Have that sibling you wish you always had?
That person whoâ€™s there for you no matter what?
Is that your BEST friend?
Find out if the feeling is...
Letter from the Editor
Mutual was designed with the intention of reaching out to the people who truly have a deep connection with someone that can relate to no other. Nothing is really trying to be sold. Everything is written with the simple intent to share. I’ve always liked to discuss other people’s friendships with their best friends and hear about all the stories they’ve had, what they have gone through together and how deep of a friendship they truly have and whether or not they understand that blood is just a state of mind when it comes to brothers. If you’re anything like me then, you will enjoy this issue of Mutual and what it entails. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about my most recent adventures with my best friend ever since I was four years old, Mark. You would be able to imagine my life as I describe a typical day in which him and I often spend together. Obviously, I don’t have the ability to fit every single detail of our lives together into one magazine. Therefore, if this issue peaks your interest, I suggest purchasing the next edition. Happy reading, -Eric Jalil
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that participated in the process of designing this issue: my fellow classmates who gave me their input and advice, my friends and mother for allowing me to interview them, special thanks to Stephanie Jablon for being courteous enough to allow me to use her flashdrive a hundred times, but most importantly, a big thank you to Mark for being their in so many parts of my life, having the ability to make them all special and giving me the opportunity to be able to document them for you all to experience.
The Slide Show displays a very simple layout. However, theyâ€™re decision to place their name in the bottom inspired me to do so as well. This differentiates them from the average cover.
Focus exhibits some very irrelevant topics if it were to be compared to my magazine. The title caught my eye though. Having some of the letters be a different size than the others inspired me to do the same for my cover.
TIME generally has very plain covers. No collages, very limited range of colors, very simple. I enjoy simple and believe simple is attractive when it comes to a magazine cover. Too much content on the cover could induce the customer to be too overwhelmed to pick it up, let alone purchase it.
My magazine has nothing to do with the appreciation of animals and nature. However, the details and quality that the writers describe their surroundings impressed me when I read it. Therefore, National Geographic inspired me to exhibit the same type of scene displaying skills.
Most covers have a bunch of quotes that clutter the image portrayed on the front. I liked how Men of Integrity keeps their images intact by typing up their text around the image, rather than completely cover it.
Some magazines deal with a specific topic, yet have a lot of text that has nothing to do with what is actually being discussed inside. I like how American Cowboy actually had things to say about what was inside that dealt with the actual content.
With AFAR’s covers, the text is generally placed on the sides, allowing the viewer to appreciate the actual image without having to look through some unnecessary text. I liked how their covers always had this type of layout so I took the same concept and applied it to my cover.
Throughout the inside of Art & Architecture are many images that are uniquely placed and perfectly accompany the text. This inspired me to have plenty of images accompany my articles in order to give the reader a visual representation of what I was experiencing.
The words, “The truth about paleo” were placed on the cover of this issue of Outside. This means that something will be revealed if you were to read the magazine. This inspired me to try and do the same with my cover.
The content of Sports Illustrated has a lot to do with activity and movement. Very little aspects of my moements with Mark deal with stagnation. I like how there is always activity throughout the whole issue of Sports Illustrated that I read. This lead me to try and incorporate the same kind of non stop action in my articles.
Seventeen is created especially, if not, only for teenage girls. This reminded me that I did not want to limit my customers to be one gender. Therefore, I did my best to not exclude the female audience by having the stories be completely masculine. That way, girls with best friends will also be able to relate to my friendship with Mark.
teen Vogue addresses a lot of drama. Even though my instances with Mark were not â€œdramaticâ€? from the perspective of the average teenager, some were still intense enough to induce a steady heart rate increase. This magazine lead me to try and make my magazine more dramatic when I edited the content. That way, the teenage public will be more inclined to purchase future articles.
Table of Contents Interview with Christian Martinez (8-9) * A Brotherhood like No Other (10-18) * Interview with Danny Marcet (19-20) * All In (21-25) * Interview with Ana Jalil (26-27)
Interview with Christian Martinez Christian Martinez has the hair of a mop, with the stature of a dwarf. And yet, under that hair is the charisma of an angel. Despite his excessively sensitive appeal, he is as crazy as an insane asylum inmate. Nice enough to visit me during my summer semester, he was crazy enough to get lost on campus after agreeing to be interviewed upon waking up and feeling full of energy after a long car ride nap. Finding him walking in circles across Landis Green at Florida State University, I directed him out of the muddy marsh Landis Green turns into after the excessive rainstorms. Bringing him to the sanctity of my dorm in Degraff hall with the window open, revealing a lovely view of the rock layered parking lot, I began pelting him with questions he was too lazy to truly elaborate on after a long and strenuous Senior year of high school. “Let’s get this over with.” he said before anything else. I knew I had chosen the right person for this. I was doing my best to decipher the responses to my questions through the muzzled noises that accompanies a constant mouthful of my own food that he decided to binge on. As tedious as it was to get through the mechanics of a project, the work tension was alleviated because I finally got to spend some time with one of my seven best friends again. After all, soothing this overwhelming sense of nostalgia was very necessary making all the trouble that went along with Christian’s interview well worth it. How did you first encounter this place? “I was born in Miami, Florida at Mercy Hospital after my parents settled in from Cuba because of the communist revolution. So I didn’t really have much of an experience in “encountering” it since I had no choice, you know?” Why do you like it there?
don’t like it here.”
