SILK DREAMS HAIR CARE PRODUCTS 20% OFF SALE – VALENTINE’S DAY ONLY!!!

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We interrupt this “Salary Negotiation Series” to bring to you a special announcement…

Silk Dreams Hair Care is having a Valentine’s Day Sale!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!

Silk Dreams 20% off sale on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2012 ONLY!

Use the coupon code: ” THANKSACEEY ” to take 20% off your entire purchase from Silk Dreams Hair Care on February 14, 2013 only! (No quotations, no spaces, in Caps Lock).

For those that don’t know about this amazing product line, I use Silk Dreams exclusively on my hair to maintain its health, shine, and manageability. I can go months without a relaxer with these products. You can check for my hair regimen by going here:  Aceey’s Hair Regimen.  I absolutely love the way my hair looks and feels after using the line. Treat yourself to dreaming in silk! All hair types can use this line! Whether you are natural, color-treated, permed, relaxed, or just want to indulge your hair in spa treatments from the best online hair care boutique ever. This is also a great line for people who are transitioning from relaxed/permed hair to natural hair.

atwork

I believe my hair was 3 months post-relaxer in this photo.

And if you are a person who loves their products to smell good, get these products! The products smell like:

  • Chocolate
  • Mocha Latte
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Lemongrass
  • Mixed Fruit 
  • Cafe au Lait
  • Pecan Pie
  • White Chocolate
  • Vanilla/Oatmeal Cookies
  • Caramel Mocha

You can see my posts on LongHairCareForum.com reviewing many of the Silk Dreams Product line by clicking here. 

I am very excited that Silk Dreams Hair Care has chosen my blog to help share their amazing hair care line!  So MARK YOUR CALENDARS for February 14, 2013 for this sale!

Enjoy this wonderful line… I know I do!

Love,

Aceey Emme (Angelicus)

Salary Negotiation Series – Part 2 – How to Get a Raise at Your Current Job? Dress the Part!

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Click here to read Part 1 of the Salary Negotiation Series– How to Negotiate Salary After a Job Offer is Given  

I will never forget a guest speaker at a Management Honor Society Meeting I attended during college. She started off as a lowly receptionist that eventually became a manager and made more money because of one thing:

She changed her dress!

Things started changing when I started getting my clothes dry-cleaned. There was one specific professional blouse that I liked to wear when I knew upper management would have their meetings. Eventually I was asked to sit in those meetings. I really don’t think they would have let me take part in these meetings if I didn’t dress the part. Soon, I was asked to not only take a part in them, but to start running the meetings, then I became a boss!”

Are you at your job, making the same amount of money you were making last year? The reason may be because you’re dressing the same way you were dressing when you were first hired! Let’s face it, the coined phrase “appearance is reality” will not go away, regardless if you are the best person for the promotion or salary increase! So before you create your performance appraisal you want to make sure you are dressing as if you already have the raise! Let’s get started!

Scenario #1: The Telemarketing/Customer Service Employee

You’re on the phone all day with little physical contact with customers so there is a chance that your company may allow you to wear anything you want. You will see your co-workers coming to work with their pajamas, piercings, jeans, unpressed clothes and unkept hair. But if you want that promotion, you want to dress like you are the boss… Business casual! Why? Because:

1. You will have better posture when you are wearing nice clothes – I feel proud, professional, and in charge when I wear my business casual attire while the drones are wearing t-shirts and baggy jeans. I sit up with my chest out, shoulders back, and a smile!

2. Upper management will pay attention to you – your manager will notice that you are dressing like a manager and they will want to monitor you more often to find out if you meet the requirements for a promotion.

3. You will be invited to more decision-making meetings – or if you are in group meetings, you will look like the ace-beaucoup, next in line to be the boss.

4. At a group meeting, your ensemble is not complete unless you have a notebook – that includes bringing a notebook and being engaged in the meeting, regardless of how boring or short is. You will look so nice that they may ask you to be in upper-level management meetings instead of meetings with the other drones.

5. Your co-workers will begin to talk to you differently – Instead of your colleagues saying to you, “gimme some paper,” they will ask you, “Could I have some paper, please?”

