Who I am

 

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So you want to know who I am…

My name is Los. I’m just a regular dude. Seriously, there’s nothing to me. Ok, I may disguise myself as an onion with all these layers to peel through – I am The1llusiveMan, after all – but in reality, I’m pretty straight forward. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll notice I’m fairly open about a lot, so there’s not much for me to reveal here that would be breaking news.

I’m a 33 year old happy husband and a father of 2. My family is my life and it’s my reason for being. Trying to raise 2 boys is quite the chore, so I’m glad to have my amazing superwife by my side. We live right smack in the middle of Orlando, FL and couldn’t be happier. We were living in North Carolina for a few years and decided to sell our home and move back here. It was a rough road but I don’t regret it for a second. I used to curse it and hated living here where it’s deathly hot 48 weeks of the year and mildly hot the other 4. But to be back? It’s an amazing feeling. Like I’m dreaming and I know I’m in a dream. Orlando is a magical place built around dreams and imagination. And I’m happy to raise my kids here.

Before Orlando, I called the streets of Bronx, NY home. It’s where I was born and raised and like many other New Yorkers, I’m proud to call it home. But haha, like NC, that’s another place I’ll never live in again. We go back there for vacation sometimes and I’m in culture shock, not able to believe I lived my life so fast paced and hectic before. For a long time I thought I preferred a bustling city over anything, but I’m too happy living outside all that madness.

 

Me and Gaming…

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I’m a gamer at heart. Grew up with a controller in my hand thanks to my parents. Going through school it was an off and on hobby but for the last 10 years or so it’s been on the top of my list when I have spare time to kick back. It’s my outlet. Beat the bad guys, explore new worlds, save the galaxy, all that jazz.

And just like food, when it comes to opinions and things I like in gaming, I just can’t shut up about it. I was part of a great community called EZ-Mode Unlocked. Sadly, the founders retired from their community leader duties and their podcast. But a few die-hards and myself couldn’t let the community be disbanded. So we rose from the ashes and put together Future Monkeys!

First and foremost, we’re a podcast. You could find us on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and probably everywhere else you listen to podcasts (rate and review us, please!) We talk about the games we’re playing, and after that we give updates to what’s going on in our lives. Go give a listen! Maybe one day I’ll take what I learned and make a podcast on my blog here. Who knows.

We have a blog where we post the show notes, write reviews, and put up our opinion pieces on whatever has to do with gaming. If you’re interested and dig gaming, check us out! We’re on Twitter, and Instagram, so give us a follow and say hi!

and Everything Else…

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What else can I say? When I’m not gaming I’m into movies and tv. Haven’t been up to date with many shows since we  cut the cord on cable and never looked back, but we still have access to plenty of good stuff. What else, what else… I enjoy keeping up with friends on social media. Well, as much as I could without having it feel like a job. If you look to the bar above you you’ll see where you could find me. I’m mostly on twitter and recently got on Facebook finally. So come talk with me! What else… I love technology! I’m really huge on the latest gadgets and tech. I can’t get everything I want, but I still love keeping up with it and watching it develop. It’s a great time to be alive and seeing everything bloom before our eyes. I prefer Android over Apple. I love dessert to the point where no matter how much I eat I’ll always have room for it. Like the rest of this household I’m a huge fan and admirer of all things Disney. Loooooove me some Disney. Grew up on it and so did the wife. So we’re making sure our kids do the same. Disney is one of the many reasons we moved back to Florida. So our kids could have fun growing up around the characters they love. I also love me some Limited or Collector’s Edition stuff. Games, movies, figurines, whatever. I am a complete and utter sucker for those things and a collector at heart. I dig musicals, I like Nicolas Cage movies, I can go on and on.

