything could go through in the meantime. The following week, my ex-boyfriend told me that he was visiting New York City for the night. He lives in New Jersey and I live in New York. We both worked so much, a night out with one another was always a highly anticipated thing.

I invited him out to come have dinner with at this restaurant on Union Squares that I was dying to try out. I browsed through all the restaurants that were in around the area days prior, and this one who's name still escapes me stood out to me.

My ex and I dined and had a great time. I was sent over the bill and I gave her my card. I was extra confident because I deposited a $500. The two of us were laughing our butts off while continuing to eat.

Suddenly, the waiter came back and said "Your card was declined."

I sat there in my chair, frozen as a icicle. I never expected those words to be said towards me. Most of all, I was confused at why I was told that. I literally deposited a $500 check. So the money couldn't have been declined.

I was so embarrassed sitting there. Luckily, my ex paid the bill and said I didn't owe him anything. Still, words could not express how uncomfortable and down I was hearing those words told to me. I stopped by the bank. It said that the check was returned due to insufficient funds. My former boss later turned out to be a scammer, but that's another story.

I'm sure many of us had a moment like that, and we do our best to forget. But that was my awkward moment when it came to a declined card.

That Awkward Moment hits theaters January 31st. Go see it.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Introducing: The #THATAWKWARDMOMENT Column

Everyone that knows me is well aware that I am a huge fan of romantic comedy films. I don't care if it is ridiculous or not. I will watch every single romantic comedy film that has ever been made. I'm a Libra, which makes me a romantic at heart. The idea of love surrounds my life. Better yet, love is without a doubt the central theme of my life forever.

With that being said, I'm so looking forward to watching the romantic comedy film That Awkward Moment, which comes out January 31st.

It stars Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller. I have followed Zac Efron's work since those High School Musical years. I will be honest and say that this will be my first time seeing Michael B. Jordan on the big screen. I'm somewhat scared to see Fruitvale Station, due to the real life story that the movie is based on, and the tragic dark conclusion to the film. Things like that are too deep for me to bear. I'm new to Miles Teller as well. So this is going to be interesting experience.

One day, I was browsing around the Facebook page created for the movie. There were a few, but not many funny promos featuring the cast where they talked about real life awkward moments. My favorite was when they talked about the awkward moment when someone is waving at you. You wave back at them. But then you turn around and realize that the person behind you was the one they were actually waving at. Not you.

These promos were tiny, yet so funny to me. I loved how these promos covered topics that were so relatable and so funny at the same time. It made me begin to think about the awkward moments I've ever experienced in own life.

All of a sudden, I was riding the subway train back to my apartment. Midway there, I had this idea for a column that is also a celebration, love, and support for the movie.

So starting Monday, I will be counting down the release date of That Awkward Moment by posting stories about awkward moments that I've experienced throughout my life. I maybe young but I do have plenty of awkward stories to tell.

Enjoy the ride and be sure to go to the movies and watch That Awkward Moment when it hits the theater.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Side Effect From Underage Drinking

One night, me and my boys headed over to our favorite sports bar, celebrating another win from our favorite football team. The five of us were sitting at this table, ordering drinks, pizza, and buffalo wings. That's what I loved about this sports bar. It was a combination of a bar and a restaurant. We would go there every football night and enjoy ourselves with our traditional meal.

I was eighteen years old at the time. So while the boys had tequila and wine, I had root beer. That was fine with me. Growing up, I was always the youngest when it came to the group of friends I made. I was always the baby that needed to be taken care of sometimes. I didn't care if I was two years apart from each of them. I chose the friends I made and I realized I was comfortable being around older people.
I was at the table eating pizza and watching ESPN on the TV screen that was on top of the bar. Harry, one of my friends in the group, kept hitting me softly in the arm. I looked over and there was Troy. Troy then moved this shot of tequila towards my arm. He kept giving me sign languages, even though I already knew what he was referring to.

"Have a drink?" he asked me.

"Troy," I said to him. "You know I'm eighteen."

"I know. Have a drink?"

"We're gonna get in trouble."

"Roque, if you don't take this drink, you'll make me feel bad."

I was very much an enabler at the time. I didn't want there to be a sad look on Troy's face. So I took the shot of tequila and drank it. Before I knew it, I grabbed four more shots and just threw them back. Troy was so happy. Ten minutes later, he soon realized he was going to regret giving me the drinks. My own personal side effect from drinking at a young age kicked in.

I got out of my chair and started kissing everyone in the bar. No gender was excluded. Everyone was going to touch my lips. Surprisingly, they were alright with it. All they saw was a young new drunk that was doing his best to have some fun. Either that, or everyone was gay or bisexual. But either way, they got a kiss from me.

Eventually, I passed out on the floor and fell asleep. My friends considered it an opportunity to pick me up and take me out of the bar. I didn't get a hangover the day after. It's somewhat of a miracle that I remember this.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Beauty Of Bubble Baths

You are coming home from a long day of work. After closing the door behind you the minute you walked in, you begin to suddenly feel your body feeling the entire physical highlight of your day. Even trying to describe it can be unbearable for you.

Right after having a glass of vodka or orange juice, one of the first things that comes to your mind is heading to the bathroom to begin the night's bath remedy. You walk into the bathroom and turn the hot water on in the tub. You mix it up with bubble bath mix and let the bubbles surround the tub. Once it's ready you strip your clothes off and lay naked in the bathtub. Your body temporarily adjusts it's temperature in order to match the water, and then you lie there for minutes or even hours if you want to.

Your body begins to feel relaxed. It loosens up all those tense spots. The blood flows around like an angry tsunami. Only word comes into your mind during all of this. Serenity.

