Yo Dre, Why Are You Always Talking about Changing the World?


I’ve been reconnecting with a lot of friends recently and it’s been cool to catch up with all of them. As I’ve shared with them the many changes I’ve gone through over the past year and a half or so, there has been a trend I’ve noticed: people asking me why I care so much about changing the world.

Wait… wanting the world to be a better place is a weird thing? LOL.

Okay, okay, I’ll explain it like this because after a call I had with my fiancé, I feel like I finally found the words to properly convey my mindset.

*deep breath*

Much like everyone else, most of my life was spent just trying to make my way through this world. I tried to play fair within the boundaries of the rules everyone told me to follow. There were exceptions, of course, but for the most part I was just the nice guy who had to earn his confidence over time rather than having it all my life.

Actually, I started off as a super confident kid, but adolescence isn’t for the weak of heart. A brother’s confidence caught a beat down, y’all.

There was also a nagging thought I had had ever since I was a kid: I’m alive right now and one day I won’t be. I kept that to myself for YEARS because I figured I’d be looked at like a weirdo if I started posing such esoteric concepts as a ten-year-old. Still, why was I alive? Am I supposed to just live and die and that’s it?

Was I a sinner for making a joke about Jesus? I mean, it’s Jesus, for… uh… Christ’s sake. He should know I’m kidding, right?

Am I supposed to spend my entire life working and hope that I stay alive long enough to enjoy retirement? That sounds like a bum deal.

I kid you not when I say I had these thoughts and questions for the majority of my life. I felt like an effing alien because no one else I knew seemed concerned about any of this.

Andre: King of the Weirdos.

During college and afterward, I met a handful of awesome, open-minded people. Folks who are fine with conversing about this stuff. Coupled with that, I soon found out that everything for which I had ambition (a high salary, lots of stuff, a misguided definition of love) brought me temporary happiness at best and straight up unhappiness at their worst. I mean, by and large I was a happy person, but every once in a while the disappointment of not being able to swallow society’s expectations of me and the goals I was taught to have manifested itself in not so pretty ways. In short, I was lost.

If only I knew I wasn’t alone, but people who are lost rarely see the big picture.

I took it upon myself to figure this thing out. I’d love to get into the details of how I did it, but not everyone in my personal life would be accepting of the choices I’ve made even if they’ve helped me for the better. I personally don’t care about the opinion of others, but I’m not about to stir the pot unnecessarily either. That being said, I figured myself out. I figured out that I was much more and much less than what I thought I was. To be specific, I’m not special. Not as an individual at least. But I’m also much more than just a man; I’m a part of everything. Just in the same way that a blood cell is both the individual cell and the blood. I am this reality in which I exist, the individual and the collective.

It may sound crazy to people who won’t get what I mean, but stick with me on this because it all ties back together.

I found my happiness and it was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I spent some time patting myself on the back for having the wherewithal to discover my own answers while still being open to the beliefs of others. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered not everyone reciprocated this feeling. On top of that, I was all too aware that I didn’t actually care about the fancy job, having a bunch of stuff, or many of the other things I was taught to want. What was the point? My happiness and sense of peace was far more important and I learned I could have that independent of any external factors.

So why was I still here?

This next part may sound concerning if you don’t know me at all, but I’m not about to apologize for thoughts that crossed my mind. I seriously questioned why I should keep playing this unfair game of life. You know, the one where we’re expected to follow rules that not everyone is actually following. Where people hate, murder, cheat, steal, and whatever other vile acts humanity is capable of. Why do I want to continue working at a thankless job where I didn’t agree with many principles? I already found my happiness. What was the point of continuing? None of this would help me maintain my sense of inner peace. For all intents and purposes, I would have welcomed being done with life. Not in a negative way, but more like there was nothing I felt this world could offer me and I certainly didn’t want anything from this world either. I was happy being benign, but family, friends, and the rest of society had invested too much in me already. I wouldn’t be let off the hook that easily.


Then a funny thing happened: I met my soul mate aka my fiancé. The story of how we met is nothing short of fate. I say that because, seriously, how it happened is ridiculously improbable (I’ll save that for another day). The point is, I found my reason for enduring a life in which I had no stakes. Soon afterward I was laid off from my job, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise despite it being an initial burden. I had the opportunity to create a life that I wanted, not one shaped by what I was taught to want. I wasn’t about to sacrifice my own happiness again.

