"Long Time No See"



I rarely feel strongly moved by anything. I could be in the presence of some great art, or witness an alleged “awesome moment”, and still feel very blasé about it. I’m constantly looking for the next thing and tend to hate when moments linger.

This week I was moved. I saw something truly beautiful. And amazing. And awesome. And just fucking good.

It all starts with a girl named Sam.
Sam and I met on tinder.
Don’t give me that look, it’s 2017 and the world is weird as shit and this is just how some people meet these days. Whatever.

I don’t think it’s a secret that I despise first dates. People having the whole “getting to know you” conversation always feels like some strange recital everyone has studied for their entire lives. The conversation is usually well practiced, uninspiring, redundant and boring beyond belief. “My name is Matt, I’m originally from a small town in Washington, I do this, I hate this, I sort of want to blow my head off as I’m speaking, I’m judging your drink order and I really just want to go home and read.”

Generally speaking, dating can seem a little cold and robotic. It’s as if everyone is running on autopilot, while presenting a curated self, while also trying to decide if there’s a connection to other person’s masked personality. It’s weird.

Sam and I briefly touched base on a few of the usual topics one would cover on a first date, but mostly just skipped right passed all the boring shit. It was nice. We left the typical “date night” bar we met at and ended up getting drunk at some Star Wars bar in Hollywood with her friends. I don’t know that I would ever go hang out with a date’s friends, but Sam is different.

The thing about Sam, is that she has a giant personality.
Right when one meets her, one can tell she is charming, incredibly beautiful and funny as hell. Within moments, one could tell she is a complete badass, has a world class wit and speaks with a rare bluntness you hardly see in my generation. She reveals herself, and cuts through the bullshit. I was immediately convinced that I wanted to hang out with her all the time.

On one of the earlier dates, Sam brought up the subject of family. Now, in similar situations in the past this topic has often been the worst of ‘em. I don’t mean to sound like an asshole, but I just don’t know if recalling one’s normal ass family doing normal ass things is riveting conversation to tell to a borderline stranger for an hour and a half.

Sam’s family story is different, though.

Sam was born on the east coast, moved to Orange County with her Mother when she was younger, and she didn’t know her father. She had two pictures of him growing up – One was blurry. She did, however, find him on Facebook and found out he lived an hour ish away. She told me flat out that she had always felt like something was missing, and she suspected that not knowing him was a huge reason for that. She then told me that he had other children: a boy, and two twin girls. She just kind of casually mentioned it. Like, “Yeah, I have a brother and two sisters who have no idea I exist.” She opened up their Facebook profiles and showed me the resemblance and was kind of like, “Isn’t that weird?!”.

Fuck me, I wanted to meddle so bad. Of course it was weird! You can contact them right now! What’re you waiting for?!

I asked a bunch of questions and joked that I wanted to message her brother. I was partially serious because I wanted her to know them... or them to know her? I kept thinking of how fucking awesome this girl is and that these people sort of deserved to know they have this person as a sister. And by this point I was already convinced that Sam deserved everything she wanted out of life. I didn’t message her brother. Though she was fairly casual about it, it seemed like one of the more inappropriate things I could have done. The conversation eventually turned and the night carried on, but the whole issue never really left my mind.

Weeks later, Sam was enjoying one of her favorite meals from one her favorite establishments: Snow Crab legs and wings from Hooters. A waitress she was friendly with had just gotten off work as Sam was finishing up her feast, so they started talking and drinking. While drinking with the hooters waitress, the topic of her family came up again. The Hooters waitress convinced her to write a message to her brother on Facebook. I can’t remember the exact details, but it was probably something like: “Hey, I’m not sure if you know about me, but I’m your half-sister. Hello!”

I think it was possibly the Hooters waitress who was the one who hit the send button. Regardless, Sam messaged her brother.

She met up with me shortly after this happened. Slightly buzzed and completely nervous, she told me what had happened and was convinced she had made a mistake. He hadn’t read the message yet, and she was sort of freaking out. I kept telling her that because they weren’t “Facebook friends” it was sitting in the “other” inbox that no one really checks, but it’s only a matter of time. She sent him a friend request in hopes of him getting the message quicker.

Her brother eventually accepted the request and read the message.

She was right, he didn’t know she existed.

After a few messages, they exchanged numbers and started texting and speaking on the phone. Her brother told his sisters, and I’m not sure how, but I can only imagine asked his dad something like, “UHHHH.... what’s with all of this?”. Regardless, you could tell he was handling it well, and Sam was excited. Like, really fucking excited. She told me she didn’t like hanging up when they would speak and that she thought maybe she finally had something she wanted her whole life: contact with her brother. It was no longer a casual topic she brought up. It was meaningful, real, and almost tangible.

After finding out her brother knew, her Dad finally reached out to Sam with the intention of meeting up.
They set a time and place.
She wanted this her entire life.

Again, she was nervous as hell. She would go back and fourth with anxiety and hope. She didn’t want to be let down, but hoped so badly this would be positive. The closer the meeting got, the more she cracked jokes and the more she got pretty worried.

“What if he doesn’t like me?”
“What am I supposed to wear to meet my biological father?

“This is so weird!”

On the agreed upon day, at a hipster café in Los Feliz, Sam met with her father.

In a very Sam-like move, she sensed the awkwardness as she walking up so when she reached him she quipped, “Long time no see!”. He laughed. They had a good conversation and though I’m not sure of what was said at the table, she was super happy and he wanted to see her again. I’m told it was “cute”. He informed her that his niece was getting married soon and a bunch of family were in town and there just so happened to be a family BBQ planned the following weekend. So, a father invited his daughter he didn’t know to a family BBQ where she would meet her sisters and extended family. She wouldn’t be meeting her brother at the get together, as he lived in another state, but would be back for the wedding the following week.

The night before the party, Sam asked me, “What are you going to wear to meet my Dad?” I had just assumed she would want to build a relationship with everyone before introducing them to me because we hadn’t talked about it. I was taken a back, but very excited. I started wondering, “Shit, what am I going to wear to meet her biological father?” What the hell does one wear to meet their girlfriend’s family who just found out she exists? ***

When I went to pick up Sam the next day, she aggressively couldn’t decide what to wear. She was, in her words, “freaking out!” Completely understandable, but everything she tried on seemed great to me. I was convinced she could have worn her usual outfit of an oversized band tee and black jeans, and everyone would have complemented her. Some people can just pull off anything. It’s annoying. Eventually she found an outfit she “sort of” liked and we left. She was immediately nervous. Like, wouldn’t-stop-talking-feeling-nauseous-wanting-me-to-pull-over type of nervous. It took 1.5 hours to get there, and as soon as we got off the freeway, she did in fact “freak out”. She started balling. She was nauseous to the point of needing air and asking me to slow down. She half- jokingly asked me to turn around and drive back. She apologized for crying a million times, ignoring me when I said “It’s completely OK! You don’t have to apologize.” I didn’t know how to console her, other than keep saying, “Everything’s going to be OK. They will all like you.”

When we parked at the address she took five minutes to cry, then took a few deep breaths, cleaned herself up, and we got out of the car. We walked to the front door which had a sign on it that read, “Come in, we’re all out back!”. Sam didn’t see the sign until after she rang the doorbell. We both laughed when she said “Oh shoot, I’ve already screwed it up!”. Her Aunts and uncles, her cousins, her grandmother, her sisters, her father, and her father’s girlfriend weren’t out back like the sign had said. They were right inside, seemingly waiting for Sam to arrive. They opened the door and an onslaught of handshakes, hugs and nice-to-meet-you’s came her way. She immediately started cracking jokes and exhibiting her wit, humor and confidence, all of which deescalated the initial awkwardness in seconds. You would never have been able to tell that moments prior she was about to throw up from nerves, crying uncontrollably and constantly “freaking out.”