It seems like living in Miami is a little burdensome. What would be some activities that people can partake in to enjoy themselves?
“Age is a pretty big factor in how much you can really get out of Miami. Going out and clubbing is what Miami is well known for in terms of “the night life.” But in the day, I’d say going to the beach can never turn out bad unless this horrible weather continues. If I’m lucky enough to catch a not so cloudy day, then I would take advantage of it by going skim boarding, taking the boat out, or just relax on South Beach and tan.”
“Well it’s not really my choice to leave here in Miami because I still live with my parents but I’m actually considering moving further up North depending on my obligations in terms of my career and it would just be nice to have a change in What are some things that Miami is known for scenery instead of the same “sun every day” desert around the country that makes it so special? I live in now. Also, from my experience in traveling, it seems like the manners seem to improve the “For people who like to travel, they have to know more North you head so it would be a nice change that Miami has the biggest Cruise line port in the in atmosphere. So, to answer your question, I really nation. We have Caribbean cruises, Norweigian
cruises, and cruises that go to like Alaska. Also, someone who is interested in Rock music, like myself, should consider attending the Vans Warp tour held here. Every year it’s great and the artists who show up are top of the line. But if you are more into electronic music, Miami prides itself for hosting one of the top ten largest music festivals in the world: the Ultra Music Festival. Over 330,000 people attended the music festival this year. They packed that many people in a 32-acre park. It got pretty uncomfortable at times and since I’m so short I had to jump up as high as I could for breaths of fresh air. The music was worth it though with over 300 great artists in a perfect lineup, leaving the best artists for last every night. It was a two weekend long event and for the six days, people were there from 12:00PM-12:00AM. Only professionals have the stamina to stay in there for half a day every day though because there’s no re-entry.”
What are the social stereotypes that challenge this location?
“If you do not speak fluent Spanish, you will have a hard time in Miami. Because of the huge amount of immigration from Cuba, the majority of Miami’s population consists of Hispanics who haven’t bothered to learn the main language of the country they just moved to. Also, Miami is stereotyped for the bad driving, which I agree to. People drive horribly and accidents occur on a regular basis. The heat is so unbearable that it’s just annoying.” How will these stereotypes affect those that go there?
“If you’re from up North, you’re going to have a pretty tough time communicating with the locals because if Spanish isn’t their first language, it’s not English either so be fluent in something. The bad driving is pretty much known worldwide so people will be aware of that already but, regardless, will still be pretty intimidated to drive.”
A Broth Like No
herhood An early morning and the distant noises of incessant honking on a four-way two blocks down jab my eardrum like a battering ram. A more pleasant way to wake up had the neighbor’s pet rooster done its duty accordingly. Rather, he performed his daily routine of waking up the whole neighborhood at 3:00AM. My neighborhood is inhabited by a variety of weird adults with their own uniquely disturbing personalities. In Westchester, Miami, I live near Rudy who has an obsession of collecting the strangest animals as pets including his chameleon, hedgehog, and mentally disabled rooster. Then there is the crazy old man, Steve, who “patrols” the neighborhood in the middle of the night with a b-b gun with his shirt off. Also there is Ms. Beno who yells from her porch at anyone who crosses by her house while going through packs of cigarettes on a daily basis.
* Beep after beep after beep until I walk out the door. Mark is visible through the window, head down, bombarding my phone with messages to “GET OUTSIDE!” The same faded Hawaiian breeze car freshener barely strikes my nose as it has been in use since my best friend Mark got his first car several years ago. We blast the music up to the maximum volume that his pathetic speakers can tolerate it. * The pedal is floored as my best friend and I race through the garage lot in search of a spot. Desperately wishing for one of the second floor, we circle the level and are forced to drive up to the third and park in a rather hasty manner. Speed walking through Sunset mall we are only granted with two hours and thirty minutes on our parking ticket, we have to move quickly to avoid the rush hour at LA fitness.
