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My goal is to represent the Millennial voice. Millennials are members of Generation Y which is made up of people born from 1980 to 1992 or so. I was born in the fall of ’86. My peers and I are have grown up with the transition from analog to digital, from cassette to disc, and from disc to data.
Though I consider myself quite the eccentric, I have a lot in common with others in my demographic. I find myself still living at home and unemployed, living without health insurance and requesting aid from the state. I went to college after high school trying to get a degree in broadcasting. I ended up only getting a certificate because I became disenchanted with that as a career choice. Most broadcasting companies demand that their applicants for hire have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 2-3 years of experience. Thus we face the catch-22, how can you get experience when no one’s willing to give you a job?
Now I’m going to school online, yes I am a Phoenix. I’m pursuing an BA in Psychology. I’m taking out hefty loans for school. Like many in my generation, I’m in debt. I recently tried to apply for a Fresh Start loan at my bank because I owed them over $200 in overdraft fees that had been accumulating. Why did I overdraft? Because even though I hadn’t the money I still needed things. It’s as simple as that.

Like most Millennials, I usually find myself on the left side of the political line. Who can blame us for this? Since we were born we’ve witnessed the decay of American society. We’re coming of age in an age of despair. In a time when the nation is trillions of dollars in debt to China, health insurance prices are sky rocketing and there’s little hope that we’ll be able to get Social Security when we’re elderly. At this rate, a lot of us will find ourselves never owning a house, lacking the cushion of a well-built 401K.
Who in the House will represent us? Who in the Senate will stand behind us? For we are of the voting class but not of the ruling class, nor the ruling demographic. How often do you see someone in their late 20s running for some kind of office? That’s because we don’t have the money or the connections to be successful politicians. A lot of the 20 somethings are enamored with the idea of Change. That’s why Generation Y voted Obama whose entire campaign was based on that idea. Change. Change for the better. I ask you my friends, where is the Promised Land? It has not yet been delivered. The time has come for us to demand the change we deserve.

We will settle for nothing less then universal healthcare. We’ll settle for nothing less then a booming job market. We must settle for nothing less then an excellent education system.

I won’t lie to you; I’ve learned more in online encyclopedias then I ever learned in my twelve years of public schooling. I wasn’t even taught the difference between “Solar System” and “Galaxy” in high school. I knew nothing of the religions and philosophies of the world. Though they did teach us of obedience to authority. They conditioned us with bells like scientists do with lab mice. We carry this training into the workplace where we’re expected to be well-functioning cogs in a giant machine. Living according to bells and whistles, following set programs and rituals.

It’s my belief that colleges have challenging curriculums and high tuition costs to dissuade people from graduating. They don’t want the workforce to be composed of freethinking intellectuals do they? America’s education system ranks 6th in the world behind Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and Finland. There’s no reason why we can’t be number one. The current system is imperfect, impersonal and it patronizes the students. If we weren’t treated as if we were idiots when we were children, maybe we would’ve found learning a bit more enjoyable.

Teachers need higher pay and better training. Classrooms need up to date textbooks and interactive educational programs that encourage research and inquisitiveness. Students should be taught about stress and depression and the ways to combat them. As the years continue to ascend, so does the speed at which we pace our lives. At times it can be overwhelming. Almost everyone I know in my demographic has been to a therapist and is or was on some kind of antidepressant.

Many of us are unhealthy due to lack of insurance, or because they have plans with a ridiculously high deductible. We avoid going to the doctor because we just can’t afford it. I still owe money to an anesthesiologist and a shrink. As Millennials’ credit scores drop we’re going to find it harder to get loans for houses and small businesses. This can only hurt the economy even more in the long run. How can I settle down and have children when I can’t even get out of the nest? It’s time that we begin a massive restructuring of our government and all the systems it controls so that by the time the Millennials are in office, we can implement policies that will make it so that those younger then us don’t have to grow up in the midst of a depression.
Generation Y, our government has failed us. It’s failed our parents. It doesn’t have to fail our children. This is 2011, there’s no reason why anyone should be going homeless or hungry in this nation. There’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to go to the doctor when we’re sick. There’s no reason that we’re jobless with degrees. This the age of plenty, and there is plenty to go around.

There is a grand feast but we’re only being fed crumbs and table scraps, even though the powerful waste most of what they have. Like a dog that’s been kicked too many times, we’ve been desensitized and we’ve submitted to a state of perpetual apathy. We know how terrible things are, yet we’ve adapted to it. We have to break free from the shackles of ignorance and despair and rise up to witness the dawning a new age of reason, tolerance and understanding.