Right away, I could tell everyone was so fucking nice -It was incredible. Within minutes of arriving it felt like Sam was part of the family. It just worked. She had just met most of these people, and it was as if they had known each other their entire lives. I have never seen anything like it, and I highly doubt I ever will again. I would randomly look over at Sam who was sitting next to her sisters while having a beer with her dad, and catch them all smiling and laughing with each other. It was inspiring. It was moving.

The day was filled with beautiful, incredible, and amazing moments. Like, one of her sisters gave her a matching necklace and it may have been the most adorable thing on the planet. I had never seen Sam happier. Hell, I’ve never seen anyone happier. They all seemed to like me, too. Or maybe they were just politely laughing at my dumb jokes. In situations like that, I can come off as either friendly or annoyingly friendly depending on everyone’s mood. I usually become that guy at the party who tries to make sure everyone else is having a good time. Regardless, they loved Sam. The day was about her, even though it wasn’t supposed to be. Her cousin, the one getting married, invited her to the wedding the following week. It was pretty adorable on all accounts. Plus, she could meet her brother at the wedding.

All in all, we were only there for a few short hours. We had a party to get to that Sam had gotten tickets for before all this started happening. She just casually looked at me and said, “Oh dang, we should get going to that other thing?” It was kind of strange leaving. Even though we had just met them all, and it was a huge day, it was more of a “I’ll see ya guys soon!” type of good-bye. Everyone hugged and it was great, but it was really... normal.

Then we got to the car.

She looked at me and I could tell she was starting to reflect on the day. She immediately started crying. Way harder than before. I have never seen someone cry so hard from joy. Instead of apologizing for crying, she would proclaim how happy she was, how much she had wanted this, and how much she loved everyone.

“You have no idea how happy I am, Matt!”

I didn’t.
But, I sort of teared up myself seeing her.

Hearing someone I care about so much say that while crying tears of joy... I don’t know. It just got to me. It was beautiful and I was moved. Somehow, just witnessing one of the biggest days in Sam’s life might of been one of the biggest days in my life. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I was profoundly moved.

The next weekend Sam was to meet her brother. Again she was nervous and excited, but had much more confidence after the first family gathering. That being said, she really wanted to meet her brother. He was the one she had initially reached out to, and more importantly he was the one that initially recognized her existence and accepted her. He was special to her, and it was another big deal. They finally met at the wedding rehearsal and it was the same situation as before: She was scared (yet no one could tell), immediately charmed everyone, was hilarious, and made it seem as if they had been friends for some time.

That’s the thing about Sam, she has a great personality. The same way I could tell I wanted to hang around her, they could too. She’s an amazing human being who can handle any situation. I’ve witnessed this woman help people out every chance she can get. She deeply cares about those she loves and would stand up for a friend against the world. She’ll make you laugh any time of the day, and you can count on her to tell you the truth when no one else will. She’s a fighter, she’s generous, and she deserves to know this new family just as much as they deserve to know her. I’m just happy I got to witness something beautiful.


-Matthew Reflects






*** Turns out I hadn’t done laundry and only had a dark T-shirt and black jeans to wear and no one seemed to care. So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, wear that.

Debilitating Deliberation



I believe this existence is mostly meaningless. It’s by luck that we have consciousness, but that’s it. When this is over, it’s over. It’s both freeing and terrifying. I want to take that knowledge and use it to live a stress free life doing what I like, yet I still buy into the current system of which we are all a part of and find problems everywhere. I admit, I want a life for myself that seems to contradict most of my philosophical outlook. If this life is meaningless then I am free to do anything. Yet, the society we live in makes it seem so god damn important for us do what it wants instead. It’s not involuntary, but it’s pretty damn convincing.

Tomorrow the world may burn and I’m trying to make a dollar. That makes me sick.

A dollar that is meaningless unless one gives it meaning. I hate the dollar. I can’t imagine a world where it doesn’t exist, but god damn is it ridiculous.
It’s fucking paper.
No, it’s not even that anymore.

It’s a fucking number. Whatever.

I wrote an entry nearly a year ago about leaving Los Angeles and hitting the road. I felt stagnant, like I was part of a “Groundhog Day” situation that I wasn’t sure I enjoyed. That urge, fleeing, it’s returning with great weight this time. Not only am I making things I don’t like, but I’m worse off than I was this time last year. I’ve attempted many things to break the cycle but I ended up shooting myself in the foot. Both feet, actually. I’ve had a year’s long steady decline.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide the boredom and discontent from my face. When I am unsatisfied with a conversation or situation, I kind of shut down. As of recent, when people have conversations with me about topics of which I have no interest in, I don’t navigate it well. Instead of being the happy trooper and engaging in the societal norms of conversation, I just remain quiet until there’s an awkward ending. I just give up. It’s weird, because I do listen but all I can think is “Why the fuck do you care about this vapid horse shit?” It seems like the majority of the people in Los Angeles that I come into contact with deeply care about the most tedious and self-indulgent non sense. I can’t tell if I’m an asshole for wanting them to shut the fuck up or if I’m doing the world a disservice by not pointing out to them why they should. Either way, I think I’m in the wrong.

Obviously it’s not everyone or every conversation. My favorite thing on the planet is talking to people. When I find someone interesting or puzzling or even someone I can’t read right away, I get excited. I want to figure them out, understand who they are, and find out why they are different. Meeting someone worth talking to is like a breath of fresh air in a dark and stale room. It’s new. It’s invigorating.

So, that makes me wonder: Would I be happier on the road? I would definitely meet all sorts of people outside my “bubble”. Wouldn’t a new challenge and a new way of thinking be exactly where I would thrive? I could turn into one of those obnoxious traveling types that’s always talking about how travel saves lives, or... whatever? You know the type.

I still think my original idea of driving from state to state meeting new people and documenting it my way would be beneficial. At least for me. But that would mean I’m giving up on the system I still place so much weight in. Do I REALLY want to leave, or am I just unhappy with my current situation? What would happen if I got a job I actually liked? What would happen if I let down my guard and let people in? What would happen if I just left the house or stopped hiding from my friends and answered my god damn phone? Would I be happy?

I’m confused how most people can make decisions. I’m confused on how I should be living my life. The lack of meaning in life should be freeing but when I buy into the system it’s like there’s a weight on my chest every time I do something I genuinely don’t care for, which is most things these days.

The world could end tomorrow, but can I really live that way?


-Matthew Deliberates

Die Happy


My neighbor across the hall is an elderly Hispanic woman who speaks very little English. I speak very little Spanish. We can hardly have a meaningful conversation, yet we have a funny relationship. She is very old and has trouble walking without a walker. Every time I see her walking to and from the building’s entrance I lend her my arm (to her delight, as the six stairs can be particularly tricky for her). Her smile (which is always present) and gratitude makes me smile. She seems like a very happy person. We attempt to communicate, mostly about superficial things, usually about the weather. It’s hard to talk about anything else when we don’t share the words. Somehow we both end up laughing. She once insisted I was rich because I own a car. I laughed hard. Perspective is everything.

I have no idea how she gets down those six stairs when I’m not there. Even with my assistance, it takes her a fucking year.

