Category Archives: What’s happening

THE PLAINS

A Poem By Stan Lerner

I do not know if I had ever really meant to drift the plains, a life a drift I suppose, for most in our time that’s how it goes.

And the clouds turn round and round, all is lost and all is found.

A person, a people adrift, does not sound well, but like most matters, there’s more to tell.

Roots? Sure, roots are good, for those that fear, has turned to wood.

Woe to the inanimate man, who does not set off to make his own way in the world and an easy world it is not. And a kind world it is not. And a just world, it is, only with respect to God.

And the clouds turn round and round, all is lost and all is found.

So I stood on the side of the road and looked out over the vast plain and then up to the even larger expanse of the sky, this is the kind of beauty that can make me cry, for I am a sentimental man.

A fool sometimes, this has made of me, but to an offer to change, I would not agree.

The clouds flattened and blotted out the sky, perhaps it is time to die…I thought…I thought about the great power that was forming before my very eyes and the greater power, the breath that can blow ever so slightly and cause such a force, such a magnificence to exist, I would not move, I shall not resist.

And the clouds turn round and round, all is lost and all is found.

And the clouds began to rotate, they began to dance, then came the sounds of this deafening romance.

Electric, so electric, so big, two miles wide, and for the earth I felt much pride. This is a small planet; it seemed that way to me sometimes, but not now, but not now…

“Chef, we better get going,” said my assistant, to I, but my eyes could not leave the sky.

“No, you go, I’m going to stay…I’m going to stay right here.” And there I stood in peaceful cheer.

I thought, “You became a chef? Well at least you do something real, unlike the idolaters, who for money kneel.” They kneel for fame, they kneel for power and for this they will pay in the eternal hour. I’m sorry to say this, but someone should.

And the clouds turn round and round, all is lost and all is found.

The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me besides the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me,

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

And the great round cloud came, nothing before it would remain the same.

My mind drifted to the people I had met in recent years, gamblers, drinkers, smokers, almost all with tattoos and the lies they tell…

How we treat strangers says much about who we are…The wind is coming, it’s not too far.

And the clouds turn round and round, all is lost and all is found.

Stones of ice fell from the sky, my mind drifted back to the colossus before me, my assistant had not moved.

I had run from the Lord in a field many years before, a great shame I have solemnly bore.

Aloud I said, “This time I’ll stay.” And in the blink of an eye, it turned away.

Not far away, just enough to cross the road, and head for what looked like a nice little town.

And the clouds turn round and round, all is lost and all is found.

There was quiet, there was nothing, what was, was no more, none of which we were responsible for. I shrugged. And we walked over to the erased place in silence, thinking we might be able to dig some folks out of the rubble. Because on this day, it was their day to be found, it had only been our time to stand our ground.

And the clouds turn round and round, all is lost and all is found. Never forget this, as one day we will all be humbled by the infinite power of the LORD.

 

THE NIGHT

The night is cold, dark and bleak, and there are hours to go before I sleep.

Gone, gone away is freedom’s light, empowering the perverse to their own delight.

But the time has come for them to die a terrible death, the time has come for their last breath.

Who first? I think about this as I pace, who first is to lose their face.

I ponder the landlord, the lawyer, the banker, the politician, who first to my knife’s fruition…

The night is cold, dark and bleak, and there are hours to go before I sleep.

The Landlord, mostly an inherited man, a man who gains wealth by another’s hand.

But the worst of this type, actually believes he is Lord and it is this man we can no longer afford.

So over his gate I climbed and into his house I did walk, and smiled at the splendor meant to make others gawk.

Soon it would be covered with red, soon this temple of doom would be a place of dread. The wife, the son, the daughter, the Man, I cut and peeled off their face according to plan.

The night is cold, dark and bleak, and there are hours to go before I sleep.

The Lawyer, is there one that won’t burn in Hell? Maybe one, the scriptures tell.

With so many of these to cogitate on, I decide who would not see the dawn.

A despicable little man, who lies as he breathes, and at the point of my blade he knelt on his knees.

“This is mad, I was just doing my job,” these were the words that he sobbed.

And he did sob, as the sharp steel cut his throat, no more would this creature gloat.

The night is cold, dark, and bleak and there are hours to go before I sleep.

The Banker, the man who takes from the poor and gives to the rich, then laughs in our face and says, “Ain’t that a bitch.”

Yes, Master Of The Universe, Man of Wall Street, it is my blade the you will soon meet.

And there he was taking a walk in the night, and on 5th Avenue he discovered his plight.