What? You want me to go on and on? O0o0o0o0ok…

Some more of my favorite movies/series/actors/random things include (in no order whatsoever): Everything and anything Star Wars (having kids now when Star Wars is this mass force that seems to be unstoppable is so great. It’s an amazing thing to share with them), Harry Potter, The New York Yankees (thought not so much lately), Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games (just mentioning it makes me want to read the books again), Pizza, Wearing Yankee Hats to Formal Events, Spring, Jurassic Park (yes, all of them), Poetry, My current smartphone, Cheesecake, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sandwiches (in general, I turn everything into a sandwich), Super Heroes, Dreaming, Catchy Melodies and Goosebump-inducing Harmonies, (speaking of which!) Pitch Perfect – oh snap I love that flick, Tom Hanks, Cinnamon (the spice, not the stripper), Ghostbusters, Baseball, Egg Cream, Video Games, Treasure Hunting Movies and stories, Marvel, not so much DC, Clearance Shopping/Bargain Hunting, wallpaper-1388255Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Corny as hell Dad Jokes, Pizza, Back to the Future, J.J. Abrams, Podcasts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Toe Socks, Space (in general), Prince of Persia, Dessert before or totally replacing Dinner, Fall, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Technology (in general), Catch Me If You Can, a really good Panini, I’m a fan of Switched at Birth on ABC Family and I liked Bunheads a lot more than any man should ever admit – still mad it was cancelled, Emma Stone, Pizza, the smell and atmosphere of Bakeries, Winter, Matthew McConaughey movies, Wallpapers (for desktops and phones, not for actual walls), 24 Hour Local News Channels, Indiana Jones, Mmm Pizza, Pixar Movies, Fight Club, New Tech and Electronics, A Knight’s Tale, and I freaking love Doctor Who.

See? I’m just an overall nerd/dork/geek who loves pizza, pretends he has control of The Force when no one is looking and who happened to start a blog. What’s wrong with that?!

Now that my details are out of the way, and I hope I covered enough to give you a good idea of who I was, let’s talk about what I have going on here. I mean, if you’re still reading then there’s a good chance you actually care about this stuff. Shoot, you could probably write a book about it by now…

How I Got to this Point…

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I am currently in the 4th year of blogging on this site. This is my 3rd blog that I’ve started, and crazily, its 3rd version. Following? Ok. That banner just above here? It’s from my first blog on Blogger, before I transitioned to wordpress.com. Then the third version is here, when I went from wordpress.com to .org. And you know what?

..None of that really matters, does it?

Ok, here we are! When I started The Man, The Chef, The Dad I had every intention of branching out with the content and covering different topics: Personal interests with The Man, cooking and general kitchen talk with The Chef, and family stuff with The Dad. I was going to keep it primarily cooking, but the whole food blogging world got the best of me. I was trying to keep up with other food blogs I was following, on top of various social networks, other hobby’s, and the whole taking care of the kids thing. Then on top of it all I had to also put out blog posts myself. I discovered my lifestyle just wasn’t made to keep up with a blog and everything that comes with it more than once a week.

Ok, fine, once every 2 or 3 weeks… Sometimes on a month to month basis.

So I finally decided to put this place’s name to use. I still try to keep it mainly food, but I’m happy knowing I can post other stuff without guilt. It is, in fact, my blog. My thoughts. So I’m happy I reached that point where I can put something out and just say take it or leave it. When you have a blog, you’re doing it for you. As long as you remember that then the time put into it will always be worth it.

Concerning blogging…

When I first started blogging, it was back when I was foolish enough to try and blog about food while working in a kitchen that kicked my ass from clock in to clock out. Needless to say, I didn’t want to come home and talk about food after I cursed at it all day long. After that, I tried a poetry blog called The Pied Poet. I enjoyed having a place to put all my old writings, but my laziness prevailed and even copy and pasting was too much for me to handle. I sometimes get inspired and want to go back to it but I usually just take that urge and beat it with a stick till it quiets down. I do have a category here for poetry, so maybe one day something will happen with that.

Like I briefly skimmed on above, blogging is like a social network. You’re posting whatever it is you’re posting, and people out there somewhere are taking it in. They interact, you interact back, it’s a network. And in that network, there are hundreds and hundreds of bloggers. Over the years I’ve come across and talked to some pretty cool people. Some of which I make it a point to check out every post they publish whenever I can. It’s a huge collection of talented, interesting people from all walks of life. Teaching you things you never knew, showing you things you’ve never seen, giving you ideas you know you never would’ve thought of. So when someone looks at me judging after I tell them I’m a blogger, I get a small sense of pride. This is a community I’m a part of, and I’m not afraid to flaunt it.