But then I looked at the the rest of world and couldn’t help being put off by all the ills around me. Remember, I saw myself as both the blood cell and the blood. I’m both the being and the reality. Therefore, how could I just sit idly by and be unconcerned with inequality, war, discrimination, greed, etc? That’s quite the impossible task given the way I think nowadays.

We’re all sharing the same house. If I was living with someone who treated me unfairly and was trashing our home, I would probably move out or ask them to leave. I don’t have that option. I have to figure out how to coexist in this house. But I don’t want to live in a sh*tty place either.

This time there are no questions. I have to do what I can to fix this house. Not just for me, but for all the people out there who are walking the path I once walked. We’re all just trying to figure our way through this life and we’re the victims or beneficiaries of people who came before us. That doesn’t excuse crappy behavior, but I understand why we aren’t living in utopia right now; there are a lot of lost people out there just trying to fit in where they can.

And this is why I want to bring positivity to this tiny, insignificant rock we call Earth. If I have to be here I’m going to do my damndest to only make an impact that helps rather than hurts. It’s why I’m going vegan. It’s why I want to exclusively use reusable energy. It’s why I’ll always be against our current form of capitalism. It’s why I’m writing this now. Believe me when I say I love you all and I only want to see you happy too. ALL OF YOU.

But I’ll always love my fiancé more. After all, I don’t know if I’d be here right now if it wasn’t for her, heh.

Peace out, party people.

I Want to Become a Superhero (I Think)


I’m conflicted, y’all. I’ve been conflicted for about a year now actually and it all has to do with my own knowledge of how this whole funky system is working.

I love being lazy. I also love reading and watching documentaries. The reading and documentary watching, however, is effing up my desire to be lazy. Case in point: the food industry.

As I wrote on here previously, I’m a vegetarian. I dabbled in it in the past, but it was more so for health reasons. After seeing the ugliness of how animals are treated – how they live, what they’re fed, and so on – I gave up on chowing down on animals.

Even you, bacon. I still love you though.

Don’t tell my future wife.

Now I’m on the way to becoming vegan because I became aware of what happens to animals after they can’t produce milk, eggs, etc.


I used to make fun of vegans. If we were in high school, I’d probably be tempted to steal a vegan’s lunch money, buy a burger, and seductively eat it as a single vegan tear trickles down their vegan cheek.


Well, I watched a documentary called Food Chains that covers how the food industry thrives based on the poverty of farm workers. Not farmers, mind you; those barely exist anymore. I sort of knew these shenanigans were going on, but to hear the details… Good Jeebus….

So now I want to grow my own food too. Problem solved, right?

Nope. Not at all actually.

I watched a documentary called Blackfish that details the straight up grimy nature of Sea World. You know, how they mistreat orcas, how they lied about the death of trainers, and the ILLEGAL way they captured whales.

I read about the lack of integrity in mass journalism. I read about politicians who get away with crimes that affect citizens while low level criminals get prison time like nothing. I read about the outright lies of capitalism and the roots of poverty. I read about how misinterpretations of something as simple as the bible cause the discrimination of, say, homosexuals.

I read too effing much.

Now, I could turn a blind eye to all this and just say I’m going to do me. I’m going to separate from all of this and live the best life I can without contributing to the negativity. It sounded like a perfect plan.


I think a lot of people do this. But if everyone does this, the BS continues. Can I sit on this knowledge and try to play the “I’m just one person” card? That just feels like a cop out to me.

Listen, I want nothing more than a quiet life away from everything with the love of my life, but it’s tough for me to just ignore this nonsense. I can do it for a while, but I always come back to this same place. Can I just ignore this and keep living? Am I okay with knowing others suffer to make this machine move?

That’s a lot to ignore. The proverbial elephant in the room, I suppose.

This isn’t a call to action. Everyone is free to do what they want, even if I don’t agree. But I think it’s time for Clark Kent…

Er… Bruce Wayne. Clark Kent is a dork.

…I think it’s time for Bruce Wayne to let the world know he’s not standing for it.

It’s put up or shut up time.

Peace out, party people.

Throwback Writing: Last Place

Just friends

G’day mates. My name is Outback Al and I’ll be your stereotypical Australian tour guide. While I usually hunt for lethal predators such as crocodiles, sharks and wallabies, today we’ll be tracking one of nature’s least threatening creatures: The Nice Guy.