The flames of the sun strike our skin again. The burning comes in waves in this never-ending sauna and the familiar odor of cigarette smoke and pollution yet again envelops our nostrils. Unfortunately, a majority of Miami is inhabited by people with nicotine issues. I have never been known for being excessively friendly to the enviroment but some * Nearing the gym located on the other side of the mall, we pass by the Pink and Victoria’s Secret placed to the right of our gym. Everyday as I pass by, I gaze through the window to find that my dream girl, Elsa Hosk, is modeling for Pink and her enormous picture is blown up at the entrance’s windows. It’s always been an obsession of mine to find someone like her--tall blonde, green eyes, and a crescent nose with freckles drizzled across. I look forward to seeing if they have changed her picturess but dread the instances in which some other, less impressive, model steals her rightful place at the front where she belongs. Admiring Pink’s designs for summer bikinis, I traditionally devote the day’s workout to our future marriage.
respect for the ozone layer would actually be appreciated before all of us down here are susceptible to some form of lung issues. Just have some consideration for those around you and do nothing in excess.
“NicoDerm CQ is a quit smoking nicotine patch and a stop smoking aid to help with smoking cessation. Get help to give up smoking cigarettes.”
No words are said whenever I hold a door open for the unmannerly citizens of Miami. * “Hi boyfriends!” The tall, 7’1” front desk manager, Claire, checks my ID which is on the lanyard of two other house keys while Mark’s ID is attached to a childish, glow in the dark alien which he assures everyone who asks about it, “It’s so I don’t lose it!” * The sounds of loudly excessive grunting and the thuds of slammed weights are heard throughout the gym, despite all the signs on the wall that enforce that those actions are pro-
hibited. The beat of my heart steadily increases. I warm my body up for the task at hand. I ready myself mentally. I am reminded of my obligations. I think of my dreams coming true. I feel the metal of the trophy in my hand. The sound of applause, the flashes of cameras, the feeling of pride entices my vertebrae. My three main goals orbit around my mind: to come in first place in a Men’s Physique competition, to land the cover of a fitness model magazine, and to break the record for the youngest IFBB pro ever. My dreams are inhibited by the carelessness of my fellow gym members. Five men on one machine texting, 40lb dumbbells placed in the 125lb section, missing barbells around the pool, gym
equipment in the locker rooms, and people hogging three different stations reaffirming that they are “circuit training.” Nevertheless, the misuse of the equipment made me wish everyone had their own set of powerblocks, a set of dumbbells that can adjust to any weight increment you desire.
* Mark leans in close and whispers, “Dude, bring out the stuff.” with a tone of voice that implied “the stuff” to be some illegal substance. This was our wonder drug when it came to fitness. Pre-workout supplements always gave us an edge to our lifting. Training without seemed ridiculous. There is no nicotine and addiction is not a side effect. However, we were simply addicted to the intense focus and drive that it gave us. I handed him a scoop because what’s mine is his. We toasted our shaker cups to a memorable workout and downed the delicious, highly caffinated
drink with the intentions of becoming one step closer to our future endeavors. * “What are we starting with today Franco?” Mark and I jokingly call each other by the names of other famous bodybuilders that exhibit our friendship. In the gym, Mark to me is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Having only the Austrian background in common, by default I call him by a seven time Mr. Olympia. Arnold’s favorite training partner and lifelong friend, Franco Columbu, was an extremely underestimated lifter. Winning Mr. Italy, Mr. Olympia, and multiple weightlifting
titles, he was renown for his strength to those who recognize him. Thanks to Franco’s short stature, he was able to lift more compared to taller bodybuilders like Arnold because of the shorter range of motion. So I am proud to be called by such a champion solely based off of my height.
* Familiar faces are seen throughout our workout. The older man, Lee, who, despite his age of 65, still sports a good physique. The foreign female bodybuilder from Russia, Yuliya, keeps to herself while wearing the same hat she wears every day. The gym’s loudest grunter who Mark and I refer to as “Skorpian” for having a Mortal Kombat-like attitude to his training actually gives us some friendly advice from his years of experience. * “Rock, paper, scissors— shoot! Paper beats rock…” Every tough decision is settled with a game of rock, paper, scissors with me and Mark. I grab the ticket and run to the machine to find a line of people waiting to validate their ticket. All of which have a child with them who also see it to be necessary to give the youngsters the opportunity to slide the ticket into the machine. Taking their time, effortlessly missing the slot and tippy-toeing to reach the device, I am reduced to seconds left thanks to the carelessness of Miamians. “I have a few seconds left before my time expires and I don’t have to pay so it’ll literally take one second.” The mother observes me from head to toe as if I have to pass a physical prerequisite, “As soon as
Pepito is done!” Unfortunately Pepito took too long, forcing me to pay another fee of $2.00 because I was seconds late. * Chipotle’s brown rice, black beans, chicken, mild sauce, lettuce, guacamole, I can smell what it tastes like mixed together already. “Mark, Eric, the usual?” We nod our heads and proceed to pay. I check the cost and see that we have been charged less than we were supposed to as usual because I am sure they realize that we will eventually go bankrupt from Chipotle everyday along with the homeless men positioned around the parking lot. * Three different homeless men stop us as we exited the sanctity of Mark’s car that did not comprehend the simple word composed of only two letters, “No.” * Speeding on the highway, the desolate area of the annual carnival can be seen on my peripheral vision. The smell of the remaining trash from “Santa’s enchanted forest” that the carnies never bothered to clean up and the filthy dirt that is layered over the gravel traditionally leads us to roll up the windows. Yet, we are left to admire the many lights and decorations that stay on year round. The scorching hot temperature is fortunately soothed and the never-ending smell of cigarettes dwindles away.