Side note: If you are a woman: Wear make-up, if you’re not wearing any now. It’s been proven that make-up shows that you mean business! You don’t need to look like you are on the cover of Vanity Fair, but arching your eyebrows, wearing eye make-up paired with your favorite lip color MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!

Scenario #2- The fast food/retail employee – or Anybody Wearing a Uniform

Yes, even people at McDonald’s can get a raise! Dressing the part is a key in getting that raise and having people treat you more seriously at work! But how in the world can you set yourself apart if you have to wear a uniform like everybody else?

– Wear clothes that fit properly – Wearing clothes that fit properly give the illusion that you have either lost weight or not afraid to bend over backwards to help. Plus, it’s just more comfortable to wear clothes that fit!

– Press your clothes! – Even if you wear scrubs—even if you wear permanent press clothes, always look put-together. If that means waking up 30 minutes earlier, do it! The compliments that you get will build your confidence. Even if you work at a fast food restaurant, press everything! Have a crease in your pants, wear a belt, shine your shoes and try not to wear sneakers. If you wear black pants, wear black socks. Side note: Black Pants  ≠ White socks. Just…say… no! 😀

– If you wear a polo-style shirt – Tuck in your shirt and wear a belt. Again, this helps with posture and creating a gives that “appearance vs. reality” look!

– Wear leather shoes or good walking shoes instead of sneakers. If you must wear sneakers, be sure they are professional-looking as possible. The cow is dead anyway– you might as well wear it. 😀

Watch how differently customers will treat you when you look like the manager. They’ll talk to you better, they’ll think you are the boss. Your boss will see your posture and immediately say “Hey, that looks like my next assistant manager, or team lead!”

Giving the appearance that you deserve that raise sets you up for appraisal meetings resulting in a higher salary. Invest in yourself and watch your pockets get bigger! Part 3 of the Salary Negotiation Series will give personal examples of how I negotiated salary or earned a salary increase at previous positions. Good luck, and make that money!

Salary Negotiation Series Part 1- How to Negotiate Salary After a Job Offer is Given

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The possibilities are endless, it's up to you how much money you want to make!

I get a ton of questions about salary—and with good reason too: the gender/income gap employee, the new graduate/entry level employee, and the seasoned-in-the-field candidate all want to know when and how they can make more money! Can you negotiate if you are in either situation? The answer is always yes!

In all three scenarios, most of the time, the reason that these three candidates did not get a higher salary is answered in the best-selling book of all time:

James 4:2 “…ye have not, because ye ask not.”

Yep! Your salary isn’t higher because you didn’t ask for it to be higher. Eight times out of ten, a newly hired employee will not attempt to negotiate salary because:

  1. They don’t know they have the opportunity to negotiate
  2. They are afraid that the offer will be recanted if they ask for more money
  3. They’re so eager or desperate to work that they will take any offer given to them.

I rarely hear women negotiating salary, yet they wonder why the salary/gender gap is so high. Ladies, pardon mon francais, mais, we are going to have to man up, LOL! I rarely see black men negotiate too. Well… look no further because I am here to save the day and I don’t need a Lincoln Hat!

Interviewing and Negotiating

Your best bet is to work on your salary negotiation tips before you are offered the position so if the opportunity to negotiate arises, you will be ready!

Q: When do you negotiate salary? Do I talk about salary during the interview?

A: You discuss salary negotiations after you are given an offer. Do not discuss money with your interviewer or recruiter until you are given an offer. By the time you are in that interview chair or in your phone interview, you should already know the possible salary range you should be given.

Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Can’t stress that enough!

Q: What if they bring up salary during the interview, even if I don’t bring it up? What should I do?

A: If you’re in that interview chair, your research on how much you may be making should already be done. Check www.salary.com or www.glassdoor.com for all the salary range information you need. During your initial interview with your recruiter/prospective employer, it’s best that you not give a number at this time… because you haven’t been given an offer. Go ahead and use the Socratic Questioning method:

-“Are you providing an offer for the position since you are considering a salary for me?”

-“I am also eager to begin working also, but does this mean you are offering me the position?”