Now before we encounter this wily little fellow I should warn you of a few things. First, the Nice Guy can be easily approached and will often submit when a threat arises. However, each Nice Guy’s threshold for this varies so tread lightly, mates!

Crikey! There’s one now! Notice his unassuming movement. The Nice Guy chooses not to be imposing in hopes of being accepted by his peers, but his success rate depends on the individual he’s interacting with. The Nice Guy also proves himself to be less of a threat by being accommodating to others, smiling often and peppering speech with humor – mostly of a self-deprecating nature.

Blimey! This is interesting. It seems a female is approaching. Notice how the Nice Guy immediately attempts talking to this female, but does not flirt. You may not believe it, but this is his mating dance; the Nice Guy often confuses normal conversation with courting the opposite sex. This is why so many Nice Guys enter what we wildlife experts call the ‘Friend Zone.’

The friend zone often consists of listening to a female’s relationship issues, providing a shoulder to cry on and absolutely no chance of exploring said female’s reproductive regions. It’s quite an interesting relationship, yeah? You see, the female considers this male to be non-threatening, i.e. non-sexual. Therefore she is able to interact with him with her guard down at all times. The Nice Guy, however, is usually unsatisfied with this dynamic, but wouldn’t dare to do anything to change things.

Cliché Australian exclamation! We’re in for a treat today, mates! There’s another male approaching. I can’t quite tell yet, but I think this fellow here might be an Asshole. The Asshole is essentially the antithesis of the Nice Guy. Most males exhibit features of both species, but to see a pureblood Nice Guy as well as a pureblood Asshole in the same day is about as rare as a transgender koala making love to an albino kangaroo. But let’s get back to the topic at hand so I don’t spoil our Valentine’s Day special next week.

I’m moving in for a closer look. The two males are circling each other, though it seems the Asshole has already surmised the fact that he’s dealing with a Nice Guy. Unfortunately for our Friend Zone prone pal, he’s no threat to the Asshole.

The Asshole seems to be interested in the Sheila. He expresses this by subtly putting her down in order to establish his superiority. In turn, the female reciprocates by giving body cues and subliminal hints that are most probably obvious to only her. It’s quite the dynamic, yeah? You can clearly see the Nice Guy feels slighted by the fact that he’s been one-upped by this cocky bugger.

You see, this is a prime example why most purebred Nice Guys can’t survive in the wild. Besides lacking the general ability to tell people to ‘piss off’, your typical Nice Guy is often far too willing to please and will refuse to stand up for himself. In the animal kingdom there’s nothing wrong with being nice, but everything has to come in degrees, not extremes. That’s why the dodo went extinct. The bastards were too nice to say, ‘Oy, quite hunting me, mate! I’ve already got a stupid name as it is, and you’re not helping matters!’

After our break I’ll introduce you to the Nice Guy Whisperer, a family-friendly, slightly effeminate Latino chap who rehabilitates Nice Guys so they can be Balanced Individuals. Stay tuned!

Previously: The Early Show

Throwback Writing: The Early Show

Photo Credit: Sharyn Morrow

People are weird and weird things matter to people.

So I manage a group of seven people at the moment. The other day one of the more emotionally unstable people on the team comes to me and feels the need to lay out the problems she has with me; one of which is I don’t say Good Morning every time I come in.

I can’t believe we’re having a discussion about this.

Me saying Good Morning every morning is similar to saying ‘I love you’, not because you mean it, but because it’s the thing to do.

I get it though: Not saying Good Morning can be seen as impolite, but if we get along in every other capacity, why does it matter? What weight does this, in my opinion, empty greeting hold? We’re co-workers. I reiterate; why does it matter? I don’t even say Good Morning to friends and family every day. My greetings are as follows:



‘What’s up’


Sup, bitch’

‘Merry Christmas’

Maybe I’m a robot and I just don’t get people. If I am I want to be cool like the Terminator…

Or Vicky from Small Wonder

But my name would be Vick because I’m no chick robot. The frilly apron can stay though.


Anyway, so now I’m in a position where I have to say Good Morning. Does the gesture mean anything when you know I’m only saying it because I feel I have to now? It’s a sad thing when something so trivial can divide people, but I’ll play my part in this farce.

It’s 7am and I just got in for work…

Co-Worker: Good Morning!

Me: Sup, Bitch.