â€œChoose a condo in Paradise!â€?
e Barbersh o azzl p tre
the old custom of shaving blades and hot foam across the face, warm towel over the head, all during a haircut were always our fifteen minutes of fame and is always worth the twenty five dollar fee and the itchiness of leftover hair particles scattered throughout our upper bodies.
* Clean-shaven men with elegant style and demeanor walk wellgroomed dogs with diamond-encrusted collars. The scene has suddenly changed. Fresh air that does not entice me to choke or gasp fills the atmosphere. Polite smiles pass my line of sight. People actually say thank you when you hold the door for them. Mark and I have driven up to the wealthier side of Miami, Brickell, for a haircut. Thereâ€™s always so much to admire in Brickell but most importantly, it prides itself for being home to the finest condos and apartments. * Beautiful women in tight corsets walk about Razzel Dazzle barbershop, our all time favorite place for a haircut. The master of hair and first place winner of dancing competitions in Fiji, Papa New Guinea, and Sweden, Gabriel, tells us that we are in no need for another haircut. It has only been a week since our last appointment. Rather, we confess that we are in need of the treatment that accompanies a haircut at this underrated barbershop. The complimentart hand massages from the women,
* We passed by the elementary school Mark and I both attended. Being best friends ever since pre-k, a shiver of nostalgia ran down our spine. The orange sand layered across the baseball diamond soon became visible through the fence border surrounding St. Brendan Elementary, a memory that will never escape my
mind flashed by my eyes. It was a Thursday in mid October during the first grade when the most embarrassing day of my life occurred. My very first crush, Vanessa Lopez, did not know that I existed. It was kickball day after lunch. Long behold, there she was, waiting the line right in front of me, blissfully unaware of my presence. Before I managed to gather the courage to say something, an uncomfortable fullness enveloped my blatter. I suddenly recalled the liter of water Mark dared me to drink at lunch. However, I could not miss the opportunity to finally have a conversation with her so I decided to wait in line rather than ask for permission to go to the bathroom and lose my spot. Not until she noticed me squirming in place did she turn around. With no effort at all, she let out a simple “Hey.” Almost instantaneously, all the muscles in my lower torso… relaxed. Yes, I wet my pants right next to my first crush and she just stood there and watched. Things did not turn out well for us because she also left to Spain before the second grade—the one that got away.
The baseball diamond where the incedent took place
* The tradition as best friends is celebrated again. The eight of us have made it a custom to go to Hooters for every one of our birthdays. Unfortunately for this employee she has to put up with our sophomoric behavior yet again. Luckily, Natalie receives an appropriate tip for surviving another night of water spills, loud screaming, and scattered straw wrappers. * A calm ocean breeze accompanied by the rumble of waves, as we look both ways for any law enforcement a bag is dropped on the floor and a dozen fireworks fall out. A batter is on deck a couple of feet away and the light of a match can be seen from the nearby beach apartments. It’s time for another game of “firework baseball.” Presumably a sport no one else has heard of, the object of the
game is to light a firework and hit it at the right time to make it blow up in mid air while trying to avoid missing and having it explode at an unsafe distance. * When the day comes to an end in my life and there’s nothing to do, I turn on my Xbox and call Mark to play some Gears with me. Ever since Gears of War 1 came out in 2006, we would al-
ways play it online together. “Dude, it’s like three in the morning...” he complained. “Bro... and?” As if that was enough to convince anyone, “Let’s do it.” We stay up for hours yelling at our teammates for not playing up to par, jokingly considering the game as if it were real life. “Mark, come get me! I’m dying!” “No way man, don’t you dare die on me! I’m not gonna lose you!”