This week she has been rushed to the ER twice. I have heard members of her family crying, bellowing, and wallowing in sadness on multiple occasions. The first time, I thought she was dead. My landlord has had to open the door to check on her while her daughter is freaking out at the lack of response from her mother inside. Whenever I hear commotion, I press my ear to my door and hear everything as if I were outside. I worry, so I listen.

For the past 6 months her daughter (who once told me that her mother refers to me as her boyfriend) has slowly been coming over more and more to check in on her. She yells “Mama! Mama!” repeatedly to wake her up nearly every day now. The frequency of the daughters visits, the ambulances... It appears my neighbor isn't doing so hot. I would bet money that she needs a caretaker but cannot afford it. I haven’t seen her, but I would wager my life that she’s smiling when she can.

One day, her daughter’s calls will not be answered, she will start panicking again, call my landlord, who will unlock the door and they will find my sweet neighbor across the hall dead. And I will probably have my ear pressed to my door. Listening. Probably crying.

I will have to remind myself, “Everyone dies.” And I will hope she was happy.

Sometimes, I think, people would consider my outlook on life lacking in optimism. Throughout my life I have been accused of being pessimistic to the nth degree -the term “grim” has even been thrown around before. My brothers, my sister, my mother and my father will all attest that I have never been the bubbliest person. I often refer to myself as a “moody cunt”, and I think that is an accurate description.

But I’m not pessimistic. Really, I’m not.

I admit to being a moody cunt, I’m working on it, but I am nowhere near a pessimist. I reject that label whole heartedly. I would argue that I am a pragmatist with a healthy level of optimistic influence. I want things to work out, I work on things so that I can better control the likelihood that things will work out, but I would not bury my head in the sand to maintain a belief that things will. Damn things are sometimes out of my control. Such is life.

I do not believe there is a benevolent creator or fate and thinking of an after-life seems like a foolish waste of time to me. When I die, that’s it. My consciousness, what made me, Me... my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences, my memories, my life... will simply end.

I will cease to exist. “That’s it.”

I’ve been told this is a particularly sad and pessimistic thought. Do you feel sad by that?

If you are religious, and you care for me, you may feel sad I won’t be joining you in your version of an afterlife. I get it, I do, but I don’t want nor need the sentimentality. That is an extremely selfish desire, and one that I wish people would stop bringing up in conversation. I am repulsed by that notion and I’m growing so tired of having to be so fucking considering of everyone’s precious/ridiculous beliefs.

Everyone dies. I have my suspicions that many people don’t actually think about their own death. It is, of course, absurd and unnecessary to constantly think about one’s own demise, but truly understanding its inevitability can alter one’s life for the better.
It can change
your life.
Death will trivialize the bullshit that we think matters, and it will bring things that genuinely do into sharper focus.
You are going to die.
What do you really want to be doing with your time here?
Before you cease to exist, what do you want to be doing most? Working at that unfulfilling job you hate? Being in a horrible relationship? Do you really enjoy your life? Are you really happy? Am I really happy?

I want to die happy.
That is all I want, and all I want for those I love.

By that I don’t mean I want to die with a smile on my face and having my brain flooded with hormones producing happiness, though that would certainly be ideal. I mean I want to shed my ego enough to fully come to terms with death, and have a life chock full of memories to reflect on.

I want my experience here to be full of the things that I hold dear. I want to learn as much as I possibly can, I want to find the truth in every situation, I want to love madly, I want to see beauty, I want to create things from my imagination, I want to help people, teach people, laugh in the face of tragedy and triumph alike, build things that no one else has, add benefit to others, and in the very end, whenever that may be, I want to die happy... and full.

I am not a pessimist, No! I understand we all die and I want to make the journey towards death as slow and as amazing as possible. Just as I hope you all will. I truly think that if everyone embraced their own mortality on a realistic level it would make for a better society. We would definitely treat each other better, we would start practicing the “I don’t give a fuck” Zen-mentality when it comes to minor bullshit, and we would have happier, fuller lives. Because why the fuck wouldn’t you? This is it, baby. Once it’s done, it’s done!

You’re going to die. Make the ride into the abyss a great one.

Die Happy.

-Matthew Dies

The Idiot And The Jellyfish


As I fly back to LA from a unusual/amazing weekend in my hometown, I am hyper aware of how little I have any of this life figured out.

I’m not sure, but I have a suspicion this may be a more universal feeling. Or maybe I’m just telling myself that to make myself feel better as I walk around with no idea as to what’s supposed to happen next.
Am I fumbling around while everyone else has got a plan?
It sure seems that way at times.
Especially after this weekend.
I saw so many people I hadn’t seen for years. As it always goes, I was asked a bunch of questions about my life. You know, the usual: “What have you been up to?”, “How do you like it?”, “Are you enjoying yourself?”, etc.

It’s strange, but I haven’t had to reflect on these things in a while. It was weird. I was answering them and realizing it at the same time. I felt vulnerable, and a little fucking stupid -Like I should have had these answers figured out in my head before getting into the conversation. Everyone else seemed to know right away.

But the truth is, in LA I am able to isolate myself pretty well. I mostly work from home, I don’t go out often, I only see a few friends on a regular basis and when I do leave my apartment, I put my headphones in and block out the rest of the world like a moody asshole. I am constantly living in my head and thinking about random shit as opposed to figuring this life out. For example, the past couple of weeks I have been thinking non-stop about how fucking cool jellyfish and octopuses are. I came across a video of an octopus exhibiting its camouflage and I freaked out. I didn’t understand how it did it so well and I wanted to know... next thing you know I’m down the rabbit hole learning everything I can about this ability. The more I learned the more I found out how fucking insane these creatures are.

(BTW, “octopuses” is the correct usage, I promise you).

Whatever, my point is: I mostly live in the ‘Lala Land’ that I have created for myself and I don’t really spend much time thinking about what comes next. Should I be? When I do, it just stresses me out. Am I hiding from that?

I have no REAL plans for the future and I’m struggling to decide if that’s either some hippie Zen-like bullshit that works for me, or if I’m a fucking idiot who needs to figure this thing out and do whatever it is I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing. I do feel like I need to do something.

I just watched my brother get married and I was amazed at the whole event. He and his amazing new wife are starting something together. They have, at the very least, somewhat of a plan for their future. I don’t know the extent of their plans, and they might not have it all figured out, but they know they are on a path together. They are moving forward. They are making their once plans a reality and that’s pretty fucking big in my opinion. I don’t even know if I want that future per se, but I found myself envious that they definitely had something figured out. The more I talked to other people, too, the more I realized loads of people have their shit figured out.

What am I doing? Do I like it? Am I enjoying myself?

Man, those questions get tougher and tougher the more I think about em.

Can’t we just talk about how rad Jellyfish are?
Have you ever heard of the Gigantopithecus?
What are your thoughts on the Aquatic Ape Theory? It might be total bullshit, and from my (limited) understanding there isn’t much evidence supporting it... but it’s still pretty fucking interesting to think about!

Is it wrong that I “distract” myself by thinking about stupid shit like this? Is my version of Lala Land really that bad? I mean, I’m genuinely interested, but part of me wonders what the point of learning all this stuff on such a superficial level is. I can’t use this this to better my life or answer any of those questions.

What am I doing these days?
Well, mostly I find myself sitting in my apartment freaking out about how awesome this planet is, how lucky we are that life exists in such diverse ways, that octopuses are probably aliens, the universe is expanding into the unknown, yet somehow not EVERY conversation is about that... and fuck... Now I’m just questioning if my child-like wonder is holding me back from being a productive member of this current version of society.

What are you doing these days?