Yep! Put them in the hot seat! This shows that you don’t care about the money—what you care about is being hired and making the company money!

So let’s make a scenario. You get a phone call from one of the many jobs for which you interviewed and you are given an offer of $X per year. What’s next?

You Have to Negotiate Rather Than Demand!

Table 14-1 Negotiate Rather Than Demand!

 Ultimatum or Demand (Don’t do!)   Negotiating Questions (Just do it!) 
Thanks for your offer, but I need a much higher salary and reimbursement for my moving expenses to take the job. I am so excited about the possibility of contributing my skills to this organization. But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer and could your office help cover my moving expenses?
I appreciate your offer. But I’m afraid that compensation might be a deal-breaker. I’m excited about this job. I’d like to work out an agreement that would make both of us feel great. Would it be possible for you to raise your salary offer? I think I deserve consideration on this because…
Table Excerpt from the book, How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job

And you better come correct with the reasons why you deserve a higher salary too! 😀

Another rule, don’t give your recruiter just one salary number. Give the recruiter a salary range. Remember, you are negotiating, not demanding!  Check out this dialogue for a great example on negotiating:

Interviewer: We would like to congratulate you on getting the position! Your salary is going to be $X K a year.

You: That is excellent news! Thank you so much for offering me this position! But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer? *pause!*

Interviewer: What salary were you thinking about getting?

You: Based on my ___________ *give them 2 or 3 reasons why you are the best candidate, not the reasons why you deserve or demand a salary increase* I believe a salary range of $X+Y to $X + (Y+ 3) is sufficient.

Now prepare for the answer… most of the time, the recruiter is not in charge of your salary, especially if the position is for a large company. They may have to contact their manager or someone in corporate to find out if you are approved for a salary increase; also they may need to check their budget to find out if they can afford you (because you’re so awesome, professional, and amazing)!

Remember that salary range that you gave them? If you gave them the salary range of $X + Y to $X + (Y+3), chances are the company is going to be cheap and give you the lowest number in your range. Look at my FUN equation, hee hee:

X =  Original salary offer

X <  X+Y

BOOM! Even though you didn’t get the top number in your requested salary range, you just made more money than your future colleagues. But wait… there’s more! Look at all this other stuff you can negotiate!

Example of what you can negotiate

Benefits That May Be Negotiable
Salary

Student Loan Repayment

Relocation Bonus and or moving expenses, if you are moving to take the job

Recruitment bonus

Accelerated vacation accrual rate

Start Date

Alternative work schedule or telecommuting options

Tuition reimbursement, if you want to take job-related courses or earn another degree

Parking, if you drive to work

Access to childcare facilities

Date of your first review

Salary advance

Table Excerpt from the book How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job

For example: wouldn’t it be nice to have a fun 2 WEEK paid vacation? Or 12 weeks maternity leave? Ahhhhhh… 😀

As you can see, my favorite book on this subject is Lily Whiteman’s How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job. Please read that book for the best tips on salary negotiation!

Part 2 of my Salary Negotiation Series is going to cover my personal tactics and examples of how I negotiated salary—some of which are… awkward, embarrassing, downright unconventional, but they worked. Part 3 of the Salary Negotiation Series will discuss how to get a promotion at your current job—a must-read for everyone! STAY TUNED!

My credentials?

1. I have been helping people find employment and (make more money) for over 5 years. I’m professionally trained in career coaching, resume writing, and personal development. I actually do this for a living, 😀
2. I have been successful in negotiating my own salary and promotions for over 6 years.
3. I like grapes. Grapes are fun.

Where Have You Been, Aceey?

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It's me! Aceey!

So it’s been a very long time since my last post and I would like to apologize! I must tell you though, I have not been sitting on my bum doing nothing! Here’s the scoop on what’s been going on these past few months!

I was in a lawsuit! Not pretty! So happy that it is finally over because it took so much of my time (and money).

I dislocated my jaw! I had no idea that was even possible. I have been recovering from this since July and sometimes it still hurts to open my mouth wide. As a singer, this is a horrid punishment. 😦

I moved to a new studio loft, which I LOVE and adore! I’ve also been acting like a tourist in my hometown, just taking walks and enjoying life…

Across the street from where I live

Lake

Arab-American Festival jewelry

I’ve been working on getting my hair longer. I started wearing wigs and weaves to change up my style a little!