Interview with Danny Marcet As my ipod is on shuffle, I come across a familiar song that one of my best friends and I always associate with each other. He is tall and grows the best beard amongst my seven best friends. However, he can never be associated with being the most reliable person in the group. As the song neared its climax, I was overwhelmed with how much it meant between us to choose him to be my interviewee regardless. “Hey man how was your workout?” my fellow fitness freak, Danny Marcet, makes it a point to ensure that I have complied with my obligations for the day. However, he was not enthused to actually be responsible for anything over a summer vacation and as expected was late to his over-the-phone interview. He did shatter my expectations though. He was surprisingly enthusiastic towards the project and responded fluently despite his present location. He complied well and coherently during his shift as a lifeguard. Perhaps not the safest thing for the swimmers but luckily the awful weather inhibited an accident by preventing any customers that day. Just by the tone of his voice over the phone, I can tell he was doing his classic pacing back and forth. The seven of us would always tease him for having such a weird habit to have to pace back and forth whenever he would be talking. This was elucidated when I noticed the panting of his lungs. It is the little things like this that make me miss home.
How did you first encounter this place?
What would you suggest someone new coming to Miami to do to occupy their time and enjoy themselves?
LIV NIGHT CLUB
“I was born in Bapstist Hospiatal and was raised in Miami my whole life. I went to elementary school and middle school at St. Brendan and “You could always go out to the clubs because went to high school at Christopher Columbus.” Miami has a lot of good ones like “Liv” which is my favorite whenever I get enough money because it’s pretty expensive when you’re on a What kind of knowledge does one need college budget. You can do a bunch of stuff at the to better understand this place? beaches like skim boarding, surfing if the waves are good enough that day, scuba diving, parasail“You need to know about the best restaurants ing, and tanning. If you’re a food fanatic then downtown. You need to know about the beaches Miami is like a sanctuary because we have some and which spots are the best along South beach. of the best restaurants too.” Also, if you’re anything like me and don’t do well with directions, you need to know about famous landmarks and places that just stick out, that way you have a general idea of where you are because it can be pretty easy to get lost if you haven’t lived in Miami for a while.”
What characteristics of this place make it special compared to places like it? Compared to somewhere like the Keys or Ft. Lauderdale, the beach life is way more enthusiastic and lively, the party life is a lot more prominent in the night, artistic culture in Miami flourishes, and being expressive is basic in Miami. More south of Miami, the Keys is better suited for fishermen and people who would rather take their boats out and fish instead of taking their boat out to party--to a certain extent though because when we take the boat out we go tubing and water skiing around all the spots where there are less cops to tell us to knock it off. But basically all there really is to enjoy in the Keys is the Salt life. In Ft. Lauderdale, there is a little more variety but Miami is just like a mixture of the two, that way you can enjoy the best of both worlds.” Florida Keys Miami Beach
What are the social stereotypes that challenge this location? “There is a huge language barrier for English from the all the immigrants coming in from South America and Cuba. Tolerating the lack of comprehension is one problem, learning their language is another because most refuse to learn our’s. The driving etiquette of everyone here is awful. Just completely indecent if you don’t comply with what the person driving behind you wants, which is why the honking from cars is like white noise to me by now. And the diction of typical Miami drivers drives me crazy. No respect for anyone and you’ll see people sticking out their entire upper torso to make sure what they have to curse at you is heard loud and clear. With the climate, the weather is overrated. It’s actually not summer 12 months of the year like people think because it actually rains a lot. But, then again, it’s never
cold down here either because our winter’s are like a seventy degrees at the coldest. So people coming in from like Illinois will think they just got off of a space shuttle that dropped them off at the Sun.”
How will these stereotypes affect those that go there? “Yeah, if they didn’t prepare for it or have never experienced droughts like here, they might not be inclined to enjoy the weather. Communication might be an issue every where they may go. Whether it’s asking for directions or ordering from McDonald’s, you’re bound to run into someone who doesn’t speak any language you are familiar with. Also, the majority of the locals are typically rude and obnoxious in general so that might inhibit someone’s decision of whether or not to stay in or even visit Miami.”
Jai alai is a very unknown and underappreciated sport. More commonly played in Cuba, my father used to be a champion at the game. It is basically a Hispanic version of racquetball except the racquet is this huge scoop that covers your hand. There is this one place, Dania Jai Alai, a long way from our house. It seems to be the only place that hosts Jai alai games that you can bet and gamble on. Being a monthly tradition for my dad to drive up, reminisce in his old passion, and lose some money at the same time, I decided I’d join him to see what the fuss was about.