-Matthew Envies

'Til Death



I’m currently on an airplane traveling back home to Washington for the first of two weddings I’m in next month.

I should be writing a speech or two right about now, but I can’t focus on that yet.

I am focused on marriage, though. I’m fascinated by it. I’ve been surrounded by the idea of it, and I’ve been watching how different people experience marriage.

In fact, my dear friends just got engaged last night and I’m super fucking happy for them! It seems like most people I know are on track to be or are already married. Weddings are loads of fun, and celebrating love is something I can definitely get on board with. I’m a big fan of love. Love hard, yo!

All I can think about is how fucking weird marriage is as a concept.
It’s 2016 and the majority of marriages fail. It doesn’t seem to be that “permanent” anymore. It’s like a marriage is no longer expected to be “forever”. Obviously it’s expected to be forever for the two involved, but I see people getting married all the time, and occasionally one of my first thoughts is, “They’ll get divorced.”
But of course you can’t say that. That’s horrible.
But statistics don’t really lie...

Divorce is pretty fucking common. I’m on the plane and I’m too much of a cheap ass to buy the Internet, but I think the statistics are something like close to 70% of marriages fail. Don’t quote me on that, but I do know it has risen significantly from the “half of all marriages end in divorce” stat I grew up hearing.

And on top of that, the “sacredness” of marriage is becoming more and more rare. I know plenty of people who have fucked around on their spouse. Plus, there are sites like “Ashley Madison” where married people fuck around on each other which confuses me on a whole other level.

If you choose to get married, why fuck around? I’m not judging, just super confused on the whole thing. I just don’t understand the why the fuck you would stay married if you’re fucking around?

I wonder if anyone has ever come across their spouse’s profile on one of those sites? It’s has to happen. I wonder how the fuck that conversation goes? I recently came across a girl I am sort-of-kind-of-not-really-dating (shut up, I know how that sounds) on tinder and I felt like shit about that! It put me in a funk. I don’t want to be the one to “have the conversation” for a bunch of reasons I don’t need to get into, but it still felt weird. It just felt silly and embarrassing. I would rather be with that person than on tinder, but whatever.. It was weird and it felt ridiculous. I hate my generation. I can only imagine that tiny feeling of awkwardness that I experienced amplified by a billion to create a truly horrible situation with those couples on cheating sites. Must be awful for all parties involved. I’m uncomfortable just thinking about it.

Change subject in 3....2....1

“Why else is marriage weird, Matt?”

I’m so glad you asked my opinion!


I’ll never be comfortable with that. It’s so bizarre that we celebrate love by getting the government involved.

So why do people get married these days?

I’m guessing it’s because everyone thinks that’s the normal thing to do.
And it IS the normal thing to do.
It’s a great, big, scary commitment to another person (and the government) that everyone does because of some outdated non-sense beliefs and practices that has existed for so fucking long. Old practices like that don’t die easily.

I’m not even against marriage, despite the above ramblings. I would love to have a monogamous partner for a lifetime. That sounds like a connection I would benefit greatly from. I’ve read a bunch of philosophy shit about why people have partners and it’s insanely fascinating how we desire such a deep connection with another soul. It’s fucking beautiful by all accounts. The intricacies of finding a “soul mate” make life exciting.

But how many people find their “soul mate”?

Aren’t most marriages just people who were dating at a certain point in their lives and felt enough societal pressures to make them feel like they had to make that a legally binding contract?

Am I off base here? Is it just me that notices this shit?

It could be that most marriages I grew up around seemed a bit... weird. I think some of the older generations stuck together for tradition, and the ones before them stuck together for appearance. It’s as if these marriages are a life of trying to not piss each other off and just getting by as best as possible. It seems exhausting and hard. Obviously not everyone's marriages are like that, but it is noteworthy. Maybe I’m way off base and that’s just what marriage becomes? God, I hope not. I know I don’t want that.


Fuck, now I’m rambling.

I just know that when I see a married couple (from an older generation) that seems genuinely into each other, and appear to value each others’ honest opinions, I get super fucking excited. It’s a breath of fresh air. It gives me hope! That kind of life-long partnership that I crave exists and I am a witness! (Sup, Schroder’s?)

I’m not being cynical.

Fuck, maybe I am?

You ever notice how many questions I ask in these posts? No one answers them. It’s just me publicly asking questions. Like a fucking crazy person.

This is not the blog I meant to write, but I started drinking on the plane because I turned into a giant pussy about flying two years ago and now I'm drunk.
Maybe I’ll write a more thought provoking post on this later.


It’s weird.
It’s really really bizarre that the government is involved. It can be the most beautiful thing on the planet.
Most of time it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.
It terrifies me completely.
But goddamn, when it’s beautiful it’s got to be worth it.

At the end of the day, I am on board with any occasion where we can celebrate love.

Congrats to the happy couple(s).

-Matthew Drunkenly Contemplates


*A previous version of this post included subjects that was asked to be removed by the people I was talking about. While I may disagree with this decision, I did edit it out. I'm not a fan of censoring myself, obviously, but this was an exception. I'm sorry. Always sorry.


Invisible Monsters


I don’t want to bum anyone out, but this one isn’t going to be fun.

Through out my life I have struggled with clinical depression.

It’s almost obnoxious to even write that out. I’m rolling my eyes while releasing an audible, “ugh”, just to so you don’t have to.

It’s so fucking trendy to have a mental disorder these days.

When did that happen, anyways?

Bear with me.

My depression is something I tend to hide. Up until now I’ve only shared this information with a handful of people that I thought might benefit from knowing about it. I’ve had a few friends in the past where I notice that they are exhibiting the usual signs and who seem to be in real pain and act as if they are unable to talk about it.
So I talk.
Sometimes it seems to really help.
I think most people attempt to hide it, but if you’ve ever been there yourself, you can tell when other people are in pain.

Let me be clear: I don’t like bringing this up to just anyone. I still struggle with talking about it because it makes me feel weak. It makes me feel powerless. It makes me feel like I’m complaining about something that is just in my head, which is fucking embarrassing.

And yes, that is the right word for it.

The only reason I ever do talk about it to anyone, is because it’s lonely being in your head and feeling like no one understands the pain that you may not even understand yourself. And when I see someone like that, I feel like they should know they’re not alone and there are ways to deal with it.

Depression is a bitch. It’s debilitating, it’s absurd, it’s definitely abnormal, and it’s confusing as fuck.
It’s hell.

It’s not hell in the sense that the world is crumbling around you. In fact, you might not even have any “real” problems yet it feels like the world is resting upon your chest. Complaining about an invisible pain that no one else can see or verify while you don’t have any obvious problems is a really weird situation to be in. You feel like a jackass asking anyone for help, because why would you need help, everything appears to be good? What can they help you with anyways? How could they even help if you asked them?

To be honest, that’s something I have struggled with a lot. I have felt like a whiny little asshole even mentioning my depression to people who haven’t struggled themselves. It’s because in the back of my head I still feel guilty for feeling sad. Right now I am thinking about all the reasons why I should never be sad and why it might seem silly to even write this. I compare myself to people with “real” problems and I try to just push it away. I tell myself the pain isn’t real and that it’s only in my head and I constantly think that no one gives a shit about this silly little thing when so many have visible problems to worry about.

I know, that’s not the healthiest way of thinking about it. But it’s kind of how we treat it, right?

I mean unless you’re an asshole writing a blog post about your depression, for most people it seems easier to not draw attention to themselves and their debilitating lows so they can quietly figure it out.
That’s what I usually do.

Like I said, it’s embarrassing.