Debt & Financial Outlook

36% of all Millennials depend on financial support from their families, including 14% of all young adults who are working full time.
More than one in three young workers say they are currently living at home with their parents.
31% of young workers are uninsured.
One-third of young workers cannot pay their bills.
7 in 10 young workers do not have enough saved to cover two months of living expenses.
In 2008, 67% of students graduating from four-year colleges and universities had student loan debt which averaged $23,200.
Only 58% of Millennials pay their monthly bills on time.
60% of workers 20 to 29 years old cashed out their 401(k) retirement plans — typically a big financial no-no because such a move squanders retirement assets and forces the recipient to pay a tax penalty — when they changed or lost jobs.

My two newest songs.

I’ve been meddling with Progressive Rock lately. Check these out:


I had an excellent time at Jeremiah Joe’s Friday night. I did my whole acoustic set list live. I’d never done a solo performance before. It was invigorating.

There’s nothing quite like being on stage, observed by several different people, sweating beneath stage lights, hearing your voice and your guitar echo across the ambient room. I’m planning on playing at Open Mic Night at Tracy’s Rowhouse in Ottawa, Illinois on Wednesday night at 8. Instead of a set I’ll probably on do a few songs, but it’ll still be fun. You have to do free gigs before you work your way up to paying ones too, so this is good for my resume.

I played on Saturday around Washington Park in Ottawa, accepting donations from passersby. You don’t make much doing that, but it’s better than just playing around my house for nothing and no one. It’s a thrill entertaining people. It’s a thrill communicating a message to another through song and writing. Being unemployed, my music and my books are all I have to go on at the moment. Luckily, I’m still with the parents so I don’t have to worry about getting evicted, unless things turns sour in the economy again. Who knows, maybe everyone could wind up in the street then? At least I’d have a guitar so I could play for dollars so that I can eat off the dollar menu at Taco Bell. Buy Now style 2 button

My newest creation, Introspect & Empathy is finished and on sale from the Book Patch. Hopefully I can get it in the local book store soon too.

To the Dark Ones Among Us by J.L. Pendall (from the upcoming book)

What drives men to become monsters?
And can some monsters become men?
There is a force that can transform you
You’ll hardly even notice
That you’ve become something different
Is it that you can’t feel anyone else?
So insecure that you need to dominate
Just to feel fulfilled?

Does anguish fascinate you
Because you can’t feel the agony?
Are you lonely locked away in yourself?
Or merely despise those who’ve wronged you

Are you afraid of how others may see you?
Are you a caged mind thrashing against iron bars?
There is a part of you that feels imprisoned

It despises the monster that you’ve become
It is the innocent infant that you once were
Still crying in the crib

Just remember at one time you were helpless
And you’re helpless in the struggle against time Buy Now style 1 button

In Light of Certain Madness, now only $4.00 for a 6 x 9 65 page paperback. Or you can download a preview for free at


In a world washed in gray
The drones make their way
Down all the familiar paths
That they walk everyday

Towering over identical houses
A machine toils belching out ashes
The machine has taken everyone’s eyes
Barcodes rest on the lids like bruises

Emotionless and cold
Are the machine and its slaves

None have ever been saved
From the world washed in gray

There are a few poems missing and very little formatting but I figured I’d give you something to sink your teeth in before you choose to buy.

You can find the paperback version of the book by clicking on the button below. It’s only $5.00. Buy Now style 2 button

My Memoir (Poem from next book)

Poem from the upcoming book Introspect & Empathy by J.L. Pendall, which is me.

My Memoir

Routines, routines
All throughout our days
No wonder, no wonder
No wonder we’re insane

Life is always
Too much of this
And not enough of that
Where is the balance?

It’s like living on a pendulum
Powerless to fight the motion
Powerless against my emotions

I don’t even know how I feel
I don’t even know what’s real

I’m so used to hearing my thoughts
That I forget others can’t
If they could would they even
Recognize this man?

Routines, routines
If you let them they’ll replace you
When you’re caught up
It’s easy to forget you

This poem was about, of course, routines and monotony and how they drive us all insane in one way or another. Just take a step back from yourself now and then and analyze the shape of things. If you’re unhappy, is it because the routines you’re in are making you unhappy? Maybe a change would be nice. I recently quit my job by the way. Couldn’t hand it anymore. Now I’m doing this.

Who Are You? (poem)

Why does my ease feel ill?
It’s not the words you’re saying
But the ones you choose to swallow

I’m always wondering what you’re thinking
And I’m always thinking about how I’m feeling
I get so close to the picture that my vision begins to blur
I get confused and I lose my nerve

Sometimes I speak in a clear and melodic voice
But when I’m with you I feel like I’m a boy
I stutter and stammer and forget the point
I assure myself that I’ll only disappoint

So why does my ease feel ill?
There’s hole in me to fill

For this poems I was just writing about my state of mind. This poem’s in my work-in-progress “Y4?: The Poetry of Introspect & Empathy. My first book has just been published. A 63 page paperback called In Light of Certain Madness Can be found below. Buy Now style 2 button

In Light of Certain Madness

I’ve put together my first poetry collection. The book is a 63 page softcover. The poems range from light to dark. Humorous to suspenseful. Straightforward to obscure. This book is about how life can make you crazy. It’s about seeing the good as well as the bad and learning to laugh in the face of adversity. In Light of Certain Madness leads you from poems about nature to poems about human nature. Buy Now style 1 button

My time at Wal-Mart

Five years. Five years and I resigned on my anniversary. Sometimes it seems that everything I do I do for a laugh. Like I’m some elaborate prankster who’s even now scheming up his next punchline.