First I ran the bodyguard through in the middle, why him you ask, because the hired gun of the evil is part of the task.

The banker shrunk into the gutter, part of the trash, part of the clutter.

“I have money, a lot of money, I’ll pay for my life.” I stared at this pathetic being down in the street. “You exist for a number in an account and for this you must account. You are an abortion, you were born dead.” And then I put the blade, into his head.

The night is cold, dark, and bleak, and there are hours to go before I sleep.

Oh Politician, you are the ultimate betrayer, it is time for you to meet your anarchist slayer.

So many reasons for you to die, perhaps even more than the stars in the sky.

But really it is the promises that you break, it is for this most of all, your life we must take.

Who first? The man that calls himself the lawmaker, who is known by all to be the lawbreaker.

This loathsome whore gorges his belly full of ill gotten gain, while delighting at heart, of the hard workingman’s pain.

I found this devil asleep in a luxury hotel, so I raised my knife to send him to Hell.

Wait! No! This is too good for such feces, he must be an example for the rest of his species.

I returned that very night with knife, rope and gas can, everything necessary to put an end to this man.

I stabbed him, and he awoke screaming, “You can’t do this to me!” “I can, and soon you will burn, and swing from a tree”

Swinging, he kicked and hoped to detach, but there was no escaping my match.

The night is cold, dark, and bleak and there are hours to go before I sleep.

I pace back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, contemplating how many more of these evil oppressors must I purge, how many to put an end to this scourge?

All of them! Their blood must run like a river through the land…And until then, the knife is in hand.

 

DRINKING LAM

Foreword: On Feb 1st 2013 Elisa Lam (21) went missing from the Cecil Hotel, 19 days later her dead body was found in the hotel’s rooftop water cistern. To date the authorities have offered no answers, the story that follows, is what downtownster believes may have happened to Elisa Lam.

It was the kind of morning that most do not care for in the city known for its good weather. Overcast, no, more than overcast, dark with a chill in the air, the type of morning that one would expect to hear that something horrible had happened…

A storyteller am I, however it has been a long while since I have taken to the keypad, not because the world has, suddenly in our lifetime, become mundane, rather with my own personal aging has come the understanding that there truly is nothing new under the sun. To write now, is to not slice into the essence of humanity as it once was, this frontier has been thoroughly explored, yet context does change and with it, perception. And it is within the realm of new context that a storyteller can possibly offer some insightful or entertaining new perception. So why not tell a story? I did not venture to find something to tell of, it ventured to find me.

And so it goes:

I awake early, though I am not a morning person, to begin my routine before others, for lack of a more polite way of saying it, get in my way. This is a short story of the terrible variety, which does not concern me directly, so I see no need for my own personal dimensions to unfold slowly or in great detail—I’ve had an interesting life, most of which has taken place in and around Downtown Los Angeles.

The coffee I raised to my lips was a blonde roast, which is better than the house blend Starbucks always has to offer. It’s strange that a chain of coffee houses, synonymous with the over corporatization of an entire country should be mentioned in a story one would hope might last for the ages, but it too plays a role in establishing new context. In the past a story such as this would begin in an establishment owned by a character of some-sort, who surely would be part of a community, but there is little sense of community in 21st Century America.

And while many desperately seek privacy from friends and family, they live out a personal reality show in the realm of social media—much of it filled with lies and delusions of grandiosity. The anonymity offered by a city as large as Los Angeles, attracts the most extreme of this type—their end is often financial, moral or physical demise…

“Do you mind if I join you?” asked the attractive, twenty-something-year-old.

I glanced around the space and beheld an abundance of empty tables, which leads one to an obvious conclusion of specific intent. I gestured to the empty chair and she sat.

“You start early.” She smiled.

I wanted to not like her. It’s a funny thing about men of my age, after a lifetime of living ruled by feelings toward women; we break our chains and move on. Not that we come to hate the opposite sex, in fact I would say quite the opposite, we come to see them as a being, for better or worse. And it this very naked state, when a woman stands before a man not blinded by sensuality, that can be perceived so incorrectly. In my youth many a woman asked to be desired for who they really were, but knowing that I was hopelessly unable to see as such, the true nature of this statement was simply one of having power over another. “You can’t know me, because you are weak.” So why not like this attractive girl who sat in front of me? Without knowing her true nature what was there to like? And because of her appearance, as with all women of her type, I asked of myself to not be fair. I moved the line back, to be sure that she would have to prove herself as a person, something more than the causation of a chemical reaction within my body.