The catch?
Depression is real and it fucking blows.

We all know that one friend who seems to love being sad, right? There’s always that one obnoxious cunt that always has something to complain about and who self sabotages every possible way of making themselves happy and/or picking themselves up out of the infinite rut that they’ve dug themselves into.

(Hi, My name is Matt. Nice to meet you.)

It’s hard to feel sorry for those people. They do it to themselves, right? They just love being sad.

Let me tell you a secret: They don’t.

Their brains are screwy and they’re in pain and probably don’t know how to deal with it. They don’t love being sad at all. They hate it.

It’s a nightmare that doesn’t end when you wake up. It’s a constant awareness of the fact that you’re very down while nothing “real” seems to be wrong. It feels like you’re horribly alone. It feels like no one in the world can understand the constant pain because you don’t understand it yourself. Your heart will slow down then speed up all while it feels like a giant weight is resting on your chest. The demons are within and the brain lacks the ability to keep ‘em at bay. It’s dark. It’s confusing. It’s scary.

Depressed people don’t kill themselves because they love being sad. They don’t even kill themselves because they are sad!
They kill themselves because feeling alone and helpless is worse than being sad. They kill themselves because their brains are tricking them into thinking that it won’t ever end.

And guess what? A lot of people struggling with depression kill themselves.

I know I’ve thought about it. Countless times.

I’ve even lost people to suicide so I’ve seen the trauma it causes to everyone close to that person.
It’s selfish, it’s cowardly, It’s ridiculous and it’s fucking weak.

And yet I’ve thought about it. Countless times.

I flirted with the idea for most of my youth. I even half-assed attempted it a few times. In times of deep depression, I have lived recklessly in a conscious effort to boost the likelihood of my own demise.
I knew better than that, yet a constant pain kept bringing me back to the idea that this was a way out. It was the same imaginary pain that no one could see and that I couldn’t entirely explain.

Multiple times I talked myself off the metaphorical ledge because I couldn’t fathom the amount of hurt that I would have caused my dad. Don’t get me wrong, it would destroy a lot of people and it would have caused a lot of pain, but my dad was the hardest person to think about. I would fantasize about the aftermath and how the rest of the world would eventually move on, but I could never get over the idea of causing my old man any amount of pain.
Shit, I still can’t.

It’s embarrassing to admit any of this, and like I said, it’s incredibly difficult to explain... but that’s the reality.

When you’re depressed, it’s hard to remember what not being depressed is like. You feel trapped. You feel an incredible amount of sadness that seems like it will go on forever. You see other people being happy and you can’t seem to figure out how to get what they have. Smiles become little reminders that something is off and that you’re alone. You begin to think there is no point beyond pain because there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s fucking dark.

It’s all a lie though.

The pain is real, there is something wrong, and you can fix it.
Because that’s what depression really is.
It’s a real problem within the brain that is treatable and manageable.
It’s not made up, and it’s not someone seeking attention. It’s a disorder where the brain is acting abnormally and lying to your consciousness telling you all that dark shit. It’s something you can see and it’s something you can fix. It’s in your head only in the sense that your brain isn’t operating correctly. But that isn’t you, is it? The brain is just another body part separated from our consciousness. We can fix body parts.

I know, because I had to ask for help.
And that's the hardest thing I’ve done.

I never wanted to ask anyone for help because I truly didn’t understand that it was a “real” problem. I didn’t want to feel powerless and I didn’t want to admit to myself or anyone else that I had a mental disorder. But, I was alone and I was in a dark place. I scared myself and I figured I should at least try something new.

And it worked.

I may have a screwy fucking brain that lies to me at times, but at least now I know what the lie is. I sought out help and figured out what I was dealing with. More importantly, I learned how to help myself. I have found so many ways to exorcise my demons, and I have learned how to handle myself in ways that mostly prevent them from coming back. It won’t completely die, but when I do feel depression coming on, I’ve learned how to battle it.

That’s something I wish I knew when I was younger. I wish someone had come up to me and let me know I wasn’t alone and that there are many different ways of dealing with it. Fuck, I just wish someone told me it was real. It’s fucking scary being a kid and hating life when everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves. It’s even more terrifying when you feel alone and confused about how everyone else seems to be fine.

Even if they’re not.
I think a lot of people are struggling and they aren’t talking about it.

I’m writing this because I’ve talked to a few people recently who have expressed similar thoughts. No one talks about this shit! No one. It’s a real problem when stuff like this is so hush-hush in society. People kill themselves all the time because they don’t want to burden others with their pain by seeking help or talking about it. They hold it in, don’t seek help, and let it build until they do something drastic. It’s heartbreaking because it’s so fucking preventable.

I’m opening up a lot on this blog, probably more than most people would like... but this is the only one that I hope other people open up about as well.

If you are struggling with depression, find some fucking help. Talk to someone, go to a doctor, Google what to do, get some exercise, make some goals for yourself, e-mail me, do whatever you can do to realize it’s temporary and that you’re not alone. That sounds so fucking cliché, but it’s true. Whatever you’re dealing with is real and there are ways to help yourself and get better. It’s embarrassing, but so is being sad. Try getting help.

And if you know someone struggling with depression, just talk to them. For fuck’s sake, just talk to them. Even if you don’t understand what they’re going through, just talk to them. If they can’t explain it or don’t want to talk, make them get help another way, because they are suffering and they are alone and their brains are telling them there’s no way out and that does scary shit to people.

There are plenty of ways I was able to get a handle on my depression. Anti-depressants aren’t always the answer and I’m definitely not an advocate for any prescription medications. I have used them, I will most likely use them in the future, and I know plenty of people who use them all the time. I’ve had countless conversations about all the different medications with many people who have similarly struggled with depression like me. One thing that I have found, that many others have as well, is that the medications are not all the same. Whatever works for me may not work for you at all. The first medication I was ever on made me feel like dog shit and made me go to darker places. It was terrifying. I felt like if the powerful drugs couldn’t help, I was fucked. It wasn’t true. This is important to remember when trying to curb depression. Just because one thing doesn’t work right away, don’t give up... something will.

For me personally, I’m aware that sometimes I may need to be on medication. I hate being a slave to the pills so I do things in my life to actively avoid needing them. I haven’t taken them in a long time, but I still have them.
I still get embarrassed when someone finds my bottle of pills and asks, “What’s this for?”

It’s OK to be embarrassed.

It’s OK to need help.

It’s OK.

Life is short. Stick around.


I've Had Too Much To Think


I don't feel like writing today.

I don’t feel like doing anything productive, actually.

I feel like drinking.

For a guy who has been clinging on to self-discipline for the last few months, I sure am fantasizing about being completely out of control and drunk.

Becoming heavily intoxicated is really fucking stupid when you think about it. You lose your inhibitions, it kills brain cells, you make mistakes, you do stupid things and you feel like dog shit the next day. It's all because at end of the day, you’re essentially just poisoning yourself.

I kind of want all of that.

I’m stressed.
I’m uncertain.
I’m nervous and I never get nervous.

I’ve been holding on to the idea that I should feel the whole range of emotions, good or bad, without the numbing filter of booze. Now I’m wondering where the fuck I got that idea from?

This is so typical.
This is my go-to. Something starts to get a little hard and I want to just tune out. If I get too bored, I want to tune out.

The easiest way that I've found to tune out and shut my brain up for the last X amount of years has been drinking alcohol in abundance. Booze has always been a kind friend willing to help me forget about my problems, entertain me, or when I need to, help me avoid reality all together. It is, for sure, my drug of choice.