Close enough.

Previously: The Truth Fairy

Throwback Writing: The Truth Fairy

Truth Fairy


I don’t want to introduce myself. Andre was sitting around thinking up things to write about, but failed to give me a decent name. Therefore I’m not introducing myself.

Screw that.


There’s no more to see here.

The Truth Fairy

Seriously? Nice. That’s just great. Thanks, jerk.

Yes, it’s true. My name is the Truth Fairy. Lame? I’d say so. How does anyone get respect in the streets with a name like that? We’ve only just met and I can already tell you don’t respect me. It must be fantastic judging a fictional character with a name ripped from some sicko who sneaks into children’s rooms for hidden teeth and uses them for God knows what. Twenty-five cents for your trouble? I’ll be sure to try and bite into an apple with that nice shiny quarter instead of using what you stole from me. Sure, that’s an awesome guy to emulate. Not creepy or weird in the least. Not at all. Nope.

Thanks, jerk.

Unlike the Tooth Fairy I don’t have some secret fetish for nine-year-old bicuspids. Not a bit. In fact, I’m more of a hero than a fairy. A superhero at that. You see, my whole shtick is I take situations where people normally lie to each other and force them to tell the truth. That way, the true dynamic of the relationship is revealed. Normally life is littered with lies caused by the nefarious acts of my arch-nemesis, Sa…

… Santa Fraud…

Wow. And yet it’s still somehow better than the Truth Fairy.

But I digress. To demonstrate what I do, here is a new teacher at her first day in an inner-city middle school. Let’s see how she and her students interact when they can’t lie to each other.

Ms. Gobchek: Good morning class. This is 8th grade history and my name is Ms. Gobchek. Since I’m a first year teacher, I’m stuck in an unfavorable school system until I get enough experience to escape to a school in the ‘burbs.

Student 1: As hard as you try to hide that fact, it’s painfully obvious you don’t want to be here and you’re scared/disgusted by us. This is why we’ll never respect you.

Student 2: You’re definitely not the face of authority. Prepare to rethink your career, ma’am. Your job just became hell.

Ms. Gobchek: You hooligans can do what you want. I won’t try to challenge you too much as I obviously think you’re too stupid to learn. I’ll pretend to be nice so you don’t shank me while my back is turned. Just try your best not to start a riot.

Student 1: You’re just like every other shitty teacher who doesn’t really care about us.

Student 3: Way to dial it in, lady. I’ll probably threaten you at some point. The threat isn’t real. I just like to make sure you suffer for not caring about us.

Student 2: I personally don’t care about you or this school. This is a glorified prison. I wonder if your school in the “burbs” have metal detectors and security guards like we do.

Ms. Gobchek: No one cares about you because you’re all just future criminals in incubation. Give it five more years and we’ll see if you’re either alive or in prison. In any case, you’ll be out of my hair in a year. Thank you, No Child Left Behind!

Student 4: Zzzz…

Student 1: Fuck you.

Student 2: Why even bother being a teacher?

Student 1: At least Mrs. Walker cares about us. This entire year you’ll wonder why we’re quiet and polite in her class but act like, as you say, “hooligans” with you. We’re smarter than you think. We can do more. All you’re doing is perpetrating a cycle that’s designed to have us fail.

Ms. Gobchek: I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. I was busy thinking about how much easier it would be to teach elsewhere. Here, have an outdated textbook and let’s start studying for the state tests. We have to pretend you’re learning something here.

Er, well that was unpleasant. It’s no wonder our kids in urban areas don’t always reach their full potential. The system has largely given up on them prematurely. Good teachers are hard to come by. Good teachers willing to reach kids who have less are even harder to come by. It’s easy to go to school systems that have the deeper pockets and resources, but are those the kids that need the most help? Don’t get me wrong; I’m in no way trying to create a divide between the have and have-nots, but there are far too many occasions when the have-nots get the shaft. A little bit of effort goes a long way, especially for those who haven’t even developed into who they really are yet.

Alright, alright. So maybe my name isn’t so bad after all. I feel like I actually got to deliver a message. Makes me feel all warm inside and whatnot. Oh hey now… what’s this? It looks like a new assignment from Andre. Seems I’ll be teaching a sex ed class. Not such a shabby promotion if I do say so myself.