When I started at Wal-Mart, I was on the setup crew. I saw it all come together from a gigantic nearly empty building into one of the biggest Super Centers in the midwest.

The store opened in August of 2006. I became a “maintenance associate” on overnights. I did that for over four years. I loved the employees on overnights. There’s a profound difference in personalities compared to the fellow “Daywalkers.” It’s like, well night and day really. The night shift attracts interesting people. And the usually scattered and subdued customers give space for employees to communicate with each other.

I met some amazing people during my time on nights. Some of them have changed my life. In an environment like that, the people you work with can become almost like family.

The pay wasn’t bad either. Wal-Mart pays everyone according to their job position and they’re setup in grades. Overnight maintenance is on grade two and I got the night premium.

I just couldn’t handle the schedule. It was impossible for me to get to sleep when I got home at seven in the morning. The  minute the sun came up I’d be wide awake when I was completely exhausted a few hours before. I’d stay up until two or three in the afternoon, get up at eight p.m. and then do it all over again. Also, things in my personal life began taking an interesting and disturbing turn. If you’re a person that gets caught up in your thoughts, nights isn’t for you. It’s easy to think in the night. Everything is quiet and still. When the mental subject matter is distressful, the night is a curse.

In September of 2010 I went on leave for a month. When I returned to work in October, I was a Daywalker.

The store is so different in daylight. There are customers everywhere, which at first annoyed me but then I adjusted to them. You have to look at them all as individuals. If you just see the herd of cattle that they are then it’s easy to despise them.

The employees are very different during the day. There isn’t as much time or silence to communicate so the bonds between each other are fragile. Nevertheless, I came across a few people who I really enjoyed being around and talking with. There’s a cart pusher that I always BS’d with on my lunch and breaks. He always made me laugh. I never met anyone that swore so much on clock and in front of customers and yet he still just kept working there.

Most of my fellow maintenance workers are good people as well. I love people. I love hearing about their lives, getting to know them and what drives them. To a writer, each person is novel. A well of information and inspiration. I’ve taken something from everyone I’ve met because everyone has something to offer.

I worked my ass off on days. I was the youngest maintenance associate there and fresh off of leave I had the drive to achieve. Everyday I walked without stopping it seemed trying my best to get that shipwreck of a store clean and usually I did.

Then things started going downhill. That entire place is a broken machine. They are short-handed and yet they say that they’re overstaffed. Three months a year they cut everyone’s hours. My pay went down drastically when I went to days. I lost the night premium and Day Maintenance is on grade one instead of two and frankly I’m not sure why.

Not to mention the perpetual state of idiocy that seems to invade that store. If you made bail in the backroom then you have to try to maneuver it around pallets that are sticking much to far out into the aisles. One day, I had to take something outside to the dumpster. No one had the key for the backdoor. After about a half an hour it was unlocked and then I discovered that there were two padlocks on the dumpster and once again… no one had the key for them.

Both compactor keys were out of commission, one being broken and the other lost, so garbage was spilling everywhere. Not to mention customers that for some reason or another can’t seem to treat public restrooms with decency. I’ve seen some terrible and traumatizing things my time as a janitor. Things that defy logic.

As the storm began to build within me, I saw a glimpse of my future. The goal was to get an apartment and get out of my parents’ house. Then I thought, “Okay, what if I get an apartment in October. Then February comes and they start cutting our hours again. How am I supposed to pay the bills?” I went down from 32 hours a week to 20 and 25. Top that off with making only 9 something and hour and you’ll find that you can’t live off of that. How could I plan a future working at a place that’s unreliable?

So I put in my two weeks notice. After consideration I thought about talking to the store manager and taking it back as long as he made some changes. Then I walked into the backroom and saw that garbage travesty by the  compactor and decided that I couldn’t do it anymore. Plus, it was my five-year anniversary. How often am I gonna be able to say that I quit on my anniversary? So I did.

But it turns out Wal-Mart still isn’t done with me. I went in the day after I resigned so that management could “gain” me out of the system. The paperwork didn’t go through. Now, three days later it still hasn’t gone through. I found this out after I waited on hold for ten minutes while all the managers were playing hacky sack with each other or whatever it is they do in the office. This reinforced my decision. What a circus! So now I’m waiting patiently for them to call me back to tell me that I’m free.