I’m what you would call a “seasoned drinker”. Up until a few months ago, I was wondering if I was fucked from alcohol dependence. A decade of acting like life is a sad party where booze is a necessity to make it all seem a bit more tolerable was starting to freak me out. At different stages of my life it’s freaked a lot of other people out too. I’m not an alcoholic, but I definitely have a problem with moderation. This is sort of news to me. I mean, obviously I was experiencing it and I was the one pouring the delicious poison down my face hole, but I never stopped to realize how much more I would consume than others. OK, if I’m being completely honest, I think I always realized it but I never accepted it until recently.

Turns out I’m sort of lucky, It’s been incredibly easy to not drink excessively. I’m not actually dependent on it. Once I fully realized that I tended to get out of control I just decided I couldn’t do that anymore. Shit, I got willpower.

I decided I would still partake in social situations, so that I don’t miss out on a huge part of this society, I just wasn’t going to self medicate anymore. This newfound way of life has been great. It’s made me realize some of my faults, it’s opened some doors, allowed me to be in control, and it’s stated me on a path of experimenting with self-discipline. As someone who has a problem with moderation, this has been pretty fucking positive.

I started testing myself in other areas as well. I have always had issues with falling asleep, getting enough sleep, waking up, etc. so I decided I wanted to fix that. Now I go to bed at 11 and wake up at 5:30 every day just to prove I can.
I follow an insane diet that would have seemed ludicrous three months ago.
I have a strict workout routine that could easily be described as “obnoxious”.
I do a bunch of other shit that requires discipline, but I don’t need to get into it here... you get the point.

Shit, am I changing too much?
Is this just another example of me being horrible with moderation? Whatever.

Whether all of these new strict routines stem from my problem with moderation or not, I’ve found huge benefits from being in control of every aspect of my life.

But right I want to pour some Jack down my throat and lose my shit.

My brain has been racing for days.
I’ve had too much to think.

I’m stressed.
I’m uncertain.
I’m fucking nervous and I hate being nervous.

I can’t tell if drinking heavily is ever a good idea?
I could argue that it would definitely help me loosen up and take a much-needed break from worrying about shit.
I could also argue that it’s logically a stupid thing to do and that tomorrow I may have the same worries.

So it comes down to control. Is relinquishing control for a night a good idea? Am I too controlling of everything in my life right now? Or, is this some weird subconscious desire to give in and be self-destructive for a night?

I don’t know.
This is all still new to me.

“Just take a drink, pussy!”

Ah, there’s that voice again.


-Matthew Stresses

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?


The desire to pack up and leave LA is strong.

I have been quietly debating on what I want to be doing and where I want to be doing it for a while now.

It’s no secret that I feel "unfulfilled” with my current situation. I think most people my age feel that way. We have insane ambitions and talents that exceed the previous generations. That’s how this world seems to work from what I can gather. Each generation wants more and more and they make better and better shit because of it. It’s progress based around this weird, but completely natural, selfish desire to be the best.
It’s just weird because my generation was told that we could do whatever we want in life and that we are all the best while ignoring the fact that we most likely aren’t. Not everyone can be the best. That’s not how math works.
Yet, we were coddled.
For Christ’s sake, participation awards started with us. We were over nurtured and we were sold on the idea that if we went to college and worked hard, all of our dreams would come true.

It’s a little childish to even think that way now. It’s just not the case. Young people are more educated than the previous generations and there are fewer and fewer jobs. Too many people with dreams, not enough environments to make those dreams a reality. Most people work “filler jobs” just to survive. When you have a degree and a lifetime of being told that you’re the best and that all your dreams will come true, you can only work so hard serving food for minimum wage and some measly tips. Making barely enough to survive while working in a restaurant and getting yelled at for a hard 8 hours by ungrateful customers can really make you question, “Is this is all worth it?”

(Side note: Treat the people serving you better. If someone fucks up your order, don’t make a scene. Don’t act like it’s a mortal wound. Don’t raise your voice. Lose the fucking attitude and politely let them know about the situation and it will be resolved. Oh, and leave a tip!)

I’m not trashing being a server, by the way. I just assume that unless your dream is to advance in that restaurant, working there isn't ideal. It's a hard job and you have to put up with a lot of peoples' shit. So what’s the point of wasting time there? What’s the point of working hard at a job that you probably hate when hardly anyone appreciates it? There is none that I can see. In most cases it seems like it’s the only option. It’s like you have to kill time and make what little money you can just to survive until one day you may or may not be able to get lucky enough to find yourself in a situation that allows you to do what you feel you were meant to do. It’s a horribly depressing position to be in. I’ve been there.

Hell, I sort of am.

I mean, I use a camera for a living, so it’s in the ballpark of what I want to do, but it sure isn’t that rewarding yet.

(And to all the people who have a strong support system that allows you to avoid all of these tiring experiences, fuck you.
I'm just kidding.
But at least acknowledge how fucking lucky you really are. Also, treat the people serving you better. For some reason it seems like y’all are the worst at this.)

Getting a gig here in LA really comes down to who you know. I hate it. The whole system is so weird. You have to network and literally sell yourself every chance you can get. I know how to do it, I might even be good at it, but goddamn I fucking hate networking. I’m over it. I have no desire to go out and meet people and have these boring conversations whilst pretending I don’t want something from whoever I’ve latched on to. It makes my skin crawl. I truly despise it.

“You gotta play the game, Matt!”
Why? So I can get another job taking photos that ends up selling a product I may or may not even agree with? Is that an honorable or honest way to make a living? Is that what I’m on this planet to do? Am I supposed to be another replaceable cog in the machine that just constantly sells bullshit?

“Yeah, but if you play the game, eventually you can get to a point where they will come to you. Then you can be all smug and pretentious and choose the companies that you believe in!”
That’s one way to go about it. It just seems so fucking soul crushing until you get there.

Also, what if this is it? What if by some freak accident I die next week and my greatest accomplishments are selling non-sense for rich people?
What will people say?

If they were being truly honest, it would have to be something like: “Matt sure lived a short and unfulfilling life.”

God, that’s bleak.

Of all the people I know, I would say about 5-10 are truly living their dreams. The ones that come to mind are insanely lucky. Like, INSANELY lucky. It’s incredibly inspiring. They have bad days (we all do), and maybe sometimes they take their position in this world for granted (we all do), but mostly they are fulfilled.

I’m not even sure what my dreams are anymore? It’s a weird feeling.

I try my best to stay in the moment. I’ve come to realize that worrying about the future just wrecks the present, which really doesn’t help anything. I’ve wasted countless days of my life worrying about things that are out of my control. Things that haven’t happened yet, things that could happen, even things that probably won’t, but might happen. It’s not healthy.

So, I give it my best shot to live in the moment. It’s just incredibly hard to be accepting of a shit job if you feel like you're your wasting time. It’s unbelievably hard to stay Zen when you feel you have more to offer.

So, what if I just bailed?
What if I put my money where my mouth is and quit playing this disgusting game?
I could get a storage unit, or sell all my shit and just take off.
I could travel all of the 48 states in the continental US. I could go searching for whatever it is that makes me feel fulfilled. I could meet more people than I could ever dream of; People that won’t want anything from me and I wouldn’t want anything from them. I could take polls and do my own research to see what makes people happy.

I like to use the saying, “Recording Life”, when talking about what I do. But, that's not really true, is it? Most of the work I do is composed shots with the purpose of selling a product. Or, I shoot models and actors whose job is to literally pretend to be doing something else. That's not life.