I didn’t return the smile, but answered, “I don’t sleep well, when I have things to do.” I paused to contemplate for a moment what an attractive, young, well dressed, woman would want with me so randomly. And concluded that this was not random. “Do I know you?”

She shook her head. “You don’t, but I know you.” She smiled the smile of the self-assured. “Your book “Criminal”, it’s required reading for anyone who wants to take the detective’s exam.”

I nodded. “Did you pass?”

“Yes, I passed…I’m Detective Patrick, I work for the Los Angeles Police Department.”

A slight smile crossed my face. “Really?”

“So you’re a chef now-a-days?” She stated more than asked.

“True story,” I answered.

“I hear you’re very good, my captain eats at your place—garlic chicken I think.”

“Another true story,” I confirmed. “But it’s not my place anymore, you would know that, I imagine.”

Detective Patrick leaned forward, her face feigning some concern. “I heard something to that effect, what happened?”

“Bad partners, of the vile to be around type, so I ended our arrangement.” I paused. “By that I meant, that I ended it nicely, not with them in the deep fryer or anything…”

“Why don’t you write anymore?” She asked.

“I wouldn’t say that I don’t write anymore. I think I’ll write again, I mean I plan to, I’ve just been taking some time off…More than I thought I would actually, but I have a lot of new ideas.”

“Are you going to write another crime story?” she asked, seemingly genuinely pleased that I intended to write again.

I shook my head. “I don’t think so. The world has enough ugliness for everyone to see, it doesn’t need me to tell its story…I want to write something that raises people up, there’s plenty of beauty out there, I’ve seen it, that’s what I want to write about…”

“When we were told to read your book, I was skeptical, slash, young and arrogant. I couldn’t imagine a bad guy that’s smarter than a good guy. But I get it now…Can I ask you a personal question that I have no business asking?”

“Are you going to ask me if I’ve really changed?” I asked, preemptively.

She nodded with a smile. “You’ve heard this one before?”

“Once or twice,” I quipped.

“Have you?” she asked, returning to a tone of propriety.

“I’ve changed. And I haven’t.”

The detective’s face sagged a bit at being confronted with this truth. “That’s not exactly reassuring.”

“As it shouldn’t be.” I shrugged. “I mind my own business, I’m not out there hurting anybody. I try to stay busy doing good things.”

“And if someone were to run into you in a dark alley?” She noticed my face lighted up.

I laughed. “The trick is to avoid dark alleys, detective.”

She sighed. “Well that’s not going to be possible today, I need your help.”

Detective Patrick at this point had caught my fancy. “What could you and the LAPD need help with, from me?”

The detective took a moment to think about what she was going to say and how to say it and then with no back-story, she simply said, “There’s been a murder.” Continue reading

iPAD—FINALLY ALL OF MY BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON iPAD

Let me get this out of the way, right up front…BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Finally, all of my books, Stan Lerner’s Criminal, In Development, Get Chicks 101, Get The Right Guy, Impact, Ninety Nine Post, and Blast are available in Apple’s iBookstore for iPad…There, fifteen years of work summed up in one sentence. But I wouldn’t be much of a storyteller if I didn’t have more to say than this…

It was about thirty-five years ago that I began sharing my vision with some of my close friends about not only wanting to be a writer, but wanting people to be able to read my works on handheld computers all over the world, in every language, and my words would be delivered through the air to these, at the time imaginary, devices. And because my friends were patient with me and had good imaginations of their own, I wasn’t dismissed as a SciFi crackpot. Rather, I was just thought of as crazy ambitious with an ego that seemingly knew no bounds. Not because I wanted to be rich or famous, but because I believed that what I wrote could make a difference on a global scale—especially if I could write and answer to no one other than I.

So as I watched my digital books take their place on the digital bookshelf of the iPad in my hand I couldn’t help, but to say, “Finally.” And I should mention here that this moment was made all the more important to me by the fact that Barnes & Noble and Borders had refused to put my award winning novel “Stan Lerner’s Criminal” in their stores—for no reason anyone who buys books can understand. The anger and frustration over my work being kept from the general public weighed on me heavily—my books becoming available on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and Smashwords, did lighten the weight somewhat, but because iPad is much more than an ebook reader, meaning it will be used by the general public (EVERYONE), it’s the iPad, which has finally lifted the burden from my back completely.