second, 7 in third, exactly how it was imprinted on my ticket. My jaw dropped. This is gambling—I fell in love. I’ll never forget the week my best friend, Mark and I went on a weeklong voyage to the Caribbean. The time of my life that I’m suggesting occurred on June 8th 2013, three days after my birthday. I struck gold when I realized I was of the legal gambling age on an international cruise line like the Oasis of the Seas, currently the world’s largest cruise liner. The excitement came in waves. They felt like the waves that I could picture in my head, the same kind that will be brushing against the bow of the boat. Grabbing all the birthday money in my drawer, I naively thought I would be able to double it. “Don’t you dare touch more than a hundred dollars!” my mom exclaimed. “You’re too young to be gambling. I don’t know why they’d let you.” Oasis of the seas
Of course, this is nothing compared to poker. It’s not silent and there are no strategies. It is just luck with a lot of screaming at the players who are not performing up to par. I had no knowledge of the sport but I was aware of the betting regimen: quinola, trifecta, superfecta, etc. Dad always played a quinola, the cheaper of the bets, just to ensure a little money is being made to suffice for the money being lost. “Do you want to make a bet too?” I looked at the money being offered for the quinola this round and it did not impress me. The trifecta was offering one hundred and ten dollars though but the risk is twenty dollars. I have been spectating the game diligently and had confidence in the players that I selected. I gave my dad my only twenty, “You sure about it?” I nodded my head and he gave me my ticket. Next second I knew, number 3 was in first, 8 in
win some money tonight, essentially steal from the casino. Our vibe was instantly tarnished “May I see your ID’s?” We presented our sea pass cards in a cocky way “Yeah, that’s right. We’re eighteen.” We looked at the empty poker table and just as we were about to sit down, Mark stops me with his hand on my chest, “Woah wait, are we seriously going to play poker against each other? Think about it… We’d be taking each other’s money…” “Wow… So what do we do now?” I asked. “This is like the whole point we came on the cruise.” With our hands on our heads, we pace the red-carpeted casino floor thinking of a solution. “Okay, all we have to do is find a game we can play against the house. Like craps?” Mark suggests. “No way that’s way too complicated, we know nothing about it! What about roulette?” “Just doesn’t seem that interesting.” Mark replies. “21?” I suggest. Mark’s eyes light up, “Ya! All you have to do is get to 21, that’s so easy!” We collect our thoughts and regain our confidence and demeanor. However, we couldn’t move without getting carded again.
Rpyal Caribbean Casino
Mom was obviously not aware of the countless hours Mark and I spent playing online poker. The late nights in my dark room, desperately trying to win back the money we lost and coming out even after dozens of wins followed by dozens of loses. Buying the pot when I have the chance, folding when I know my opponent isn’t bluffing, bluffing to make my opponent fold, I know my stuff. I got this. “Mom, you’re talking to the master here. I am of legal age! Just not in this country…” Despite my assertions, mom didn’t buy it. I left home with one hundred bucks. All the families met at the house of my best friend, who I have been best friends with ever since pre-k, Mark, to board the party bus that would take us to the boat port all the way in Ft. Lauderdale because the one in Miami was too small to hold such a gigantic ship. We finally make it inside after making it as difficult as possible to take our required sea pass card pictures. Taking absolutely no time to appreciate the magnificent architecture and designs that took years of taxing labor and work to conjure, we rushed to our rooms to catch up on the sleep we missed last night from the build up of anticipation of what awaited us this week. The first dinner was a formal night. Dressed in stylish suits and suavely sporting deluxe bowties, we sit down in our assigned seats. We are surrounded by a sophisticated, stylish dining room, “What would you gentlemen like?” asked Ameesh, our waiter. So I honestly asked in return, “What’s the limit?” The waiter’s jaw dropped after he mistakenly assured that there were no limits. Day by day the waiter’s arms grew more and more conditioned from the dozens of dishes they retrieved from the kitchen. The moment we have been waiting for. All dressed nice, hair combed maturely, clean-shaven, we entered the casino with the same amount of confidence and mental strength as the gifted men in Vegas who have the potential to count cards. We were both Rainman and we all felt on top of the world—it was like we knew we were going to
We observe the game in session. We underestimated it strongly. If we were fortunate to even see the cards before the dealer discards them, we would not have enough time to estimate the number the player had just reached. “She’s moving at like 100 miles per hour!” Mark exclaims. “Like what’s even going on?” We think we’re not ready for something like this. Maybe we are too young. “No way, I came here to make some money.” He throws down forty dollars for a twenty-dollar buy in table. Dealer has a face card. He has to hit on a soft 14. Gets a face card. Still at 14. Has to hit again. Face card. Busts. Loses twenty dollars just like that. “What just happened?” Mark asks. It’s true, it happened pretty quickly. The time and effort dedicated in to earning that twenty dollars just dwindled away in less than seven seconds. Next round. Ace. Fingers crossed. Face card. 21. Just like that, the effort into earning those twenty dollars was earned in a fraction of the time. Gambling is a scary thing. There’s a small chance of greatness with such a large possibility of loosing it all. What separates the expert from the novice is knowing when to take that chance. Mark’s dad has been gambling for years and even confesses to the majority of his wealth being derived from the casino. A blackjack master, he huddled us all and told us everything he knew. Mark and I sit at the table with and audience consisting of other guests spectate us in intimidation. Our cards are dealt. 