Concerning this blog…

Surprisingly enough, considering my history with blogs, The Man, The Chef, The Dad has kind of stuck on me and I find it kind of entertaining to keep up with it. IMG_12254 years or so at the time of
thiswriting, this is the longest I’ve ever stuck to a project… wow.. I think, ever. That’s something right?

Throughout that time I’ve had my ups and downs consisting of several “oh! I can’t wait to blog this!” moments that seemed to be just as frequent as the “ugh, I have a blog that I have to update” moments. But hey, I’m still here so that’s good. Although, I think one of the main reasons why I’ve kept at it so long is to have a scapegoat for my unhealthy addiction of taking pictures of my food. Seriously, we’re a bunch of weirdos, we need to stop doing that so much. …At least in public.

Again, I’m glad I decided to go beyond food, though. I feel it freshened up the site for me as the creator and gave me the freedom I needed to never be bored with it. The luxury of having a place to write not only recipes, but about anything you have on your mind is a great feeling. No wonder why all you girls had diaries!

Concerning The Man…

wallhaven-391107I mentioned that I loved to write. Growing up, I always had a pen and pad on me and didn’t hesitate to write down what I was feeling or thinking. This way of life proved both good and bad. Bad because to really speak my mind and pour my heart out, I have to type or write it out. And good because we’re in an age where that’s easy to do. Haha! When I’m not writing, I’m gaming, but you already knew that. I’m not a drinker though I don’t mind trying a beer here or there. I’m still trying to find one that I can say is my favorite, but since I haven’t developed the taste yet it’s a hard task. I don’t party, I’ve never nor do I ever plan on smoking or doing drugs, I don’t go clubbin’, I don’t go to bars…  I like doing things like walking around stores for no reason – Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Target to name a few. I like going to places I’ve never been and experiencing that sense of awe – not different countries or states, I mean like the first time I went into Whole Foods… mind = blown. I like taking pictures pretending I know what I’m doing, and I’m a sucker for a funny novelty t-shirt. I’m pretty much the lamest guy you’d probably ever meet. And you wonder why I have a food blog!

Seriously though, I’m happy with myself and the man I’ve become. I had an inner struggle for a long time (more on that a few paragraphs down), but for the most part, I wouldn’t change anything about me.

Concerning The Chef…

The Chef… Haha. Ok, let me let the cat out of the bag now. I was never a chef. There, I said it! Matter of fact, I can’t stand them. In my 10 year career, all I ever was was a humble cook. I have a culinary school degree saying I’m a chef, but we all know what culinary school degrees are worth… Being a chef took an unimaginable amount of passion that I did not have the strength to muster.IMG_1969 Oh, and ass kissing. I can’t forget the ass kissing. a loooooot of ass kissing. I was able to wing the passion for a long time, but I wasn’t about to kiss anyone’s ass to get ahead. Especially when it was doing something I hated. Oh yeah, did I mention that? I hated cooking professionally. From the first day I started working, fresh out of culinary school, to the last day where I was let go because the company had to make cuts, I hated the kitchen. Despised it. And my loathing didn’t stop at the kitchen. It stretched to the entire restaurant industry. For those 10 years, I was the culinary equivalent of Tyler Durden. Waiting, plotting, dreaming of one day carrying out Project Mayhem and basking in the glory that followed.

But I have to admit. As much as I hated it all, I learned a lot. And while I never attained the title of Chef, I figured with my years under my belt, my degree, my knowledge and know-how of what’s right and what’s wrong, and well, just because, I’ll go ahead and promote myself. Not to mention people just tend to treat you a little nicer if you say chef rather than cook.