What if I just quit doing that and actually started Recording Life?
Would I just travel the country searching for something until I run out of money? Then what, would I be fucked? Would I have to be a grown man who moves back into his parent’s house?
Or, is there any money to be made doing that? Maybe I could get sponsors and make rewarding content for them on the road?
Well, that seems farfetched. I imagine someone with some a mount of fame could probably convince people to sponsor an endeavor like that. Who knows.

But wait, does money really even matter?
If I go broke and end up at my parent’s house, is that really a failure?
For most people ,I’m sure it is, but I can’t stop thinking: What if I find something out there that will benefit me beyond any monetary compensation?

I don’t even know if this is all just a fantasy or if I would really have the balls to do it, but it’s all I can think about right now.

Like I said, the desire to leave is strong.

I’ve even started planning how I would go about it..

I figure I could just sleep in my car or a tent.
I would pack light and wash where I could.

I could stay with friends in the cities where I have some.
I would document the entire thing by making videos every day while writing about the people I meet, the places I go, and the things I learn.
It would be my own personal adventure that I could share with anyone who cares to tune in.

I get really excited when I think about it. Almost like I might actually do it.

I just honestly can’t figure out if this desire is present because I’m trying to run from or towards something.


-Matthew Wonders

Where Is My Mind?


The page is blank.

Well, I guess it isn’t anymore.

What am I going to write about today?

I can think of a bunch of things that I want to avoid, still.
I can think of a bunch of things I want to say, but probably shouldn’t.

Am I angry today? Am I upset about anything?
I seem to write the best when I’m one of the two. Those emotions seem to give me the extra bit of courage to be honest with myself and exorcise my demons. Or at least give me the ability to rant like a mf'er.

I guess I feel indifferent today. I'm not in the business of souring this indifferent mood. Better keep it light.

I've noticed that if I’m doing too well I start to feel like I’m bragging. You’d think I would want to share positive stories or aspects of my life here, right? I’m still not sure why it’s difficult to write those.
I guess I am constantly aware of how I don’t want to be perceived. Which now that I think about it, probably isn’t the healthiest thing to do.


I know that I don’t want to be viewed as: Arrogant, egotistical, self-centered, selfish...
(Hold on, let me look up more synonyms to drive point home) ...Conceited or haughty.

How do I want to be perceived? I have no fucking clue.

I think a lot of men my age would want to come across as the “dark and mysterious brooding type.” Ha!
If there is one thing that we can all agree on, is that despite my bitching and moaning, I am a true-blue goofball.

I mean, sometimes it seems like all I do is “brood”, just not in that sexy “I’m super serious” way.
It’s more personal and in private. But I do constantly joke about it. It’s no secret that I’ve always been a little moody. It's just not brooding. I cover all that when around other people.

I don’t want to be perceived like that either. I can brood with the best of them, but I constantly hide it. The "cool-guy" persona doesn't fit well with my personality.

It just seems exhausting. How do those dark mysterious types get anything done? Don’t they know how to compartmentalize this shit?

This is getting ridiculous. This page may have offered more when it was blank; it was at least full of potential way back when.

OK, now what?


I’m not very good at receiving compliments. Yeah! I can talk about that for a little bit.

Thank Christ! There is a topic! It may not be great, but we found one! A topic that is going to be all about me and therefore can be perceived as (choose adjective from the list above)... But goddammit, we found one!

I don’t have a low self-esteem, I just feel strange when receiving compliments. I’m a fairly confident guy in just about everything I do. Sure, I have my insecurities. We all do.
I just hate getting told things that I don’t necessarily agree with when the social norm dictates to not verbalize my disagreement.

Like when a religious person wants to gab about their beliefs and I whole-heartedly disagree, I just let ‘em talk. It would not be socially acceptable if I just started digging through my arsenal of reasons why it’s all bullshit.
(As long as they aren’t trying to convince me to join or believe, that is.)

It makes them happy. That's OK. I don't have to talk about things that only interest me. As much as I would love to be, I’m not the king of every conversation.

But I just try to look at myself as realistically and as honestly as possible. For example, I’m not a great writer. I’m hyper aware of that. I am pretty OK at conveying my thoughts while getting my voice across.
But... Sentence structure? Non-existent these days.
Typoes? Abundant.
Am I capable of delivering a precise and well thought out message?
Well, I just started this with, “The page is blank.” and now I'm rambling, so I doubt it.

(No one is accusing me of being a great writer, by the way. I’m using that as an example because it’s right here.)
(Also, I rely heavily on these parentheses.)

When people do give me a compliment, whatever it may be, I immediately start pointing out how or why they are incorrect in my head.
Is that self-deprecation or just being honest with myself? I’d like to think it’s honesty, but more than once I have been accused of being self-deprecating.

I think I straddle a fine line in that department.
Of course, I don’t tell the person complimenting me any of this!
Oh god, is there nothing worse than when someone does that? When someone starts offering up reasons why the compliment shouldn’t have been given it just fucks with the flow of conversation. It puts a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Even if they mean it and they are speaking about their ACTUAL insecurities, it just comes across as fishing for another compliment.
It’s strange.

I just say, “Well thanks!” Followed by complimenting them. It’s a sure fire way to divert the conversation away from myself. I’ve gotten fairly good at it, too.
Is that bad? Who am I talking to? What's this post about? Where is my mind?
I feel like those people who are super confident and sure of themselves tend to be happier. Though, I have to admit, sometimes I judge them if it appears they aren’t aware of their flaws.

I definitely don’t judge the people who are super confident AND aware of their flaws. Especially if they are working on them. That shit inspires me to work on myself.
But, we all have flaws, so it's a little gross when people don't see their own. When someone is horrible at things and just acts as if they aren't, it's really weird. That's a flaw in itself.

One of my favorite things to do is finding other peoples’ flaws. It’s kind of a sick game I play inside my head. I just take note when I observe a flaw in someone.
I do it to everyone: Friends, family, strangers at the bar, people walking down the street, literally everyone.
I don’t think I do it in an asshole way, or even a judgmental way, it’s just the same thing I do with myself... It’s honest.

Or maybe I’m just a miserable cunt and by pointing out others’ flaws I’m subconsciously bringing everyone down to my level?

Wait, what am I taking about again? 

Well, shit.


-Matthew Broods

Human Shadows


You ever notice that when you’re dwelling on something for a while, it keeps popping up all around you? You start seeing examples of that exact thing, or conversations end up going in that direction. It’s like the universe is telling you to deal with it.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the impressions we leave on the people that we come in to contact with. I’ve had two random conversations about it that I didn’t bring up. And then I found that one song, Dearly Departed, by that Shakey Graves fella. I know, I’m not that fucking hip to the current trends of music. People have been telling me to listen to him for years. Whatever, I finally did this week and that song seems terrifyingly similar to the exact idea.
(I’ll link it at the bottom.)

This life can be summed up as a life-long progression of different experiences. Obviously everything can be considered an experience, but certain things hold more weight than others. When we look back, we look at past moments where something significant happened. Good or bad.

We don’t seem to focus on the mundane or ordinary moments.
I highly doubt anyone is thinking about what they had for lunch in 2006 on August 8
th. So, for this let’s focus on the important ones. Specifically, the ones where other people affect our lives... Those experiences that hold so much weight, that they shape our present and future. The ones that leave a mark, or where there is residue, or there is a shadow of the person that you experienced it with.

There is something left over.

It’s pretty fascinating what shapes our lives to create the person we are today. From what I can gather, we alter our behavior based on the experiences we have had. That’s how you learn, right? As a child you touch a stove and burn the shit out of your hand and you learn not to do that ever again. You will remember for the rest of your life that stove=pain. You may not even remember the time you burned your hand, but you will always remember that lesson. That’s pretty fucking bizarre to me.