The Queefster Bunny

You’ve got to be kidding me…

Hey, Santa, I Have a Question


I never believed in Santa Claus. Not because I was some genius kid, but my parents just never fed me that BS. In fact, I remember my parents telling me not to believe kids at school if they said jolly old St. Nick was real.

They wanted all the credit for those gifts.

Fuck Santa.

Ahem… pardon my French.

Thankfully, I never had to deal with the pain of realizing my Christmas gifts weren’t constructed at some elf sweatshop at the North Pole. But I started thinking recently… how many things do we believe now just because our parents told us they were true? I mean, I’m sure they had good intentions, but my mom was 12 years younger than I am now when she had me. Did she REALLY have a great grasp on the world at the ripe old age of twenty-one?

Sure, as a kid i thought my parents knew everything. So I bought into everything they taught me. It’s not uncommon, not is it unexpected. I do, however, also realize it could be done a better way.

I know some parents will say, “You’re not a parent! What do you know about raising children? Also you have an awesome blog!”

Why, thank you.

It’s true, I don’t have or want kids. But I was a kid once and I see how people have been molded by their parents. So I just wonder why we don’t teach kids to question more. I remember my parents found questioning to be disrespectful.

Mom/Dad, sorry, but “because I say so” isn’t a good reason for anything. Especially when it came to not letting me watch Married with Children. That show is tame as hell by today’s standards.

Questioning rules, beliefs, society and myself has brought me to a greater understanding about life and people. I’m not saying I know everything, but at least I know a belief doesn’t equate to truth.

Ask questions!

Peace out, party people.

What’s More Important: the Structure or the Message?

As a writer…

Ooh, that feels good to say. Much better than Support Director.


…I tend to nitpick over grammar and word usage. It comes with the territory.

After all, a great man once said, “It’s rules to this shit.”

But sometimes I think about language and why the rules matter so much. Who made the rules? Are we, as writers, never allowed to question the rules of our craft?

Well, that’s silly.

Okay, now that’s silly.

Language was (organically) created as a way of conveying a feeling. We use music, paintings, and other art forms in a similar, but less restrictive way. But it conveys a feeling nonetheless.

“Oh my god, it’s a giant tarantula!” is only induced by one’s particular feeling when they see a giant tarantula. Insert whatever scenario you want; at the end of the day, language is just an interpretation of thoughts and feelings.

That might be the reason why sometimes people can’t find the right words for a situation.

So you scream instead.

Or laugh.

Or whatever silly human sound we make because words are not enough. It’s the same reason we use emoticons in casual messaging. It’s a shame we’re so stuck on the rules that we don’t allow them in more formal writing. Maybe we’d be able to specify context better ;]

But we’re stuck on the rules to a certain extent. In everyday practice, I’m a horrible writer. Hell, I even bastardize the structure of the written English language on my blog. Yet somehow, people still understand me. Hmmm…

So what’s more important, the structure or the message?

The message, obviously.Communication is pointless without it. So can’t we all just agree that there is space for all types of writing styles and they can be employed in different ways? I look at journalism in this way. There’s never been a journalistic piece that surprised me with its written style. I know what I’m going to get and some are written better than others. There’s no room to deviate from rules such as paragraph structure.

I rarely write structured paragraphs.

Fuck paragraphs.

I often write the way I think because it allows people to know me. If you care to know me, that is. I, however, think I’m a pretty awesome guy to know so I write in my voice.

Putting my voice on paper helps to keep it from staying in my head.

That’s an interesting thought I didn’t have until the very moment I wrote this. Maybe I’ll explore that thought further tomorrow.

Anyway, that was by no means a way for me to say my way is the best. It’s just what works for me. I just think there is room for language to be more elastic. We do it all the time anyway. For example…

When does slang stop becoming slang?

Why did English become Old English?

Why did the new English become Middle English?

Will current English be Old English someday?

Bah, what do I know? I just like to ask questions. I do know that language evolves as we speak and the “rules” are never really being followed anyway.

Many religions work the same way.

Har har.

I’m going to definitely touch on that sometime too, but relax, nothing I say will be offensive.


Anyway, I’m not saying anything needs to be changed. These questions just help to give me an identity as a writer.Now, if you imagine my reaction to seeing a giant tarantula, you’ll know exactly how I’d convey it.

The correct answer is, screaming like a frightened 2-year-old girl.

Or boy. They sound about the same at that age. No need to be sexist about it, right?

Peace out, party people.