I went to Japan for my 30th birthday! AMAZING! This was my second time visiting my brother and I had so much fun that I didn’t want to leave. I CRIED at the airport because of the incredible times we shared!

Golden Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

I’ve been actively working on my professional career as a career coach. I’ve been at it for over five years but there are so many new things to learn. I will be introducing more tips– new and old– in my next posts.

I’ve been cooking… DUH! 🙂 Everyone knows how much I love to cook and here are just 2 pics that you have  been missing out on.

Jambalaya for my co-workers

Shabiyey, custard filled phyllo dough pastries from Lebanon

Batata hara - garlic and cilantro potatoes

Atayef! Custard in wheat+yeast pancakes

My ingredients for Pho

Pho and Jasmine tea

enjoying some good coffee in my demitasse.

So stay tuned for more yapping and fun times! I assure you that I won’t leave you hanging again!

Love,

Aceey Emme (Pronounced “A. C. M.”)

More Fun Natural Hair Treatments – Part Two

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Just to piggy-back on my last blog post: This post is dedicated to newest hair buddy, Cokie, whom I’ve known for a long time! I had no idea Cokie was a “hair person” until she began posting about her and her daughters’ natural hair journey on Facebook! I am honored to be her hair buddy and can’t wait to have a “Hair Party” with her and the gang!

Everyone knows that I am ride or die relaxed girl —this means that I apply a chemical product to my new growth every four months to straighten it. However, I use a TON of natural products, food items, herbs and mixtures to my hair. It’s cheap, it’s effective, and my hair is gorgeous! I have done so many fun hair treatments but I’d like to share just 2 of some that are not widely discussed!

Treatment: Coconut oil infused with curry leaves or amla berries.

What does it do?: This is an age-old Indian remedy! Promotes circulation, fights premature gray hairs, penetrates and moisturizes hair strands.

How do you do it?: This is so easy to do! All you do is get your coconut oil hot and then add your herbs/berries to it. After infusing, draining, and cooling, apply to your hair and scalp for massage. After massaging your hair for about 15 minutes, wash your hair as usual.

Where do you get it?: You can get real, virgin coconut oil for a cheap price at any Asian market. Amla powder/berries and curry leaves can also be purchased there.

Watch this informative video on how to infuse the oil:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCRIavD2C5s

There are many other commercial oils infused with herbs but they do have preservatives in them for shelf-life purposes. I have found them to be almost as effective as the oils I infuse at home.

Parachute coconut oil – oil from sun-roasted coconuts is awesome for the hair. It has a bit of a burnt coconut smell but it actually grew on me, lol!

Dabur Vatika Oil – mixture of coconut oil, amla, henna and other goodies to promote hair growth, sheen, luster, and health. This is one of my favorite ready-made oils to purchase!

Don’t forget that coconut oil is solid under 76 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to sit the bottle in the bathroom with you while showering to get it to melt and pour from the coconut oil bottles. There are many other commercial oils that people find effective, however all the other Dabur brand oils from India are too stinky for me! Haha!

Treatment: Marshmallow Root Powder

What does it do?: Marshmallow root rinses make your hair naturally have “slip,” meaning that it provides detangling properties to the hair after washing.

How do you do it?: Marshmallow root powder can be seeped in water to make a tea. A special note on seeping: It’s important to not boil teas/mixtures. We seep them to not boil out the active natural ingredients which help the hair.

Where do you get it?: Natural food stores, international markets. It’s usually in the bulk herb section.

A cool variation is marshmallow root powder mixed with Bentonite clay for a detox/cleanse. Feel free to go back to my last blog post on info on the Bentonite clay!

You can watch EmpressRi’s video on how she cleans her hair with this mixture:

Well that’s my ramble for the night! Hopefully, my next hair post will be about some of the many tea rinses that I apply to my hair and scalp for retaining growth! Happy hair growing!

(still having technical difficulties with WordPress but the show must go on!)