Now while I’m the first to admit that there are technophiles far more qualified to revue the iPad than I, let me just assure you that if you try an iPad—you’ll buy an iPad! I have a MacBook Pro, I love it! I have an iPhone, I love it! I have a Kindle, I love it! And let me be perfectly clear—if you just want to read books on a light, relatively inexpensive device, Kindle totally rocks!!! And then there’s iPad, which combines elements of all of the previously mentioned, with some great new twists—all the more perfect because it allows you to experience these elements in ways / dimensions the others do not. Not that it replaces the others, it doesn’t, but it simply adds on to them. Being a couch potato these days just ain’t what it used to be!!! So yes, an iPad will be joining my growing list of things…

If I may depart from the iPad theme of this blog to focus on the central element of my childhood dream for a moment… Continue reading

IMPACT ON SALE FOR 99CENTS!!!

Ten year ago I finished work on my first book “LA Player”. A year later, with the help of Chris DeWolfe (Co Founder of Myspace) who did a massive emailing on this ebook’s behalf, “LA Player” went on to be one of the most read ebooks of all time. But after a few years and a false start in the ebook business I took “LA Player” off of the market—for want of updating and hope that ebooks would finally realize their greater potential one day in the future.

This year, ten years after completing “LA Player” I re-released it, updated and with a new title “Impact”. I also added a new ending chapter—Chapter 18. I know for a fact that this book and the ideas that it brought to the world changed a lot of lives, some in the most incredible ways as described in so many emails and phone calls to me over the years. But to this day I have always believed that “IMPACT” the book could do so much more for so many people, so to celebrate the ten year anniversary of this work I’ve lowered its price to .99 cents or as close to FREE as possible because I want everyone to read it!!!

If you’ve gotten everything you’ve ever wanted out of life, you’ll find this book interesting because it will give you an understanding of why things went so well for you. If you haven’t achieved as much as you think you should have to this point in your life—this book is an absolute must read for you. And at close to FREE there’s no excuse not to read “IMPACT” unless you simply do not want to succeed, which is unfortunately far to prevalent in our culture these days. However, I reject this trend, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams and I not only believe in you, I’m willing to invest in you by offering you “IMPACT” at Internet transaction cost. Or more simply put I’ll share with you the understanding that I have, which has enabled me to achieve in the industry of my choosing time and time again—on me.

To give you a feel for “IMPACT” I’ve included its summary and introduction as part of this blog. Read them and then click the link at the end of the introduction to download the rest of the book—I promise that you will not be disappointed. Read on and enjoy…AND YES, “IMPACT” IS NOW AVAILABLE IN THE IBOOKSTORE FOR YOUR IPAD!!!

“IMPACT”

Summary

Impact, the book, is pure dynamite—a must read for anybody who dreams of doing more with his or her life.

Impact is structured to give the reader the tools to develop an individual philosophy of success. Then, like a knockout punch, it delivers the practical applications. Impact combines the author’s insight into the historical and Biblical origins of materialism and numerous personal stories to achieve these goals.

This is not a biography or just a motivational book. It is truly a textbook written by a master player. It is a no holds barred discussion that ranges from how to navigate involvement in charities to your benefit to how to sleep your way to the top.

Many players have written books about their deals—but few have ever truly written about how they make their deals. Impact shines a light on the secret formulas behind success. These are the formulas usually guarded by members of a very small club. Impact makes membership to this club wide open. The club is about to change forever.

INTRODUCTION

Getting To The Next Level

Recently, a not too well known public company asked me to critique an investors’ relations meeting (a meeting designed to get stock brokers to push the stock of a public company) to be held at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. I agreed to do so for the price of a Diet Coke (no joke).

“Mike, I have to preface this meeting by saying I have a lot of respect for you and Glen (his right hand man). So don’t take what I say personally,” I offered.

“I’m a big boy, Stan. I don’t need you to preface what you say. Just say it.”

***NOTE*** Always preface what you say; there is no such thing as a big boy.

Then, I continued, “I thought your meeting sucked to the point of embarrassment. It was probably counter productive to boosting the price of your stock.”

Mike nodded his head. He appeared to be slightly stunned by the news. “Just give me the specifics.”

I obliged. “The person at your registration desk reminded me of a used car salesman. He grilled me. Then, he asked me to sign in on a yellow legal pad with a cheap plastic pen.”

“He wasn’t our guy. He works for the P.R. firm that invited the brokers.”