11. Do I double down? I look at Scott, Mark’s dad, and he pats his stomach, gesturing me to do whatever I feel in my gut. Double down, forty dollars on the table. I could lose this all right now. That, I was aware of. Heart beats. Card flips. 10. 10+11=21. Sixty dollars profit in one move. I was standing on top of Mt. Everest and the rushing, ice cold breeze brushed through my hair, sizzled through my nose, and ran up
my chest. At the same time I felt a beat of sweat run down my neck and shimmied down my spine. “Do I leave? Do I bet again? Should I bet it all?” these are the same thoughts that race around the minds of gamblers like an Olympic track star. In the blink of an eye, I’m buried in debt. It seems like days that it takes me to get back even. I start making profit again. I lose it all. I put in more money. I come out with profit again. When they say time flies in the casino, they’re not kidding. It was five hours later when I decided to cash out the first night. Came in with one hundred, left with three hundred and eighty. Pats on my back—good night. “It was a win night.” Scott asserted. “The first night is always a win night. Second night’s a lose night. So is the last night. The other nights, who knows?” We abided by his wisdom. Tossing and turning in the uncomfortable bunk bed in our room. I’m sweating even though it’s freezing cold. I have the itch. I have to go again or I’ll snap. It’s the second night. Mark and I agree to go to the casino at night without telling anyone to see if it really is a “lose night.” We only cash in fifty dollars, just to test it out. The dealer asks for bets. 2… 7… 2+7=9. No good. Hit. 9+3+12. Dealer has an 8. You have to figure she’s got an 18. No where to go. I am literally forced to hit. “Hit me.” Face card. 12+10=22. “Too many.” 20 dollars down the drain. I go
all in with 30. 5… 6… 5+6=11. Double down. I feel it in my stomach. 6+11=17. Too risky to hit. Have to stay. Dealer flips. 19. I lose. I put in 10 more dollars. One more chance, dealer has an ace. “Insurance?” There’s a strong possibility she has black jack, maybe she has it but maybe she doesn’t. I don’t feel it. No one pays for insurance. She flips, 21. Sixty dollars gone in ten minutes when it took me to make the other two hundred and twenty in five hours. We grab the dignity we have left and leave. “Yep, lose night.” Mark says in disgust. Tomorrow comes. “We have to redeem ourselves man. We both lose sixty bucks in seconds.” Bringing in another hundred dollars, I have the eye of the tiger tonight. The cards are in my favor for the first few hands. I spectate and withdraw my money. I put aside money that I won’t touch to ensure I don’t lose too much from my winnings. I wait for the dealer to shuffle because all the face cards have been used. Fresh deck, I bet more than just the minimum. Seventy dollars on one hand because I feel it in my stomach. 11. My heart stops. What do I do? Double down? That’s a lot of money. But if I win, that’ll be even more money… I have to. One hundred and forty dollars on the table—I’m all in. The dealer and I take a deep breath. The blonde haired woman from Norway looks at me before she draws the card. “How old are you?” she asks in broken English. “I’m 18, trust me. They’ve ID’d me a hundred times.” She laughs, “Are you sure you want double down? It is lot of money.” I look at Mark, he pats my stomach. “I feel it.” I assure her. She grips the card and flips it. All joking aside, my life flashes before my eyes. I’ve worked too hard to come out
with nothing. What card is it? I open my eyes, Queen of Hearts. 10. 10+11=21. Two hundred and eighty dollars are handed to me. Two hundred and ten dollars of profit in one move. “Sayonara.” I run away while I have the chance to cash out. The banker looks at me and smirks, “Win night, huh?” I can’t help but burst out a full teeth smile, “Yes sir! Yes it is!” The dealer opens the register and draws out the cash, quickly placing bills on the mat and counting, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety. Seven hundred and ninety dollars, sir. You have a good night.” Congratulations were in order, not only from my father who inspired me to embark on such a difficult gambling journey but also from my mother who had her doubts. Regardless of the fact that my winnings have been primarily associated with pure luck, I have been taught a diligent lesson concerning responsibility. When you are playing, you don’t have money anymore. You have chips. They seem so insignificant when you see them being bet for and discarded—as if they have no value. However, you have to be aware that you are taking the opportunity to be willing to risk losing what you have worked hard to earn in a small attempt to try and make more of it the easy way. Therefore, when you make enough the easy way, set it aside and don’t touch it. If you are making profit, make sure that you are still making profit regardless of how little. As my friend Corey had to learn the hard way, pick a number and cash out while you have the chance. When he hit one hundred dollars profit, all he wanted was to win one more hand to tip the dealer. Unfortunately he lost so he had to win two hands. Two became three. Three quickly turned into ten, robbing him of all his winnings.