What’s even more bizarre to me is how we affect each other.

If someone hurts you to the core, it’s highly likely that you will associate that person with pain. It’s not just that person, though. That association can happen when you meet someone similar to the original wrongdoer or pain-causer. Maybe they look like them, speak like them, are interested in similar things, smell like them, or whatever the case... there is a shadow of that original pain. You can be looking at an entirely different person, with different hopes, dreams, morals, and life experiences; yet, a ghost of the one who wronged you lurks in your mind. It affects you. It can drastically alter how you treat that person.

Is this fair?
Can we help it?
I’m not sure yet.
But I think it’s worth trying.

I think recognizing that they are different is important. Each of us appears to be an individual. Sure, there are some mass amounts of people that seem like clones of whoever the current trendy celebrity is, but I would wager my life that deep down we are all highly unique.

I’ve seen people be complete assholes to another person just because they remind them of someone else. Hell, I’ve done it. For a hot minute in college I associated every sorority girl I ever met with the first few shitty dumb ones I interacted with. I acted superior to them. I thought I was superior to them. I just assumed I was soooo fucking smart in comparison. Ironically, that attitude of being a dick played very well for me. Being a dick got me laid quite a bit back then. It was confusing. I always assumed I was the “nice guy”. I remember seeing all the assholes get the girls in high school and wonder how the fuck anyone could fall for that?

I can remember the day it worked for me. There was this gorgeous girl who just seemed like an airhead. She was hanging around some of my friends and I just started being a cunt for no reason. I would make fun of her, not directly to her face, but right in front of her and everyone else. Once she realized what was going on, she started trying to convince me I was wrong about her. She made it her mission to convince me that she wasn’t what I thought she was. She wanted to prove herself to me. Next thing I know, things were progressing in a strange fashion. I didn’t stick to my guns of calling this beautiful girl an idiot after she seemed hell bent on convincing me that she was not. I accidentally figured out how people can fall for that awful shit. My mind was blown.

We hooked up that night.
I know, I’m not proud of myself.

I look back on that part of my life now, and I’m horrified. I have altered my behavior accordingly. I have changed so much that the idea of doing that to someone is so far from what I would ever want to be doing. It goes against my own morality.
Being cruel to people isn’t my jam.
In that aspect, I have grown up.

But I WAS an asshole. I hurt a lot of people in those years. I left a lot of negative imprints on others and that I wish I hadn’t. Maybe there is a string of people avoiding long-haired, smug, purple-pant-wearing, douche bags who rant about non-sense for the rest of their lives.

(Yeah, I had purple pants. I JUST said that I was an asshole, OK?)

I’d like to pretend there aren’t too many, but I’m guessing there are a few people where a ghost of me still haunts them to this day.
Actually, I know there are.
I’ve even tried reaching out in an attempt to make amends, or at the very least apologize for being such a cock-nugget.

I haven’t had much luck.

So what do we do about this? People grow. I'm not whatever ghost they are still holding on to anymore. Contrary to popular belief, people change ALL the fucking time. People aren’t like the stove. The stove will always be capable of burning the fuck out of you. It’s constant. But people can, and often do, grow.

And before you even think it, I know that some people don’t grow fast enough. I know that some people are dicks. I know this. But they all have the potential to change, and most will.

So is it fair to hold on to these ghosts? Do they help us much? Is it fair to look at a new person with all their individual experiences and only see the shadow of someone else?
I don’t think so.

But, I can see why. I can also see how hard it is to exorcise that ghost from our head, especially if the pain was particularly traumatic.

I just hope we can all be a bit more open with new people. I think remembering that we are all different and unique, is A) Beautiful and B) Super fucking important.

I am not someone else, just as you are unique to your own experiences and life progression.


Besides, having ghosts around is never a good thing.


-Matthew Ponders


Dearly Departed

Get It Together, Bitch.


I’m sitting in my studio apartment in a trendy neighborhood in Los Angeles.
It’s a mess.
I make my bed every morning, but I make excuses for the rest of it. I lie to myself, “This spot is temporary, so it doesn’t make sense to buy furniture or storage for all this shit.”

It’s been over a year.
It doesn’t feel temporary.

Sometimes I put things off.
OK, a lot of times.
I’m not sure why I am able to focus, get after it and work hard at most things and not others. I recognize my problems and I can name my flaws, yet sometimes I just observe them. Instead of stomping them out, making changes, or being proactive, I just watch them stay stagnant.

But in most ways I’m trying. I think?

After years of living like an alcoholic writer who eats dog shit all day slowly turning into a fat-fuck, I decided to get back into shape.
Cut out booze (except for celebrations), started eating how humans are supposed to eat (not an American in 2016 with all this filler bullshit), and I started working out.

Within 4 months I lost 30lbs, regained strength and have achieved a fitness level that is eerily similar to my 19-year old college athlete days. Sure, I’m a little busted up from various injuries and countless stupid fights through out my teenage years.

-Arthritis in my right hand.
-Knees both shot to hell.
-Shoulder a little stiff.

And, I have had to alter a lot of things to strengthen and better myself despite these ailments. I know that there may be physical limitations, but I am constantly trying to better myself in order to push those limitations so that I can mitigate the effect they have on my life.

It feels good.

I quit smoking cigarettes after nearly a decade.
Why’d I start?
Because everyone was doing it and I thought it was cool. Whether it’s subconscious or not, that’s why everyone starts. Any other reason one may give is horse shit, I promise you. I can’t think of one honest or good reason why anyone would start smoking other than looking cool.

Why’d I quit?
Because it finally hit home.
I will 100% die from these fucking cool-guy-sticks if I don’t stop.
And not a clean death either! It’s a disgusting death full of brutal pain and rotting cells within the lungs and as the cancer outwardly moves and consumes enough of the soul, the body, mind, and heart all finally stop. It stopped feeling cool, so I quit.

It feels good.

I meditate a lot. One thing I do that seems to make people uncomfortable, is try and figure out how my body will age. I attempt to approach it realistically and pragmatically, and figure out how my physical body will decay as time goes on. It freaks me out, but it puts things in to perspective. I change behaviors because of it. I would rather live healthier and longer, so I make adjustments accordingly. For example:

If I live to be 80, my hand will have limited mobility. The arthritis will worsen and it will hurt (badly, from what I hear.) My knees will most likely be problematic unless I can figure out real solutions for the bothersome tendons. I hope, I won’t get cancer form all the stupid shit that I have done, but realistically it’s a possibility. Because of this, I try and alter all of my current habits to pro long the inevitable. There are steps I won’t get into, that radically reduce the possibility of cancer.

I want to live, not just long, but well.

It feels good.

So, why can’t I keep my fucking room clean?
I know that having a clean environment will reduce stress; it will help me be more disciplined and allow me to focus on more important things in life. There’s literally no down side.
For a guy who seems to be obsessed with bettering himself, I sure am a hypocrite.
So why are there clothes all over my floor? I don’t even own that many clothes. Black Levis, black shirts, black socks, black, black, black...
I need more color. Whatever.
Something so trivial and easy such as cleaning up my pseudo-goth attire should be a breeze. But nevertheless, every time I walk into my apartment, shit everywhere.

It doesn’t feel good.

There are a lot more “serious” things in my life that don’t feel good.

Maybe I’ll get into those some time in another blog, but for now just take the moody clothes on my floor as a metaphor.


I have work to do.