Keeping Hair Moisturized and Breakage Free!

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If you are experiencing dry hair that keeps breaking, this may be the post for you. I apply random treatments to my hair depending on how it feels or how I want it to look. Here are my tips and treatments, regardless of if you are natural, relaxed, or color-treated, you may benefit from these inexpensive tips!

I always pre-treat my hair before shampooing twice a week for about an hour. After applying the treatment, I like to put on a shower cap, followed by a hot, wet turban– creating a steam treatment.

Clarifying Shampoo is usually very harsh so combat it by doing either one of the following before washing:

Bentonite Clay Mask – Clarifying, Cleansing, Purifying

A few tablespoons of Bentonite Clay and water mixed together into a mud-like consistency is applied to my hair and scalp for a great detox.

Aztec Bentonite Clay has so many uses. Use as a hair, scalp, and skin detox. A $8.00 jar will last you years!

Hot Oil Treatment – Moisturizing, Soothing, Relaxing

Here are my favorite oils:
Extra virgin olive oil
Coconut oil
Silk Dreams Nourish Oil
Silk Dreams PRE

Oils

Hot Oil Treatments are great! Many oils can actually penetrate the hair shaft, bringing in moisture.

Mayonnaise Treatment – Strengthening, Moisturizing, Softening

A fourth of a cup to a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise is applied to my hair before shampooing.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise– I won’t eat it but I sure would put it in my hair!

Scalp Scrub – Detoxifying, Soothing, Cleansing

Coarse sea salt mixed with 2 drops of peppermint essential oil and enough olive oil to make a paste is massaged into the scalp for about 10-15 minutes.

Salt Scrub

Those body scrubs are not just for your skin! Try it on your scalp!

Fattening Treatment – Moisturizing and Softening

Mash one overripe avocado, then beat until it is smooth. Apply to hair and let sit for one hour.

Avocados!

Extremely fattening! Fat is good for the hair!

Regular Conditioner Treatment

Favorite conditioner is applied to dry hair before steam treatment.

Washing and Conditioning in Sections

I learned this method from http://www.growafrohairlong.com . I keep my hair sectioned in six parts while washing and conditioning in my hair, especially when I know I am going to be roller setting my hair. It’s a This shortens the roller setting time dramatically– and makes it easier.

Conair Shower Comb

Can’t live without my shower comb!

Using a Wide-toothed Shower Comb

I always use a shower comb to detangle my hair while I am rinsing conditioner out of my hair. The brand I currently use is the Conair shower comb. It’s a very inexpensive product (less than
$2.00) but it’s invaluable– don’t know what I would do without it.

Caffeine Rinse (Tea and Coffee)

Caffeine rinses dramatically reduce shedding due to the tannins in the mixtures. Just brew 1-2 cups of coffee or tea and pour over your hair and scalp after rinsing out your conditioner. This rinse serves as your leave-in conditioner. Your hair may feel a little weird while setting your hair, however, that feeling dissipates when the hair dries. You will see a DRAMATIC reduction in shedding. Since the pH of caffiene rinses are quite low (4-6) it closes the cuticle of the hair, leaving it shiny and detangled.

Bigelow Vanilla Chai

Although this tea tastes gross, it is my favorite brand to use as a caffeine rinse– and it smells heavenly!

Roller Setting Hair Upwards

Most people roller set downward, towards the nape. I have found that rolling the hair on the roller and rolling upwards straightens new growth. Also, my hair dries faster when I roll
this way! Look at my results:

Rolling hair upwards smooths new growth: I am four months post-relaxer in this picture and my curls lasted all day!

Try these tips and write me back to let me know how they are working for you! I am looking forward to some great responses!

I Can’t Run Away From Russia – Part 1 – Childhood

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St. Basil's Cathedral

Saint Basil's Cathedral – The most recognizable building of Russia.

Aceey’s preface: Want to finally know why 1 out of 10 posts I make on Facebook has to do with Russia? This was originally meant to be a complete blog post about my fascination with Russian culture and history from childhood to adulthood. Unfortunately, the original post was somehow deleted. Also the drafts of the work were mysteriously deleted from my computer and in my email.  I don’t want to call it a conspiracy so I am slowly rewriting them.  *Looks at my own skin color* Wait, I’m black. Why in the world has Russian culture invaded my life? Find out in this series!