Interview with Ana Jalil It’s late at night on a Sunday; my friend is getting extremely agitated of my presence in her dorm because I have an issue of performing certain tasks on my own. However, I have a limited amount of time before Stephanie physically throws me out of the window. Who could I always turn to when I have no other options? “Chooch! How was your day? You should have called earlier! How was class? Was it packed today at the gym?” my enthusiastic mother yells despite the fact that her own husband is doing his best to sleep. “Hey mom; good; sorry, today was a really busy day; it was good; better than yesterday.” I respond to try and rush to the point. Attempting to direct my overly eager mother to a more serious tone was not the difficult part, but repeating the questions over and over again while keeping my voice level at an appropriate level so that I do not anger the Stephasourous-rex was. I could visualize her bunched up, curly hair with her oversized reading glasses on despite the fact there was no need to read for an over-the-phone interview. As ludicrous as my mother may seem, I miss her cooking, her loud voice, and her unorthodox sense of fashion. I could picture her perfectly: standing in the kitchen, her normal place to reside during a phone call. The interview flew by because my mother knows how to cooperate well. However, I wish the interview had gone by a little slower because I enjoyed the time I spent with her over the phone. How did you first encounter this place? “I encountered a very warm and breezy place. It felt really different from my home in Bolivia, which I had lived in for eight years before my parents had to move to the United States. What I can recall from the most of my childhood in Miami was that it had a beach, which was the first time I have ever seen a large body of water. As I grew older, I had the opportunity to experience more because up until college, my life had been pretty status quo--no real chances to enjoy what I did later on. When I attended the University of Miami, going out and all that was an daily occurence. I’d say those were the best years of my life and memories like those could never be forgotten, which is why the Univeristy of Miami remains the greatest University in Florida and wasn’t sure why either of my sons chose the schools they did.” What is the significance of this place to you? “I consider the United States and Miami to be a large melting pot. Everyone comes to Miami from a lot of different places. People think of this as a burden and are against having these “unwelcomed visitors” come
here but I see it as a way of showing diversity, seeing how different we are from our neighbors and learning about each other. There is always room to grow, not only in education, but in culture as well. It’s generally a way for foreigners to learn from each other and take in what we have to offer.” What kind of knowledge does one need to better understand this place? “If you have the knowledge of people’s backgrounds, it is easier to accept the type of life that you have here because if you come from like a midwestern background, it’s harder to appreciate the diversity and music that the people of Miami are accustomed to. If you don’t, it’s like showing up to a battle without a weapon. You would have no idea what you would be dealing with and just wouldn’t be prepared. So you’ll feel pretty left out and out casted if you came here not knowing anything about the people that live here. Being unaware of your surroundings before-hand is okay because you can learn all there is to know in a few minutes about the places to go to but learning about the people is more important to consider. They will be more influential if you visit.”
What types of activities can one undertake to better understand this place?
“Activities that allow you to interact with the different cultures like driving down to “calle ocho” which is a Cuban festival that people from other cities can use to understand the local’s backgrounds. There’s not many things I could suggest because the only times I really did spend time going out were in my College days and even then, all I’d really do would hang out at the Wrath Skeller which is really only home to UM students or go to frat parties. So unless you were a student there, I would’t tell you anything but go to the beach. That’s al little obvious though.” What characteristics of this place make it special compared to places like it?
“Miami is unique because of the Latin flavor so it would be the Latin foods, the Latin music, the flavor of the Caribbean, the Latin dancing, the beaches, the parties, the Latin radio stations, the Latin TV shows like “novelas” are the characteristics that are associated with Miami and can be identified as such. They’re not that much different from the cities that are a couple of miles north or south but they’re much different from other parts of this country.” What are the social stereotypes that challenge this location?
“Everyoe has seen the movie Scarface everyone will be thinking about the drug culture and what not. The loud temper of the Latin people and how irritating they can be because of how irritable they are. The thick accents could get annoying quick to very American people and instead of dealing with it or learning to cope with it, they could easily just dismit it completely. Obviously, the bad driving is pretty much what Miami is known for so all I could say is to be careful.” How will these stereotypes affect those that go there?
“Intimidation, feeling like you’re in a different part of the country, like you feel like you’re not in the United States anymore. If you didn’t expect a completely different enviroment, good luck. The crime and party life could be intimidating if you prefer peace and quiet. But, then again, why come here? The driving skills of locals could intimidate people with driving too and will influence them to avoid the roads entirely.”