I know, how can I have a blog dedicated to something I hate? Notice, I said cooking professionally. I love food, I love crafting and creating, melding flavors together like a mad scientist. But when it comes to the professional kitchen, there are too many politics. Too many stresses. Too many Chiefs, and not enough Indians. When you cook in a professional kitchen, it’s rare to find somewhere that caters to the cook/chef. Where your creative side is encouraged. Most of everywhere you’ll go it’s just a glorified factory, pumping out dish after dish that you have to cook to make this person you’ve never met happy. It’s an environment you have to be a certain type of person to enjoy it. I’m just not that person.

Wha… how.. how did I get up on this soapbox?! It’s like it just appeared here out of nowhere!

Concerning The Dad…

IMG_4888And here we are. The reason for not just my blog, but for everything. When I was let go from my final job, I tried for close to a year to find something new. And in that year, we somehow managed. We managed well enough that my amazing, hard working wife decided that I should just be a stay-at-home dad. My son, Sebastian, was only a couple of months old when I was laid off, and it seemed almost like it was meant to happen. For those few months we were struggling more with trying to hand him off like a football between working our jobs, not to mention the strain it put on us and our marriage. But we were forced to make it work with just her working and it was better than what we expected. Whatever job I found would have basically been paying for childcare alone, so it would not have been worth it. So very reluctantly, I started to come to grips with the fact that I won’t be financially providing for my family.

It took a long time to get over that, and I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t bother me sometimes still. It’s a cloud over your head when someone asks you what you do and you say stay-at-home dad. It’s amazing how common it is these days, but even more amazing how it’s still looked upon with questionable eyes. I know it’s better for everyone involved. Our sons – 6 year old Sebastian and 3 year old Lucas – won’t be raised by a stranger, my wife can comes home to a semi-clean home (about a quarter of half of the time) and a hot meal, and I get to make everyone as happy as I can – but I still have my moments of doubt and self-hate, no question about that.

When those moments got to me – the empty shell feeling of not being able to support my family was the hardest pill to swallow – I knew I needed something to do besides gaming since that kinda cost money to keep up with. Not to mention it’s a very personal hobby that only I benefit from. And sometimes, I still feel an underlining guilt if I’m doing something for just myself. So that’s when I decided to get back into blogging. I had the time, I had the patience. I was able to put something into it.

After a while, I got over myself and I was able to enjoy everything a lot more. I was able to look at everything half-full, and when my perspective changed, my wife was right there to help bring me back. I know the only reason why all of this works is because she is in full support of it. And yes, I know how lucky I am for that. Not to mention the blessing of being able to stay home with your kids all day. Which I don’t care what anyone says, that’s a freaking JOB.

I know this is turning into my life story, but hey, it’s my About Me page! Don’t say you didn’t ask for it by clicking! I think I laid a lot on the table here. You should have a really good idea of who I am by now, not to mention how I got to this moment in my life. If you want to know everything else like what I just had for dinner, then give me a follow.

Here’s to hoping you enjoy your time on my blog! Because I know I am.

 

4 Comments

  1. ManChefDad, you rule.

    Also, I, too, have an affinity for sandwiches and cinnamon, respectively. And like you, I mean the spice, not the stripper. JUST TO CLARIFY. Also, I can deeply appreciate that you mentioned pizza more than once because pizza takes up a good 67% of my brain function on any given day. When I can eat it, where I can get it, which toppings I can have, etc. It’s a sickness. A delicious sickness.

    1. Poor Cinnamon the stripper. She probably always gets shafted for the spice.

      And I’m glad you noticed I put pizza there more than once. I didn’t think it was listed nearly as many times as it should have been. Sometimes, I try to think of things I can add to that list JUST to have a reason to sneak a few more “pizza”‘s in there.

      Thanks for taking the time to read this section, It is much appreciated!

  2. Daynette

    I can say, without a doubt, that my kids have the best dad ever. I would never say that being a stay at home parent is not a job. Only having one income isn’t easy, and we don’t get to do everything we want to do, but we know who is raising our kids and we know what morals/values are being instilled in them. Love you lots!

    P.S. I told you I read your blog :p

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