My first brush with Russian culture came to me on Christmas Day at age four. My mother bought me a record player complete with “See-and-Say” style books and their respective recordings. There were also several music recordings. The one that I listened to over and over again was “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” by Tchaikovsky. The sound of the chimes and another instrument that I didn’t know the name of intrigued me—I became addicted to the song. I didn’t know at the time that the other instrument played in that song was the celesta. Was it a coincidence that my middle name is Celeste?

One year later, my kindergarten class took a field trip to see a ballet called The Nutcracker.  I began to hear that familiar celesta again. My eyes grew big and my heart melted to hear my favorite song again, and the dancing to it… there’s a dance to it? I wasn’t a dancer but whenever I heard that song, I pretended that I could.

Jasmine from "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker

Jasmine from "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker. Photo from MTV.com.

Was it a coincidence that one of my favorite actors of all time was Yul Brynner? And it had nothing to do with “The Ten Commandments” either! When I was little, my mother and I would watch Cinema 12 together (WYES Channel 12 – New Orleans) when they would show silver screen and movies in Technicolor at 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. My favorite one to watch by age 9 (that I still watch) was Anastasia, featuring Brynner. He made me fall in love with him over and over—supreme acting, the perfect body, the showcasing of his skills on the guitar and ukulele. At the time, I had no idea he was Russian—I just thought he was good at playing Russian people.

Cast members of "Anastasia"

(Left) Yul Brynner in "Anastasia" with his FINE self.

The movie about the ill-fated faux grand dutchess sparked my desire to learn about the political climate of pre-revolutionary Russia. I read books and searched pictures of what it was like to be a Romanov. I was enchanted in imperialism, but not the common people, unfortunately.

Reading Rainbow, a television show hosted by Levar Burton, had an episode on the Shavuot (Passover). A little old lady of Russian descent was teaching how to make challah bread, latkes (potato pancakes), and matzo ball soup. Who knew that I would be making delicious challah bread for loved ones years to come!

Mrs. Katz

A cover of the book read on the television show, Reading Rainbow. The episode featured Passover. Wait, I just noticed that little boy is black... just like me! Yay! I don't feel like an anomaly anymore!

I couldn’t run away from Russian music for some reason. While still in elementary school, my brother had a cassette tape of classical music and I learned of Stravinsky—I couldn’t really pick a favorite between Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. They were two different styles in two different periods. Listening to their waltzes made me appreciate anything in 6/8 and 12/8 time signature, though. In general, I loved the use of several minor chords in the beginning, followed by a bridge in a major key, and going back to a minor key. By age 10, I was already reading music with two years under my belt, learning music theory, and understanding how composers could make a statement without saying a word:

From "Inside Overture 1812" Website by Adam Sebire.

"Overture of 1812" Photo Taken from the "Inside Overture 1812" Website by Adam Sebire.

For example, Tchaikovsky boasted the retreat of France at the Battle of Borodino in The Overture of 1812 (click to listen) by adding pieces of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, in major and minor keys. What a genius way to say “Nanny-Nannie Boo-Boo” to the enemy! I laugh every time I heard this song when I was little… I still laugh today (This actually, shouldn’t be funny, as I am from New Orleans, a French colony. Or maybe I should continue to laugh, as France was always trying to dominate somebody. Shoot, finally the underdog got to hold down the fort, hahaha! 😉  Whose side am I on anyway?).

The song would eventually haunt me after the movie, V for Vendetta, was released.

One day, Momma brought home a VHS cassette of a movie called “No Way Out.” In it, Kevin Costner plays a hero and at the end there was a shocking twist—he turned out to be a Russian Sleeper Agent! I became a Russian fortune’s fool again.

No Way Out - Featuring Kevin Costner

No Way Out - Featuring Kevin Costner. My first movie regarding Russian Spies.

All of this happened to me before the age of 12. The spiral down the rabbit hole became deeper as I got older…

To Be Continued…

Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!