“Mike, the guy should be working at Kmart. It doesn’t matter whom he works for, just make sure he’s not at your registration table. The two most important impressions are the first and the last. My first impression was bad. The guy at the desk with a notepad instead of a registration book screamed out to me that your company has no class. Having no class is bad. But having no class at The Peninsula is really bad.” Continue reading

GOD’S WORK — A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

Foreword by Stan Lerner: this is a story about the Homeboy Industries Fundraiser, at Union Station, which I attended Saturday night. I did not walk into this event with the slightest intention of writing a story. But I walked out knowing that I had no choice other than to pen some thoughts from the heart about this important and moving experience.

Do you believe in God? I believe that most of us do. However, I think that we live in a world so filled with noise, and by noise I mean all of the material distractions of life, that much of our belief in God is relegated to the quiet of our subconscious. Given that most Americans enjoy a life of considerable physical comfort and an abundance of entertainment we often tend to seek out an individual audience with God primarily in times of trouble, angst and or designated times—around the observance schedules of our respective religious organizations. And while I could write at length about the state of our relationship with God, I will depart from the broader subject and talk about one, ideal, reality—it was very much in the world, very much in the City of Angels, very much at Union Station on Saturday night.

So, I’m asking you now to venture from the norm for a few minutes as you read this blog. Move God from your subconscious belief to the forefront of your consciousness and imagine the world as the place it would be if we all had the strength and wisdom to do what’s right all of the time. Seriously, take a few minutes and imagine this, imagine who and what you would be…

Saturday night’s event brought together a large group of people of different ethnicities and religious beliefs for one purpose, to raise money to support an organization that does God’s work here on Earth. Downtownster has written about this organization before and the story that most of us know, in our day-to-day state of mind is fairly simple—a guy named Father Greg Boyle gives ex-gang members jobs baking, working in a café or screen printing T-shirts. I should add that Father Boyle fits the part, full priest gear, white-beard, round glasses and a way with words. But we all know that there’s much more to the story (Father Boyle knows this.)—our part of the story, the part where on occasion we don’t delegate the responsibility to the guy that looks the part, but we step up onto the stage and say that we’re also part of the show—this is transformation, this is transcendence and quite possibly the dawning of a new age of enlightenment, this enlightenment one of not only forgiveness, but of reconciliation. Continue reading

THE DAILY BREW BREWS UP A NEW PARTNERSHIP

Foreword by Stan Lerner: the following article will appear in the next edition of the Montebello Spotlight. For those of you not familiar, Montebello, which means beautiful hills in Italian, is a suburb of Los Angeles about eight miles east of Downtown or just east of East LA. And Montebello is also my hometown, the place where I dreamed many of the dreams I’ve been so blessed to pursue—I’ve always had dreams about returning to the place of my youth and doing business there. The following article is about that. My business savvy friends may want to pay particular attention to this little piece, as the last two places I took an interest in, Palm Springs and Downtown LA, fifteen years ago, went on to do pretty well.

THE ARTICLE

The Daily Brew, located at the corner of Montebello Blvd. and Cleveland Ave, has brewed up a dynamic new partnership. Having recently celebrated its one-year-anniversary as the neighborhood’s local coffee house The Daily Brew, founded by Veronica Diaz, is now officially The Daily Brew LLC, which is owned and operated by Miss Diaz and new partner Stan Lerner.

Mr. Lerner, is best known as an award winning author of books, movies, Las Vegas shows and blogs (He owns downtownster.com), but among the world of business elite he has also earned a reputation as a master business plan writer and turn-around specialist. And yes, he is born and raised in Montebello. “I’ve been blessed in my life to be able to pursue many of my dreams, but the one that’s been on my list longer than I would have liked it to be is the opportunity to come back to my hometown and build a company—a Montebello based company,” Lerner said. “It’s funny because I was a Daily Brew customer, I’d come have a coffee and do some work on my computer whenever I was visiting my home in Montebello, so when the opportunity presented itself I didn’t have to think about it at all—I just said, ‘Let’s do this.’”

Since the formation of the new partnership The Daily Brew has been aggressively implementing a new Best In Class Mission Statement. Lerner, who has owned successful restaurants in the past, has a passion for food and has always enjoyed creating new dishes for both his and his friend’s restaurants. Continue reading

“Explorers”

So I got this little heads up from Marie Bobin who runs the Jules Verne space over at 7th and Fig. I plan on writing a whole blog about this lovely girl, great space and fantastic program for the community. But in the meantime go check out what they’re doing on Thursdays for lunchtime.

“Bring your Lunch and come to our free lunchtime screening of “EXPLORERS: From the Titanic to the Moon”
visit: www.julesverne.org for more details”

More to come…