I, for one, am a huge fan of bubble baths. It was never left my favorites list. I just love bubble baths. Not because it's just a casual, but also because of the wonderful remedies that comes along with taking a nice hot bath.

If you ever come home after a hard day, things like this are for you.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Close That Bar Tab Permanently

At first, I was completely fine with keeping a bar tab open with my credit card. I used to hang out at this nightclub every Friday night after work on Christopher Street. The limit was always $20. I thought this was going to be the place that I would hang out at for the rest of my life with the best friends in whole wide world. Then once the club closed down, that fantasy was ruined.

Now I'm walking all over the city trying to find the next spot.

One night, I visited a popular spot in Harlem called El Morocco. This club is said to be famous amongst many people I know. I even subscribed to their mailing list. One minute, I'm getting an email regarding someone's birthday. Another one is a party celebrating the release of Beyonce's new album. Then I'm receiving one about upcoming drag shows.

What made the club stand out to me was this one particular story about a audience member and an actual stripper. I'll stop right there because that's not what this piece is about.

I walked into the club because my friend invited me over because his other friend was celebrating his birthday there. This was my first time going to El Morocco. I was excited.

I stood at the bar table, waiting on my friends who decided to show up two hours later. In the meantime, I opened up a tab at the bar. The limit was $30 and I was purchasing drink specials. My mind exploded in that moment. I'm a light weight. I had to buy at least six of the same drinks in order to close that tab. Plus, at the time, I was in the middle of a budget crisis. So the fact that I was going to spend more put me in instant panic mode.

During those two hours, I throwing those drinks back, trying to close that tab while waiting on my friends. It was eventually closed. My friends arrived and I was completely intoxicated at that point. I have sworn since then to never open a bar tab using my credit card ever again. The only reason is because you never know what is the limit at each bar is going to be. If you are money conscious people don't do it. If you're a millionaire who doesn't care, go for it.

All I know is that people like me aren't opening bar tabs for a long time.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Man And His Barber

Four months ago, I met this man at this American Barber Institute in Manhattan. Let's call him Terry. He's this tall Latin with a mini Afro. I could tell he was well groomed because there was barely any facial hair on him. He wore regular Khaki pants and a white shirt, but I could tell he was a jock because he was wearing the newest Adidas sneakers, and the first thing I remember coming out of his mouth was how good the Nets were the previous night.

The Institute randomly selects your barber. They are all students. You can't just pick your barber. Nepotism doesn't work there. After seeing my name next on the list, I was sent over to Terry, so he could work on my hair.

I will admit that I had doubts in the beginning due to the last barber making a mess out of my hair. My traditional style is a skim fade, which is very similar to what they call a buzz cut. The only difference being the hair around the ears. The hair will all be shaved to the same length all over. You will then shave about an inch of hair directly above the ears. Change the setting on the clippers and then trim about half an inch above the previous shaved area.

The previous barber messed up the line and made me completely bald.

Terry, on the other hand, was a genius in the end. He not only gave me the right haircut, but he perfected my look. He made my haircut match my youth look. The real me was out in the public. Many people have their own hairstyles that defines how they feel truly represents them physically. This skim fade cut showed the true me and I was in awed.

Terry later revealed to me that he was only there temporarily. I got an apprenticeship at a well established barbershop already. He was just at the institute to get his license. He gave me his card, hoping that I would stay in touch. He didn't have to worry about that at all. The following month, I met him at the official barbershop, got another well groomed haircut, and he found himself having a permanent client.

The relationship I have with my current barber reminds of me of my childhood one back in New Orleans, Louisiana. I had the same barber for twenty and a half years before I moved to the Big City. I would look at the conversations older man would have with my barber. Never truly understanding how deep the relationship is. Now that I have my own, I fully understand.

The barbers are like family to you. After all, they're the closest to your face anyone has ever gotten. They become part of your family because of your interactions. I get holiday text message wishes from him everyday. I bought him a birthday present for his birthday. We became brothers in a way without being that close. In a way, we are since we're both around the same age. I'm twenty-two and he's twenty-four.

In the end, I have to say, there is nothing close like the relationship between a man and his barber. I'm proud to have mine.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Telling Stories With Southern Food

I may live in New York City, but I will never forget that I was born in the raised in New Orleans, Louisiana for the first twenty and a half years of my life. Living in the big city has always been a dream come true, but the one thing that I've had to realize about my Southern roots that it will never my life. It's a part of my life that's never going away. And to be honest, I'm glad it's not going anywhere. Growing up in Louisiana has taught me so many things and made me the person that I am.

My maturity, love for dark storytelling (Anne Rice novels for example.), historical knowledge on my city and how it came up. There is nothing like New Orleans, Louisiana and I am proud to be born and raised there.

The one thing I will miss about the South most importantly is the food. The main reason why is because the process of cooking these delicious meals always causes people like me to tell stories.

Think it over, you're in the kitchen with your friends and family. Their drinking wine and margaritas while you're mixing the raw chicken with flower before placing it in the frying pan, so it can be crisp and well done later on. Your friend is talking about the time when they accidentally burned themselves while learning how to cook for the first time. You share laughs while continuing to drink wine. The cooking has already made it to getting the sweet potato pie out of the oven while cooking a new batch of fried chicken.

What are you guys doing? Still telling stories about the past, present, and future.

Before you know it, everyone is already at the dinner table, getting ready to feast on everything that was created. You're now staring at fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, green peas, biscuits, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, and corn on the cob, to name a few, at this well designed dinner table from the napkins. As the feasting begins, everyone continues to have a good time sharing wonderful tales, whether it good or bad.

There's a saying that food brings people together. I think Southern food is the truth definition of that saying.